If you keep wearing out the leather in the heel pad of your golf glove, you're a prime candidate for wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries, says physical therapist Ralph Simpson, a Golf Digest fitness advisor. "What happens is that the golfer holds the club deep in the palm of the hand, and it rubs against the heel pad, eventually causing it to tear," Simpson says. Holding the club deep in the palm instead of in the fingers (top photo, right) restricts the wrists' ability to hinge and unhinge during the swing.
The hands and arms are put under more stress, which can lead to issues like tendon and ligament tears or inflammation. Less common, but still a possibility, are ailments such as fractures of the wrist bones. "Check your grip often," Simpson says. "It's really easy to let it slip down into the palm."
Stronger forearm muscles (flexors and brachioradialis), upper arm muscles (biceps) and shoulder muscles (deltoids) also will help protect your hands and arms from injuries when you swing a club. To see an exercise that hits all three of these groups, click on the video below.