Two-time major winner Martin Kaymer withdrew from last week’s Honda Classic because of a painful right wrist injury. He joins fellow high-profile golfers Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama who have also missed major tournaments this winter because of wrist injuries.
Kaymer’s Munich physician diagnosed him as having a misplaced bone in his right wrist which is causing him irritation and inflammation. Kaymer explained that he had received injections which he hoped would help wrist heal before the U.S. Masters in April.
Eighth-ranked Brooks Koepka announced in early January that he was out for at least ten weeks with a torn ECU tendon in his left wrist. Last month, five-time PGA Tour winner Hideki Matsuyama began suffering pain at the base of his left thumb severe enough that he withdrew before playing the second round of the Phoenix Open.
Overuse of the wrist flexor and extensor tendons causes most wrist injuries in pro golfers. For most amateurs, lack of warm-up, poor swing technique, and direct blows to the turf are the main causes of wrist pain and injury. Sprains, ligament injuries, inflammation, and wrist tendinitis can all result.
Reduce wrist injuries by warming-up and stretching the arms and wrists before teeing off. Use a proper stance during the game. Equip correctly sized clubs to improve your balance and consider graphite shafts which absorb vibration. Stop playing if you feel pain in your wrists or elbows. Take the time to condition and strengthen your muscles and hire a professional to check your form before you hit the links.
If you injure your wrists, rest them and apply ice packs to reduce inflammation. Application of heat can reduce pain and stiffness. For pain that lasts last a week or more, seek medical attention. You may need a wrist brace, treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammation medicines, cortisone injections or physical therapy.