A Twisted Ankle and Golf Don’t Mix
A twisted ankle and golf don’t mix!
The challenge was to get to an official low single figure handicap by the last club competition of 2014. I reckon that gives me around 6 months to start delivering some solid rounds if I’m to get anywhere near. We’re now almost 8 weeks in and I’ve reached my first major setback. A week and a half ago, I got myself a twisted ankle!
Yes. I’ve got an that means no golf! In case you were wondering what body part the picture above is, it’s my ankle. My twisted ankle. My very swollen ankle. My twisted and swollen ankle… you could call it a swankle.
How did it happen I hear you ask? Was I really powering through that new downswing and just pushed a little too far? Was I running back to the clubhouse to celebrate a hole in one? Was I in the gym doing some strength work? No, none of the above. Not even close to anything that exciting. It was stupid. A moment of utter clumsiness. The culprit that caused this significant injury…a 2” high door step!
It was one of those moments that was largely caused by tiredness, then closely followed by stupidity. Stood on a doorstep at a friend’s house waiting for him to come to the door, I literally turned around being nosey. This caused me to be slightly unbalanced, at which point my foot rolled off the step, twisted and I fell into a parked car in brilliant comedy fashion. I then realised that I’d actually really hurt it and spent 10 minutes being a drama queen. Seriously, it really did hurt.
It was only after I’d got home, took off my sock and noticed how much bigger my left foot was than my right that I realised this might put the challenge on hold for a few days. Yup, this silly twisted ankle injury means NO GOLF for a few days.
I was gutted… really gutted. Progress had been going great. Ryan and I have spent a lot of time rebuilding my golf swing, as it was fundamentally rubbish. Now, I have a lovely new backswing. I’m so proud of it… I’ll show it to anyone! A couple of weeks ago we’d started working on the downswing, perhaps the toughest part for me, but I knew what I had to do. I also knew this change was going to take a lot of work.
Unfortunately, I still think I’m a few days away from being able to swing a club properly as the minute my weight transfers toward my left leg, I’m in agony. Even chipping was painful. Actually, walking is painful. Standing up is painful.
So, practice is now inside, on the backswing only and there hasn’t been very much of it.
What would Tiger do with a twisted ankle? What would Rory do? Would they rest up or soldier on? They’d go into intense rehab perhaps. Probably have a team of 8 people nursing their poorly ankle on a 24-hour rota, whilst intermittently putting it into an oxygen chamber.
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to make do with Nurofen, deep heat and a non-sympathetic wife!
Ron Kaspriske wrote a great article on golfers ankles in Golf Digest
It’s Hard To Play Golf Without Good Ankles.
When you consider the amount of weight, torque and stress that stems from dynamic movements such as a golf swing, you have to marvel at the durability of an ankle. Even though 80 percent of all sports-related injuries involve this joint, an ankle can take a tremendous beating before giving out, resulting in a twisted ankle. If you’re a right-handed golfer, consider the amount of force applied to your left ankle as you swing down and through the impact zone. The left ankle bends toward the target as it attempts to absorb both lateral and rotational force. It looks like it could snap at any moment, but rarely does.
You can help make sure it NEVER does by improving the range of motion of the joint and strengthening the muscles around it.