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rkim291968

What is your golf life like after retirement?

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I am contemplating early retirement.   If I do, golf will be a major part of my daily/weekly routine.   For those who already retired, what is your golf life like after retirement?   Did you double down on practice and improved like crazy?   No change whatsoever?   Appreciate your input.

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I retired last year, from teaching, at age 53. Then we moved from Florida to Tenn. Everyone said I would be bored and would want to go back to work after a year. They were so wrong! I play golf in a league, joined the CWGA, and play all the time. My golf game has improved and I feel more confident around other golfers. Plus, I've met a lot of people thru golf. When I was working I felt guilty golfing on the weekends cause I had so much stuff to do, plus I didn't want to (gasp!) waste an entire day on the golf course. Now I play guilt free and am loving every second of it and I think you will too!
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Originally Posted by rkim291968

I am contemplating early retirement.   If I do, golf will be a major part of my daily/weekly routine.   For those who already retired, what is your golf life like after retirement?   Did you double down on practice and improved like crazy?   No change whatsoever?   Appreciate your input.

I retired at 60, got a part time job as a starter at my home (public) course to support my habit.  I played 2 or 3 times a week, every week during the season, and as often as possible during the winter (usually December - February).  I've never worried much about practicing.  I hate the range, so the only real practice I do is short game stuff.  Mostly, when I have time for golf, I play golf.

My game has been in the same range (handicap 10-13) for the last 23 years, and I'm comfortable with that.  I never wanted golf to be work.  I don't stress about my game like so many do.  I play for fun and relaxation, even when I'm playing a tournament.  A day of bad golf is still a pretty good day.

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You will find that if you have played regularly for a few years you will not really improve. People tend to reach their potential in golf relatively quickly. So.....for example, if you have played for 5 years and play a couple of times a week and up it to maybe 3 times a week, you will pretty much have plateaued. The difference would be if you never had a lesson and improve your driving accuracy after a few lessons. Then you might improve, but your scores may not change. I'm pretty sure that after 3 years, if you pick it up as an adult, or a late teen, that's basically it. You are S good as you'll ever be. I'm not talking about someone who goes from playing hit and giggle once a quarter to a person who suddenly dedicates himself. Seriously, after a couple of years, in most cases, you have peaked.
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Originally Posted by Shorty

You will find that if you have played regularly for a few years you will not really improve.

People tend to reach their potential in golf relatively quickly.

So.....for example, if you have played for 5 years and play a couple of times a week and up it to maybe 3 times a week, you will pretty much have plateaued. The difference would be if you never had a lesson and improve your driving accuracy after a few lessons. Then you might improve, but your scores may not change.

I'm pretty sure that after 3 years, if you pick it up as an adult, or a late teen, that's basically it. You are S good as you'll ever be.

I'm not talking about someone who goes from playing hit and giggle once a quarter to a person who suddenly dedicates himself.

Seriously, after a couple of years, in most cases, you have peaked.


Thanks.  I think that'd be the case for the most, including me.

And on a retired income, getting golf lessons on top of playing more would be harder to do.  Better get those lessons now while I have a decent job.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

I retired at 60, got a part time job as a starter at my home (public) course to support my habit.  I played 2 or 3 times a week, every week during the season, and as often as possible during the winter (usually December - February).  I've never worried much about practicing.  I hate the range, so the only real practice I do is short game stuff.  Mostly, when I have time for golf, I play golf.

My game has been in the same range (handicap 10-13) for the last 23 years, and I'm comfortable with that.  I never wanted golf to be work.  I don't stress about my game like so many do.  I play for fun and relaxation, even when I'm playing a tournament.  A day of bad golf is still a pretty good day.

I actually like to practice.   If I have more time, I would love to increase practice time, put more structure into it, and make it a daily routine.  But I understand your point about playing "for fun and relaxation."   I am almost there.   Before, I was too serious about improving score and briefly lost why I started to play golf (for fun!).

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Originally Posted by Shorty

You will find that if you have played regularly for a few years you will not really improve.

People tend to reach their potential in golf relatively quickly.

So.....for example, if you have played for 5 years and play a couple of times a week and up it to maybe 3 times a week, you will pretty much have plateaued. The difference would be if you never had a lesson and improve your driving accuracy after a few lessons. Then you might improve, but your scores may not change.

I'm pretty sure that after 3 years, if you pick it up as an adult, or a late teen, that's basically it. You are S good as you'll ever be.

I'm not talking about someone who goes from playing hit and giggle once a quarter to a person who suddenly dedicates himself.

