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      Introducing TST "Clubs!"   08/28/2017

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challenges of senior golfers

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On 4/3/2017 at 7:49 PM, WUTiger said:

Aside from technology, two big factors are balance and flexibility

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.

Good comments above - I work on balance and flexibiity for 15 minutes at least almost on a daily basis. It also helps prevent injuries.

Shafts - go graphite.

Weight? Driver and 4 wood are 43g in R flex. SS is about 90. After that, I have a  7 wd at 55g and had success with a 9 wood at 65g - I also go 44.5 in in driver, 42.5 in 4wd, 41.5 in 7, 40.5 in 9 wod when I bag one. In hybrids, believe it or not, I have a 50g UL Bassara shaft; in irons, I have a 75g in 6-PW, and a 65g in a 5i.

I've gone lighter to make things easier and I am getting good distance. In my 50-60 wedges, I have Nippon Pro Modus 3 105g shafts.

Works for me. Just need to get the balance of the club right - about D1 in lower irons, and D3 in PW and Gap.

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70 1/2 here.  Play 18 holes 6 to 7 days/week.  Have a group of "geezers" age 65 to 77 during the week.  Play with the young flat-bellies on the weekends.

Here's my 2 cents....

1.)  Never belittle a ball in the middle.  At our age, we are far better off playing short in the fairway than a tad bit longer in the trees.  If those hitting before you are bombing it, try to stick with your smooth swing and place the ball where you have a good second shot.

2.)  Short game... short game.... short game!!!!  I can shoot in the upper 70's to low 80's and hardly ever hit a green in regulation.  (Our course has postage stamp sized greens.)  If anywhere around the green, I'll chip to one-putt distance... or chip it in.  The youngsters may fly a beautiful 5-iron from 200 yards and stick it on the green.  My chip and putt still will score better than their 3-jack.

3.)  Leave your "club number ego" at home.  If you need to hit a 6-iron from 100 yards, who cares???!!!!  I have yet to see a scorecard where the club you use is recorded as part of your score.  Hit what gets you there. 

4.)  As we lose distance, we are often tempted to go to a "distance" ball.  The difference between hitting a Top Rock and a ProV for a 80 mph swing speed is nil.  OTOH, you will be able to control your short game chips much better with a ball  you can stop than a ball that has no conscience about running clear across the green.

5.)  They don't draw pictures on the score card.  Who cares how you got the ball in the hole?  Two of the geezers in our group hit drivers from the fairway.  I've seen each go driver, driver, driver, putter, putter to par a par 5.  So??  It's what gets the job done.

6.)  Live with your clubs until you learn the personality, attitude, and potential of each club.  As we lose distance, we are tempted to try to buy a longer game.  Each time we change clubs, we lose the personal relationship with them.  It's another learning experience.  If we are depending on the shorter clubs to be our scoring clubs, we need to know exactly how far we hit each of them... and the shot pattern each has a tendency to follow.

Sorry!  Guess that might have been more than 2 cents worth.  This is a Great Game that we can enjoy many years into our "geezerhood".  Find a group you can joke with.  Find a group that understands this is a Game and there are much more serious things in life than carding a bogey... or double... or triple once in a while.  Good luck!!!!!

Edited by Loose Cannon

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Driver : 43 in , 45 gram shaft , 14 degree loft , FYI , did I mention its a Taylor Made M2 WOMAN"S driver ? Please dont tell my friends , but Im 67 years old , 220 in the fairway . Im happy .

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Clubs are clubs, they have no gender per se, play what works for you. 

 

I'm curious how the RSi irons with graphite shafts are going to work out. I was actively shopping for a set of those irons but just didn't have the budget for them, maybe next year.

 

I turn 62 this year and keep thinking about starting to think about trying some yoga/pilates, eventually. Stretching and smart strength training are good to work on.

 

 

 

Edited by treebound

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 0:35 PM, Loose Cannon said:

70 1/2 here.  Play 18 holes 6 to 7 days/week.  Have a group of "geezers" age 65 to 77 during the week.  Play with the young flat-bellies on the weekends.

Here's my 2 cents....

1.)  Never belittle a ball in the middle.  At our age, we are far better off playing short in the fairway than a tad bit longer in the trees.  If those hitting before you are bombing it, try to stick with your smooth swing and place the ball where you have a good second shot.

2.)  Short game... short game.... short game!!!!  I can shoot in the upper 70's to low 80's and hardly ever hit a green in regulation.  (Our course has postage stamp sized greens.)  If anywhere around the green, I'll chip to one-putt distance... or chip it in.  The youngsters may fly a beautiful 5-iron from 200 yards and stick it on the green.  My chip and putt still will score better than their 3-jack.

3.)  Leave your "club number ego" at home.  If you need to hit a 6-iron from 100 yards, who cares???!!!!  I have yet to see a scorecard where the club you use is recorded as part of your score.  Hit what gets you there. 

4.)  As we lose distance, we are often tempted to go to a "distance" ball.  The difference between hitting a Top Rock and a ProV for a 80 mph swing speed is nil.  OTOH, you will be able to control your short game chips much better with a ball  you can stop than a ball that has no conscience about running clear across the green.

