Blisters seem to be a hazard of golfing. While they can be painful and annoying, bonafide golf-lovers are unfazed by them and somehow manage to still play even with blisters. Perhaps golfers have evolved to play through the pain and discomfort, or maybe they know something we don’t about how to play with blisters.
Here’s how to play golf with blisters:
- Wear a golf glove.
- Use finger sleeves.
- Use golf tape.
- Use blister relief gels.
- Regrip your golf clubs.
- Do proper blister care.
In this article, I’ll discuss these methods for how to play golf with blisters in more detail. I’ll also explain the various types of blisters caused by playing golf and how to help blisters heal or prevent them from getting worse, even if you’re frequently hitting the course.
1. Wear a Golf Glove
A golf glove offers a layer of protection over your blistered hand. The glove will lessen the friction between your hand and your club. Wearing a golf club isn’t something you do only to protect your blisters, and it should be a habit. Golfers who don’t wear their golf gloves are usually those that end up with blisters in the first place.
2. Use Finger Sleeves
Finger sleeves work much the same way as the golf glove but offer less coverage of the hand area. It covers the finger and thumb most affected by the friction caused by the inertia of a swing–these fingers are also usually the ones that develop blisters. Many golfers prefer this over the golf glove because it minimizes sweating.
Sweating is one of the main reasons many golfers prefer to go without it and opt for the fingers sleeves instead. The sleeves provide grip and protection while keeping the hand relatively free and unconstrained by a glove.
3. Use Golf Tape
Golf tape is usually sported to prevent and protect blisters. Like the golf glove and finger sleeves, the idea of golf tape is to provide a layer of protection while providing grip. Golfers with blisters and callouses usually apply the golf tape to enhance comfort while preventing further injury to the affected areas.
Many golfers use golf tape because they can decide the thickness of the tape and have some control over how it contours their hand. They can also choose to only apply it to specific fingers that they feel need protection.
4. Use Blister Relief Gels
Blister relief gels can help with the pain or discomfort caused by the blisters while also speeding up the rate at which they heal and become dry. To help your golf game, do yourself a favor and apply some relief gel so you aren’t held back by the pain of your blistered hands.
5. Regrip Your Golf Clubs
The grip of your golf club weakens over time. And the loosening grip can lead to increased friction that gives rise to blisters. If you’re playing with blisters, it’s worth considering fitting your clubs with new grips. This will help improve your grip while making it more comfortable for your blistered hand to swing.
6. Do Proper Blister Care
To be able to play golf with blistered hands, you should be taking care of them. Proper blister care prevents the blister from popping and becoming infected. It also enables faster healing.
Here are some dos and don’t of blister care to keep in mind:
- Apply blister bandages before applying a golf glove. Pack on that protection to keep your blister from rapturing.
- Keep your hands dry. Blisters indicate an injury to the skin. Wet hands host bacteria, and you don’t need those around your injured integument.
- Practice proper hand hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water prevents secondary infections that could make a blister go from being a minor inconvenience to a painful one.
- Don’t pop your blisters. Popping blisters can cause infection. That fluid-filled pouch is keeping your tissues protected. A rupture blister means the underlying tissues are exposed to outside pathogens that may cause infection.
- Don’t play with popped blisters. If a blister ruptures, it might be best to keep your clubs in their caddy for a while so that you can give the blister time to heal. Playing with popped blisters can cause infection.
How Playing Golf Causes Blisters
Blisters are small pouches of fluid that form on the skin due to stretching caused by friction. The friction causes a tear between skin layers, and that space becomes filled with a liquid called serum. The serum is leaked from neighboring tissues following skin injury.
Here are some common causes of blister formation in golfers:
- Improper grip
- Incorrect grip pressure
- Tight shoes that don’t fit (Blisters form in the feet of golfers, too)
- Not wearing protection on your glove hand
- Excessive playing
Blisters may arise when golfers play using the improper grip with the wrong hand grip pressure. The risks of blisters are more significant when golfers don’t wear protection on their glove hand. The inertia exerted on the golf club during a swing and the grip force required to deliver the swing and keep the club from flying out of the golfer’s hand can cause wear and tear on the skin.
Blisters are no fun, yet they shouldn’t stop you from having fun on the course. Blisters usually go away on their own, but you don’t have to wait until they’re healed to get back to swinging. The idea here is to be able to play golf without making your blisters worse.
All you need to do is take some extra steps when you play golf while protecting your blisters.
Professional and amateur golfers can play golf by ensuring their blisters are treated and protected when playing to prevent new blisters from forming while helping the ones they already have to heal. Golf gloves, finger sleeves, golf tape, and regripping golf clubs can all help to minimize the formation of new blisters. Be sure to use these tips the next time you hit the course.