Golf is one of those sports that you can play as a young child, adult, and senior. There are not many sports that allow you to do this. Many sports have you “hang up your laces” at ages such as 40 or even 30. Not golf; you can play and even start this game well into your winter years and get tons of enjoyment out of it. Let’s see what tips you can use as a senior learning to play.
Some tips for learning golf at 60 or as a senior include wearing comfortable shoes and clothing that is white and light, not playing in extreme weather, and using a caddie or golf cart. Technique tips include pulling your trailing foot back, turning away from the ball, letting your heel come off the ground, and letting your feet move.
If you are a senior looking to start taking up golf as a hobby or thinking about introducing golf to a loved one or friend to keep them young and healthy (physically and at heart), this article is for you. We’ll discuss why golf is a fantastic game that seniors should consider and give you 11 tips that can help you on your journey to playing and enjoying this great game.
Learning to play golf at 60
It’s never too late to learn to play golf, and often, golf is associated with being an older person’s sport, so if you are in your winter years, you may as well conform to the stereotype and make some people smile a bit.
Besides that, there are actually some great reasons to take up golf later in life, and before we get into the tips, you can use to supercharge your game, let’s discuss some of the more practical aspects of why golf is a fantastic elderly sport.
Playing golf is a great aerobic activity with low intensity. This means it’s excellent for your cardiovascular system (your heart and lungs). If you’re in your later years, your doctor will probably tell you to get some effective exercise, but one that doesn’t put too much strain on the body. If for no other reason, take up golf because it is one of the most enjoyable exercises you are able to do.
The next reason is that golf is a social game and is best played in a group. Instead of sitting around not doing much in your later years, you can gather up a group of friends and hit the golf course. Playing a round of golf will take up some time, and this will give you a chance to enjoy the outdoors and your friend’s company.
What is the age of a senior golfer?
In terms of professional golf, a player who is over the age of fifty is considered a senior. Once a professional golfer hits fifty, he becomes eligible for the Senior PGA tour.
It is important to note that it is not compulsory for professional golfers after reaching the age of fifty to move to the Senior PGA tour and many professionals actually stick to the standard pro tour because they find that the competition is not as cutthroat as on the main tour and the main PGA tour is where all the action is.
Regarding amateur golf, there is no cut-off age (there is no clear distinction between older players).
11 Tips to learning golf at 60
Here are the best tips that we recommend for anybody who is 60 and even 50 who would like to start taking up golf. Some of these tips may seem logical to you, but many individuals tend to forget the simple things. Other tips we are positive will blow you away, including tips to improve your swing.
Get a physical (check your health)
The first step you should take before even considering walking out on the course is getting a checkup from your doctor. You want to make sure that you are healthy enough to go out onto the course, swing a couple of clubs, hit a few balls, and walk a couple of miles.
Make sure that you explain to your doctor what you intend to do. Are you going to be walking the entire time or using a golf cart? Will you be carrying your own bag or be utilizing a caddy? How many holes do you intend to start off with?
Depending on your current or prior health conditions, your doctor can recommend that you abstain from particular facets when playing golf.
Wear comfortable golf shoes
In today’s modern world, golf shoes are a far cry away from what they started off as 150 years ago. Purchasing a pair of golf shoes is not the same as walking into the store and buying a pair of trainers.
You will need to consider many factors that play a role in the features of a golf shoe today. This is especially true because you are a little bit older and besides having shoes with all the latest features your primary concern should be comfortability.
You may think that you need a pair of “smart” shoes with cleats, but, in fact, nowadays, you get golf shoes that are fashioned similar to sports trainers that have no spikes and offer even better traction. It’s hard to believe, but as we said, technology and golf shoes have come a long way.
Check out my other article here on the reasoning behind why golf shoes are white.
Wear comfortable clothes
As with golf shoes evolving, the same can be said about the sports attire (clothes) that golfers wear on the course. If you watch the PGA tour, then sometimes you’ll notice lavish tight-fitting sports shirts that are being worn by the top players featuring the logos of Nike, Reebok, Addidas, and the sorts.
Your main priority is once again comfortability, and you should wear loose-fitting shirts that breathe well (let air pass through them). Pro tour players are sponsored and are wearing all those fancy pieces of clothing because they get paid to do so.
Wearing loose-fitting shirts will keep you cool and relaxed. Hence, it will help you with your game, keep your body temperature regular; thus, you won’t overheat in the sun.
Wear white clothes and shoes
When light hits a surface, some of its energy will be reflected. Besides being reflected, some energy will be absorbed depending on the surface’s color.
White light (light from the sun in our case) contains all the wavelengths from the visible spectrum. This means that wearing white will reflect all the wavelengths, and none will be absorbed. In simple terms, white is the most reflective color and won’t absorb any energy from the sun.
This means wearing white clothing and shoes out on the course during those sunny days will keep you cooler than any other color.
Don’t play in extreme weather
Playing in extreme weather when you are a senior is not the most incredible idea. Your age makes you more susceptible to weather extremes, and you should avoid playing golf when it is too hot or cold.
Doing this could influence your health and make you sick. Even though we suggested wearing white shoes and clothing that is loose-fitting, playing in extreme heat could cause some severe problems. Besides getting sunburnt, you run the risk of incurring heatstroke, and this can be very serious.
