Common Golf Injuries and Their Causes

By: Marie Serrado

Golfing is a game that brings joy and camaraderie, and a sense of challenge to millions worldwide. Yet, beneath the surface of this elegant sport lies a reality often overlooked: the risk of injury. Sports related injuries can cause frustration and overall pain. From the casual weekend golfer to the seasoned professional, the repetitive motions and physical demands of the game can take a toll on the body. In this blog we will be discussing the common golf injuries and their causes. So, grab your clubs and join us as we explore the anatomy of golf injuries and discover how to keep your swing smooth and your body healthy.

Some common injuries in golf include:

  • Back strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Golfer Elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • Tennis Elbow ( lateral epicondylitis)
  • Rotator Cuff Conditions

Golfer Elbow (medial epicondylitis)

Characterized by the pain from the elbow to the wrist (inside of the elbow), Golfers elbow pain is caused by the damage of the tendons that bend the wrist to the palm according to John Hopkins Medical (2024). The cause of Golfer's elbow is also due to the excess force used to bend the wrist and the palm. The other possible causes also include:

  • Using a spin serve
  • Weak shoulders or weak muscles
  • Frequent use of hand tools on a daily basis.
  • Poor form when using the golf club.

Back Pain:

 Golf related injuries fall typically under four categories according to Dr. Sekhon,

  • Lumbar strains, which is another way to describe low back pain. Specifically, Dr. Sekhon calls these “myofascial injuries,” or tight, injured muscles that result from excessive strain.
  • Disc herniations, painful injuries that involve the vertebrae and the cushioned pads that move out of position between the vertebrae.
  • Exacerbated facet arthritis, also known as spondylosis (osteoarthritis of the spine), when the cartilage in one’s spine breaks down over time.
  • Accidents, or as Dr. Sekhon calls them, “the weird stuff that happens when alcohol is combined with physical activity, like falls and golf cart accidents.

Rotator Cuff Conditions:

Rotator cuff injuries or conditions can range from inflammation (tendonitis) to tears, causing pain, weakness, and limited range of motion. These issues can significantly impact your golf game, affecting your swing mechanics and overall performance.

Some common causes when it comes to dealing with rotator cuff injuries


  • Repetitive motion
  • Poor technique
  • Lack of warm-up
  • Age and Degeneration

By understanding these common causes, golfers can take proactive steps to prevent rotator cuff conditions and safeguard their shoulder health. Incorporating proper warm-up routines, focusing on correct swing mechanics, maintaining overall fitness and strength, and listening to your body for signs of strain or discomfort are all essential strategies for minimizing the risk of rotator cuff injuries on the golf course


Golf is a game of joy and camaraderie, but it's not without its risks. From back strains to rotator cuff conditions, injuries can lurk on the green. By understanding the causes and taking proactive steps like proper warm-up, technique refinement, and strength training, golfers can safeguard their swing and their health. So, next time you tee off, remember to swing smart, play safe, and keep the love for the game alive.



  1. HealthCentral. “Back Pain: Golf Injury Tips.” HealthCentral,
  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's and Baseball Elbow).” Johns Hopkins Medicine,
  3. UPMC Sports Medicine. “Golf Injuries.” UPMC,