Lessons for Seniors

MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 1,660 ✭✭
edited May 12, 2019 10:54am in Instruction & Academy #1

I'm getting up in years, but I still have a move that looks like a fair approximation of a golf swing. Nonetheless, my ball striking degenerated so much that I went to my club pro for a lesson. He spent an hour videoing my swing and pointing out everything I was doing wrong. Apparently, I would be better if I were an entirely different person. So he 'installed' a collection of new moves, all of which require me to force my body into various positions. Then he sent me on my way to do 10,000 reps to ingrain my new swing.

Instructors, you can't teach seniors this way. First of all, we're pretty much stuck with the move we've got. A lifetime of experience has driven us to where we are, and we can't change that much. You can tweek address position and tempo and balance and target awareness, but total mechanical reconstruction is out of the question. Second, we're running out of time. Personally, I'm rapidly approaching the end of my golfing life. It's a little late to completely rebuild myself. At my age, I can probably dedicate 50 honest practice swings a day. Beyond that, I'm just faking it. At that rate, I'll chalk up my 10,000th 'rebuilding' swing on Thanksgiving, just in time for the season to end.

All I want to do is enjoy the game a little more and suffer a little less. Can't you instructors help with that?

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  • Ghost of SneadGhost of Snead Members Posts: 2,745 ✭✭

    @MountainGoat said:
    I'm getting up in years, but I still have a move that looks like a fair approximation of a golf swing. Nonetheless, my ball striking degenerated so much that I went to my club pro for a lesson. He spent an hour videoing my swing and pointing out everything I was doing wrong. Apparently, I would be better if I were an entirely different person. So he 'installed' a collection of new moves, all of which require me to force my body into various positions. Then he sent me on my way to do 10,000 reps to ingrain my new swing.

    Instructors, you can't teach seniors this way. First of all, we're pretty much stuck with the move we've got. A lifetime of experience has driven us to where we are, and we can't change that much. You can tweek address position and tempo and balance and target awareness, but total mechanical reconstruction is out of the question. Second, we're running out of time. Personally, I'm rapidly approaching the end of my golfing life. It's a little late to completely rebuild myself. At my age, I can probably dedicate 50 honest practice swings a day. Beyond that, I'm just faking it. At that rate, I'll chalk up my 10,000th 'rebuilding' swing on Thanksgiving, just in time for the season to end.

    All I want to do is enjoy the game a little more and suffer a little less. Can't you instructors help with that?

    Did you tell the club pro exactly what you've relayed to us here ?
    Find a new pro that meets your criteria.

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  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,843 ✭✭

    Totally agree with MG. For me, I'm also not going to spend my golf body on a practice tee. I'm in good shape for an old guy, but there are days when my body just says "no".

  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Members Posts: 5,696 ✭✭
    edited May 12, 2019 3:30pm #4

    I think there’s a whole golf niche of senior golfers waiting to have instruction, exercise and fitting/equipment tailored to our needs.

    Was your teacher a young/inexperienced guy? Sounds to me like you need someone who’s been around the block a few more times...

    As a frame of reference my lessons with Monte has almost always focused on one or at most two things. Now, to be fair, over time we’ve gone thru the whole swing... and I like to practice. But still this person frankly did a poor job.

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  • PJ1120PJ1120 Members Posts: 698 ✭✭

    Great thread. I'm in the fall/early winter of my golfing life also. I've been accused of looking for "the secret" to the golf swing by an instructor i like a lot but aren't we all looking for the "secret" for our personal golf swing that will allow us to play enjoyably and pain free in our older years? There are certain positions I just can't get into anymore and my speed is more than diminished. I just want to be able to get somewhat solid compact which allows me to have an enjoyable round.

  • stryperstryper Members Posts: 3,178 ✭✭

    @MountainGoat said:
    I'm getting up in years, but I still have a move that looks like a fair approximation of a golf swing. Nonetheless, my ball striking degenerated so much that I went to my club pro for a lesson. He spent an hour videoing my swing and pointing out everything I was doing wrong. Apparently, I would be better if I were an entirely different person. So he 'installed' a collection of new moves, all of which require me to force my body into various positions. Then he sent me on my way to do 10,000 reps to ingrain my new swing.

    Instructors, you can't teach seniors this way. First of all, we're pretty much stuck with the move we've got. A lifetime of experience has driven us to where we are, and we can't change that much. You can tweek address position and tempo and balance and target awareness, but total mechanical reconstruction is out of the question. Second, we're running out of time. Personally, I'm rapidly approaching the end of my golfing life. It's a little late to completely rebuild myself. At my age, I can probably dedicate 50 honest practice swings a day. Beyond that, I'm just faking it. At that rate, I'll chalk up my 10,000th 'rebuilding' swing on Thanksgiving, just in time for the season to end.

    All I want to do is enjoy the game a little more and suffer a little less. Can't you instructors help with that?

    These are the exact things I think about, when facing my own golf mortality. While it is certainly possible to slow down the overall decline, it is not possible to stop it completely. Time will ultimately take its toll, and that time seems to pass ever more quickly as the years roll by.

