South Florida Baptist Hospital Offers Titleist Performance Institute Golf Assessments

August 09, 2017

Did you know:

  • The game of golf is played by approximately 55 million people and 206 countries worldwide?
  • In the U.S., approximately 26 million people play golf?
  • Golf is particularly popular among middle-aged and older adults, who are generally less active than younger adults?
  • More than 33 percent of the golfers in the U.S. are age 50 years or older?
  • Golf has been shown to provide physical and mental health benefits that can help reduce illness as we age?

“Research shows us that playing golf may contribute to reduced mortality and increased life expectancy,” said Physical Therapist Giancarlos Pizzini, DPT, CMPT, South Florida Baptist Hospital Rehabilitation Services. “Playing golf has shown to have positive health effects on the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, metabolic health, cancer risk and musculoskeletal health.”

On the down side, studies have shown that the incidence of injury in amateur golfers to be between 15.8 and 40.9 percent annually, and lifetime injury incidence between 25.2 and 67.4 percent.

“Golf is primarily a unilateral exercise, and the high rotational forces needed to create the golf swing can disrupt the musculoskeletal balances of the body and increase the risk of injury,” Dr. Pizzini explained.

A golf stroke uses many muscles of the core, back, hips, shoulder, arms and wrist. The most common injury sites are the back, elbow, wrist and shoulders. However, consistently the most common injured area among amateur and professional golfers is the lumbar spine.

The golf swing demands high rotational movements producing large forces on the body and each golfer has their own unique swing. “Understanding and optimizing their body’s physical capabilities will help to develop a golfer’s unique golf swing mechanics, maximize the best possible swing and help prevent injury,” Dr. Pizzini said.

In addition to treating injuries that may result from playing golf, SFBH’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services offers golf assessments.  Dr. Pizzini and Laura Denovi, PTA, physical therapy practitioners at South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Plant City and Brandon locations, are both certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) to help golfers optimize their bodies, decrease their golf scores and help them play the game for as long as possible.

A basic screening will determine what areas of the body are limited and what the golfer’s deficiencies are.  According to Dr. Pizzini, some examples are:

  • If a golfer has limitations to their thoracic spine and their ability to turn on the backswing is limited, then the golfer may perform undesired golf shots (the most common being the infamous “slice”).
  • If a golfer is lacking internal rotation of the lead leg, then their ability to have good downswing and impact on the golf ball can be hindered.

Avid golfers themselves, Dr. Pizzini and Denovi will make a video recording of the golfer and can recommend exercises to keep the balances of the respective musculoskeletal system in order to prevent injury and improve the golf game.  If the golfer experiences pain, they also are qualified to determine if physical therapy may be needed and would involve the athlete’s physician.

Anyone may make an appointment for a golf assessment; they need not be a patient or have a referral.  For more information or to make an appointment, call South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation at (813) 707-9362.

About South Florida Baptist Hospital

Since 1953, South Florida Baptist Hospital has served Plant City and surrounding areas as a not-for-profit community hospital.  The progressive, 147-bed acute care facility offers a full range of diagnostic, rehabilitative, surgical, therapeutic and women’s services, including obstetrics.  South Florida Baptist Hospital is part of the BayCare Health System, a family of health care providers consisting of the 14 leading not-for-profit hospitals in the Tampa Bay region.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care.