Serious Golf Injuries on the Upswing ... Among Children

More kids are getting head injuries as the popularity of golf rises. Falling out of a cart and getting smacked by a club are the two main causes.

A review of 2,546 patients under age 19 seen by pediatric neurosurgeons at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta between 1996 and 2002 revealed 64 sports-related injuries, the new study found. Of those, 17 were bike-related and 15 related to golf. All other sports ranked lower.


Credit: Medical College of Georgia

"The increase in frequency of these injuries is largely attributed to the increase in the popularity of golf and greater use of golf carts by children," said Scott Rahimi, neurosurgery resident at the medical college and also a golfer.

One of the patients with a golf-related head injury was just 10 months old.

Most of the injuries occurred in a neighborhood or park rather than a golf course. "But it doesn't matter where you get hurt," Rahimi said. "It's the same mechanism of injury."

The results appeared in the March issue of Journal of Neurosurgery.

A 1997 study the Westchester Medical Center in New York found that of eight children with head injuries that required surgery, four had a depressed skull fracture from a golf club. The study covered a three-month period following Tiger Woods' first Masters Championship.