    The challenge for me, then, is to find a way to address your last point and enjoy the game a little more and get out of it what I can with what I have left. And being stuck with the body and the move I have pretty much negates the possibilty of adding back the bulk of the yardage I've lost. So realisitically, the long game isn't likely to be the thing anymore that gives me the most pleasure. That leaves the short game. I see no reason that I can't transform myself into "that guy" that seems to get it up and down from everywhere. Missing greens has always been inevitable, but the more strokes I can save after the miss, the more I'll be able to enjoy golf.

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  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,212 ✭✭

    As I approach 60, this is a great and over looked topic. Often instruction is offered and it is assumed, that the golfer can get into certain positions and or have full flexibility. With lower back pain and a bad knee, practice and the game becomes more difficult with each day.

  • torbilltorbill Members Posts: 285 ✭✭

    I turned 75 a couple of days ago. I am a low handicap player. A few years ago I could see the handwriting on the wall. My strength and flexibility were waning, I needed a new hip, my back was hurting more and more, I knew that declining strength was exposing significant flaws in my fundamentals, and I could see some of my friends falling by the wayside.

    I faced a choice. I could let nature take its course and fade away, as I could see with some of my friends who refused to make changes. Or I could make fundamental changes. I did the latter.

    I rebuilt my swing on Ballard principles. Ballard teaches mechanics that are fundamentally sound and back-sparing, and anybody can do them. This took a lot of study and a lot of work.

    I found an exercise program that makes my back strong. I do this program at home, without any equipment. If I had to go out to do it I would never stick to the program. I have stuck to it. It has been great for the health of my back and my overall golf flexibility.

    I walk the golf course much of the time, as much as possible. It helps keep the weight off and the legs strong. This takes determination. So easy to jump on a cart and ride around the course.

    I keep up to date on equipment. Equipment matters. The new Ping i500 irons have added at least 10 yards, with no loss of accuracy. I keep upgrading my driver so that it is never more than a generation old. I have cut my driver from 45.5" to 44" and not added any weight, resulting in better control and no loss of distance. My driver now plays at an incredibly light C4 swing weight as compared to the standard D3 it used to be. My irons have regular flex graphite shafts and come in at D0, lighter than the days of old, and I would make them lighter yet if I could, but I need them to be a half inch longer than standard. So much easier to swing lighter clubs as I gradually lose strength.

    In order to keep shooting low scores I do not practice extra on putting and chipping. I practice my full swing, and focus on maintaining my distance and hitting fairways. I cannot possibly putt and chip my way to good golf - good golf requires the length and accuracy to hit GIR.

    My handicap is nearly as good as ever, and my enjoyment of the game has never been more. It can be done, at age 75. For a casual golfer it won't happen, because it takes a lot of hard work. For me golf is a passion, the greatest game ever invented, and I am going to play it and play it well as long as physically possible, and I will put in the work to do it. And when I can't do it well I will quit the game and take up mahjongg or backgammon, grin.

    I think that the OP is overly-hopeful, depending on the level of results desired. The toll of age is just too much. In my experience it isn't realistic to expect an instructor to be able to suggest a tweak here and a band-aid there, to get the train back on the tracks. In my experience it takes a willingness to make some fundamentals changes, along with hard work.

  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Members Posts: 5,696 ✭✭

    @torbill said:
    I turned 75 a couple of days ago. I am a low handicap player. A few years ago I could see the handwriting on the wall. My strength and flexibility were waning, I needed a new hip, my back was hurting more and more, I knew that declining strength was exposing significant flaws in my fundamentals, and I could see some of my friends falling by the wayside.

    I faced a choice. I could let nature take its course and fade away, as I could see with some of my friends who refused to make changes. Or I could make fundamental changes. I did the latter.

    I rebuilt my swing on Ballard principles. Ballard teaches mechanics that are fundamentally sound and back-sparing, and anybody can do them. This took a lot of study and a lot of work.

    I found an exercise program that makes my back strong. I do this program at home, without any equipment. If I had to go out to do it I would never stick to the program. I have stuck to it. It has been great for the health of my back and my overall golf flexibility.

    I walk the golf course much of the time, as much as possible. It helps keep the weight off and the legs strong. This takes determination. So easy to jump on a cart and ride around the course.

    I keep up to date on equipment. Equipment matters. The new Ping i500 irons have added at least 10 yards, with no loss of accuracy. I keep upgrading my driver so that it is never more than a generation old. I have cut my driver from 45.5" to 44" and not added any weight, resulting in better control and no loss of distance. My driver now plays at an incredibly light C4 swing weight as compared to the standard D3 it used to be. My irons have regular flex graphite shafts and come in at D0, lighter than the days of old, and I would make them lighter yet if I could, but I need them to be a half inch longer than standard. So much easier to swing lighter clubs as I gradually lose strength.

    In order to keep shooting low scores I do not practice extra on putting and chipping. I practice my full swing, and focus on maintaining my distance and hitting fairways. I cannot possibly putt and chip my way to good golf - good golf requires the length and accuracy to hit GIR.

