Rory McIlroy is out of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week due to a rib injury that he suffered during the SA Open, but that could also be attributed to a lot of strenuous work during the off season while looking for new equipment. Injuries on the course are not unexpected as golfers violently swing in an attempt to hit a tiny white ball farther than their competitors. Hell, we all remember Tiger now infamously hitting a root during the 2015 Masters and then claiming he “popped a bone back in place.” But McIlroy is also a bit of a gym rat and has been criticized for the amount of time and weight he works out with.
Ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Rickie Fowler, who used to be an avid dirt bike rider, defended Rory McIlroy by saying:
“Everyone kind of has their own thing. You don’t really want to try and live too much in a bubble. Everyone’s been injured doing plenty of different things. We do deal with a lot of injuries just from playing golf and the amount of stress we put on our bodies and how much we play and with the travel. Staying healthy is key.
But yeah, you never know how you might get hurt. It might be from actually playing golf, swinging, sometimes it could be from working out. But I don’t try and change my lifestyle too much. I mean, I definitely — I don’t ride dirt bikes really much at all anymore. I wish I could, but that’s part of me trying to stay as healthy as possible to continue playing at the highest level.
But part of rest and recovery is getting away and kind of freeing your mind and for me, I’m an adrenaline junkie, so that’s one of the things I need to do.”
As with other athletes, golfers could very easily suffer injuries doing other leisure activities. For example, Davis Love III, who won the Wyndham Championship last season at the age of 52, suffered a broken collarbone earlier this month while snowboarding. Love was scheduled to play in the Sony Open, but the injury will sideline him for at least 12 weeks which means he will return to the sport right before the Masters. That’s not an ideal situation leading into arguably the biggest tournament of the year.
It’s easy to say that professional athletes should never do anything outside their sport to risk their careers, but where’s the fun in life if you are in your twenties and have millions of dollars and just sit at home and never try anything new?