Whether you’re hitting the links for fun or seriously trying to up your game, you’re likely to experience and injury. When it comes to golf, most injuries are related to overuse and issues with your mechanics. It’s important to try to identify why the injury occurred to help determine whether you need to give in and take some rest or suck it up and push through. 

Accepting you have an injury that requires time off or going easy for a little bit can be really challenging, even for the hacks. We’ve mentioned some of the reasons people golf in previous posts but almost all of them include some thread of personal enjoyment. When you have to stop doing something you enjoy, even for a brief period of time, it can make a huge impact. It might affect your mood, your attitude, and your general overall interactions with the world.  

Let’s focus on how to manage needing time away from golf and stay tuned for strategies for returning and/or pushing through pain. 

  1. Accept that you are doing what’s best for your body. 
    1. Remind yourself that your pain is a sign from your body that something is wrong. 
    2. Remember that taking time now prevents setbacks in the future. 
    3. Know that you can do nothing and let things get worse or you can adjust your ego in an effort to feel better. 
  2. Find alternative ways to ‘get the reps’. 
    1. Mental imagery – not playing the course doesn’t mean not playing at all. Find ways to spend time imagining playing. Really, it will improve your performance!
    2. Watch others play. This might mean watching golf on tv, vids on youtube, or watching others play live. While it might be hard and make you long to play, it will keep your brain engaged. 
  3. Think of it as a time to recharge and reset and let some old habits die. 
    1. We all have that nagging thing we’re trying to fix but we’re too in our own head to make it happen. This is a great time to not be reinforcing that bad habit but to get some distance from it so we can start fresh. 
    2. If your injury is related to your mechanics, think of this as a time to reflect and plan for changing up what you’re doing to avoid continued pain and future injury. 
  4. Radical acceptance
    1. Accept what you cannot change.
    2. Focus on what you are excited about when returning. 
    3. Begin planning what you will do, eat, wear when you get back to playing. 

No doubt it’s hard to be sidelined with an injury. But we will all experience it at one time or another. We all have the choice to push through and thrive or to let it eat us alive. Find ways to stay engaged and you’ll find it’s a lot easier to cope!