    My handicap is nearly as good as ever, and my enjoyment of the game has never been more. It can be done, at age 75. For a casual golfer it won't happen, because it takes a lot of hard work. For me golf is a passion, the greatest game ever invented, and I am going to play it and play it well as long as physically possible, and I will put in the work to do it. And when I can't do it well I will quit the game and take up mahjongg or backgammon, grin.

    I think that the OP is overly-hopeful, depending on the level of results desired. The toll of age is just too much. In my experience it isn't realistic to expect an instructor to be able to suggest a tweak here and a band-aid there, to get the train back on the tracks. In my experience it takes a willingness to make some fundamentals changes, along with hard work.

    That is an awesome story. Do not go gentle into that good night.

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  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 1,660 ✭✭
    edited May 13, 2019 11:09am #10

    @torbill said:
    I think that the OP is overly-hopeful, depending on the level of results desired. The toll of age is just too much. In my experience it isn't realistic to expect an instructor to be able to suggest a tweak here and a band-aid there, to get the train back on the tracks. In my experience it takes a willingness to make some fundamentals changes, along with hard work.

    I knew it was a mistake to post here. Thanks for taking the time to simultaneously insult me and crush my spirit in a single post. You make assumptions that are 100 miles off target. I don't even know you and I can say with total certainty that my level of effort crushes yours.

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,671 ClubWRX
    edited May 13, 2019 11:59am #11

    There are plenty of golf teachers out there who will first ask you what your goals are, and assuming you relay those accurately, will either help you with a tweak or two that will help you play a little better with your "usual" swing/tendencies or help you with a more major effort. Looks like your pro may not be in that camp, and I have no idea what his experience is teaching or what his approach is. You just need option number one, if I understand your post correctly. Maybe discuss your expectations and see if he can approach it differently? Maybe just find someone else? Tough one.

    I disagree with the statement "you can't teach seniors this way" but only to a point. I don't think you can teach ANYBODY (successfully) the way you've described the approach taken by your pro. However, I do think plenty of seniors can change their golf swings and enjoy (or can) practice more - I don't see that any differently than it is for younger folks other than maybe less ability because of physical limitations, maybe less desire in general as folks get much older and a smaller group interested in lessons.

    First time I saw Monte (not an ad, but I could do one, lol) he watched me take a couple 7 iron swings and immediately - "are you looking for some help to be a little more consistent or do you want to change some things, won't be easy, but if you don't your back may not let you play when you are 70", or something pretty close to that. I chose option B. I get what you say about "stuck with the move we've got" - I probably developed my "death move" at a very early age and learned to play pretty well in spite of it. Even a couple of years later after my first meeting with Monte, my swing was introduced to an audience on a cold and windy clinic range as "the most stubborn swing in the history of golf", lol. It's hard to change, and honestly, I just don't devote the time to practice and some injuries small/significant have had me choosing play over practice even more than I used to. I still enjoy trying to work it out, even on a limited basis for practice, and the big bright spot for me is my short game has really improved and learning that new technique has paid huge dividends for me, just needs to creep into the full swing more.

    I've got a little over a decade before I hit 70 and strength and flexibility are still fine, nagging tennis elbow now on year two (won't go into that but couldn't have come at a worse time in terms of gains I thought I was making, IMO), and I still believe I can get a better transition into my full swing. An example related to your situation - all the lessons/time spent with Monte the past few years and I don't know that he's filmed even 15 full minutes of my swing. I'm kind of on a need to know basis on that, lol. It's not like he wouldn't show me anything I wanted to see, he would. But I trust him to show me or send me what is relevant. Sometimes it's "try this", I do, and he shows me my position at impact - "not such a bad impact position is it?", etc. Sometimes it's "here's the video of that driver swing on that shot you really liked - remember you did x" or "here's that shank you hit - but look at that setup, impact, you may shank some as you work this out". It's seeing some success with a dramatically different impact and working on the feel that got me there, not dissecting positions - brilliant, IMO. My full swing is still very stubborn, and overcoming a transition I've ingrained since I was 10 or 11 is tough, but my age isn't a barrier. With the same practice time/habits, lol, I wouldn't have had any more success changing it more quickly if I was 30. At least I seem to have progressed to a point where my setup and wrist hinge aren't holding me back and I'm onto another phase, so to speak.

    Anyway, long post, sorry, but there are instructors out there who can help you with things within the context of the move you have and I hope you find one, if this one isn't or can't be the one.

  • torbilltorbill Members Posts: 285 ✭✭

    @MountainGoat said:

    @torbill said:
    I think that the OP is overly-hopeful, depending on the level of results desired. The toll of age is just too much. In my experience it isn't realistic to expect an instructor to be able to suggest a tweak here and a band-aid there, to get the train back on the tracks. In my experience it takes a willingness to make some fundamentals changes, along with hard work.

    I knew it was a mistake to post here. Thanks for taking the time to simultaneously insult me and crush my spirit in a single post. You make assumptions that are 100 miles off target. I don't even know you and I can say with total certainty that my level of effort crushes yours.

