Golf Research

Par Without Pain

The Par without Pain injury prevention program was launched in September 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and an advisory board of PGA golf and teaching professionals. Committed to excellence in golf injury prevention, a select group of researchers, surgeons, therapists, PGA golfers, and PGA teaching professionals will study, treat, and educate the golfing community related injury prevention methods. It is intended that the Golf Injury Prevention Program becomes the center of excellence for prevention and management of injuries related to golf.

While golf seems to be a sport with very little risk of injury, injuries are in fact occurring. The most common golf-related injuries are those to the low back, shoulders, hips, wrists, and hands. These injuries are often the result of overuse, poor conditioning, and improper swing mechanics. If ignored or improperly treated these injuries can limit golfing proficiency. Poor conditioning not only contributes to golf-related injuries but is also detrimental to successful performance, regardless of the player's skill level. Injury and declining performance can result in lost playing time over the course of a year or several years. Therefore, establishing fitness and conditioning parameters for golfers is important in increasing their enjoyment of the game and ensuring a healthy lifestyle. To that end, we are dedicated to enhancing your enjoyment of the game by optimizing your golf performance and reducing your risk of golf-related injuries. The Par without Pain injury prevention program is based on the first scientifically validated program to enhance golf fitness and performance. The basis for the program is three years of laboratory testing of more than 200 golfers and 2,500 swings to determine the relationship of physical characteristics, swing mechanics, injury patterns, and golf proficiency. The research database includes golfers with a range of handicaps, many of whom are PGA touring professionals. Testing of elite players and amateur enthusiasts revealed a number of key differences that are reflected in the Total Golf Fitness Program. The Par without Pain injury prevention program is dedicated to the prevention and management of golf-related injuries to the upper and lower extremity and trunk. A spectrum of national and international golfers will be tested and grouped by a proficiency, age, gender, and injury status. The Par without Pain injury prevention program is designed to evaluate changes in physical and performance characteristics. The injury prevention program incorporates exercises to improve hip, shoulder, and torso strength, flexibility, and body composition while promoting improvements in club head speed, ball speed, and driving distance. Specifically we will develop data-based golf injury prevention models related to both physical conditioning and swing mechanics for the hips, shoulders, and back; implement and evaluate the effectiveness of injury prevention programs designed to prevent golf-related injuries; collaborate with teaching professionals to instruct swing mechanics that will prevent the recurrence of injury based on the developed models; and educate teaching professionals and coaches with the physical preparation needed for injury free participation in golf. For more information on our golf research, please view our golf-related manuscripts by following this link: