Playing golf isn’t the same for all age groups. Elderly golfers find themselves struggling with various problems, starting right from lower back pain and fatigue.
How do you counter that?
By playing the game better and more effectively than before.
Senior golf swings only need slight improvements and they can be as effective and surprising as any other.
What are these coveted tips?
Before we move onto more wholesome tips, let's go through a brief list of general pointers first.
- Loosen up! Time and again, seniors find it perfectly normal to tighten and straighten their knees while swinging. It makes things hard. All you'll achieve is a pain in the hips and shoulders during the backswing.
- That backswing needs calming down. The golf ball will be there, always. No amount of quantum entanglement will make it disappear, just to reappear on the other side of the moon. That’s why you should stay calm and relaxed. The faster you try to do your backswing, the shorter it will become. The best way to tackle swinging is to make your backswing slow.
- Don’t sway. Getting stiff while you play a game of golf is perfectly normal. It happens frequently and can make you uncomfortable. You should always be in the know of your ability to do swings and the level of flexibility that your body has. The ideal solution here is to do the backswing with your foot facing forward. This enables your hip to remain neutral. Raise the club and allow it to stop just over the head. If you sway, you have stiff hips. In this case, just try and turn the right foot out as you swing. Ignore if you have flexible hips.
- Don't be shy to use technology. Electric trolleys and buggies are a must for seniors. Buggies are good when playing on a hilly course. Trolleys are good for wet weather. This ease of carrying as much stuff as you need with you is never going to get stale.
- Don’t play a lot of golf. Playing 18 holes every day just because you’re retired is bad. Your body needs time to rest and recover. Either play 9 holes or play on alternative days. Overworking yourself will not count as practice anymore.
Work on your follow-throughs
Elderlies should not succumb to the belief that a bigger shoulder turn will help them gather more distance on the ball. The only thing it will ensure is more problems. Less backswing, and more through the swing itself – that’s the principle.
The ability to turn back deteriorates as a result of aging and reduced mobility.
So, work on the follow-through. That's what will help you cover more distance. Follow-throughs are where the power is. The simplest way to improve the follow-through is opening up your feet, at least 30 degrees while taking the shot.
Your posture determines putting success
A good posture goes a long way towards providing you a solid start to putt consistently. Only bend your body from the waist up. Keep your entire body below the waist stationary. Let the spine and the shoulder act as the frame of a pendulum, the club being the pendulum. The eyes should be over the ball and as close to it as possible. The ball should be slightly off-center, to the forward.
The right club and the right ball
Customized shafts aren't an innovation. Having shafts that are tailored to the game will allow you to have improved performance. Getting a customized shaft is not all that hard anyway. All the fitter needs to know is the weight and shaft that will suit you.
Avoid long irons. Use hybrids, up to even a 5 or 6 iron.
Once you have your club, it’s time to get the right ball. Experiment with different golf balls and try to find out which one suits your play the best and under which conditions or on which types of courses.
Avoid high compression balls – those with a 100+ rating. Low compression balls (usually in the range of 70 to 80) are ideal for senior golfers. This will improve your distance.
Improve the grip
You must've heard this a thousand times, and yet there it is, once again. Only reconfirms how important the grip is in a game of golf. And it becomes even more important for seniors. With slight adjustments to your grip, you can have much better distances in your game.
Slightly rotating your hands to the right (if you're right-handed) or to the left (if you're left-handed) will strengthen your grip. It's that simple. This improves ball flight. It's not this rotation that's going to be hard or hitting the ball thereafter. It's getting used to it and making a habit out of it where most seniors struggle.
You cannot have a great game of golf after 50 years of age if your grip isn’t strong and firm.
Elderly golfers don’t play the same way as younger adults, just as younger adults don't play games the same way teenagers do. For example, PGA members have an average swing speed in the range of 110 to 125 miles per hour, and a PGA level senior player would have a swing speed ranging from 105 to 120 miles per hour.
These differences sort of change the entire dynamic of golf. And knowing these swing tips that we've outlined throughout this piece will surely help you achieve better success and perhaps surprise a few onlookers.