    I guess that I stated my ideas badly. I’m not trying to crush anybody. We are all in the same boat - advancing age and concern about its effect on our ability to maintain our golf games. I am an avid golfer, and this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because I am living it every day. I have listed the numerous, specific actions that I have had to take to ward off the devil as best I can, so that people can see that it isn’t an easy thing to deal with, but that there is hope - and maybe to give some readers some specific ideas that they might be able to use for themselves. You have taken it in the opposite way from what I intended.

  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Members Posts: 5,696 ✭✭

    @Hawkeye77 said:
    There are plenty of golf teachers out there who will first ask you what your goals are, and assuming you relay those accurately, will either help you with a tweak or two that will help you play a little better with your "usual" swing/tendencies or help you with a more major effort. Looks like your pro may not be in that camp, and I have no idea what his experience is teaching or what his approach is. You just need option number one, if I understand your post correctly. Maybe discuss your expectations and see if he can approach it differently? Maybe just find someone else? Tough one.

    I disagree with the statement "you can't teach seniors this way" but only to a point. I don't think you can teach ANYBODY (successfully) the way you've described the approach taken by your pro. However, I do think plenty of seniors can change their golf swings and enjoy (or can) practice more - I don't see that any differently than it is for younger folks other than maybe less ability because of physical limitations, maybe less desire in general as folks get much older and a smaller group interested in lessons.

    First time I saw Monte (not an ad, but I could do one, lol) he watched me take a couple 7 iron swings and immediately - "are you looking for some help to be a little more consistent or do you want to change some things, won't be easy, but if you don't your back may not let you play when you are 70", or something pretty close to that. I chose option B. I get what you say about "stuck with the move we've got" - I probably developed my "death move" at a very early age and learned to play pretty well in spite of it. Even a couple of years later after my first meeting with Monte, my swing was introduced to an audience on a cold and windy clinic range as "the most stubborn swing in the history of golf", lol. It's hard to change, and honestly, I just don't devote the time to practice and some injuries small/significant have had me choosing play over practice even more than I used to. I still enjoy trying to work it out, even on a limited basis for practice, and the big bright spot for me is my short game has really improved and learning that new technique has paid huge dividends for me, just needs to creep into the full swing more.

    I've got a little over a decade before I hit 70 and strength and flexibility are still fine, nagging tennis elbow now on year two (won't go into that but couldn't have come at a worse time in terms of gains I thought I was making, IMO), and I still believe I can get a better transition into my full swing. An example related to your situation - all the lessons/time spent with Monte the past few years and I don't know that he's filmed even 15 full minutes of my swing. I'm kind of on a need to know basis on that, lol. It's not like he wouldn't show me anything I wanted to see, he would. But I trust him to show me or send me what is relevant. Sometimes it's "try this", I do, and he shows me my position at impact - "not such a bad impact position is it?", etc. Sometimes it's "here's the video of that driver swing on that shot you really liked - remember you did x" or "here's that shank you hit - but look at that setup, impact, you may shank some as you work this out". It's seeing some success with a dramatically different impact and working on the feel that got me there, not dissecting positions - brilliant, IMO. My full swing is still very stubborn, and overcoming a transition I've ingrained since I was 10 or 11 is tough, but my age isn't a barrier. With the same practice time/habits, lol, I wouldn't have had any more success changing it more quickly if I was 30. At least I seem to have progressed to a point where my setup and wrist hinge aren't holding me back and I'm onto another phase, so to speak.

    Anyway, long post, sorry, but there are instructors out there who can help you with things within the context of the move you have and I hope you find one, if this one isn't or can't be the one.

    Here’s the thing is your post that is 100% the same as for me: change takes time and is not easy. Old habits are real stubborn.

    I guess my question for @MountainGoat is: are there real alternatives to a pretty hard process? I think any change that is easy to adopt isn’t going to be much of a change. I guess sometimes there’s an easyish way to maybe change the face but developing more consistent solid impact is pretty hard.

    I take this approach: I have this core self image of what I believe my potential game is. It’s not unrealistic but it is hard to attain. So the fact that it is taking me years to do is fine with me. I’m getting there. The alternative is being stuck in a rut chasing my tail of this new swing thought today and that new one tomorrow, getting nowhere.

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    Callawy Epic 5W
    Callaway Epic Hybrid 2h
    Mizuno MP4 4-W
    Fourteen mt28v3 50, 54, 58
    Cameron Futura 5W


  • ZitlowZitlow Members Posts: 147 ✭✭
    edited May 13, 2019 6:42pm #14

    If you're mobile with decent flexibility you don't have to become a short hitter as you age. With the proper technique you can even gain distance. Don't fall into the trap of immersing yourself into every new swing theory that comes around.

    PS: It doesn't take a long time to develop a new swing. The golf swing is an athletic motion not a series of contrived positions.

  • mfm22mfm22 Members Posts: 891 ✭✭

    Started this game later in life and realize I'm not getting younger - Been working out a local gym that use's athletic motions not just strength training.
    a lot of what is done revolves around the core , I also need to work on legs [ bad knees ] - It has definitely helped, Flexibility & core strength are key.
    I wish all the current info / instruction was available when I started 15 yrs ago ... wasted a lot of time trying to " bump ' Hips etc..

