Tiger Woods pushed his body to the limit during the most successful period of his career.
When he joined the tour out of Stanford in 1996, Woods carried only 158 pounds on his 6 foot, 2-inch frame. In 2014, he weighed between 182 and 185 — a gain of nearly 30 pounds. In 1996, his waist measured 29 inches; today, it’s 31.
As you can see, Tiger literally hit thousands of balls everyday. You can talk about gym work all you want, ultimately it was the cumulative strain of crouching over a golf ball for 36 years that explains Tiger’s back injury.
The golf swing is hardly conducive to a healthy back, as Rory McIlroy can attest. The Northern Irishman has pulled out of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a back strain, deciding to rest rather than risk.
Dr Kunkel, an orthopaedic surgeon who was interviewed by the Guardian, has not seen McIlroy’s scans. “The modern golf swing is hard on the body,” he said. “To have athletes in their 20s experiencing these types of injuries is very concerning for the long term.”