Golf game can be played by people from nearly all ages. A number of senior players are able to maintain their swing throughout their golfing career. Many of the players however find it difficult to maintain flexibility as they age. This also means they may find it difficult to continue swinging the same way they are used to.
There is therefore need to make some adjustments to cover for the lost flexibility. This will enable a senior player to continue enjoying the sport and make the most out of their new swing.
Fitness tips for senior golfers
Golf game is a lifetime thing for most players. A number of players continue to actively enjoy the game well into their 70s. The modern-day golf carts have made it easier for the senior players to move around the course with their gaming gear. As a senior golfer, your priority may be more about exercising and getting fresh air rather than getting the highest scores. Off course this doesn’t mean you have to stop playing good golf. You can still improve your skills to maintain your scoring abilities.
In fact a number of players have found themselves getting better with age based on experience.
In order to keep improving on your game as a senior player, you should make it a point to seriously work on your pitching game. It is important to know how to shoot when remaining with between 20 to 50 yards from the target. The long par fours that could be completed in two shots before, now requires you to do two shots and a pitch. It is therefore critical that you perfect your wedges from this distance.
If your ball ends up in the rough off the tee, the chances are that you may no longer have the strength to force it onto the green. This therefore means you may have to lay up into short pitching range.
When practicing the pitching part of your game, you will need to:
i) Keep your head still – short pitch shots require vital and solid contact to be made. This can only be achieved if your head is in a steady position. During the impact, you need to keep your eyes on the ball. You also need to ensure your head is stable during the swing.
ii) Use loft – most amateur players uses an 8 or 9 iron to pitch. As a senior player you would rather use a sand wedge to hit your shots. Using a sand wedge enables you to achieve higher trajectories and more carry. You can also get the ball over any obstacles ahead of you safely. Continuous practice will enable you to master using the sand wedge.
iii) Read the green – reading the green before hitting a pitch shot will guarantee you better results. For instance, you need to know if you are hitting uphill or downhill. You also need to know if there is any side slope in your shot. By reading the ground ahead of you, you can pick your target line in a more informed manner. A senior player can learn to adjust the swing so as to match the changing nature of the body. This can achieve by:
1. a) Positioning the ball farther forward
Senior players are encouraged to position the ball farther away than normal so that they can easily hit the ball off the tee. Setting it further forward during the golf swing enables you to strike at the beginning of the upswing. It also makes it possible to have a clean contact with the ball. Less flexible players require more distance to hit. In addition to moving the ball forward, the right foot should be moved a few inches further from the target line. The aim is to enable you hit a higher trajectory for your ball rather than going for a draw.
2. b) Cocking the wrist earlier than standard
These players are also encouraged to cock their wrists back early in the swing than its the standard. As the turn dictates, the wrists can be cocked naturally near the top for the basic swing. You can begin cocking your wrists when about one foot from the ball so as to get a less strenuous swing call. The reason you need to do this is that your arms may not be in a position to go enough back to allow them cock naturally. Ensure you maintain the cupped wrist throughout the entire swing.
Also have someone watch over your position during the swing plane, face angle and back swing. The advantage of cocking early is that you are able to promote the casting over the top, change the swing plane and open and close the club face.
3. c) Maintain majority of weight on your front foot
Maintaining majority of weight on your front foot ensures you stay ahead of the ball impact at all times. Instead of shifting the weight back and then drive it forward when the club is swung, you should keep a slight majority of the weight on the front foot.
Placing the foot ahead ensures that the club rests near the middle of your body. The feet should also be placed a little wider than the width of your shoulders. If you are a right handed, place the left foot ahead. If you are left handed, place the right foot ahead. d) Turn with the club while maintaining forward weight
Turning back with the club while at the same time maintaining a forward weight enables you to bring the club as far back as you can comfortably get it. These variations of the club will assist you keep a clean contact as much as the range of your swing may not be as large as before.
As you swing down on the ball, you need to allow the wrists to release when the impact happens. The snapping action also adds an extra whip to the swing and power.
As golfers get older, they tend to lose their rotation causing what is called a merry go round swing fault. The golfers at this stage have lost their ability to rotate and hence tend to swing their arms straight up in the back swing and finish high up in the subsequent follow through. In addition to the information we have shared, the senior golfer therefore needs to improve their rotation.
This can be achieved by a range of motion in the hip or back area. You can also rotate your back foot 20 to 30 degrees outward. You can also test other techniques that would work best in improving your back swing.