Welcome to our golf tips for seniors guide!
So, you’ve finally made it to your golden years as a senior golfer. You’ve worked your butt off for decades and now you can finally spend the years ahead playing the game you love.
The only problem? Aging can negatively impact our game. Whether it’s loss of flexibility in your swing, not hitting the ball as far as you used to or your stamina being put out – there are a number of ways that senior golfers can feel put out.
It’s not ideal, but does this mean that you cannot score as well? Heck no!
There is nothing to say that you can’t score fantastically as a senior golfer. But, there are going to be some changes in your game. Once you embrace these changes and adopt new regimes, then your game will fly.
Plus, you now have the free time to work on your game to improve and thrive as a senior golfer!
In this article, we’ll run you through our golden golf tips for seniors. They’ll help you improve your game, broken into 5 easy to remember categories:
- Tips for Your Game
- The Mental Game
Let’s get into the swing of it!
Golf Tips for seniors: Taking Care Of Your Body
Arguably the fittest player currently teeing it up on the Champions Tour is Bernhard Langer – and he bases his longevity and success down to looking after his body. He says:
‘People think golf may not be a sport, but it is a sport and it’s demanding, As we get older, we lose both strength and flexibility. Every year we lose a percent or two. It’s never too late or too early to get started on a lifestyle regime and once you do, you’ll enjoy the benefits for years.
What does the great man mean? Simple.
Watch what you eat, get regular exercise, and work on your flexibility – a little focus on each of these lifestyle choices will help, not only improve your game here and now, but importantly, extend your golf career well into old age.
If you are serious about your golf, time to take on the few small changes outlined in these golf tips for seniors.
#1: Flexibility and Stretching
To open our list of golf tips for seniors, we’re focusing on flexibility.
Flexibility affects your swing. A golf-specific stretching exercise program will work wonders. Commit to starting your day by stretching and seeing the difference in everyday life as well as your golf game.
Another great way to work on your flexibility is yoga. Yoga is achievable, manageable, and a relaxing way to achieve your goals.
#2: Strengthen your core
Strength in your abdominals and glutes are the core of a good golf swing as everything pivots around these big muscles.
Find a good exercise regime that is sensible for seniors to work on improving their core strength. Here are two I use as a fellow senior golfer:
#3: Arrive Early and Warm up properly
The morning stretching has been done at home and you’ve arrived at the course to golf. Do so in plenty of time to hit a few balls to get the body moving.
Start with a short iron, hit a few balls with a medium iron, and then hit a couple of drives. Don’t overdo the warm-up – we’ve only got so many good swings in us each day!
#4: Don’t Over play
Yes, for many you are retired and have time to spare but do not make the mistake of playing every day. The top players in the world, young, lean, and super fit do not make this mistake.
Find a pattern of play that works for you but you must take days off to re-charge the batteries and give your body a rest. Playing too much will only lead to injury.
Golf Tips for seniors: Equipment CHOICES
Onto our second category of golf tips for seniors: picking the right equipment.
#5: Getting Around The Golf Course
Rather than using equipment, the best way to get around the course will always be walking – it keeps you moving and warmed up.
Using a caddy will help you carry your things and prolong your ability to walk the course for the lucky golfers that have this option available.
If this isn’t an option, then an electric trolley is a great help in reducing the strain for walkers.
When walking is not possible, then the buggy (golf cart) will keep you playing.
#6: Choose Your Clubs Carefully
The shaft is key. Except for low-handicap senior golfers that maintain a good clubhead speed, make these three decisions. They will help:
- Fit a senior shaft, they are available in different flexes. They will help get some distance back into your game as your swing speed slows. Find out what is best for you by taking advantage of a club-fitting service.
- Ditch your long irons and move to the hybrid alternative. You could go as far as the six iron. If you hit the hybrid option better than the equivalent iron, make the change – a no-brainer surely?
- Except for long-established golfers that know their game, put a selection of wedges into your bag. You will have so many shots in a round from 60-100 yards so why not have a wedge that works easily for each distance?
#7: Find The Proper Putter Length
As you age, it is likely that your putting set-up and even playing style will have changed.
For the correct set-up, your eyes must be positioned over the ball most easily achievable with a change in the length of your putter.
This will help with your alignment and with your arms now hanging freely your feel for pace control will improve.
Related article: Putter Fitting: How To Choose Your Putter Length By Height
#8: Find The Ball To Suit Your Game
The marketing works and, consequently, too many golfers select the balls that the pros use. For the average senior golfer, you are making a big mistake. These balls are designed to perform with a fast swing speed.
Senior golfers can benefit from changing to a low compression ball with a rating between 70 – 80. This matches up with your slower swing speed– and watch how your distance improves from this one small change.
#9: Check Your Grip Size
Number 9 of our golf tips for seniors is particularly relevant for those golfers who struggle with arthritis.
Midsize or jumbo golf grips can be the solution as they make things much easier on your hands. They may cause less pain and discomfort as you will not have to close your fingers as tightly.
….and changing grips is not nearly as expensive as changing out all of your equipment.
While we are talking hands, keep them warm. We all feel the cold as we get older so when playing on cooler days, hand warmers are a great option.
GOLF TIPS FOR SENIORS: Game Strategy
Onto our third category of golf tips for seniors: redesigning your game strategy.
#10: Improve Your Fundamentals
Carry out a regular audit on your fundamentals. They’re called that for a reason, and they never go out of style.
Grip, stance, good posture, alignment are the key elements to look at. These decisions are all part of having good golf course management.
