Lee Westwood believes five is "too young" to start playing golf

Lee Westwood believes that it's not physically or mentally good to start playing golf as young as five.

Jack Seddon's picture
Wed, 22 Jan 2020
Lee Westwood believes five is "too young" to start playing golf

Lee Westwood is part of an elite group of golfers who have won in four different decades, following his victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, but the Ryder Cup veteran believes that it's not physically or mentally a good idea to start golf at a very young age.

Injuries in golf are a very common issue and some can put golfers out of actions for months on end, but many of these injuries can occur due to too much wear and tear caused by the movements in a swing.

"Without knowing, I was fortunate when I was a kid that I played lots of different sports," said Westwood, who began his career on the European Tour in 1994. 

"I didn't start playing golf at five years of age. I played lots of different sports, rugby, football, cricket. I was a good runner. And all those kind of give me a base, a physical base to work from. I was just a strong lad growing up and pretty fit. Then I started playing golf at 14.

"I do sometimes worry about these kids who start playing golf at the age of five now, because golf, you're bending over, you curve your spine that way, you rotate, as well. It's not the ideal movement for a six or seven-year-old kid."

The 25-time European Tour winner was then asked if he thinks that five is too young to be playing golf.

"Yeah, it probably is. Mentally, you're not ready for golf at that kind of age," Westwood replied.

"It's a pretty draining sport mentally. Certainly looking at my son (Sam), if he'd taken it up at a young age, he wouldn't have enjoyed the game as much as he's enjoying it now. He just started at 13-14 years of age, which I did."

"I've been lucky with injuries," he admitted, "but I've also done the work when it's needed, going to the gym in my late 20s. I probably should have gotten there earlier, but just didn't switch on quick enough.

"So I got in the gym around my 30s which coincided with getting to No 1 in the world and I did a lot of hard work with Steve McGregor from 2006-ish to 2012, which is going to be a good foundation. I'm back working with him again.

"I don't so much need to be skinny, but I've always concentrated on maintaining the areas of my body that take a battering, knees, back, shoulders.

"I've done a lot of exercise over the years on them to try and prevent injury, really, rather than getting an injury and then having to fix it. I've only really been out once and that was when I tore a calf muscle, basically."

This week, Westwood will look to continue his fine form as the European Tour's 'Desert Swing' continues at the Dubai Desert Classic.

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