If you're reading this, you're potentially into your golden years and hopefully playing golf more than ever. You will have noticed over the years that the ageing process can lead to a few issues with your golf game, but that doesn't mean Father Time gets to define the limits to your golf improvement.
We believe nothing should stop you from trying to play the best golf of your life, so check out these tips for playing golf past your physical prime.
Get up-to-date equipment
When speed losses catch you up fast, you will still want to eke out every possible yard while swinging within these new limitations. Perhaps you could consider a fitting session to find the correct clubs with the best shafts to ensure you maximise distance as your swing speed deteriorates. There are plenty of options available that can help to roll back the years on ball speed!
You could even consider some second-hand clubs from eBay that can give you that extra bit of punch.
Hybrids could be a better alternative to long irons as they can be easier to hit and require less clubhed speed to get the desired result. Again, a fitting session would be useful to determine whether you're more comfortable hitting a hybrid or the long iron equivalent.
Stretch before every round
Golf is arguably the greatest sport for senior golfers. It's challenging, it's social, and it doesn't place too much stress and strain on the body.
General exercise in between rounds is an excellent way of keeping your swing intact, but it's also essential to go through a decent stretching regime before each round to avoid injury.
It would also be beneficial if you could visit the range before teeing off. Work your way through the bag, starting gently with some short pitch shots, then graduating to full shots before hitting a few drives. Nothing worse than pulling the Driver back on the first tee and realising the back is not going to rotate the way you'd like it to!
Keep it in play
If you're going to be hitting it shorter, learn to see it as a positive. People don't say short and straight for no reason. If you can embrace and maintain this strategy, you can still realistically keep a single-figure handicap off a 200-yard drive, just make sure your strategy takes this into account.
Taking a more thoughtful approach will help you reduce the number of blow-up holes, avoid hazards you don't need to flirt with, and keep your stableford score ticking along nicely.
Play your own game
As an extension of the tip above, this one is for every golfer of every skill level, but it definitely grows extra meaning over time. The key advice here is not to get sucked into trying to hit drives your old distances or keeping up with younger playing partners. There are infinite ways to score, and being long off the tee isn't necessarily the biggest one.
Keep it safe, keep it scorable, and have a little chuckle when the 25yo in your fourball drives it onto another continent.
Remember, less is more
If you have noticed that your ability to rotate in the backswing has been compromised over time, it's still possible to generate some solid power in the golf swing.
You can hit the golf ball a decent distance by turning your focus to a fuller follow-through. Much like throwing a ball, much of the speed can be generated in the snap and rotation of the follow-through.
Maximise areas of less decline
Your swing speed may take a hit as time progresses, but you can learn to compensate in other areas. Generally, this will be your pitching, chipping and putting.
If your local golf course has a short play area, it would make sense to spend as much time as possible in between rounds honing your short-game. Becoming a weapon around the greens will take the pressure off your long game and make laying up on that short par-4 feel like a no-brainer.
Master the bump and run
Here's another tip that can apply across all age groups but is often overlooked. Unless you have an obstacle to go over, the bump and run style chip shot will serve you well.
It takes much of the risk away and leads to a far better consistency of strike. You could even use your hybrid if you're a bit further back, or maybe if your ball has come to rest against the collar of rough. This is the sort of smart golf that often sees experience win through in a match.
Consider a putter fitting
Putting is one area of the game where you can make real gains. There's no reason a senior golfer can't putt better than a thirty-something scratch player.
As well as spending many hours on the practice green, it's crucial to ensure you have the right putter for your game. Many golfers - senior golfers particularly - have putter shafts that are too long. If you can get this sorted, you'll get your eyes more over the ball and make a truer stroke.
Don't overdo it
When people retire, it's only natural that their thoughts will move toward playing golf as often as possible. It's important to remember that even in your physical prime, playing golf every day of the week would have been a very tough ask.
Make sure you take a day off to re-charge the batteries and give your body a rest. Alternatively, you could consider playing nine holes on certain days to help ward off injury and general golfing wear and tear.
A final thought: Golf is a fantastic sport to play at any age, but it's an unfortunate truth that as you get older, your golf game will need to change to allow you to play your best.
If you can make a few of the tweaks we have suggested, there is no reason why you can't still play some of your best golf ever.
Need More Help? Click Here for our 9 steps to perfectly prepare for a great round of golf.