Let the powered trolley take the strain of lugging your clubs around the golf course, whatever your age, whatever your ability - that's the advice of a leading back specialist.
"Carrying your bag or pulling a trolley is a fast track to injury," says Harley Street doctor of chiropractics Antoni Jakubowski, who also treats both European and US Tour players
"It is one of the leading causes of injuries sustained by golfers and I am not just talking about back injuries. I am increasingly seeing shoulder, elbow, neck, and hip problems too. Many of these injuries could have been prevented by using an electric trolley like a PowaKaddy and making a few simple changes to how golfers prepare for theirgolf."
Tour professionals, of course, have the luxury of a caddie to bear the load, which Tour rules demand, but with amateurs. it's the combination of a lack of general fitness, poor preparation and their chosen method of transporting clubs around the course that can lead to injury.
"In an ideal world we would exercise two or three times a week, warm up and stretch properly before we play. However that's difficult achieve, so even before most amateur club golfers step on the first tee they are susceptible to injury."
Research reveals that golfers who choose to carry their bag, lift and lower it more than 70 times a round while others tend to pull or push a considerable weight over undulating terrain over four miles in a stop-start four or five hour period.
Dr Jakubowski, a six-handicap golfer, adds: "I see amateur players make the same mistakes week in week out. The bending, twisting and lifting motions all eventually cause repetitive strain-type injury to the back, shoulders, elbows and other joints. By using a PowaKaddy, for example, the chances of aggravating one of these areas is lessened considerably, allowing you to focus on your golf and enjoy the walk."
Here's some helpful hints to prevent injuries and improve your game:
· Do some stretching exercises for your arms, shoulders and legs for at least five minutes before you play
· Hit a few smooth practice shots - a dozen will suffice - to loosen up your swing muscles
· Keep joints and muscles warm in colder weather -preferably using the latest layering technology
· Use a PowaKaddy-style trolley to avoid unnecessary strain on the back, shoulders, elbows, neck and hips
· Keep hydrated and fully concentrated on your game by drinking water and or energy drinks (at least one litre per 18 holes)