Tips to help with Elbow Pain in Golfers

Golfers Elbow Pain can be very debilitating and difficult to settle

Golfers will often develop elbow pain due to poor technique and overload of the elbow region. Gripping too tightly, steep swing plane and over practice are common factors in elbow pain. The two common areas of pain are on the inside part of the right elbow of the trail arm (Golfer’s Elbow), or pain on the outside of the left elbow of the lead arm (Tennis Elbow) in a right handed golfer. It is important to learn to swing with good mechanics.

These tendon over use injuries can easily be avoided or recovered from by the following three tips:

Do not grip too tight

A common fault with golfers with elbow pain is squeezing the grip too tight and left arm locked straight, which will increase tension and forces that are transmitted to the common tendons at the elbow. Your grip pressure must be light without creating tension in your forearms and a relaxed elbow position, this will help increase your club head speed too as your golf right elbow extends through the impact position propelling the golf ball. Grip lightly and may be use a thicker grip to help offload tension in your arms.


Too much tension in arms and gripping tightly increased loading into shoulder

Too much tension in arms and gripping tightly increased loading into elbow

Relaxed arms

Relaxed tension in arms and light grip reduces loading into elbow


Keep swing plane more shallow

Golfers that tend to develop elbow pain, often have a steep swing plane. This will encourage bigger divots and more energy being absorbed into the ground passing up into your golf swing right elbow. This causes greater vibration and forces up into your elbow tendons, increasing your risk of injury. A good idea is to use a tee to hit balls and try to shallow your swing plane. Following these tips will give your elbow tendons a much needed rest to help recovery and prevent further damage.


Golf swing proper motion

Steep plane will lead to greater impact into the ground and vibration through elbow

Golfer in blue shirt with green markings

Shallower plane will lead to less impact into the ground and better ball striking

Reduce workload and practice

These types of injury are classified as overuse in nature. They will only get better if your workload and practice time is reduced to allow some healing repair of your elbow tendons. It is a good idea to reduce your practice, focus on drills to get your legs and body working efficiently to take load off your arms. A golf swing using your big leg and trunk muscles, will place less strain on the smaller muscles such as at the elbow.

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See former PGA tour physio Kam Bhabra