Golf now a ‘contact sport’ as modern power driving puts ‘same pressure on spine as American football’

Golf now a 'contact sport' as modern power driving puts 'same pressure on spine as American football'

Golfers now hit the ball so hard the strain on their backs is equivalent to playing American football, according to a new study.

The game has effectively become a “contact sport”, experts have said after reviewing changes to the way players swing their clubs in the wake of Tiger Woods’ long injury.

Published in the Journal of Neurology: Spine, the study found that in contrast to the “relaxed downswing and follow-through” of historical greats such as Jack Nicklaus, modern professionals aim for an explosive release of energy that creates a “crunch” effect on the spine.

This is equivalent to the compressive force of around eight times the average human body weight, or the impact of a blocking tackle…

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