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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006


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Too many golfers are hurting themselves. The evidence of an increasing number of injuries is anecdotal so far, but it's compelling. A sport that involves no bodily contact is generating a lot of bodily harm.

One of the brighter lights I know once said, "Golf isn't a sport. It's a skill -- sort of like woodworking." But no matter how you define it -- sport, game or skill -- you can start getting ready for next year's golf season right now by putting down your clubs and heading to the gym.

Being human, you may already have renounced your New Year's resolution to get fit for golf in 2000. For motivation, we turn to David Duval, last year's second-leading money winner on the PGA Tour, behind Tiger Woods, and a man who has set his sights on winning his first major.

People who love golf often pay for it. Jack Nicklaus has a tender spine. Fuzzy Zoeller's on a first-name basis with back surgeons. And when Tiger Woods's sore heel hobbled him a fortnight before last year's U.S. Open, many shared his pain.

MANY people have long felt that there is no need to exercise for golf. But attitudes are changing; golfers suffering from bad backs, rotator cuff injuries, wrist and neck problems have focused attention on the demands that the swing places on the body. The result is that golf-specific exercise programs are appearing with increasing frequency.
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