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Looking for the best golf tips for seniors to improve their golf game in 2023? Read on for must-know strategies from our golf expert.
As you enter your senior years, you start to produce less clubhead speed, ball velocity, and distance, which is a frustrating experience. However, it is a mere transition in your golfing journey, and you can still excel at the game off the senior tees.
In this post, I reveal the best golf tips for seniors that veterans and golf experts at my home club swear by. These are designed to help you enjoy the golf game and play injury free for longer.
Please remember that these senior golf tips are designed for the general audience. Always consult with a medical professional as it relates to playing golf (diet and exercise) with specific medical conditions.
Shorten Your Golf Backswing
One of the best golf tips for seniors and is highly recommended for those with higher golf scores is shortening your golf backswing to improve accuracy.
By shortening your backswing to a 3/4 swing on long shots, older golfers have the ability for more accuracy. While it may cost you more distance over a full swing; it typically improves a player’s smash factor for consistent accuracy and distance.
Focusing on accuracy helps older golfers avoid serious thick rough, which can prompt wrist injuries. Also, those with physical limitations have a better opportunity to play with this type of new swing.
Place the Ball Forward
Place the golf ball forward in your stance for long shots.
This prompts golfers to strike the ball on the up for drives and before the upswing for iron shots. It also gives less flexible senior golfers time to clear their hips and follow through for maximum power.
Invest in Quality Golf Grips
Changing golf grips can significantly impact your golf game. I recommend reading my recent article covering the best golf grips for seniors.
Use thicker, jumbo golf grips to reduce tension and promote a comfortable feel for seniors. Thicker grips aid golfers with arthritis as it demands less pressure than a standard size grip. Having the proper golf grip can result in less pain.
Golf Training Aids
Invest in an Orange Whip Golf Training Aid (or the generic version). It is considered one of the best golf tempo trainers on the market.
This warm-up strength training tool is 48 inches. For shorter senior golfers, there is a 40-inch model that is ideal.
The Orange Whip features a training golf grip. You simply use this for practice swings to develop a better swing tempo, more strength, and some increased flexibility in your golf swing.
Start by standing upright and swinging across your body like a baseball swing, and slowly lower your posture while repeating the swing until you are set up for a shot. It helps keep your muscles warm between holes and keeps the body in rhythm.
⛳️ Read Next: 20 Best Golf Training Aids in 2023 [Golf Expert Review]
Simple Pre Shot Routines Make a Difference
Avoid standing over your shot for extended periods. Instead, get into a simple pre shot routine. Plan your strike, visualize it and pull the trigger.
This applies to every golfer, but some senior golfers spend extended time over their ball at address and end up duffing shots because they were other than thinking it.
Play the Bump and Run Shots
The upright position required for these shots suits seniors with knee trouble, who may struggle to get low for a lofted greenside shot.
Focus on the correct posture for a neutral swing path that produces excellent accuracy and consistent distance for seniors.
- Start by standing upright.
- Lift your club, pointing it directly away from your belt buckle.
- Hinge forward from the hips, so your golf club approaches the ball.
- Soften your legs to distribute weight for better balance.
Improve Your Short Game
The short game is an often-overlooked aspect of golf but it’s essential for improving your score. Senior golfers should focus on improving their chip shot and putting skills in order to lower their scores.
By honing these two aspects of the game, you’ll be able to save strokes around the green.
Practicing with a few putts from varying distances can help you become more consistent with your stroke and improve your accuracy on the greens.
⛳️ Read Next: 9 Best Putting Drills For Beginners To Master The Green
Use Golf Technology to Your Advantage
One of the more essential tips for senior golfers is to take advantage of technology when playing rounds of golf.
A rangefinder or an app can help them get accurate measurements for distances between points on the course, allowing them to plan ahead and choose a golf club wisely before hitting a shot.
This will also help them save time as they won’t have to scramble around looking for yardage markers on the course.
I probably sound like your doctor when I suggest regular exercise. However, it is vital to remain in shape to traverse the golf course.
Take a brisk walk for three to five hours per week, which could include a hike or power walk, or if you prefer the water, then swimming is always an option.
In addition, my wiser companions recommend incorporating core and cardio exercises into your training regimen. Planks are a simple core exercise you can do anywhere, and they strengthen your balance and improve your posture.
When you are out of shape, you are bound to feel increased fatigue on the golf course, which impacts your power, rotation, and enjoyment of the game.
