The PGA Tour event that Tiger Woods hosts, the AT&T National, is currently taking place outside Philadelphia. One person who isn’t participating in it: Tiger Woods. He’s missing the event with what his website describes as a “Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon” which he suffered during the third round of The Masters.
So why can you or I play with a knee injury and Tiger Woods can’t? Well, it starts with his swing speed. Tiger’s driver swing gets up to 125mph. The average golfer? 80-85mph, if even that. That’s a lot less strain on your body, especially your front knee.
In addition, Tiger’s swing contains a drastic firing and straightening of his left leg leading into impact which, at 125mph causes immense strain on his left knee. 500 balls a day, rigorous workout sessions, 14 years into this – it’s easy to see why knee and Achilles problems can develop. And at 125mph, the ability to aggravate a minor injury and turn it into a major one is very high.
Meanwhile, because the average golf isn’t swinging as fast or as violently, or practicing as much, the opportunity to inflict major damage is much less. So they can play with an ache, pain or even a little bit of an MCL tear. The ability to make the problem worse just isn’t there.
So as Tiger sits on the couch for the foreseeable future, and millions spend their weekend on the golf course, you can thank your slower swing speed letting you play through some pain or preventing the use of Advil in the first place! And that’s more money you can put right back into your next green’s fee.