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Golf Ability vs Father Time


A.Princey
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I hope I don’t bring too many folks down a road of depression here, but for the older WRXers on here, at what age did you most notice appreciable decline in distance and scoring? My dad is 75 now, and to his recollection, 60 was a pretty big benchmark for noticeable decline in his game. 
 

 

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yikes..that numbers too close for comfort. im 56. those of us who played with balata and persimmon have been lucky to be net even on distance for a long time. my driver practice swing doesnt make that whoosh much anymore but ive maintained most of the modest skill i ever have had( lowest index was 0.3, now a 5.3 and moving down). I didnt have to work out to maintain forever but now i do flexibility and am on a golf specific strength program. Really for me it turned out that golf is the only thing that motivates me to be consistent with fitness.... so be it. 

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 I don’t know for certain on the age for decline but I’m getting close to 60. I had a couple of years off with knee surgeries and some other stuff too. 
I’m still pretty strong but I feel like my club head speed is way down compared to before the surgeries. 
I don’t know if it’s due to the knee surgeries or age? Or both? 
But you know what? I will just move up a tee. Ha ha. And later I will be playing the local retired guys course at about 5000 yards. 
I’m playing until I can’t move! 
 

Edited by PJE
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 "Get dressed Spaulding, you're playing golf today."
" No I'm not Grandpa, I'm playing tennis."
 "No, you're playing golf and you're going to like it."
 

 

 

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I'm 56 and I've probably dropped 12 mph on my max clubhead speed. However, I am gradually learning more about my good swing and using my hands and legs more efficiently. I also do weight training and have come to realize that golf has been good for my problematic back, especially since I started looking at Rocco Mediate and get up on the balls of my feet through impact.

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69 years old and biggest difference is my loss of length on the tee shot. Over past 20 years, I've lost about 30 yards off the tee mostly due to health issues. My irons, short game and putting are close to my 2003 stats. Back then, I played to a 5-6 HCP, today its 10-11. I finally moved up to the senior tees during this season and am beginning to see the impact - last 5 rounds have all been in the 70's.

 

Mother Nature always wins, but you can make it a fight. Just keep swinging, exercise daily and walk when you can!

Just an older guy with 7 or 8 clubs and a MacKenzie Sunday Walker bag

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I think as some of said, it's not the older age, it's the injuries that add up over time and many become chronic. I have suffered from a bad back, wrist, knee and now a frozen shoulder. I went from wanting to improve to maintain the gains I had in the recent past. If I could re-do my career choice, it would not be a desk job. The computer mouse and sitting are killers. 

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5 hours ago, golfarb1 said:

It is estimated that people lose 3-8 % of their strength each decade past the age of 30 with the strength loss accelerating past the the age of 60.Flexibility also decreases as does the ability to balance and the ability to learn new motor skills. 
The good news is that even elderly individuals past the age of 70 can add muscle , improve balance and learn new skills ,but doing so requires WORK and a different approach from decades ago

SOME SUGGESTIONS

1. Don’t just do aerobics - Aerobics are a necessary exercise to maintain and strengthen the cardiovascular system , but are not sufficient to maintain/ increase muscle strength

2. Pump iron or use bands, but you need some type of resistance - Your goal is not to develop large muscle mass ALA Arnold , but strength and speed more akin to Bruce Lee. Body weight exercises are also a fine idea , especially if you have had joint injuries and are concerned about possible injuries

3. Yoga stretches have stood the test of time and should be included in any flexibility/ range of motion program, but the thinking now is that dynamic stretches also need to be part of any program

4. Balance is a necessary component of the golf swing and of everyday life. Since balance deteriorates as we age , we all should incorporate balance exercises  in our fitness programs 


“Do not go gently into the good night , old age should burn  and rave at close of day; Rage , rage against the dying of the light. “

DYLAN THOMAS

 

 

The flexibility thing is key, I think. I’m not sure how flexible my father ever was, honestly, but now he seems tied up in a knot. Him getting in and out of my smaller sedan is comical at times!

 

Edited by A.Princey

TM 2016 M2 12*(-2 setting) - OG Grafalloy Blue X, 43.5"

TEE XCG7 16.5* 4w, OG Grafalloy Blue S, 41.75"

Wilson D9 18* 4i, KBS Max-R, 39.5”

Cobra King OS 4-G, TT XP95 R300, -.5"

Vokey SM8 54.14F(2*weak), 60.10S(4*weak)

"Rusty" Byron DH89 Slant Pipe // Byron GSS DH89 Long Slant // GOAT NP2 Tiger Putter

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Can only add my observation from playing every couple of months with some old goats at an historical track.  I noticed for those guys in their 70s...haven't lost much off the tee, can still hit it out there 220+.  The smart ones have more hybrids / fw in their bag for the longer approaches.  Iron game also good when they hit the face; let's say over 18 holes they mishit an iron badly 3 - 4 holes when they were younger, now it is more like 8 - 12 holes.  The ones who were good around the greens are still good, but not getting it quite as close, less speed and spin.  Some have adapted quite well to running them out more and accounting for that.  Putting is not as good.  This is the area that has dropped off the most.  I see too many people trying to putt from memory instead of getting some glasses!

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5 hours ago, glk said:

71 and longer than I ever was.  260+.    I had a pretty poor motion that I played to a 5 with but distance was always and issue.  Lessons starting in 2014 via monte etc and took three years to make noticeable improvements but . . . 

CONGRATS. 
You are certainly in the upper echelon for your age.