Seriously, after a couple of years, in most cases, you have peaked.

Geez Shorty!  I enjoy your commentary, but this is a bit of a downer.  If the OP has the desire and time to work on improving and has time to play more, then they will improve.  Scoring is a big key to improving and that comes with practice or playing more.  The more you play, the more experience you have with different situations, weather, lies, strategy, etc.

In addition, they most likely will be playing with a much more relaxed attitude because time is not an issue.  Mental attitude is a huge factor.

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I look forward to retirement, which is just around the corner for me.

Improvement comes with many aspects, but is not guaranteed.

The game is to be able to enjoy your time and relish each and ever opportunity golf brings.

Hopefully you will encounter many joyful times and not become discouraged because the game is very difficult.

It has many ups and downs on a daily basis. On some days you will be gratified with your play.

Then there will be days when nothing goes right and you just have to shrug it off.

Yes, some people can become and may play at a better level.

It is easier for the high handicapper to improve, than it is for a low handicapper.

Maintaining a better game and improving over a duration of time, is very difficult.

Age is also a factor, along with the aches and pains as one becomes older.

Some days, are really tough on the old body. Weather, temperature, along with strong winds, makes me wonder why do I

play on these days. Simple answer, because I love the game.

I found it very stressful to play at a 4 index, playing on a daily basis, having each and every round a grind to play at my best.

I try to enjoy each and every round, and enjoy spending the time with many of the different people I have played golf with.

This is mainly due to being a member at a club and having routine events each and every week.

Even when I played mainly at public courses which was most of my life,

there were many fun times and I would meet other golfers who were enjoyable to golf with.

Play and practice when you can and hopefully you will have a pleasant golf journey.............

Club Rat

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Originally Posted by boogielicious

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shorty

You will find that if you have played regularly for a few years you will not really improve.

People tend to reach their potential in golf relatively quickly.

So.....for example, if you have played for 5 years and play a couple of times a week and up it to maybe 3 times a week, you will pretty much have plateaued. The difference would be if you never had a lesson and improve your driving accuracy after a few lessons. Then you might improve, but your scores may not change.

I'm pretty sure that after 3 years, if you pick it up as an adult, or a late teen, that's basically it. You are S good as you'll ever be.

I'm not talking about someone who goes from playing hit and giggle once a quarter to a person who suddenly dedicates himself.

Seriously, after a couple of years, in most cases, you have peaked.

Geez Shorty!  I enjoy your commentary, but this is a bit of a downer.  If the OP has the desire and time to work on improving and has time to play more, then they will improve.  Scoring is a big key to improving and that comes with practice or playing more.  The more you play, the more experience you have with different situations, weather, lies, strategy, etc.

In addition, they most likely will be playing with a much more relaxed attitude because time is not an issue.  Mental attitude is a huge factor.

Shorty is just being honest.  A players ability to improve depends a lot on the state of his game now and on his physical condition.  A player who is contemplating retirement is at the age where skills start to erode naturally, so hoping for dramatic improvement may be wishful thinking.  It's a great thought to work harder and improve ones game, but beyond a certain age, that becomes more and more difficult.   And the more balls you bang on the range, the faster your body can break down.  Joints are tighter, muscles less elastic, arthritis rears it's ugly head.  Too much practice can actually reduce your time actually spent playing because your body can only deal with so many swings.  I almost never hit the range, but I do stretch before every round, and after stretching, I swing my 5 iron with the doughnut weight on it for a couple of minutes.  That, plus some putting, is usually all I do to prep for a round.  I want to save my swings and my body for the course.  At age 66 I can still play 36 holes in day, riding.

When you play with experienced, semi-serious senior golfers, one thing stands out.  No matter how long or short the full swing is, they all excel around the green.  Sometimes putting gets a little more shaky (although that can happen at any age), especially in that short 5 foot and in range, but they are almost always good at chipping and pitching to get within that 5 foot range.  If there are any shortcomings in your short game, that's one place to gain some strokes quickly with good technique and good practice.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, but the facts are that if you go into retirement with a decent game, the odds of significant improvement aren't that great.  Be happy with small gains, and don't be overly concerned as your long game gets shorter.  Us short knockers have at least as much fun when we play as you big hitters.

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My greatest problem is deciding if I should go golfing or fishing. I do practice more, and have improved some, but nothing earth shattering. I'll be taking some private lessons here come fall and expect that will help more.

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Originally Posted by chilepepper

My greatest problem is deciding if I should go golfing or fishing. I do practice more, and have improved some, but nothing earth shattering. I'll be taking some private lessons here come fall and expect that will help more.

