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As a chiropractor, a certified chiropractic sports physician, I see many types of injuries from all sports. Many come in with bad backs because of golf, especially here is south Florida. Now, while I am not a PGA professional, I have maintained a single digit handicap for the last ten or fifteen years. And I can tell you, if you play better, you have a better chance of keeping your back in good shape. Why? For one thing, you don't swing the club as often! How is that for a concept?

Think about that for a moment. Let me explain, and then give you a few scoring tips. The number one issue I hear from most golfers with back problems is that they don't practice much. They also don't warm up very long before they play. If you don't practice, you're obviously not getting better at the game. Plus, if you don't warm up before the round, you have a better chance of hurting yourself.

I would recommend, to hit a few balls on the range prior to your round. Use at least three clubs: your shortest club, a mid-iron or hybrid, and your driver. You should hit at least five balls with each club to get your body warmed up and ready to play.

If you don't like to hit balls before the round, or you just got to your tee time late, at least take a club and swing it in both directions: both righty and lefty. Sound odd? You want to warm up your muscles equally, and this practice will help you do just that.

Now, what can help you score? Start from the green and work backwards! Go to the putting green and find out what your "never miss" zone is. It might be as little as 1 1/2 feet for higher handicaps, and as far out as 3 1/2 feet for lower handicaps. It doesn't matter what your distance is, because with practice, even that can improve. (BTW, never miss zone - if you can make 19 out of 20 putts from a certain distance, bingo.. that's your NMZ.) Now, on that practice green, place either coins or some tees in a circle around the cup, equal to your can't miss zone. This is your target on chips. Move off the green and start chipping to that 3' or 7' circle! Because you know, if you can chip the ball into that circle, you will get up and down, almost every time. This is also a good visual when putting from long distances. Instead of focusing on the cup when you are 40 feet away, visualize that circle. Die the ball into that circle and you are sure of a successful 2 putt!

For argument sake, as you practice and get better technique at consistently chipping the ball, you can now move out to the fairway and have the confidence that even if you miss the green slightly, you have a strategy in place, that will help you save strokes off of your score.