Golf Tips for Senior Golfers

By Todd Kolb
July 4, 2019

Golf Tips for Senior Golfers

Like most things in life, golf only gets harder as we get older.

We may still feel twenty-five at heart, but the physical realities of age are there. We lose flexibility. Less flexibility means a decrease in our range of motion. A lower range of motion means a shorter swing. And a shorter swing means less distance and power in our golf shots.

Don’t worry. None of this means your game is on a permanent backslide. With a few tricks, you can still play great golf well into your 60s, 70s, and even 80s.

I’m going to share two quick tips for senior golfers to increase your range of motion. I’ll also share a bonus tip to help you generate speed the way you used to. Before you know it, you’ll finally get back some of the distance you may have lost.

It’s easier than you think.

Senior Golfers Tip #1: Stay Loose and Relaxed in the Upper Body

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I certainly have:

As we get older, we tend to get more stiff and rigid. When you’re addressing the golf ball, you want to be especially aware of what’s going on in your neck, shoulders, and arms. If you feel tension in these areas, it means those muscles are tight and will restrict movement. You’ll end up with a shorter swing and a weaker shot.

Now, I know it’s not always easy to relax on command. So here’s a drill for senior golfers to help you loosen those muscles and get your old range of motion back.

Drill

(Side note: I like to run this drill with a regular 8 iron.)

  1. Take your setup without a golf ball.
  2. Take your backswing, bringing the clubhead far enough to lightly touch your trail shoulder.
  3. Swing through, brushing the mat or ground with the clubhead.
  4. Finish with the clubhead lightly touching your lead shoulder.
  5. Repeat this swing in a continuous motion, touching the trail shoulder on the backswing and the lead shoulder on the finish.

As you continue swinging back and forth, always reaching for that shoulder touch, you’ll start to feel your muscles relax into the motion. I’ve found that this drill has helped a lot of my golfers. You can also try hitting golf balls as you do this drill.

Senior Golfers Tip #2: Allow Movement in the Hips

Odds are decent that someone, at some point, has told you to bend your trail knee and lock it down to restrict hip movement in your swing.

This is an extremely common golf tip. And I adamantly disagree with it. Especially when it comes to more senior golfers.

When you restrict hip movement, you put a limit on your range of motion. Those of us who are getting a little older don’t quite have the flexibility in our upper bodies to adjust for that restriction.

And for senior golfers dealing with a sore hip or bad knee, you risk added strain by locking the knee and restricting the hip. I can attest that even in the best of health, I feel a little pain in the lower back when I follow the no-hip-movement rule. I wind up with a swing that’s less comfortable and less effective.

My advice is to let your trail knee release on the back swing and let your hips turn. This widens your range of motion so you can get a longer, more power-packed swing. You’ll also make it a few more holes before you have to reach for the ibuprofen.

Bonus Tip: Create Speed by Shifting Pressure

By now, you understand the main concept:

In order to keep hitting great golf shots, we have to maintain a wide range of motion. That range of motion is what helps us generate speed. Now, there are three specific types of motion that create speed for solid golf shots.

In the previous tips, we covered the first type of motion: turning.

RELATED: HOW GOLF MOBILITY CAN INCREASE DISTANCE

The second type of motion is extension—that movement of pushing up off the ground as you swing through. You probably did this somewhat naturally once upon a time, but most of us find that extension is suddenly more challenging as we get older.

However, the third type of motion is entirely accessible to you, whether you are a beginner or senior golfer. That is the side-to-side motion in which you shift pressure from one side of your body to the other. (You may think of it as shifting “weight.”) This energy shift helps you pick up momentum and generate speed.

The trick here is simple:

  1. Start with more pressure on your lead foot—about 55% or 60%.
  2. As you take your backswing, push that majority pressure towards your trail foot—specifically towards the heel.
  3. As you swing through, push pressure back into the lead foot and towards the target.

Get in the habit of shifting side-to-side, and you’ll start to see more power in your golf shots.

In Short

Your body may feel stiffer and more restricted than it once did, but that hardly means your best golf days are behind you. Just remember these three tips:

Stay loose and relaxed in your upper body.

Allow your hips to move.

Shift pressure between your feet throughout your swing.

These easy adjustments can increase your range of motion, improve your swing speed, and help you play like the twenty-five-year-old you still think you are.

What Do You Think?

Did these tips help? Are there any other difficulties you run into as a senior golfer? Anything here you disagree with?

Drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

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