    Have taken an honest appraisal of my swing and will continue working on the Glaring issues but understand there is going to be some limitations .
    I need to have the hope of improvement along with the desire to practice correctly

    10,000 reps to ingrain a move - sounds excessive for anyone especially us old guys ... from what I have seen - common tendency for many is not to make a real turn back with some loading - & a poor , if any , pressure shift to target side - very basic stuff and often overlooked

    Lots of focus on "Lag" - getting more distance and the like -- need more focus on finding the sweet spot with some consistency [ that'll take care of a bunch of stuff - better plane , path , less EE , control swing bottom , impact etc ]

    Yes find an instructor [ Monte is a good choice of teaching style ] and get a second set of eyes on your swing and a fair assessment of where you can get to

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,671 ClubWRX

    @wmblake2000 said:

    @Hawkeye77 said:
    There are plenty of golf teachers out there who will first ask you what your goals are, and assuming you relay those accurately, will either help you with a tweak or two that will help you play a little better with your "usual" swing/tendencies or help you with a more major effort. Looks like your pro may not be in that camp, and I have no idea what his experience is teaching or what his approach is. You just need option number one, if I understand your post correctly. Maybe discuss your expectations and see if he can approach it differently? Maybe just find someone else? Tough one.

    I disagree with the statement "you can't teach seniors this way" but only to a point. I don't think you can teach ANYBODY (successfully) the way you've described the approach taken by your pro. However, I do think plenty of seniors can change their golf swings and enjoy (or can) practice more - I don't see that any differently than it is for younger folks other than maybe less ability because of physical limitations, maybe less desire in general as folks get much older and a smaller group interested in lessons.

    First time I saw Monte (not an ad, but I could do one, lol) he watched me take a couple 7 iron swings and immediately - "are you looking for some help to be a little more consistent or do you want to change some things, won't be easy, but if you don't your back may not let you play when you are 70", or something pretty close to that. I chose option B. I get what you say about "stuck with the move we've got" - I probably developed my "death move" at a very early age and learned to play pretty well in spite of it. Even a couple of years later after my first meeting with Monte, my swing was introduced to an audience on a cold and windy clinic range as "the most stubborn swing in the history of golf", lol. It's hard to change, and honestly, I just don't devote the time to practice and some injuries small/significant have had me choosing play over practice even more than I used to. I still enjoy trying to work it out, even on a limited basis for practice, and the big bright spot for me is my short game has really improved and learning that new technique has paid huge dividends for me, just needs to creep into the full swing more.

    I've got a little over a decade before I hit 70 and strength and flexibility are still fine, nagging tennis elbow now on year two (won't go into that but couldn't have come at a worse time in terms of gains I thought I was making, IMO), and I still believe I can get a better transition into my full swing. An example related to your situation - all the lessons/time spent with Monte the past few years and I don't know that he's filmed even 15 full minutes of my swing. I'm kind of on a need to know basis on that, lol. It's not like he wouldn't show me anything I wanted to see, he would. But I trust him to show me or send me what is relevant. Sometimes it's "try this", I do, and he shows me my position at impact - "not such a bad impact position is it?", etc. Sometimes it's "here's the video of that driver swing on that shot you really liked - remember you did x" or "here's that shank you hit - but look at that setup, impact, you may shank some as you work this out". It's seeing some success with a dramatically different impact and working on the feel that got me there, not dissecting positions - brilliant, IMO. My full swing is still very stubborn, and overcoming a transition I've ingrained since I was 10 or 11 is tough, but my age isn't a barrier. With the same practice time/habits, lol, I wouldn't have had any more success changing it more quickly if I was 30. At least I seem to have progressed to a point where my setup and wrist hinge aren't holding me back and I'm onto another phase, so to speak.

    Anyway, long post, sorry, but there are instructors out there who can help you with things within the context of the move you have and I hope you find one, if this one isn't or can't be the one.

    Here’s the thing is your post that is 100% the same as for me: change takes time and is not easy. Old habits are real stubborn.

    I guess my question for @MountainGoat is: are there real alternatives to a pretty hard process? I think any change that is easy to adopt isn’t going to be much of a change. I guess sometimes there’s an easyish way to maybe change the face but developing more consistent solid impact is pretty hard.

    I take this approach: I have this core self image of what I believe my potential game is. It’s not unrealistic but it is hard to attain. So the fact that it is taking me years to do is fine with me. I’m getting there. The alternative is being stuck in a rut chasing my tail of this new swing thought today and that new one tomorrow, getting nowhere.

    Yep - 100%!

  • Joe DufferJoe Duffer Members Posts: 725 ✭✭

    @torbill said:
    I found an exercise program that makes my back strong. I do this program at home, without any equipment. If I had to go out to do it I would never stick to the program. I have stuck to it. It has been great for the health of my back and my overall golf flexibility.