5.)  They don't draw pictures on the score card.  Who cares how you got the ball in the hole?  Two of the geezers in our group hit drivers from the fairway.  I've seen each go driver, driver, driver, putter, putter to par a par 5.  So??  It's what gets the job done.

6.)  Live with your clubs until you learn the personality, attitude, and potential of each club.  As we lose distance, we are tempted to try to buy a longer game.  Each time we change clubs, we lose the personal relationship with them.  It's another learning experience.  If we are depending on the shorter clubs to be our scoring clubs, we need to know exactly how far we hit each of them... and the shot pattern each has a tendency to follow.

Sorry!  Guess that might have been more than 2 cents worth.  This is a Great Game that we can enjoy many years into our "geezerhood".  Find a group you can joke with.  Find a group that understands this is a Game and there are much more serious things in life than carding a bogey... or double... or triple once in a while.  Good luck!!!!!

 It is far more than $0.02, but it is worth a lot. Excellent advise and a lot of it is what I try to impart to my playing partners during out weekly games.

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My eyesight, specifically depth perception. If I don't pay attention to it I generally come up short all the time. I have to tell myself to either hit it harder or go with less loft. Turning the hips is another one. Not being able to turn means I have to adjust the swing somewhat to compensate. Old age hasn't made me a worse golfer however, I can still nimbly get around at 64 but not every day. 

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What a great topic! So many seniors who are the backbone heart and soul of golf today. A debatable point is whether we are responsible to grow the game.  But in the defense of golfers who have raised families worked hard their whole lives, served their countries, the best reward for golfing seniors is the pleasure and the recreation golf provides.It maynot fall to us to grow the game. It may be enough during these down turns in growth to be the rock upon which golf is base.We do have diminished athletic prowess, but, we are better at our swings, our equipment is better, and we have the time (perhaps not always the inclination) to gain flexibility and improve our technique. I would only add to the many good technical and insightful comments that it is important to enjoy playing: to have a league to play in weekly, or your group does a tour of your state or province section.  If you look forward always to playing  and have that initiative to keep on  playing, you will thrive at this. game.  Don't forget, preparations of your personal salves, pills, rubs, braces and sleeves.  And as mentioned do not fret about hitting from forward tees.  Enjoy the privilege that your age gives you.  I love this game more each year.

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I am getting closer to 70. In addition to all previous great posts, I would add "experience" to the mix. 

After playing for several decades, there is not too much a senior golfer has not seen, as far as different lies, and shots needed to salvage a score. 

I actually practice problem shots sometimes to help with surprises when playing for a score. Senior golfers would do well to have a variety shots in their golf bag. 

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Speaking of challenges, health is a big challenge. I have played with senior golfers and most of the time one or more of them had had hip replacement or knee replacement. Some have had a stroke (me included) or heart attack and have lost the full use of their bodies. A couple have had eyes so bad they can't see the ball when they hit it except around the green. Arthritis is another problem affecting many seniors. The Golden years are not always all that golden. But you know what while it does curtail the ability to play golf as well as we used to play, the game is still the best thing for us. We can still enjoy it no matter what how much our scores are and we can still get out and enjoy the company and warm sun on our faces as we walk down those green fairways of our lives.

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On 4/3/2017 at 9:19 PM, luggage said:

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

I am only 60, but a good friend of mine is well in his 70s. He went for a fitting and was advised to buy Ping ladies clubs. His distances improved considerably

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About growing the game. As private citizens, we grow the game by playing the game and setting good examples. Heads of the PGA, LPGA, USGA, etc., as well as touring pros, have different motives to grow the game. IMO you can forget the debate on TV about the responsibilities of golf's professional organizations and players to grow the game. If it makes more money, they will do it. For us, it would be wonderful to someday play golf with your grandchild and see the thrill of the game light up his or her eyes.

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 2:54 PM, paininthenuts said:

I am only 60, but a good friend of mine is well in his 70s. He went for a fitting and was advised to buy Ping ladies clubs. His distances improved considerably

Doesn't it always seem to be a crazy way to designate clubs. By gender. With purple inserts and fuscia grips.  Lots of women can play "mens" clubs Lots of men should look into clubs enabling them to play better.  I think that for the most part, women like just plain silver clubs and I know that men prefer them to be powerful looking lol.. Their head covers , bags, and accessories may reflect their taste, but so do athletic team coordinated  golf accessories used by men. I hope that someone will get the bright idea to market based solely on playability for Senior golfers.  And not just at the HIGH end.  Okay mini rant over.

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Great question! In my 60s I made the usual equipment changes (shaft, set makeup) to offset loss of swing speed.  I moved up to the senior tees. But nothing prepared me for what happened to my swing speed after 70. Guys in your 60s ... there is no way for you to understand the problem until you actually get there. It is like swinging immersed in a swimming pool. Those 70-year old guys you see out on the course didn't always have such awkward swings.

That said, here is how equipment has helped me with distance in my 70s ... so far: 

(1) the biggest impact on distance came by changing from Titleist Pro V1 to a soft ball designed for slow swing speeds (in my case the Srixon Soft Feel). You give up some spin in the short game, however.