As you age, your flexibility lowers, which is problematic for your golf swing. This is why you should focus on foods that enhance your flexibility, like fish, chicken, blueberries, nuts, and avocados.
In addition, the National Council on Aging recommends increasing your intake of lean protein foods, as seniors require more than younger adults to maintain muscle mass. Examples include fish, brown rice, and beans.
Other foods to consider adding to your plate include broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and red cabbage.
One of the most amazing PGA professional golfers, Gary Player lives by these rules with a very strict exercise and fitness routine. He strongly believes this regime is critical to his successful longevity and aging well.
Golf Warm Up Exercises
Experienced golfers will know that stretching before a round is essential to warm up your muscles and prevent injury. However, two-time PGA major champion Bernhard Langer recommends a solid stretch for a few minutes daily.
Employing this in your daily routine helps you stay loose and flexible consistently.
As a result, you lower your risk of injury in your day-to-day activities and on the golf course. When you maintain optimum flexibility, it helps you produce maximum rotation for a powerful and accurate strike.
I recommend focusing on stretches that relieve back pain, increase flexibility, and enhance your core muscles.
My senior companions find the knee-to-chest and lying crossover stretches the best for relieving back pain and working your buttocks muscles.
Knee to Chest Stretches
One of the best exercises for seniors is knee to chest stretches. Simply pull one knee at a time up to your chest until you feel the stretch in your lower back. Then gently bring the knee as close to your chest as possible.
At the same time, keep the opposite leg in a relaxed position, either with your knee bent or with your leg extended. Keep it in place for about 30 seconds to feel the full effect. The below video provides a detailed example of the ideal way to complete your knee to chest stretches.
Lying Crossover Stretch
This stretch is done on the ground stepping your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Then, take the right arm parallel to the ground and cross it over your body, bringing the upper arm close to your chest.
Next, place your left hand on the right elbow, pulling it further across your body, and hold. Repeat three times, or as comfortable to your health condition.
Use 5 Kinds of Sun Protection
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5 million adults are treated for skin cancer annually in the USA, with most patients over 65.
The CDC highlights the 5 forms of sun protection you should employ when venturing outdoors. This includes remaining in the shade, using sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, clothing to the ankles, and a long sleeve shirt.
A CDC survey revealed that only 15% of respondents over 65 take all precautions outdoors. In addition, 18% admitted to not taking any preventative steps.
Here are the 5 forms of protection and the ideal attire you can employ for the golf course.
1. Remaining in the Shade
Staying in the shade at all times is challenging on a golf course, but you can protect yourself with a UPF 50+ umbrella. I find that a 68-inch arc provides ample cover to shield you from the sun’s rays.
2. Use Sunscreen
Whenever you venture onto the course, apply SPF 50+ sunscreen to your entire body to block most UV radiation. Anything lower than SPF 50+ allows more UV rays to penetrate your skin, causing sunburn and potentially lasting damage.
3. Wear a Golf Sun Hat
A wide-brimmed hat keeps your face and neck in the shade more effectively than any cap could dream of. Plus, it provides UPF 50+ protection all around.
Although there are several options, I like the bucket hat since it’s versatile and provides great sun protection.
4. Wear Pants to the Ankles
Many senior men wear pants that reach their ankles and protect their legs. However, your slacks must be equipped with UV Protection, or the rays may eventually seep through after a few hours on the links.
I find the Nike Dri Fit UV pants provide optimal protection from the sun and keep you dry, fresh, and comfortable.
5. Wear A Long Sleeve Shirt
Finally, if you have played golf wearing a short sleeve polo for most of your life, you may find it strange switching to the lengthy design, but it works. I find the Adidas UPF long-sleeve shirt provides maximum UV cover and keeps you cool and dry during your round.
Keep Hydrated on the Course
It seems like a no-brainer, but it amazes me how many golfers do not keep adequately hydrated during a round of golf. Your desired intake of h20 depends on your body weight and temperature.
However, a rule of thumb suggests golfers in a moderate climate should consume up to 66% of their body mass in water daily. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, you should shoot for approximately 112 ounces of water per day, as claimed by Golf Magazine.
On toasty days, you may need to increase this intake to avoid dehydration, heat cramps, and exhaustion.
Review Your Golf Swing: Closed Coil Swing
Having good fundamentals is key when it comes to playing golf as a senior golfer. One way to do this is by reviewing your swing mechanics and making sure they’re up-to-date with current trends in the sport.
