Senior Golf

Today I’m going to talk about some problems and cures for the senior golfer.

I’ve recently turned 68 and have been playing golf for 58 years with 45 as a Golf Professional. I’ve always played a pretty respectable game until recently. The other day I jumped out on the course with a friend of mine for a quick 9 holes. It was the worst display of golf in years for me. All my drives went to the right. I was chunking iron shots and had no clue as to distance on chips and pitches. I couldn’t have made a putt if the hole was a swimming pool.

I think age has finally caught up with me. I notice when I putt and chip my left hand is wiggling a little. My eyesight is not as good, even with glasses. The harder I try to swing the worse it gets.

This is really not fun any more.

OK, enough of my problems but I’m sure we’ve got some seniors out there that have some of these ailments.

What can we do about this?

I sort of analyzed everything and decided to sort of start over and be realistic about my capabilities at my age.

Let’s face it we are not as supple as we used to be and just can’t take the club back as far on the backswing. I’m going to live with that and work on a ¾ swing with every full shot. This will sacrifice distance but I won’t be straining and should make better contact. So what if I used to hit a 5 iron 170-180 yards. Now I’m going to be content to hit it 155-165.

As far as my wiggling putter I am experimenting with a cross handed grip (left hand low) and notice there is no wiggle. It feels a little weird but I think I can get used to it. I’ve also tried a belly putter and I know it would work for a lot of people but I just can’t get comfortable as of yet.

Modern technology is a huge help - the big head titanium drivers and a hard ball will maximize the distance you can get with your club head speed. I strongly recommend using a state of the art fitting center that will measure your club head speed, launch angle, spin rate, etc. for your driver. Go ahead and spend a little more and get a brand name such as Callaway or Taylor Made but be sure and get fitted properly before making this investment.

All the large golf stores and some pro shops have these fitting centers. The new irons are a little improvement but not as much as the drivers. Graphite shafts are a must for the senior.

Some other clubs that might help would be to replace the 3 and 4 iron with the new hybrids. If you try one you will see what I mean. They are so much easier to hit. Personally I have a 1,3,4,5 & 6 Hybrids. My first iron is a 7. It’s not very macho but making my shot making better.

I went out today by myself and played a few holes trying to keep my swing ¾ and did somewhat better. Not senior tour material yet, but a lot of easy pars. Could have had a few birdies but the putter is still a little twitchy, but I’m going to figure that out.

I’m going to be realistic now and realize that the days of the 68’s and 70’s are probably gone and be content to setting my par at 75 – 80 and shoot for that.

I’ve enjoyed this game too long and have been pretty hard on myself for many years. It’s time to be glad to even be able to play these wonderful golf courses in the beautiful mountains and enjoy a few trips to Scotland and Ireland. I seem to do better there because I find myself cutting my swing down and just punching the ball with all the wind. I seem to hit more solid shots this way.

I hope you got a little something out of this. I know I feel better just putting it on paper and getting it off my chest and will strive to play within my limits.

The main thing is to be thankful for the blessing of being able to play golf at our age no matter how good or bad.

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