Can You Play Golf With Arthritic Wrists?

Golf is a popular sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world, but it can be difficult to continue playing when arthritis affects the wrists. Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, making it difficult to grip a club or swing with a full range of motion. Despite these challenges, it is still possible to play golf with arthritic wrists.

In this article, we will explore various techniques and equipment that can help you continue to play golf despite your wrist arthritis. From specialized gloves and wrist supports to tips for modifying your swing, you’ll learn how to keep your game strong and pain-free.

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or if you have just started playing, you’ll find valuable information that will help you continue to enjoy this classic sport, even with arthritic wrists. So if you want to find out if you can play golf with arthritic wrists keep reading and we will explain how you can keep your game on course.

Can you play golf with wrist arthritis?

A man suffering from wrist pain at home while sitting on sofa during the day

There are several ways that golfers can continue to play golf with arthritic wrists. These can involve making changes and adjustments to your game. Changes include choosing lighter graphite golf clubs, with larger grips, to increase comfort particularly if you have weak hands.

The use of wrist braces or support bandages for extra stability when you play. Also, golfers should consider wearing two golf gloves to reduce the impact on their wrists and prevent achy hands.

Finally switching to lower compression golf balls can help limit vibrations for golfers when hitting the golf ball. Always make sure to consult with a doctor or physical therapist for additional advice on how to manage your arthritis while playing golf.

5 tips for playing golf with arthritis in the wrist

Use lighter golf clubs

The first tip for playing golf with arthritis pain is to use lightweight clubs in your golf bag, such as graphite shafts. Heavy clubs can put a lot of stress on the wrists during the golf swing leading to hand pain. Dr. Greene in this article also talks of the benefits of changing to graphite shafts.

Switching to lighter clubs will help to reduce strain and prevent discomfort from joint pain. Using clubs with a graphite shaft instead of steel shafts will make a big difference to your swing motion, especially on the follow through.

As the club is lighter you will be able to hold the grip with softer hands and less grip pressure due to the lighter weight, this can relieve pain in the wrists and arms. The other added benefit of using clubs with graphite shafts is they often come with perimeter weighted heads which can improve your accuracy and give you more control of the golf ball.

A close look of lighter golf clubs

Use thicker grips

Thicker golf grips can be an effective solution for golfers with arthritic wrists. The added cushioning from an oversize grip helps absorb shock and reduce vibrations on the wrist during swings, limiting pain and discomfort.

The thicker grip also helps distribute the force of the swing across a larger surface area, providing extra cushioning, reducing stress on the wrist and arms, and reducing the risk of further injury.

Larger, oversized grips can also reduce wrist strain during swings and provide a more secure grip, particularly if you are prone to inadvertently striking the ground before the ball. We would recommend taking some practice swings before you get onto the course.

This will ensure you get used to the extra grip and can adjust your swing to the new motion of the club.

Wrist braces

Wearing wrist braces can also be helpful for golfers with arthritic wrists. When you play golf with arthritic joints you can experience stiffness. A brace can provide support and stability to the wrist during your swing, which can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

The added support provided by wearing wrist braces can also help stabilize the wrist joints, allowing you to swing with a full range of motion. Additionally, some wrist braces are designed with padding and shock-absorbing materials, providing extra cushioning for the joint.

By wearing a wrist brace, golfers can have better grip strength and continue to enjoy playing golf, and even reduce the risk of further injury to their wrist joints.

Woman with arm splint and physiotherapist who helps

Low compression golf balls

Using a lower compression golf ball on the golf course is a great way that golfers with arthritic wrists can continue to play golf. Low compression balls are designed to be softer and more flexible, which means they compress more easily than high-compression golf balls.

This results in a softer feel when struck, reducing the amount of stress and impact that is transferred to the golfer’s wrist, which can help those with arthritis play for longer without experiencing discomfort or pain. Consultant surgeon Simon Bridle also speaks of the benefits of changing your golf balls in this article.

There’s an added benefit of using these balls, the lower compression also allows for a more consistent ball flight and a larger sweet spot, making it easier for golfers with arthritis to make solid contact with the ball and hit straight shots. Therefore, using these golf balls could help to improve your golf.

Wear two gloves

Wearing two golf gloves is our final top tip if you want to continue golfing with arthritis. Wearing golf gloves can help golfers play golf for longer as it provides extra support and cushioning for arthritic wrists.

The gloves create a barrier between the wrist and the club, reducing the impact and pressure on the joint, and making it easier for the golfer to grip the club without experiencing pain or discomfort. Additionally, wearing two gloves can help keep the wrist stable, which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall wrist function.

Furthermore, wearing two golf gloves can also help golfers with arthritis to maintain their grip, which is crucial in playing golf effectively. By wearing two gloves, golfers can enjoy playing golf for longer, without worrying about the discomfort caused by wrist arthritis.

Hand in golf glove puts the ball on a golf tee


Should I golf if my wrists hurt?

Whether or not to continue playing golf if you have arthritic wrists is a decision that ultimately depends on how bad the pain is, and if it will impact your golf game. If you experience moderate to severe pain or discomfort in your wrists while playing, it may be best to take a break from playing and instead focus on other sports for a while.

On the other hand, if your pain is not too bad, you may be able to continue playing golf by making a few modifications, such as using lighter golf clubs or using wrist braces.

Can you wear a wrist brace while golfing?

It is possible to wear a wrist brace while golfing. Wrist braces can provide support and stability to the wrist, helping to reduce pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. If you have arthritic wrists, wearing a wrist brace during golfing can help to limit the amount of strain put on your joints, this will allow you to continue playing without experiencing too much pain.

Can you reverse arthritis in the wrist?

Arthritis in the wrist cannot be completely reversed, but there are several treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help to reduce pain, improve function, and slow the progression of the disease.

These may include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, braces or splints, and joint injections. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct structural issues and improve joint function.

Lifestyle changes can also help slow the progression of arthritis, such as maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet.

Please remember, these are just general tips, if you are in pain, always refer to a professional sports medicine physician, or doctor trained in physical medicine to ensure you get the best advice or rehabilitation. This way all of the remedies and health benefits of playing golf can be discussed with a trained expert.

Can you play golf with arthritic wrists? – final thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our 5 top tips for how to play golf with arthritic wrists. In conclusion, arthritis in the wrists can present a significant challenge for golfers, but with the right approach, it is possible to continue playing.

With the help of medical professionals, golf coaches, and equipment adjustments, many golfers are able to maintain their love of the game while minimizing the impact of arthritis.

Whether you choose to switch to lighter clubs, change your golf balls, or opt to wear two golf gloves by following through with these tips you can continue having fun playing this game for many years to come.

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