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How To Beat Father Time?


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11 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

Reminds me of a conversation I overheard in our pro shop between one of our older members and the Pro. He said his drives were off a bit so he wanted to schedule a lesson. A former Tuskegee Airman (WWII), he's 94 and note i see him on the range all the time. Now that's a positive attitude! 

I can only hope and pray that I'm still kicking around the golf course AND still looking for ways to get better when I'm that age!

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On 6/10/2021 at 3:39 PM, Getoffmylawn said:

I don't know if I have a question or a comment here but I thought I'd share what's been on my mind golfing-wise lately.

Phil winning the PGA Championship at his age was very inspiring to me, and many others I'm sure.  It's also a bit gratifying and relieving, in a way that I'll explain.

I turn 43 in a week.  I got started playing golf 9 years ago, and needless to say I'm hooked and obsessed...I spend most waking moments (much to my wife's chagrin) thinking about how to get better.  After literally decades of training for other pursuits, I've finally started to train for power and explosiveness and continue to make incremental improvements in my swing speed numbers.  I also spend a lot of time stretching out and working on mobility, and I'm certain I'm more flexible and mobile than I've ever been.

But, I'm aware I'm getting older.  (I know, I know, many older and better golfers than me here...)  Last fall I battled some plantar fasciitis that I need orthotics to get past, and this year golfer's elbow has been an issue...little aches and pain are appearing that haven't been a problem before.  I also find overall I don't recover from workouts nearly as quick as I used to.

The point of this rambling is this:  I'm competitive by nature and I want to improve every year to the point that I'm a credible player in state-level amateur events, whenever that time is where my ability and career/family align to allow me to do it.  (Maybe that's a lofty goal, but if it is, good...just how I'm wired.)  

The question that keeps creeping up in my mind is what's the window?  How many years can I continue to improve before I inevitably MUST decline?  I don't just mean distance and speed, I mean the whole game...putting and short game feel, all of it.  In fact, I've heard many opine that age catches up with you first in your putting before anywhere else due to nerves, but maybe that's an anecdote towards the pro level.  

If anyone has any thoughts or comments to share I'm all ears, whether its tips and tricks you've used to keep improving as time has marched on, or just your thoughts on the question in general.

Id say that you could expect to continue to get better well into your 60s or 70s.  Ive played with plenty of senior golfers who are stupid good.  They may not hit the ball as far as they used to but they hit the ball straight, they dont make silly mistakes (trying to hit hero shots) and the can putt like you wouldnt believe.

Im in my 40s now, have been playing since I was 20 years old and I feel like I keep getting better and better every year because my mental game is so good now.  20 year old me could hit the ball a mile but his mental game could be easily shattered by a few bad shots, which would ruin the rest of the round.  40 year old me doesnt hit the ball quite as far but my mental game is nearly unbreakable because I just shrug off a bad shot and the more bad shots I hit, the more I believe that my next shot will be a great one.  Im also much more able to hit a shot, analyze what went right or what went wrong and then let it go and move on to the next one.

I honestly cant wait until Im 65 and can play from the gold tees and play in senior leagues.  Not to mention I'll be semi-retired (because Im never going to really retire) and having all the time that I want to practice and play.  Now, I dont practice at all because with my work schedule, social schedule and other odd jobs around the house; its simply not enough of a priority to me.

I would say that you are never going to beat father time (he is undefeated, afterall) but you can certainly slow him down.  IMO, much of it has to do with your outlook on life (be thankful for what you have and living in gratitude), as well as getting adequate sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating a somewhat healthy diet, exercising and getting into a good daily stretching routine.

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"I suppose its better to be a master of 7 than to be vaguely familiar with 14." - Chick Evans

Whats in my Sun Mountain 2.5+ stand bag?

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* 

Hybrid: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi 3H

Irons: Mizuno T-Zoid True 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Mizuno S18 blue ion 54*

Putter: Mizuno Bettinardi A-02

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:39 PM, Getoffmylawn said:

 

The question that keeps creeping up in my mind is what's the window?  How many years can I continue to improve before I inevitably MUST decline?  I don't just mean distance and speed, I mean the whole game...putting and short game feel, all of it.  In fact, I've heard many opine that age catches up with you first in your putting before anywhere else due to nerves, but maybe that's an anecdote towards the pro level.  