You can't see me but i'm jealous

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Shorty is just being honest.  A players ability to improve depends a lot on the state of his game now and on his physical condition.  A player who is contemplating retirement is at the age where skills start to erode naturally, so hoping for dramatic improvement may be wishful thinking.  It's a great thought to work harder and improve ones game, but beyond a certain age, that becomes more and more difficult.   And the more balls you bang on the range, the faster your body can break down.  Joints are tighter, muscles less elastic, arthritis rears it's ugly head.  Too much practice can actually reduce your time actually spent playing because your body can only deal with so many swings.  I almost never hit the range, but I do stretch before every round, and after stretching, I swing my 5 iron with the doughnut weight on it for a couple of minutes.  That, plus some putting, is usually all I do to prep for a round.  I want to save my swings and my body for the course.  At age 66 I can still play 36 holes in day, riding.

When you play with experienced, semi-serious senior golfers, one thing stands out.  No matter how long or short the full swing is, they all excel around the green.  Sometimes putting gets a little more shaky (although that can happen at any age), especially in that short 5 foot and in range, but they are almost always good at chipping and pitching to get within that 5 foot range.  If there are any shortcomings in your short game, that's one place to gain some strokes quickly with good technique and good practice.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, but the facts are that if you go into retirement with a decent game, the odds of significant improvement aren't that great.  Be happy with small gains, and don't be overly concerned as your long game gets shorter.  Us short knockers have at least as much fun when we play as you big hitters.

I've read that most golfers' score get stuck after 3 - 4 years.   I am in the 4th year.   I've made steady progress so far to 16 handicap then, wham!, something happened and I dipped to 13 handicap in a short span.   A back injury later and I am on my way back to 16 handicap (currently at 15).    But the "dipping" experience gave me confidence that I can still improve before old age overtakes me.   I just need to remember what I did right to get down to 13 handicap and go from there.

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I played golf rather half-heartedly from my pre-teens through my mid twenties, then only once in a blue moon for over thirty years, usually because someone I liked said "let's go play golf" and so I did.  I am now mostly retired (quit the regular day job, still managing to keep the wolf away from the door without stooping to welfare) and about a year ago decided to take up golf for myself.  Not because my parents wanted me to, not because some friend wanted me to, not so I could play with my wife (who doesn't seem to care much for golf), just for me.  I have been practicing a good bit and taking lessons, and for me it has been really paying off, though it is still a very frustrating game a lot of the time!  At the beginning of the year my handicap was 20.1, which I suppose suggests I had some inkling of how to play, but not well...  It's down now to 10.5, though I wouldn't be surprised to see it creep up a bit soon given current struggles.

I live in Florida, so year round golf is possible, though this time of year you have to really pace yourself.  I either hit the range or play most days.  Often both, though in the current heat I often only play nine if I've spent much time on the range.  I too seem to be of the temperament to enjoy time spent on the range, so it is all good.

As has already been mentioned, spend time focusing on the short game and on staying out of trouble tee to green (I'm still working on both, particularly the latter!).  I was blessed to be born to a father that was a good golfer and to have a chance to play with him a good bit.  He always kicked my ass.  He played a style of boring golf that I am trying very hard now to emulate, moving down the middle of fairways with pretty short drives, safe approach shots, deadly pitches and chips and accurate putting.  From his latter sixties he periodically came home boasting of having shot his age.

My father was a low handicap player for years, so those comments about not getting better after a point are perhaps trueish, and I don't know that I'll ever be his match, but I don't think age alone will keep you from being a pretty decent golfer at retirement age.  If you are like a lot of folks that work for a living 5 or 6 days a week, play golf one day a week if you're lucky, and maybe sneak off to the range one afternoon a week I expect you can become quite a decent golfer if you go to work more at it!  But you do have to keep in mind that you won't hit it like a 30 year old, and shouldn't fret about that.  Stay out of trouble, get close to those par 4's on the second shot with an easy pitch, stick it close, sink the putt.  (Sound's easy, don't it?)

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Originally Posted by Shorty

You will find that if you have played regularly for a few years you will not really improve.

People tend to reach their potential in golf relatively quickly.

So.....for example, if you have played for 5 years and play a couple of times a week and up it to maybe 3 times a week, you will pretty much have plateaued. The difference would be if you never had a lesson and improve your driving accuracy after a few lessons. Then you might improve, but your scores may not change.

Yes and no. People nearing retirement age can improve their golf game, if they make the effort to see what's wrong and work to improve it.