Conversely, playing in icy conditions can be just as bad, causing you to get the flu. Furthermore, seniors may have other underlying conditions such as arthritis, and the cold will wreak havoc on your joints in this instance.
Start off by playing only nine holes
Even though we said that golf is a great aerobic low-intensity exercise, you should only play nine holes when you first start off. You can choose the front nine or the back nine and then swap it around when you go again.
It would help if you gave your body time to adapt because even though golf may be considered a leisurely sport, it can be pretty taxing on the legs, feet, and arms. Walking through all the holes on the course can be anything from between 3 to 6 miles.
Combined with the effects of the sun and carrying your golf bag, you could most likely fatigue your body to the degree that it is not healthy. You would be better off starting at a steady pace and easing yourself into it.
Use a golf cart
If you insist on playing 18 holes, or perhaps your fitness levels are not that great, you can always opt to use a golf cart.
Even though you should choose to walk as much as possible in order to increase your fitness levels, if you are feeling a little fatigued, then there is nothing wrong with using a golf cart to get around the course.
Use a caddie
Another factor that you can consider that is pretty similar in its capacity to make things a little easier on the course is to use a caddie. Golf carts will help you save your legs, while a caddy will help you save your arms, shoulders, and body.
In golf, a caddie is a person that will carry your bag and clubs. At a professional level, they will even give advice and offer moral support. However, if you are a senior and just playing for fun, most clubs will offer you a caddie for a nominal fee. These are typically teenagers or young adults that the club will hire on a part-time basis.
Carrying your clubs around the course can get tiring quickly, and even if you are prepared to carry your own clubs and bags, don’t underestimate how quickly they can get heavy.
Learn the basics
Learning the basics will go a long way, especially if you are a senior and new to the game. The correct stance, body posture, and swing will help prevent you from injuring yourself. It’s a known fact that seniors start to lose power in their swing, so here are some tips that you can utilize to make things a bit easier.
Pull your trailing foot back to close your stance
If you are right-handed, then instead of addressing the ball with your feet in line, pull your right foot back a little. This will help you turn into your swing much more easily. This is something you should consider if you are taking a short lob shot or wedge shot.
Take note it is not something that you would try to use with your full swing.
Turn away from the golf ball
Many individuals fail to realize that when you move through your swing, you should be turning your body away from the ball. Again this falls back to the basics of golf. Yes, you will constantly be looking at your ball, but this does not mean that your body is stiff and you only swing with your arms.
A golf swing encompasses the entire body through its motion, so take note of this and remember it when you are out on the course.
Let your lead heal come off the ground
This relates to transferring weight from one part of your body through your golf swing and is vitally important. Lifting your lead heel allows you to turn more easily through your swing than if your left foot was stuck to the ground, additionally enabling you to transfer your weight more quickly.
This is important for seniors because, in some respects, the joints and muscles tighten, impacting their mobility.
Let your feet move (let your weight move)
This plays alongside the other tips we have given you. As we stated, seniors will tend to be stiffer and less mobile. A golf swing is all about mobility and transferring the weight when you swing your club.
There is no reason for you to stand completely still, especially if you easily get stiff. Feel free to move your feet up until you are about to take your shot. This will increase your flexibility drastically and will definitely help you out.
Let the golf shaft collapse in near your trail shoulder
When you move through your swing, you may find that you are changing the direction of your club at the top to get more clubhead speed. Seniors will tend to do this because some will see a dramatic drop in power due to a loss of strength.
What you should try to do is to let the club’s shaft come in close to you at the top of your swing. One way of achieving this is by allowing your hands to relax totally. By doing this, you can achieve more hinge in your wrists, and the shaft is going to come in more towards your body.
Check out this video below where these techniques are demonstrated.
Take some lessons
One of the best things you can do is opt to take a couple of lessons to learn the basics. The only thing this will do is benefit you and your game. As we’ve discussed and you can see that golf is a game of precise technique that involves movement and rotation of the entire body.
Taking a couple of lessons will help you understand what needs to be done to ensure the body moves in the correct fashion. This will keep you from injuring yourself, especially if you have problematic joints and muscles.
Get the right golf clubs
Besides, technique clubs are the most important aspect of golf. Make sure you know what clubs to get for yourself. Some seniors prefer clubs with longer shafts because they feel they can get a better swing from them.
You don’t have to get the most expensive clubs on the market that the pros use. What you should do is go to your local golf store, ask for assistance, and try some clubs out. Don’t stop until you have picked clubs that feel right and allow you to swing with ease.
We discovered that golf is not just a game for the young and fit, and seniors take it up as a sport all the time. There is even a Senior PGA Tour.
Besides being outdoors and spending time with your mates, golf is a great aerobic low-intensity workout and is actually recommended by many doctors as a sport for the elderly.
The many tips that we included in this article are practical and should help you out on the course in every way possible. This is because besides focusing on tips for your swing, we took into consideration your age and health and gave you tips that could help you deal with any health or fitness issues you may have.
If you are reading this article for yourself (being a senior), for a friend or loved one, we hope you will consider golf as a great way to get healthy and enjoy the outdoors once again while playing a sport that Is loved by millions of people worldwide.