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challenges of senior golfers

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I would like some advice from some senior golfers age 70+ regarding distance and to what degree equipment change could help

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What clubs do you currently have?  Do you have any hybrids?  If it has been some time since your last new clubs, the technology has changed so much it would be an eye opener.   

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Aside from technology, two big factors are balance and flexibility.

Along about age 60, most people start to have a falloff in their sense of balance. During senior group workouts at my gym, the trainer devotes a couple of exercises each session to balance enhancement and stabilization. A chiropractor I know also stresses the importance of maintaining good balance.

Next is flexibility. Having workout routines which include flexibility exercises help you make the most of your body movement. This involves both general flexibility - from appropriate workouts - and golf flexibility, having a set of dynamic stretches you perform before you play. (Dynamic focuses on low impact, purposeful motion to warm up the muscles). Tight hamstrings and/or poor hip flexibility can lead to wobbles in your swing. And, coupled with inadequate warmups, can lead to minor or major muscular injuries.

As for technology, find a fitter who will listen to you. Test out different club and shaft combinations. Also, a senior flex shaft doesn't have to be super light. In my hybrid, I have a 75 gram senior flex shaft that works great. (I didn't know heavier senior flexes existed until Todd a local clubsmith showed me).

Also, graphite shafts in irons can absorb the impact shock before it hits your joints and tendons, and lessens fatigue during play. Lots of good graphite shafts for irons these days - and they're not all feathery feeling like the first generation - much better balance up and down in the graphites for irons.

@Mr. Desmond has posted helpful comments on not going too light. And, he has a good mix of FWs, hybrids and irons in his bag - he found what works for him.

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IMG_0815.thumb.JPG.51f77ea5ad706909966598a1882dae69.JPG+1 on graphite shafts for irons. Mine are the Hogan Legend High Performance, but are NOT feathery and light. They are plenty stiff enough, but overall weight is probably less than comparable steel shafts. 

Edited by Hacker James

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I put Aldila graphite shafts in my irons, Regular but with 1-soft step. Works great for me.  Also, a thumbs up to flexibility exercises. My work now is on a more "flexible" free-flowing swing. Finally, distance isn't everything...I started studying and practicing good course management techniques.

-Marv the Elder

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My big problem as a senior is that I just don't get out and play enough, and when I do, I don't have those youthful muscles to make scrambling fun.  So, to get myself motivated I bought myself some forged irons (Hogan Apex Edge). They are fairly forgiving, but require more accurate strikes than my huge GI Pings. The feedback from these irons is very rewarding, the distances are the same, and I feel like more of a player, so I'm motivated to practice, exercise, learn better shotmaking, and feel a bit younger. I still have my modern driver, 3-wood, and two hybrids. I can get the driver out there 250 on a level fairway, and since I'm practicing more, my drives are more accurate. Overall, so far this approach is working for me.

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2 hours ago, MarvChamp said:

My work now is on a more "flexible" free-flowing swing. Finally, distance isn't everything...I started studying and practicing good course management techniques.

A free-flowing swing with flexibility will increase your center hits. Center-ish hits go farther than toe hits or heel hits.. thus center-ish which increases distance (TM RSi irons with left and right vertical polymer face slots won't cover for a terrible swing).

Q2Q3golf.jpg.dd5064e9d3eafaeeb134f009f8294205.jpgBy center-ish hits, I mean those within the second or third quadrants of the clubface. The four quadrants are bordered by the left and right end of the grooves.

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10 hours ago, luggage said:

I would like some advice from some senior golfers age 70+ regarding distance and to what degree equipment change could help

I play sometimes with 70+ guys in my flight. The not so flexible ones are a lot shorter than the flexibles.

The less flexible you get, the more help you need from equipment. Graphite, light, senior shafts can help to get a bit more swingspeed and thus more distance. That is, when you swing smoothly. If you swing violently to get the extra mph, that kind of shaft will make you misshit a lot.

going to try the TM RSi myself today. :banana:

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Good comments by everybody.  

I would add, before you play, make sure you stretch and warm up.   I've gotten to where I will start my stretching about an hour prior to playing or practicing- not heavy stretching, just some light stretching, sort of like I'm warming up prior to warming up.   We're seniors, we've got nothing better to do, so I just get out of my chair and have a little very light stretch.  Don't push it too hard.  It's like pre-stretch stretching.  

Also, don't overdo anything. 

Equipment?   Hell, yeah.  I got a used Taylormade R1 driver with a 55 gram shaft, adjusted the loft to 12 degrees, and at age 63, I am hitting the ball farther than I ever have before in my life.  Of course, a lot of that is improved technique.  We can always get better.  

