By Saskia Tjahja
Perth PGA golfer Rene Chen is disappointed he missed out on the WA Open last weekend due to a niggling back injury.
Mr Chen said he felt a sudden, sharp pain in his lower back last month shortly after hitting a tee shot, and was urged to leave the game during his first round of the Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship, which was held in Japan.
“Right after I teed off, I struggled to stand up straight, and that’s when I knew it was the whole lower back. The same spot as my previous injuries.” he said.
“It’s heartbreaking to have to stop here, especially when the Aussie golf season had just started.”
Mr Chen has been advised to spend the next eight months rehabilitating his lower back to ensure the best chance of an injury-free 2015, leaving him with little choice other than to withdraw from the Asian Tour.
Golf instructor and physiotherapy student at Curtin University, Jennifer Garbowski, spent time following the Australian PGA tour, which inspired her to blog about simple exercises and fitness tips for fellow golfers.
“Even though golf is a low impact sport, the motion of swinging your arms and twisting your spine repeatedly has the potential to damage our bodies,” she said.
She said repeated stress on back muscles can cause them to strain and tear, and golfers need to look out for early signs of injury, like pins and needles in the hands or feet, as well as stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
“When it comes to injury risk, people really do underestimate golf,” Mr Chen said.
“In fact, injuries are always going to be a big part of any sports.”
Mr Chen is looking forward to being a spectator at the PGA Tour of Australasia, supporting fellow Perth golfers Stephen Dartnall and Kim Felton at the ISPS HANDA Perth International, at Lake Karrinyup Country Club next week.