    Would you please consider sharing the details of your exercise program?
    Thank you,
    Joe

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" - John Wooden
  • OldFrog75OldFrog75 Fort Worth, TexasMembers Posts: 63 ✭✭
    edited May 14, 2019 8:45pm #18

    I'm very skeptical of the average teaching pro's proficiency for teaching seniors. Most of them are too young and unfamiliar with our bio-mechanic limitations to be able to get the most out of what we've got to work with. My body simply can't contort to perform anything near a textbook swing anymore.

    OP, there are a couple of youtube streamers who routinely address swing issues for seniors and watching them on your PC or Smart TV might help you => Danny Maude and Julian Mellor.

  • Ping's DuckPing's Duck Members Posts: 59 ✭✭

    @MountainGoat said:
    I'm getting up in years, but I still have a move that looks like a fair approximation of a golf swing. Nonetheless, my ball striking degenerated so much that I went to my club pro for a lesson. He spent an hour videoing my swing and pointing out everything I was doing wrong. Apparently, I would be better if I were an entirely different person. So he 'installed' a collection of new moves, all of which require me to force my body into various positions. Then he sent me on my way to do 10,000 reps to ingrain my new swing.

    Instructors, you can't teach seniors this way. First of all, we're pretty much stuck with the move we've got. A lifetime of experience has driven us to where we are, and we can't change that much. You can tweek address position and tempo and balance and target awareness, but total mechanical reconstruction is out of the question. Second, we're running out of time. Personally, I'm rapidly approaching the end of my golfing life. It's a little late to completely rebuild myself. At my age, I can probably dedicate 50 honest practice swings a day. Beyond that, I'm just faking it. At that rate, I'll chalk up my 10,000th 'rebuilding' swing on Thanksgiving, just in time for the season to end.

    All I want to do is enjoy the game a little more and suffer a little less. Can't you instructors help with that?

    Did your pro ask what would make the game a little more enjoyable for you? An hour video taping you is ridiculous, except for the pro's bank account.

  • DLiverDLiver Members Posts: 2,603 ✭✭

    @MountainGoat said:

    @torbill said:
    I think that the OP is overly-hopeful, depending on the level of results desired. The toll of age is just too much. In my experience it isn't realistic to expect an instructor to be able to suggest a tweak here and a band-aid there, to get the train back on the tracks. In my experience it takes a willingness to make some fundamentals changes, along with hard work.

    I knew it was a mistake to post here. Thanks for taking the time to simultaneously insult me and crush my spirit in a single post. You make assumptions that are 100 miles off target. I don't even know you and I can say with total certainty that my level of effort crushes yours.

    FWIW, I didn't take it that way. I am a fellow geezer, and I am working like mad to stay in good enough shape to enjoy good health in whatever years I have left. I think the OP has a point that there are instructors (and trainers and PTs) that don't understand the typical senior's situation. But I think torbill is correct in what he says about the toll of advancing age and the challenge it creates in trying to maintain (or improve) one's athletic skills.

  • Tim SchochTim Schoch Swing like it already happened. ClubWRX Posts: 1,069 ClubWRX

    Seniors, I would not DIY. For instance, creating lag kills me. I am more a Larry Rinker upper core swinger. See a coach who knows what he or she is doing. Overall, stay fit and flexible. Equipment is important. Graphite shafts and midsize grips and the Theraband Flexbar saved my wrists. Different strokes, as they say haha.

    "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."
    - Groucho Marx

    WIMB
    TaylorMade Burner Driver 10.5* REAX reg graphite
    TaylorMade Burner 3-wood 15* REAX reg graphite
    Adams Idea A12 #4 Hybrid 21* VTS Proforce reg graphite
    PING G25 blue dot, 5-L, graphite reg
    Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #1
    Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X, midsize Winn Dri-Tac grips[/size][/font][/font][/size]
  • torbilltorbill Members Posts: 285 ✭✭
    edited May 15, 2019 3:10am #22

    @Joe Duffer said:

    @torbill said:
    I found an exercise program that makes my back strong. I do this program at home, without any equipment. If I had to go out to do it I would never stick to the program. I have stuck to it. It has been great for the health of my back and my overall golf flexibility.

    Would you please consider sharing the details of your exercise program?
    Thank you,
    Joe

    I got a similar request in a PM, asking what I do for my back. So let me start with back pain, and getting to a stronger back. Then if you want to know what I do for flexibility I can go into that.

    A disclaimer. I’m a golfer, not a physical therapist. I don't make any claims about what is right or best, but I am happy to explain what I do, what has helped me with my problems.

    I have had chronic lower back problems from golf for 30 years. I probably have arthritis and disk degeneration. I don’t really know. Back pain often doesn’t correlate to scans and x-rays, so diagnosis isn’t something I have spent a lot of time on. I have done trial and error; find something that works and go with it. For my chronic back troubles I have found that strengthening and stretching have kept me going.

    I also get acute back pain and spasms that, unlike my chronic problems, put me out of golf. This used to happen once or twice a season. Now it happens far less often. When I have an acute episode I have to rest it, and I go to a professional - a good chiropractor who does manual adjustments, an acupuncturist who does traditional Chinese acupuncture with electrical stimulation, a deep tissue massage therapist (my wife).

