Golf Performance Program

More than 25 million Americans play golf, a sport that is surprisingly demanding on a player’s body. In fact, an estimated two-thirds of all golfers will be injured each year – and that number increases among players over the age of 50. The most common injuries that can take a player out of the game are back pain, "golfer's elbow," shoulder and/or knee pain, tendonitis in the wrist and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The Injuries

Professional golfers generally experience overuse injuries due to the many hours of practice and play involved at that level. Among amateur and recreational golfers, most problems are caused by poor body mechanics or a lack of conditioning. Improper warm-up, limited strength and flexibility, and poor swing technique are also contributing factors.

Our Approach

The Golf Performance Program at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation was developed to help individuals return to the game following injury or surgery, but also offers a pro-active approach to injury prevention. Our team of physical rehabilitation and sports medicine specialists focuses on conditioning, core strengthening and the biomechanics of the swing, as a complement to the instruction and training provided by a golf pro.

Depending on the needs and goals of the individual at any given point in time, he or she may be admitted to Kessler for inpatient care or be treated on an outpatient basis.

Our Program

Kessler’s three-part program is tailored to the individual needs of each client and includes:

  • Analysis – Based on the individual’s current fitness level and any medical conditions, we videotape his or her swing to identify areas of weakness and/or poor mechanics.
  • Education – We introduce proper biomechanics and explore ways to improve overall conditioning, strength, flexibility and the efficiency of their swing.
  • Exercise – Clients participate in a series of exercise sessions to develop a regimen that includes warm-up, conditioning and cool-down drills. Each is also given a home exercise program to reinforce fitness levels.

Specialized Services

As one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive medical rehabilitation services, Kessler recognizes the benefits of sports and leisure activities as part of an active lifestyle. Interested individuals who have experienced a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, joint replacement or other orthopedic injury are all encouraged to continue to play golf – or to take up the game – through the use adaptive strategies and equipment. Kessler therapists provide the specialized instruction and work closely with the United States Golf Association and other organizations that support every individual’s ability to play.


It is important to check with your physician before beginning any exercise program or participation in athletic activity. Once cleared for play, an individual should follow the following recommendations:

  • Always warm-up – Before play, golfers should do a minimum 15-minute warm-up that includes a general cardio-vascular workout, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises for all muscle groups -- hamstrings, calves, shoulders, torso and back.
  • Maintain posture during play - Keep your back aligned.
  • Always cool-down – After playing, stretch all muscle groups again.
  • Move around the course – Using a golf cart may help to minimize stress on the knees, but be sure to walk around and stretch between holes to help keep muscles from tightening up. If you prefer to walk the course, avoid carrying a heavy golf bag; use a hand cart or ergonomically-designed bag instead.
  • Take your time – Don’t rush your game and be sure to be well-rested before play.
  • Exercise – Be examined by a physician to determine the exact cause of the pain, whether it’s a strain, sprain, overuse injury, arthritis or rotator cuff problems.

For More Information

For more information about Kessler's Golf Performance program, contact or call Kessler's West Orange, Saddle Brook or Chester Campus.