How to deal with hip pain when golfing

  • Rick Bell, an instructor at Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva, will speak about options for hip pain and how to manage the pain when playing golf. Here he demonstrates on Ryan Buckland, Mill Creek's general manager and director of golf.

      Rick Bell, an instructor at Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva, will speak about options for hip pain and how to manage the pain when playing golf. Here he demonstrates on Ryan Buckland, Mill Creek's general manager and director of golf. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Posted4/13/2017 11:58 AM

It used to be that golf instructors had a fairly good idea of why a golfer might come to them complaining about back problems.

The golf technique of yesteryear called for a contortion known as the "reverse C" in which the follow-through of a swing left the player's back looking like, well, the letter "C," but just pointing in the other direction. Thus the name.


"We, as teachers try to avoid the 'reverse C' follow through position," said PGA teaching pro Rick Bell, a longtime area instructor who currently provides lessons at Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva. "It's just too hard on the back, and a more natural standing upright position is preferable for most players."

That reverse C technique has been scrapped, but another woe that teachers often encounter is one that Baby Boomers can certainly relate to: the dreaded hip pain.

Bell will join three other experts at a 6:30 p.m. May 4 presentation at Mill Creek regarding options for hip pain treatment and how to manage the pain and improve your golf game.

Doctors Nicholas Ting and Shane Nho from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, and Mary Ellen Martin, a physical therapist at Athletico, will be on the panel discussing what most golfers fear -- a pain that won't go away and most definitely can take the joy out of the game. Those interested in attending this free seminar should RSVP to (630) 986-8749.

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It sounds like plenty of people could use the advice of this panel, even if more of us have back twinges than hip discomfort.

"I see more people with back issues than hip issues but they are directly connected anatomically and I'm sure this will be addressed during the seminar," Bell said. "The whole pelvic girth functions together."

Bell said he's had plenty of students who have had hip replacements -- and they all say without it they probably would have had to quit playing.

"So, hip replacement is actually good if prescribed by a doctor relative to playing golf," Bell said. "Some swing mechanics sacrifices have to be made after surgery, of course, but it's remarkable how well people can play after hip replacement."

Another change at Range:

The Range Grill & Tap at 35 N. Water St. in Batavia underwent a name change late last year to Ronin's Range & Tap, but it now appears some other changes are at hand.


Word is that an Italian steakhouse will operate in that location, with details forthcoming. It will have the backing, but not ownership, of the folks who operate Acquaviva Winery in Maple Park and Sycamore.

We'll have to see if any of the ideas for a see-through fireplace, a grilling station, an area for bags games, nice trellises and overhead lights in an outdoor setting will ever take hold. Those were expansion ideas that The Range co-owner Jeremy Bertrand shared with us in August of 2015.

The location, with its screened porch area, has always seemed like a good spot for summer fun. Being close to the Batavia Riverwalk has to be a plus, one would think.

But it is situated in a location right at Houston Street where on-site parking isn't plentiful. But there are parking spots in the surrounding area.

Mostly, good food at this spot will still draw patrons.

Lots of spaghetti:

It seems a surefire way to lure people to a fundraising event for a club or a cause is to offer lots of spaghetti.

The Batavia Kiwanis Club is hosting its 30th annual spaghetti dinner from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Riverview Banquets on Route 25 in Batavia.

I've been down this spaghetti dinner road before as a member of the Tri-Cities Exchange Club, which holds its spaghetti dinner each year in September.

These events are always popular and it helps these service clubs continue to do good things in the community.

Tickets for the Kiwanis event at $10 for adults and $4 for children are available from club members or at First State Bank. An $8 takeout option is available and kids younger than 5 eat for free.

The clubs that put on these events always hope to stir some interest in potential new members. The Batavia Kiwanis meet at 1 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at Andre's Restaurant, and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at Pal Joey's.

A fishy story:

Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent, so that means my mission each Friday to find a good fish sandwich has come to a close.

But it's only fair to share this research with readers. I went into this thinking that my favorite fish sandwich at a quick-serve restaurant had to be the cod or walleye sandwiches at Culvers.

And the fish filet at McDonald's has always been satisfying as far as this type of food goes.

But a new kid emerged on the block this year, and it vaulted to the top of my list.

Without a doubt, I found the fish sandwich at Wendy's to be the best I had this time around. Whether it was the crunchy coating on the fish, the tartar sauce or the bun, or all of the above, this is a sandwich that will be my first choice moving forward.

As part of my research I checked out various fish sandwich ratings online to get a feel for what the masses thought about such an endeavor. Oddly enough, the Wendy's sandwich was rated first in some research and last in others.

Goes to show, we all don't always agree on how to rate food choices.

A Wiffle ball past:

This is likely the first time my name will be part of election campaign materials, but in this case it is fine.

When Kane County Judge Clint Hull kicks off his campaign for the Fourth Judicial Subcircuit from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in the Hotel Baker's Rainbow Room, there's a good chance some of his campaign materials will mention my role in the Wiffle Ball Classics that took place in St. Charles in the late 1970s and early '80s.

Hull's getting a jump on the March 2018 election with this event as he agreed to seek re-election when he was appointed to a Sixteenth Circuit seat last year.

Readers have certainly seen me mention before that, as a sports editor many moons ago, it came to my attention that a group of young kids had built a backyard Wiffle ball stadium in their St. Charles neighborhood. So, I gathered a few colleagues and challenged the boys to a game.

It turned into an annual event and, yes, it was Clint Hull and his buddies who made this lasting memory occur. And I know it is lasting because Hull says people still come up to him and say, "Hey, aren't you that Wiffle ball kid?"

So, I certainly don't mind being mentioned under those circumstances -- mainly because I've continued talking about it myself these many years later.

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