A great drill for senior golfers is the closed coil swing. The coil starts on your backswing as you shift most of your weight from your front leg to the back. In other words, you rotate in a clockwise direction.
At the top of your backswing, coil anti-clockwise and shift your weight back to your front leg. You will find that employing a closed coil swing helps you produce maximum rotational force without overswinging.
Learn More Than One Shot
Not all pitch and chip shots are the same in golf. When you watch pro golfers play, chances are they will have several different shots that they hit consistently. Professional golfers realize that it takes a variety of great shots to get the ball in the hole.
As a senior golfer, you should have several shots with a higher loft and a softer landing and a few shots that are kept more along the ground.
When walking up to the green, think about what club to hit, how you will play the shot, and where you want it to land next. Golf course management is critical to game improvement.
The more variety you can gain, the better you will be at scoring.
Play With Lighter Flexible Shafts
Senior golfers in my extended circle predominantly complain about their loss of distance and the difficulty in launching their shots high and long. While this phenomenon is unavoidable, you can mitigate the impact by employing lighter, flexible shafts.
A seniors shaft is purposed for veterans to accelerate clubhead speed on the downswing and achieve greater flex into impact. This combination improves your chances of producing a powerful strike and imparting optimal velocity on your golf ball.
When your shafts are too stiff for your swing speed, you struggle to generate sufficient ball zip to get the ball airborne, leading to a loss of carry and total distance.
If you have a slower swing speed, senior shafts could be a consideration. For a more detailed review, check out my article on the senior shaft vs regular shaft, which covers ideal shafts for slower swing speeds.
Swing Higher Launching Golf Clubs
In addition to senior flex shafts, I find senior golfers perform best with higher-launching woods and irons. These golf clubs possess a low and deep weighting to push the center of gravity (CG), low and back.
However, you find drivers like the Cobra LTDx Max with low and back CG, which generates an increased launch.
The beauty of high-launching golf clubs is their ability to deliver a consistent high launch and maximum carry distance.
Hybrid Golf Clubs
Golf clubs come in many different shapes and sizes, and finding the right one can be crucial if you want to improve your game.
Many senior golfers find that hybrids are the best option because they’re easier to hit than traditional irons for improved forgiveness, versatility, and higher launch.
Read Next: 10 Best Hybrids for Seniors + Key Buyers Guide [Expert Tips]
Walk The Golf Course
Another one of the best golf tips to stay in shape is to walk the golf course instead of taking a golf cart whenever possible.
Naturally, some older golfers with mobility challenges have no option but to use a cart. Always follow the advice of your doctor as it relates to your physical capabilities.
I will touch on the advantages of driving shortly. However, walking the golf course helps you exercise and play the sport simultaneously.
It kills two birds with one stone, so to speak, and I find it is easier to disconnect from the world and plug into nature.
Now, I advise against carrying your golf clubs, so either hire the services of a caddy or acquire a push cart.
Drive a Golf Cart if Necessary
As I mentioned earlier, golfers with mobility challenges may struggle to walk 18 holes.
The only way you can enjoy the game of golf is by driving a cart. If you have the budget, it makes sense to purchase a golf cart. Alternatively, you can hire one every time you play.
Golf Practice at Home
Practicing is one of the best ways to become a better golfer. However, it can be difficult to practice without access to a driving range or putting green.
There are several training aids available on the market that can help simulate real-world conditions while still allowing you to practice indoors or in other places where space is limited.
From automated ball return systems and putting mats to virtual reality simulators and motion sensors, there are plenty of options available depending on what kind of practice you want to do and how much money you wish to spend.
Practicing at home is an ideal way to improve your game. You can choose between putting inside, setting up a net in your backyard, or golf ball chip shots in your living room with a golf simulator.
There are so many ways to practice golf from the comfort of your own home.
One of our favorite ways is by using a SkyTrak Launch Monitor. Avoid weather issues and commutes to a golf course when you can golf in the comfort of your home!
Know Your Golf Club Distances
One of the most important things for senior golfers to do is to know the distance of each club in their golf bag. This will help them make better decisions when choosing which club to use for a particular shot.
Knowing the distances for each club can also help them avoid mis-hitting shots, as they’ll know exactly how far they need to hit the ball with each swing.
Not sure of your golf club distances? You’ll want to read our article on the Golf Club Distance Chart for Seniors.