(2) there is no #2 for me. None of my fruitless (and costly) experiments with hardware made an appreciable difference with regard to distance. The obvious hardware changes that I made in my 60s regarding shafts and clubheads were the end of rhe road on that front.

More useful than equipment changes has been a serious attention to fitness and technique. I had read that over 70 players needed to go to an arms-based swing in order to take advantage of centrifugal force. For this to work, I had to improve my flexibility, which required patience and a willingness to pursue a stretching routine specific to golf (YouTube). Some of my geezer buddies actually take Yoga classes and love it.

 

 

 

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I'm 70, and I'm dealing with the issues that come to most players as they age.  Flexibility is great, but there are often limits to what can be done, since there are other physical factors which can also impact flexibility, things which can't really be fixed by yoga.  Joints just deteriorate, and even though some are replaceable these days, I don't see any logic in major surgery unless it's truly necessary.  I have a bad knee, bad hip, and I've had chronic lower back problems since the early 80's.  None of that keeps me off the golf course.  

Distance loss is a real issue, but that can usually be mitigated by moving up a tee.   If you don't have that option - obviously, in tournaments I play the tees that my flight is assigned to, and I'm regularly playing against guys 30+ years younger and 20-50 yards longer than I am - then graphite is one way to get a little more out of your irons, but it won't take you back to where you were at age 30.  

Practice your FW woods (or hybrids if you can actually hit the damn things).  I play a lot of 5W's and 7W's into par 4 holes these days.  I've had to learn to play them more consistently than I did in the past.  For me, one key is actually in a shorter swing that helps me hit closer to the center of the club more often, choking down a bit on the driver, because I hit it longer when the clubhead is under control.  But trying to keep up with distance loss past about age 65 is always going to be a losing game.  You have to accept that you are going to lose distance with all clubs, and you have to find a way to pick it up in other parts of your game.

Most important for me for scoring (surprise, surprise :whistle: ) is greenside game - chipping, pitching and putting.  Since I play so many FW woods, I also miss a lot of greens, but most of the time, they aren't bad misses considering the clubs I'm using.  I have a go to chipping method which won't try and describe aside from stating that I use one club almost exclusively unless I'm in a bunker, and that one club is not SW or LW.  I play a chip or pitch to roll out to the hole.  This saves me more strokes than trying to add any length off the tee could possibly do, because I can miss greens from 120 yards just about as easily as I can from 170 yards - I have to get up and down often to score.  In this weekend's tournament, on Saturday I holed out 2 chips and 1 fringe putt, all 3 from more than 50 feet.  Sunday I lipped out 2 chips, and one putted 7 greens.

Putting.  As always, this is where the game makes or breaks.  I have occasional brief forays with the yips, but I've pretty much learned how to deal with them on the fly, and never suffer through an entire round with them.  I simply make my read the best I can, then commit to the line.  I don't let my bad side second guess my read.  Right or wrong I hit the putt I've planned, and most of the time that lets me make a good stroke.  For me, a bad putt is one that is poorly struck.  If I misread the green, but hit the putt as planned, then I'm content even though the result isn't what I would prefer.  Since I'm stroking the ball well, I know that good reads will also be followed by good putts.  

Edited by Fourputt

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Has anyone switched from a typical 6000 yard municipal course to an executive course of...say...4000 to 4500 yards? This has worked out great for me. I was invited to local and very well-maintained executive course last year. The mens club of about 20 members has a median age of 65 to 70. It is a great club with excellent morale and good competition. A few guys are near scratch; some are single digit; many are around bogey golf. When I turned 65 last March I decided to switch from the munis and make this my regular course. It has been a fine year, and I absolutely love my new home course. 

Edited by sonnydamico pdx

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2 hours ago, sonnydamico pdx said:

Has anyone switched from a typical 6000 yard municipal course to an executive course of...say...4000 to 4500 yards? This has worked out great for me. I was invited to local and very well-maintained executive course last year. The mens club of about 20 members has a median age of 65 to 70. It is a great club with excellent morale and good competition. A few guys are near scratch; some are single digit; many are around bogey golf. When I turned 65 last March I decided to switch from the munis and make this my regular course. It has been a fine year, and I absolutely love my new home course. 

No, but a month or so ago, I re-read the USGA "Play It Forward" Guidelines, found myself in the driving distance chart and decided to start playing the forward tees. Usually about 5200 to 5400 yards. A blow to the ego at first, but ego should be checked at the door when I consider a 6400 yard course for me is like a pro trying to play an 8000 yard course (or something like that). Great topic. -Marv  (71 11/12)

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On 4/5/2017 at 1:56 PM, NJpatbee said:

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.

 

I did this a couple of years ago. I'll be 65 in a couple of weeks. I don't carry an iron longer than a 6 anymore! My very first hybrid, to replace my 2 iron which I couldn't hit anymore, was bought many moons ago! It was a Cleveland, and was such a delight to hit, it definitely changed my thinking! I could hit it farther, higher, and more accurately than my 2! The club manufacturers have definitely done us a solid with these!

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