Patients undergoing hip and knee replacement often do so not only to alleviate pain, but also to participate in low impact-type sports. Golf is a sport that patients are allowed and encouraged to return to after joint replacement surgery. The majority of patients undergoing hip replacement report returning to golf with minimal pain. In several studies it was found that the patients handicap typically increased by 1.1 strokes after joint replacement surgery and the average drive length increased by three yards.
Studies looking at return to golf after knee replacement found that the majority of the patients reported minimal or no pain. The average handicap increased by 1.9 strokes and average drive decreased by 12 yards. They found that right handed golfers more commonly experienced discomfort in their left knee, which is subject to more twisting motion, during the golf swing.