    The most important step that I ever took in improving my lower back - both chronic and acute pain - was to stop using a swing that is based on hard rotation. Rotational players often play from a relatively narrow stance so that they can twist (ouch!) and have to post their lead knee on the downswing (ouch!), rotate the hips like crazy while staying behind the ball, causing them to hit into a reverse-C (ouch!). Most seniors aren’t strong enough for this, in the first place, and it places huge stresses on the lower back and knee - see T. Woods list of surgeries. I went to the Jimmy Ballard method. Ballard has worked with over 300 tour players over the years, including a number who were having back problems, such as Rocco. I studied his method and taught myself (not strongly advised, but nobody in my town understood the method, so I learned it by myself). It is aces as far as sparing the back (and, I have never hit so many fairways). End of commerical.

    There are other back-sparing swing methods. By all means get out of hard rotation, if you are doing it. Otherwise you will likely be sorry as the years pile up, if you aren’t already. I know that I just about destroyed my back this way.

    The following used to describe me, does this sound familiar?... I have a painful back spasm. I rest. I see a professional. I get better. I am told to do exercises. I do them for a while. All is better. I stop the exercises. Then another back spasm. Rinse, repeat.

    I finally committed myself to a simple exercise for making my back stronger. The Plank. I think it is a yoga pose. You can see it on YouTube. It strengthens the abdominal core, lower back, shoulders. When I started I was coming off one of my acute back spasm episodes, and my back was pretty tender. I could hold the plank pose for five seconds, and then my lower back would be killing me - deep pain. I stuck with it, a little bit at a time, gradually improving my pain level and the amount of time I could hold the pose. It got better. And better. Now I do it to a fast count of 600 (as fast as I can silently form the words), which is probably about two minutes. No pain. Even a small amount of this exercise should help a bad back, over time, no need to hold the pose 2 minutes, like what I do - I am of the belief that if one dose of something is good, two must be at least twice as good. I do the plank three times a week, religiously.

    Before I started doing the plank I would have an acute back spasm at least once and sometimes more every year, and it was automatic that I was off the golf course for two weeks when it happened - that is a lot of missed golf! Since I have been doing the plank and stretch exercises, which is at least five years, I think that I have missed about four golf days, total. Huge improvement. Less than 10 minutes a week to a stronger, healthier back.

    I also do one called Rocketman, but not as religiously. You can find this one on YouTube also.

    I also do floor exercises three times a week for stretching my lower back and golf muscles. Simple stuff (or I wouldn’t be doing it) that loosens my back muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings, pecs and lats, quads. Five minutes or so, each session. If there is interest in this I can give some details.

    I hope this gives people some ideas for improving things.

  • 3eagles183eagles18 Members Posts: 914 ✭✭

    I am 70. I tried to get longer to keep up with the younger men at my club. The pro that I worked gave me a written warning that changing to a Justin Thomas like swing at my age is near impossible. I just finished the worst year I have ever had and watched my index get to the point of embarrassment. I shut it down for two months and only worked in the short game area. I then went back to my old Jim Flick swing feeling the weight of the club head and not trying to bludgeon the ball; turn and turn.

  • Joe DufferJoe Duffer Members Posts: 725 ✭✭

    @torbill said:
    I also do floor exercises three times a week for stretching my lower back and golf muscles. Simple stuff (or I wouldn’t be doing it) that loosens my back muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings, pecs and lats, quads. Five minutes or so, each session. If there is interest in this I can give some details. I hope this gives people some ideas for improving things.

    Great info; thanks for taking the time to share your experience. Valuable information indeed! 👍👍
    I just recently turned 73 and my history in golf and back pain mirrors yours to a T. I've been playing since I was eight and still play to a low single-digit cap.
    I, for one, would be most interested in what you've learned regarding flexibility and stretching. Thanks again!

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" - John Wooden
  • OldFrog75OldFrog75 Fort Worth, TexasMembers Posts: 63 ✭✭
    edited May 15, 2019 11:24pm #25

    @Tim Schoch said:
    Equipment is important. Graphite shafts and midsize grips and the Theraband Flexbar saved my wrists.

    Arthritis in my hands and wrists is painful and keeps me from playing/practicing as much as I would like so I started an Arthritis thread in the Classic Golf section and someone suggested larger grips and graphite shafts. I already have lite flex graphite shafts but after a little research I figured midsize grips might help. I put a softer midsize CP2 on my 6 iron to test the idea (I have standard size Lamkin Crossline grips on all my clubs which aren't "soft" at all). One thing I immediately noticed was how much lighter the swing weight felt (actually measured 2-3 points difference on a scale) and after going to the range I also realized I didn't hit the ball as straight with the larger grip. Now I don't know what to do. The larger, softer grip and lighter swing weight definitely feels more comfortable and hurts less but I'm afraid to switch out my whole bag for fear of not being able to hit the ball as straight or as far and the hours of practice probably required to subsequently get back up to snuff. I could compromise and go with the softer standard size CP2 but that might be just putting a temporary bandaid on the problem. Thoughts?