I see a lot of seniors who have lost flexibility, and it seems to me their biggest problem isn't their lack of flexibility, it's their poor swing.  I sincerely believe you can make up for a lack of flexibility with a good golf swing.  

 

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1 hour ago, Marty2019 said:

I sincerely believe you can make up for a lack of flexibility with a good golf swing.  

 

Word!

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With some light regulat exercise and stretching flexibility can be maintained and even increased. But......a decent swing IS a big key 

 

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I turn 75 in two months. Distance is certainly a problem once you get past 70. For some reason that age mark made a big difference to me. You can make sure your equipment fits your swing, go to a teaching pro to help you with your swing, start working with exercises for flexibility, but with all that, to me, a great short game and good putting takes care of lack of distance. I have played with a lot of seniors over 70 and most of them don't hit the ball as far as they did in their 60's, but with a good short game and putting they still shoot in the high 70's and low 80's. If you can hit the fairway most of the time and keep the double bogies out of your game you can beat getting older.

Oh and one other thing. If you are still playing from the men's tees try dropping down to the senior tees if your course has them. We have three senior tournaments in my area every week and they play from senior tees. To qualify you must be 50 or older. This gives the guys who are in the 50's and early 60's a big advantage since they are still hitting the ball 240 to 270 but they play twosome and foursome games so you can load your team with younger and older guys and do well. Regardless the most important thing to lower your expectations a bit and accept that you are no longer 50 years old.

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For me (at 64) I found flexibility one issue. Started a basic home yoga program which is helping. The other is course management. Hero shots/sucker pins don't help my score. I gotta play smarter. Swinging a club also helps. All winter, indoors, no ball

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For equipment, I would look for lightweight heads and shafts.  I'm only 65, but my woods are Cobra Fly-Z XL with Lite (senior) shafts.  The Cobras have some offset that helps squaring things up, which you may not need.  Wilson also has a very light driver.  I use Callaway XR OS irons with a senior flex, but any lightweight modern iron would probably help.

More distance comes from more club head speed.  Generally less weight helps.  It may not help other areas.

John

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On 4-4-2017 at 9:19 AM, MacDutch said:

I play sometimes with 70+ guys in my flight. The not so flexible ones are a lot shorter than the flexibles.

The less flexible you get, the more help you need from equipment. Graphite, light, senior shafts can help to get a bit more swingspeed and thus more distance. That is, when you swing smoothly. If you swing violently to get the extra mph, that kind of shaft will make you misshit a lot.

going to try the TM RSi myself today. :banana:

So I played a round of golf using the TM RSi 1 irons. Same swing, different heads and different shafts. The heads are way easier to play, the shafts are ligther (55gr) and less stiff (senior instead of regular).

Result: easy 10-15 yards longer. It is almost like cheating, so easy to play. Will try them for a week, could be the new clubs in the bag.

 

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I am 65 years old and starting a few years ago I lost the ability to hit my long and mid irons with any authority.  I dabbled with a 9 and 7 wood but over the last couple of years I have replaced my 2i-6i with the 2h-6h.  I hit the 2h longer than I ever hit my 2i and the only wood I now carry is a 460cc Ping Driver.  Along with low compression balls (I know some of you do not believe it) I am playing as long as I was 10 years ago and can still handle the member tees on most courses.

 

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My view. I'm 60. As you get older having good technique becomes more important. Use lighter and more flexible shafts, AND take lessons.

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I appreciate all of the input. I am 74 years old with history of back surgery.  However at the present time my back does not present a serious issue.  I have fairly good flexibility and work out at the YMCA fitness center regurally.  My Driver is a Taylormade RZR Fit (2012) with 12 degree loft.  My 3 wood is also Taylormade jetspeed.  I Have Adams 3,4,and 5 hybrids.  My irons are taylormade 6-9 (used to hit all woods after back surgery but can now hit irons) My biggest problem is driving.  I rarely can get more than 160 yards with my driver.  I get plenty of loft.  Just not enough distance.  I have been trying to use "Swing Machine Golf" by Paul Wilson.  He teaches to use the proper body turn with almost dead arms.  Just let the arms move as the lower body turns.  Patterned after "Iron Byron"  So far not much help as to distance.  I took about 10 lessons from an apprentice PGA TEACHING PRO  but I must be a lousy student.  I have considered visiting one of those Golf Tech locations where they hook you up and examine all aspects of your swing.  My drives are straight (rarely in the rough) and I hit my 3 wood about 155yrds.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  At my club there are guys in their 80s hitting their drives 150-170.  Must be their fundamentals. 

 

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