If anyone has any thoughts or comments to share I'm all ears, whether its tips and tricks you've used to keep improving as time has marched on, or just your thoughts on the question in general.

You're way too young to be the least bit concerned about that one.  I started playing later in life (submarine duty got in the way for 20 years), so my experience will differ from those who started at younger ages.  However, I'm getting ready to turn 70 in September and, although I've lost my distance off the tee, I'm still playing "club" competitive golf. My handicap never got real low, but I've been a single digit player for the last 20 years (generally around 8ish).  I think I noticed significant distance loses around the age of 64, but that was also after 2 total knee replacements.  I putt better now than I did 10 years ago and I definitely chip better.  I'm taking a series of lessons with a swing coach and I'm seeing good improvements.  

I play with several members over 70 who still play great golf.  My 78 year old playing partner playes to a 6 handicap.  Our frequent club champion just turned 65 and has shot his age or better a number of times and carries a +1 handicap.  Very few of the younger guys give him a run for his money.

Point is:  Just enjoy your time on the course and enjoy the game and don't sweat getting older.  Embrace it!

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I'll echo @CarlH and say that yes, I have lost some distance since I started playing at age 45, and it seems that I have a new ache and pain every year.  However, I don't play this game to just go out and have fun.  Although I gave up my competitive rounds a few years ago, I work very hard to make improvements in my game each time I tee it up.  I managed to shoot my age a few weeks ago... 74, still playing from the same tees I have always played... 6 years after knee replacement!

I believe the putting issues may be most noticeable at the very elite levels of play and are player dependent.  I've never putted better than I do right now, and my short game is much better now that I practice more after retirement.  

You can do whatever you want to do in this game; that's what's great about it.  My Monday walking buddies who are 78 and 81 have given up playing 9 holes.  I saw them on the range today, but I think it's only to get outside and get some exercise.  I suspect that my game will deteriorate some over the next few years, so I will just have to change my goals so that I always have a challenge.  

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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13 hours ago, ZenGolfer said:

Id say that you could expect to continue to get better well into your 60s or 70s.  Ive played with plenty of senior golfers who are stupid good.  They may not hit the ball as far as they used to but they hit the ball straight, they dont make silly mistakes (trying to hit hero shots) and the can putt like you wouldnt believe.

I started playing golf when I retired in my sixties. I certainly can't hit it as far as you youngin's with my driver - but put a wedge in my hand and lookout! 

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On 7/22/2021 at 8:59 AM, tony@CIC said:

I started playing golf when I retired in my sixties. I certainly can't hit it as far as you youngin's with my driver - but put a wedge in my hand and lookout! 

Amen, brother.  You gotta watch out for those old guys who want to bet on the 1st tee.

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"I suppose its better to be a master of 7 than to be vaguely familiar with 14." - Chick Evans

Whats in my Sun Mountain 2.5+ stand bag?

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* 

Hybrid: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi 3H

Irons: Mizuno T-Zoid True 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Mizuno S18 blue ion 54*

Putter: Mizuno Bettinardi A-02

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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On 6/10/2021 at 4:15 PM, Tom the Golf Nut said:

Ok young buck, your thinking to much. Next week I turn 62 and my handicap has gone down from around a 5 to it's current 1.6 over the last 4 years. Your never to old to get better. My driving distance has increased, my long and short game is good. Most importantly I do not know what a gym is! Never been inside one. I am not a range rat either. The key to maintaining your level of play as you get older is maintaining flexibility and play golf. This summer my plan is to improve my middle game accuracy. Then I hope to see my handicap drop even more. Always set a goal and try to achieve it. 

I will be 62 in 8 weeks. I would agree that flexibility and playing are key to maintaining and/or improving as we age. I need to start a flexibility program, as I am losing distance with all clubs. Nothing major, but I do notice it.... and I don't like it! 😠

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