Now, there's some variables here. If you're retiring at 70 rather than 55, your physical limitations likely will be greater. And, if you've had fitness activities other than golf, that helps too.

I met a guy who retired in his early 60s. He had a 17 HDCP at the time. He had done 20 years in the military, some more as a civil servant, and lived near an Air Force base. He decided to revamp his golf game, got the full club fitting: Went from DG R300s in his irons to graphite shafts, dumped long irons in favor of hybrids, and went to a high-launch driver. Within a year, he was down to a 7 HDCP.

Another guy at my club is in his late 50s, and is semi-retired. He went to an out-of-town fitting, and came back with new everything. X.Hot irons with lightweight PX 95 shafts, TM woods, hybrid, and wedges, and Nike driver and putter. Also, he got a ball-fitting, and says he picked up 20 yds. on his drives just from that. He went from a 20 HDCP down to a 14 this season.

Then there's a guy at the club that's about 72. Two years ago, he was a 10 HDCP who managed two birdies a side from the men's white tees. Now he's up to about 15, sprays his tee shots, and has shooting arm pains if he has to blast out of a bunker. (He's British and has a very interesting swing with lots of pronation - extreme opening and closing of the clubface that was common during hickory shaft era. I haven't seen a swing like that in 30 years. He's deadly when he connects, but I fear the extra manipulation is straining his joints.)

Another thing: People of any age can accumulate sports or workplace injuries which hamper their game. A combo of physical training and swing adjustments can help such people improve their game. Getting the handicapped/physically challenged inovlved in golf is a growing niche in the sport.

fourputt: Great cautionary. I'm 62 and hope eventually to retire. I have an arthritic right hip. A couple of times this summer when I had time for three days of golf, I didn't quite have the body for it. If I'm playing golf on consecutive days, I limit Day Two warm-up to a dozen full shots, and chipping and putting. Otherwise, the back nine gets awfully long at the end.

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Originally Posted by WUTiger

Yes and no. People nearing retirement age can improve their golf game, if they make the effort to see what's wrong and work to improve it.

Now, there's some variables here. If you're retiring at 70 rather than 55, your physical limitations likely will be greater. And, if you've had fitness activities other than golf, that helps too.

I met a guy who retired in his early 60s. He had a 17 HDCP at the time. He had done 20 years in the military, some more as a civil servant, and lived near an Air Force base. He decided to revamp his golf game, got the full club fitting: Went from DG R300s in his irons to graphite shafts, dumped long irons in favor of hybrids, and went to a high-launch driver. Within a year, he was down to a 7 HDCP.

Another guy at my club is in his late 50s, and is semi-retired. He went to an out-of-town fitting, and came back with new everything. X.Hot irons with lightweight PX 95 shafts, TM woods, hybrid, and wedges, and Nike driver and putter. Also, he got a ball-fitting, and says he picked up 20 yds. on his drives just from that. He went from a 20 HDCP down to a 14 this season.

Then there's a guy at the club that's about 72. Two years ago, he was a 10 HDCP who managed two birdies a side from the men's white tees. Now he's up to about 15, sprays his tee shots, and has shooting arm pains if he has to blast out of a bunker. (He's British and has a very interesting swing with lots of pronation - extreme opening and closing of the clubface that was common during hickory shaft era. I haven't seen a swing like that in 30 years. He's deadly when he connects, but I fear the extra manipulation is straining his joints.)

Another thing: People of any age can accumulate sports or workplace injuries which hamper their game. A combo of physical training and swing adjustments can help such people improve their game. Getting the handicapped/physically challenged inovlved in golf is a growing niche in the sport.

fourputt: Great cautionary. I'm 62 and hope eventually to retire. I have an arthritic right hip. A couple of times this summer when I had time for three days of golf, I didn't quite have the body for it. If I'm playing golf on consecutive days, I limit Day Two warm-up to a dozen full shots, and chipping and putting. Otherwise, the back nine gets awfully long at the end.


Ha, that's encouraging.  I can now retire ...

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I think that is true for those who do not practice.

My HC was about 12 up until a couple of years ago, and that was after having played once a week for about 7 years.  So I guess I had plateaued at that point.  I've never went to the range because I would rather play 9 holes if I had time to practice.

Then I got wiser and decided to actually improve my game by practicing.  I went to the range once or twice a week for an hour or two.  I didn't hit bucket after bucket mindlessly like many people tend to do.  I had a purpose of trying to work on each fundamentals.  I never took a lesson but did read a lot.

