Playing golf involves a lot of muscles and movement. If you have never been sore after a round of golf, can you even call yourself a golfer? With health and wellness becoming even more important for golfers, one of the hot topics is how to best recover after a round of golf.

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I’ll show you what you can expect as far as recovery time is concerned, share some after-golf recovery tips, and what to do before a round to help ensure optimal performance.

What is after golf recovery?

Golf is an athletic sport, but many golfers often head to the 19th hole after a game instead of caring for their bodies. The recovery process does not need to be extensive, but if you’re an avid golfer, you should be more intentional with your recovery.

The best after-golf recovery tips

How you spend your recovery time after a round of golf will depend on the types of activities you can access. Regardless of the activities, the goal is to improve blood flow, hydrate, and prepare your body for the next time you need it.

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If possible, relax your sore muscles by getting a massage. If you can’t get a massage, use a foam roller instead. You can also use a massage gun to help loosen sore spots and increase overall flexibility for the next round of golf.

Stretch again

Spending some time on stretching and flexibility is great before a round of golf, but it can’t hurt you to do it after, either. Before you head to your car for your ride home from golf, take a few minutes to stretch and relieve any tension that may have built up on the course.


Dehydration is common in daily life, and it gets worse on the golf course. Consume at least 16-24 ounces of water after a round of golf, or more if you play on a warm day.

Good foods

Great foods can help with physical and psychological recovery after a round of golf. If you are playing competitive golf, make smart choices about the natural and whole foods you consume. Moreover, avoid foods that could cause your stomach to get upset.

Unfortunately, the common hot dog after an 18-hole round is not doing the best for your muscle recovery. Try to consume some lean proteins and fats to help improve after golf recovery and overall golf performance.

Take a walk

Walking can help loosen and repair muscle damage and act as a stretch for amateur golfers. If you want to avoid common golf injuries associated with lower back, knee, and neck pain, spend some time walking.

Ice bath

An ice bath will help reduce inflammation and help aid in muscle repair. If you can’t do an ice bath, placing an ice pack on an inflamed or painful area such as your knees and elbows can help.


If you have trouble with your knees, ankles, elbows, and shoulders, try to elevate them. The key is to get the muscle slightly higher than the level of your heart to see maximum benefit.

Put your feet up after a round of golf and tell anyone who questions you that you are in a recovery period. Good luck with that part of this process!


If you don’t give yourself time to rest and recover after an aerobic exercise, your core muscles won’t be ready for the next round of golf. So, in addition to resting in the early evening, get 8 hours of quality sleep.

When I rest well, I can focus better on my golf swing and hit better shots the next time I play.

Take a swim

Swimming is underrated as a form of after-golf recovery. If you have access to a pool, the low impact of swimming on your body can be great for your golf game. Swimming helps with blood circulation, and it can even be known to lower blood pressure after strenuous workouts.

It may seem counterintuitive to start a recovery process with more exercise, but swimming does not need to be vigorous to work.

Pre-round tips to help with after-golf recovery

The decisions you make before you go out for a round of golf can make all the difference in your after-golf recovery process. Don’t be the person running to the first tee with half a bagel hanging out of your mouth; prepare adequately to have a great day on the course.

Eat a healthy meal

Your energy levels and focus levels will increase when you eat good food. Before your game, try to eat whole foods like fruit and vegetables or proteins. Coffee cake and waffles won’t do a good job of preparing your body for its peak function.

If you eat better before a round of golf, you will be less likely to have a sugar crash, tire out, and feel exhausted in the middle of your round. After your round, you won’t be as tempted to eat poorly if you ate right before and during your golf game.


Try to walk before you head out to the golf course. Walking can be a great way to loosen up your body and prepare it for the day. You can spend 5-10 minutes or take a 30-minute walk. The pace need not be fast, but it can have a big impact on your overall stamina on the course.

Stretch (more than just touching your toes!)

Stretching is just as important before a game as after a game, so don’t skip it. Learn stretches for your neck, shoulders, hips, legs, arms, wrists and hands. Make a routine of these stretches that you can remember and complete them before every round of golf. If you can’t create a routine, you can try the  MISIG – the most important stretch in golf.

You can even use golf stretching tools and resistance bands. Not only will you prevent injury, but you can also increase your range of motion and potentially add distance to your game.

Final thoughts

Playing golf is not supposed to hurt and have you question your decision to go on the course. Taking advantage of a few of these tips and improving your overall physical condition should be all you need to lessen joint pain and muscle fatigue and have a great Golf swing tempo.

Let’s not forget how many working parts the Golf swing sequence has; if you are struggling with after golf recovery, you are not alone!