LA QUINTA, Calif. - Golf is a low-impact sport with high benefits, but those impacts can take a toll on the body. Just ask one of the PGA Tour's youngest superstars, Rickie Fowler.
"I dealt with a back injury for about a year through the 2012-2013 season and it was mostly swing related. Playing at a higher lever, higher speeds there's definitely a lot of stress on the body," Fowler said.
Recent studies reveal 60 percent of professional golfers and 40 percent of amateurs suffer either a traumatic or overuse injury while golfing over a two-year period. That's according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
"They go out and play six or seven weeks in a row, they hit a thousand balls in a week, it adds up," said Jason Stodelle, a PGA Tour physical therapist.
That's why the pros maintain strict workout regimines off the course.
"I'm constantly spending time in the gym, maybe 4 or 5 times a week. We have two trailers that travel with us all the time, one's a PT trailer and one's a gym," Fowler said.
The mobile gym and rehab center offer physical therapists, chiropractors and trainers, as well as equipment for a full body workout.
"Most of their strengthening happens in the off-season, and once they're out here on the road they'll taper it off and focus more on flexibility and core work," Stodelle said.
Most golf injuries involve the lower back and for amateur players it's usually due to not properly stretching before teeing off.
"They have a 10 o'clock tee time, they show up 10 til 10 and they jump to the tee. They get up there and hit a driver and that's how people get hurt, you need to stretch, stretch, stretch," said three-time LPGA champion Nancy Scranton.
"Do some good stretching before and you'll be good to go on the course," Fowler said.
And if you're just starting out, one of the best ways to prevent injuries is taking a lesson and learning the fundamentals.
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