After a couple of months of practice, my HC went down to 10 then last year, I actually got it down to 9 (single digit!), and now I got it down to 7.  I am hoping with continued practice, it will get down to 2 or 3 in a year or two.

Originally Posted by rkim291968

I've read that most golfers' score get stuck after 3 - 4 years.   I am in the 4th year.   I've made steady progress so far to 16 handicap then, wham!, something happened and I dipped to 13 handicap in a short span.   A back injury later and I am on my way back to 16 handicap (currently at 15).    But the "dipping" experience gave me confidence that I can still improve before old age overtakes me.   I just need to remember what I did right to get down to 13 handicap and go from there.

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Hi Shorty,

For the general population (when the mood stikes you golfer) this is true. If you don't have any physical disability (like most retired people do) then the chance of improving is much greater. On the shorter par courses where guys don't have to bomb it 300 yards I have seen some great retired players. These guys become masters at the short game and can shoot par or better. Now granted, their skills and vision have deminished some, but if they know the greens they can play to their strengths. I have seen many a scratch player left scratching his head when he faces these guys. Don't underestimate some of these 55 and up players. And what ever you do, don't play for money with them. There are literally hundreds of little Lee Trevinos running around ready to eat your lunch. There are many tricks these fellows have that only a pro would know. The greens most always slope towards any water. Certain putters are better on different grass. Certain balls are better in different situations like cold and heat. Chipping techniques like using 5, 6, 7,8. and nine irons. When not to hit your driver. When not to use your wedges. How to guage the wind by MPH and footage. And most of all how to read a green. Play the percentages. And most of all know how far you can hit each club. Commit yourself to every shot before you make it, and never, back off or decelerate. And there is a virtual Bible of golf do's and don'ts. If something consistantly works for you but is unorthodox to others, by all means stick with it. There is no exact science to the swing. As long as the clubface is square at impact you are on the right track. But anyone can improve if they put their best effort forward with correct directions and much practice. But you have to have fun. Don't make it a job. Let's not take it so serious that we don't forget it's only a game...Mr.D

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If you wish to enjoy a golf lifestyle in retirement, I strongly endorse early retirement, as it is more likely than not that your body will impose limits on your golfing as you move through your 60s. I retired at 58 with a 6 handicap index. Despite regular lessons and conscientious practice, I was not able to move my HCI very much. After a couple of years, I gave up on becoming a scratch player and just played socially. Thoroughly enjoyed golfing well into my 60s, particularly the camaraderie with fellow golfers. Then things began to fall apart: friends fell ill, died, or just gave up golf in favor of fishing. Had to move up to the blue tees, then the white tees, then the green tees, could no longer spin the ball, forced carries made some holes unplayable. Arthritis, etc. So, retire early and enjoy playing golf with your friends. Remember what Jack Nicklaus says: people used to say that they wished they could play golf like me; well, now they can ...
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      @pumaAttack, please read what I've said, I've answered your questions and spent my free time trying to help you. I'll try to be as clear as I can. It's not just about hitting positions or angles, you have to consider the entire motion and how you arrived there. The golf swing is a dynamic movement. There is no "perfect" A4 or A6, etc. @iacas has already answered this but if you go shallow to steep (what you're doing) the sweetspot is going to want to kick out. You can make compensations so it looks ok but it's not an effective way to hit the ball. It's going to cost you contact control, face control and speed. If you can go steep to shallow you'll have a better chance of creating the most speed and best contact. A sweetspot kicking out (which yours is) leads to pulls, inconsistent contact and glancing blows. We've answered your questions but here is more detail (more detail than most students should get): Shallow to steep = Not Effective, the weight of the clubhead is going to want to be "thrown" out which will have the club working across the ball. It will also widen the arc so in order not to fat it you have to make compensations with your hands/body. Steep to shallow = Most Effective, potentially creates more speed, on downswing you can load into the ground and rotate while still swinging out (without trying to swing out). Easier to rotate and maintain your tilt because if the sweetspot is kicking out (widens the arc) you have to do something to make room. Very, very few good players swing across the ball on the downswing. Nobody is out to get you, I had no idea you were still on Evolvr, it would have been helpful to post something like "Here is my latest swing, here's what my Evolvr instructor said my priority is". If you did I would have never posted what I did. I was just trying to help. If @iacas offers his opinion, rather than take the defensive route, give him the benefit of the double and listen to what he's saying, he knows what he's talking about. Even after this post I get the feeling you'll want to say "But my A6 is perfect!", I'd recommend you take a look at these threads.    
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