Related article: 7 Tricks To Improve Your Golf Course Management
#11: Keep on Turning
Ideally, you still want a good turn. The core strength exercises, your yoga, and your daily stretching regime will help maintain your turn.
One simple aid is to turn your left foot out just a little bit. When you do this, you can help release your body and turn through towards your target more easily.
Sometimes with this left foot staying square, you may feel as though you are a bit stuck when you swing through.
#12: Your Backswing
Embrace a shorter backswing. It is inevitable however much work you do on flexibility. This is not to the detriment of your game.
Trying to achieve a long backswing as a senior golfer can cause a loss of balance that reduces distance – we don’t want this.
A shorter controlled backswing is a good starting point. Now concentrate on the next few points raised that go hand-in-hand with this change.
#13: Don’t Forget The Follow Through
Arguably this is the most important amongst our golf tips for seniors.
Armed with a controlled shorter backswing, commit on the downswing with a progressive acceleration right through to a full follow through as far as your body allows.
Fats, mishits, lack of control – you don’t want those, so follow through.
#14: Weight Transfer
One way to get senior golfers some extra distance is to increase the weight transfer.
Related Article: Weight Shift In Golf Swing: 14 Tips To Perfect Weight Transfer
#15: Tempo Tempo Tempo
Tempo is important for all golfers, but it is even more critical for the senior golfer.
To help you, check out this article: Golf Swing Tempo Guide: 5 Cues To Perfect It
#16: Chipping Options Around The Green
Blessed are those that never have problems chipping around the green – the chosen ones!
But for many, particularly those new to the game, practice chipping keeping the ball lower to the ground rather than flying the ball in the air.
This is a lower-risk option where fewer things can go wrong.
You may even consider using a hybrid club – but practice well before taking onto the course.
#17: the Right Practice for senior golfers
As a senior golfer, all the practice should concentrate on the scoring zone – putting, the short game, and pitching.
Check out these three articles to help you get there:
- 7 Putting Tips To Help You Save Strokes On The Green
- 5 Tricks To Hit Perfect Bunker Shots: Escape From The Traps
- Flop Shots: 7 Steps To Hit A Beautiful Flop Shot
One reason this is so important for senior golfers is that there will be many more par 4’s that you could previously reach but now can’t. Being confident with a wedge in hand for the third shot into the green is vital, as is your ability to a chip when nearer to the green.
Are you a retiree just taking up the game? Consider starting by taking lessons from a professional – or, even better, make it a senior pro who understands what age can do a golf swing.
These minor tweaks may or may not work for everyone – but try them out and pick those that work for you. It is not time for a complete swing overhaul in the latter years of your senior golf career.
GOLF TIPS FOR SENIORS: MENTAL GAME
Onto our fourth category of golf tips for seniors: keeping a strong mental game.
#18: Lower Your Expectations
Time to let go of what you used to be able to do, this time might have gone. Don’t make the wrong choices taking on shots that are no longer in your bag.
Instead, engage your experience and brains as tools of strength in your decision-making to eliminate potential errors. They will overcome any physical limitations that creep up as a senior golfer.
Forget birdies, eliminate bad holes. It is far easier to prevent large scores on holes than it is to shoot for birdies.
If you play smart and have only bogies and maybe a par or two, BOOM – you just shot in the ’80s and are in the top 10% of all golfers in the world. Sounds easy!
Winning golf is a matter of who makes the least mistakes, not who makes the greatest shots. Always remember this.
Part of being a senior golfer is accepting you are a senior golfer, the perfect lead in to our final section.
Golf Tips for seniors: Acceptance of Age
And finally, onto our final category of golf tips for seniors: relieving ego and accepting that age changes things.
#19: Course Management – Be Smart
Refusing to admit your golf game has changed will only make it harder for you to adjust, and it will most likely increase your handicap.
Stop trying to hit your seven iron 150 yards if it only goes 135 yards. Mentally it can take time to accept your new shorter yardages and adjust your game, but it is a necessary step.
Start playing the course differently. The new you is adopting a conservative strategy, cocky swing philosophy.
Related Article: 7 Tricks To Improve Your Golf Course Management: Perfecting Your Choices On the Golf Course
#20: Play From The Correct Tees
Moving to senior tees can be a tough move for every golfer as it implies your game is weakening. It’s not, you are just getting older.
Playing golf from the senior tees is not at all cheating or demeaning. This is what makes the game fair.
Don’t put an age or time frame on this decision, just base it on how far you are hitting the ball. or – perhaps more importantly – how much you are enjoying your golf.
Every golfer wants to maintain their handicap and enjoy golf. Moving up a tee provides a simple solution.
#21: Keep A True And Honest Handicap
Last but not least on our list of golf tips for seniors is keeping a true and honest handicap. In fact, this is a tip that does not only apply to senior golfers; it applies to all golfers.
The only correct way to know if you are getting better or worse at the game of golf is if you keep an honest score.
Miss a short putt, count it. Flub a chip shot, count it. The first drive out of bounds, count it.
If you don’t count these, you will shoot a terrible 88 one day and an incredible 86 the next, but the scores won’t give you the real story.
Although high golf scores are ugly, they can tell you a lot about your game and what you need to work on to improve. Be honest on the golf course, and only good things will happen for your golf game.
There we have it. Our best tips for senior golfers to help maintain your game, maybe improve, and importantly, extend how long into retirement you can enjoy playing this great game.
From Playing in your 80’s To breaking 80 . . .
You’ve read our golf tips for seniors, but can you get good enough to add breaking 80 onto your golf goals?