    Post edited by OldFrog75 on
  • alfridayalfriday Members Posts: 471 ✭✭

    @OldFrog75 said:

    @Tim Schoch said:
    Equipment is important. Graphite shafts and midsize grips and the Theraband Flexbar saved my wrists.

    Arthritis in my hands and wrists is painful and keeps me from playing/practicing as much as I would like so I started an Arthritis thread in the Classic Golf section and someone suggested larger grips and graphite shafts. I already have lite flex graphite shafts but after a little research I figured midsize grips might help. I put a softer midsize CP2 on my 6 iron to test the idea (I have standard size Lamkin Crossline grips on all my clubs which aren't "soft" at all). One thing I immediately noticed was how much lighter the swing weight felt (actually measured 2-3 points difference on a scale) and after going to the range I also realized I didn't hit the ball as straight with the larger grip. Now I don't know what to do. The larger, softer grip and lighter swing weight definitely feels more comfortable and hurts less but I'm afraid to switch out my whole bag for fear of not being able to hit the ball as straight or as far and the hours of practice probably required to subsequently get back up to snuff. I could compromise and go with the softer standard size CP2 but that might be just putting a temporary bandaid on the problem. Thoughts?

    The Lamkin Crossline standard grip weighs 50 grams. The CP2 midsize is 63.5. There is the swing weight difference. The swing weight difference could be causing you to not hit it as straight, not the size. Try a Winn Dri-Tac in midsize (49 grams) or oversize (50 grams).

  • Tim SchochTim Schoch Swing like it already happened. ClubWRX Posts: 1,069 ClubWRX

    I use the Dri-Tac midsize and love them. Hardly need to squeeze the grip at all. So much so that I do not wear a glove anymore. Still do exercises to strengthen my forearms that support my arthritic wrists and hands. If you are inaccurate, find another mix and match of grip and weight. You can do this!

    "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."
    - Groucho Marx

    WIMB
    TaylorMade Burner Driver 10.5* REAX reg graphite
    TaylorMade Burner 3-wood 15* REAX reg graphite
    Adams Idea A12 #4 Hybrid 21* VTS Proforce reg graphite
    PING G25 blue dot, 5-L, graphite reg
    Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #1
    Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X, midsize Winn Dri-Tac grips[/size][/font][/font][/size]
  • Joe DufferJoe Duffer Members Posts: 725 ✭✭

    @OldFrog75 said:

    @Tim Schoch said:
    Equipment is important. Graphite shafts and midsize grips and the Theraband Flexbar saved my wrists.

    Arthritis in my hands and wrists is painful and keeps me from playing/practicing as much as I would like so I started an Arthritis thread in the Classic Golf section and someone suggested larger grips and graphite shafts. Thoughts?

    Have you tried a Bionic StableGrip Glove?

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" - John Wooden
  • garytgaryt Members Posts: 267 ✭✭

    @OldFrog75 said:

    @Tim Schoch said:
    Equipment is important. Graphite shafts and midsize grips and the Theraband Flexbar saved my wrists.

    Arthritis in my hands and wrists is painful and keeps me from playing/practicing as much as I would like so I started an Arthritis thread in the Classic Golf section and someone suggested larger grips and graphite shafts. I already have lite flex graphite shafts but after a little research I figured midsize grips might help. I put a softer midsize CP2 on my 6 iron to test the idea (I have standard size Lamkin Crossline grips on all my clubs which aren't "soft" at all). One thing I immediately noticed was how much lighter the swing weight felt (actually measured 2-3 points difference on a scale) and after going to the range I also realized I didn't hit the ball as straight with the larger grip. Now I don't know what to do. The larger, softer grip and lighter swing weight definitely feels more comfortable and hurts less but I'm afraid to switch out my whole bag for fear of not being able to hit the ball as straight or as far and the hours of practice probably required to subsequently get back up to snuff. I could compromise and go with the softer standard size CP2 but that might be just putting a temporary bandaid on the problem. Thoughts?

    Winn makes a lite mid size and jumbo grip that weighs 40 some grams. I just put one on my driver. I use the oversize GP CP2on my irons with no downside I can tell, but the club definitely feeels lighter. Trying the Winn on my driver to see if it makes a difference.

  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,212 ✭✭

    I have been playing around with larger grips. MCC Plus4 and now the Crossline Plus. At first, I didn't like it. Now, it's more normal. It definitely quiets the hands which has been a problem for me - squeezing the grip hard and flipping.

  • torbilltorbill Members Posts: 285 ✭✭

    @Joe Duffer said:

    @torbill said:
    I also do floor exercises three times a week for stretching my lower back and golf muscles. Simple stuff (or I wouldn’t be doing it) that loosens my back muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings, pecs and lats, quads. Five minutes or so, each session. If there is interest in this I can give some details. I hope this gives people some ideas for improving things.

    Great info; thanks for taking the time to share your experience. Valuable information indeed! 👍👍
    I just recently turned 73 and my history in golf and back pain mirrors yours to a T. I've been playing since I was eight and still play to a low single-digit cap.
    I, for one, would be most interested in what you've learned regarding flexibility and stretching. Thanks again!

    Looking for illustrations. Not finding a lot so far.

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