Play From the Correct Golf Tees
Senior golfers should also make sure to play from senior tees whenever possible. These tees provide a more manageable length for senior golfers who may not have the same swing speed as younger players.
Just to clarify, playing golf from the senior tees is not cheating; it is an honest score. This is what makes the game fair for all ages of players.
When you play from a set of golf tees that is not a right fit, your handicap will be adversely affected. As a result, your handicap will also be more accurate.
Playing from senior tees will also help reduce fatigue and allow seniors to enjoy their rounds more easily.
Keep in mind today golfers aren’t limited by requirements when it comes to their starting position.
This guideline for utilizing senior tees, however, is somewhat flexible because age is not the only factor. When choosing a senior tee, it is important to remember your current driving distance and handicap.
Golf Ball for Your Swing Speed
Another important golf tip for seniors is to use the right golf ball. This is an easy one to overlook since golf balls are often overlooked as an unnecessary expense.
Give yourself an advantage by using a golf ball that matches your swing speed.
By doing so, they’ll be able to gain maximum distance when hitting shots and ensure they’re getting optimal performance out of their golf clubs.
This is especially true if they’re using drivers or fairway woods, where accuracy and distance are key factors in having successful shots.
You’ll want to read our article on the best golf balls for senior men and senior ladies to determine better which is best for your game.
Pace of Play
While everyone wants to have a fantastic round of golf, there are some etiquette golf tips that your golfing buddies will appreciate.
Declare “ready golf” on the tee box, which gives up the notion of honor play. Unless this is a high-end golf tournament or the PGA tour, play “ready golf.”
Whoever is ready, step up and hit the ball. Prepare for your shot while your partners are hitting.
Hit the ball within 5 seconds. Line up your putt before it is your turn.
Do not take numerous practice swings before hitting, one practice swing will do. Check out our pace of play article for more tips on game improvement.
Read Next: 8 Best Tips for Speeding up Your Pace of Play in Golf
True and Honest Handicap
Playing fair isn’t just for senior golfers. It’s one of those lifelong golf tips that applies to everyone.
It’s a game of honor, and in many ways, it’s a way we reflect on each other’s characters.
In other words, do the right thing by playing with your true and honest handicap. Besides, you can also tell if your game is improving if you keep an accurate scorecard.
So, if you accidentally miss hitting the golf ball, count it. If you hit your ball in the water, count the strokes.
While you may hate the honest score, you’ll appreciate it in the long run and your handicap will be correct.
Find Joy in Your Golf Game
My final best golf tip for older players is not to take your golf game so seriously.
Enjoy golf in your golden years more by appreciating your strength and flexibility to play. Our health at age isn’t guaranteed.
It is one of the few sports we can play deep into our old age, and if you stop enjoying it, you may eventually hang up the clubs.
Celebrate your good shots and laugh at the bad ones – it’s good practice for your mental game. The most essential factor is that you are out on the course and enjoying each moment of the day.
Last on our list is a concept that may seem simple, but not enough golfers are taking advantage of it. Many people think you need to go to the course to practice your game.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can Seniors Improve Their Golf Swing?
PGA Instructor Todd Kolbb explains that a senior golfer can improve their golf swing by operating on a more vertical plane with a shorter backswing. Despite my young age, I employ this swing for superior control and accuracy on the links.
How Can Seniors Play Better Golf?
Seniors can play better golf using high-launching golf clubs, flexible and lightweight shafts, and operating with a ¾ backswing on a vertical plane. In addition, seniors can enhance their fitness, stamina, and flexibility by exercising regularly and stretching daily.
Final Thoughts on the Best Golf Tips for Seniors
Hopefully, our list of the best golf tips for seniors has helped you figure out ways to improve your game.
Remember, eating healthy, stretching daily, and exercising regularly, will prepare your body for optimal results on the course. Greater flexibility and core strength boost your rotation and fluidity of the golf swing while exercising helps you navigate 18 holes with ease.
In addition to your fitness and diet, you can improve your golf game by using high-launching clubheads and senior flex shafts.
Finally, ensure that you take the necessary precautions to shield yourself against the sun and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and cramps.
Before You Go…
Check out some of my other recent articles that you may also enjoy!
- The 6 Best Golf Grips For Seniors In 2023
- 10 Best Fairway Woods For Seniors to Improve Accuracy
- 9 Best Putting Drills For Beginners To Master The Green
- 18 Best Golf Books of All Time | Golf Expert’s Top Picks