The fact that your distance improvement seems to be related to technique changes reinforces studies that show that brain is more plastic than previously thought and that even older golfers can improve with the proper instruction and practice 

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Will be 65 next weekend and am playing the best golf I have ever played.  My index is 3.5  Distance is still serviceable and iron play is great.  The only issue now is the putter.  I have always been a better than average putter and chipper.  75-80% up and down or up and in.  Lately that has suffered.  So I am still waiting on the decline.

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59 next month. I've always been active, light weight lifting, yoga and regular stretching. Along with todays tech, all of this has kept me in the same range since my late 20's (110+ chs). However, football in my high school years is catching up with me and the aches & pains are getting tough to deal with. It looks like some joint rehab is in my upcoming future. Hopefully, it will not affect things too badly.

 

Good luck to all!

 

BT

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Came back to golf at 60, now 69. Had a partial knee replacement a year ago then Corvid came along so game suffered.

 

However am now playing better than ever and best drive has gone from 210 to 235.

 

Posting low 40's for 9 holes on a 6700 yd course then spoiling it with 2 or 3 really bad holes.

 

Looking to keep improving into my 70's.

All comments are made from the point of
view of my learning and not a claim
to expertise.

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2016/17 I reached a breaking point where raw talent wasn't beating a few bad swing flaws.  Spent 18 months or so fixing those issues (it was that or quit) and now playing some of my best golf ever at 61.  I took a little speed off the driver to hit more fairways and following Monte's advice about taking more club for accuracy too.  Some days I wish I still had that extra 20 yards off the tee at my disposal that I had 15 years ago, but that ship has sunk.  One big key to better golf has been playing from the appropriate tees.  6200-6500 yards depending on the conditions makes for a better day. 

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59 and as long or longer ... we'll see what next year holds.

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On 9/15/2021 at 1:38 PM, golfarb1 said:

It is estimated that people lose 3-8 % of their strength each decade past the age of 30 with the strength loss accelerating past the the age of 60.Flexibility also decreases as does the ability to balance and the ability to learn new motor skills. 
The good news is that even elderly individuals past the age of 70 can add muscle , improve balance and learn new skills ,but doing so requires WORK and a different approach from decades ago

SOME SUGGESTIONS

1. Don’t just do aerobics - Aerobics are a necessary exercise to maintain and strengthen the cardiovascular system , but are not sufficient to maintain/ increase muscle strength

2. Pump iron or use bands, but you need some type of resistance - Your goal is not to develop large muscle mass ALA Arnold , but strength and speed more akin to Bruce Lee. Body weight exercises are also a fine idea , especially if you have had joint injuries and are concerned about possible injuries

3. Yoga stretches have stood the test of time and should be included in any flexibility/ range of motion program, but the thinking now is that dynamic stretches also need to be part of any program

4. Balance is a necessary component of the golf swing and of everyday life. Since balance deteriorates as we age , we all should incorporate balance exercises  in our fitness programs 


“Do not go gently into the good night , old age should burn  and rave at close of day; Rage , rage against the dying of the light. “

DYLAN THOMAS

 

 

 

Squats teach a lot balance. 

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On 9/14/2021 at 9:31 PM, A.Princey said:

I hope I don’t bring too many folks down a road of depression here, but for the older WRXers on here, at what age did you most notice appreciable decline in distance and scoring? My dad is 75 now, and to his recollection, 60 was a pretty big benchmark for noticeable decline in his game. 
 

 

I will turn 64-years old in November. I won a senior division long drive contest at 57-years of age during a four-ball event (Nothing spectacular, 313 yards). My carry yardage on my Ping ISI 5-iron was 190 yards at that age. I started to notice a drop in my carry yardage about four years ago (59-years old). Last summer I was only carrying my 5-iron ~170 yards.  During the fall I bought a set of Titleist T200 irons and with the jacked up lofts and lighter shafts (AMT Black S300) I am carrying my 5-iron ~180 yards. My handicap index hasn’t changed much. I was a 2.5 index at the age of 57 and at the age of 63 my index sits at 3.8. I have the occasional lights out round (I shot a 4-under par 68 earlier this month) but not as frequently as I once did, but I am not getting any less enjoyment out of the game. Time waits for no man and with age, the loss of flexibility is the one of the biggest hurdles for a golfer to overcome.

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2 hours ago, golfortennis said:

 

Squats teach a lot balance. 

Squats are a cornerstone of any workout program, but good form is a prerequisite  .As with deadlifts ALWAYS  squat with a NEUTRAL SPINE and do not go below parallel to the ground if you have knee problems
 

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1 hour ago, golfarb1 said:

Squats are a cornerstone of any workout program, but good form is a prerequisite  .As with deadlifts ALWAYS  squat with a NEUTRAL SPINE and do not go below parallel to the ground if you have knee problems
 

 

My best advice on squats is read Staring Strength by Mark Rippetoe.  That is proper squat form.

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30 minutes ago, Soloman1 said:

I'm not convinced that working out is going to help much. Since the pandemic, I'm in shape -- a round shape.

I'm 69 and can barely touch my knees.

It's a struggle with grunts and noises when I try to get the ball out of a hole. I have to lean on my putter.

Same thing for teeing up a ball. I feel lucky if I don't fall over.

I have arthritis in my left hand. I can't make a fist.

I can barely lift a Costco pack of water from a hiatal hernia.

If I did a squat, I might never get up.

I can barely walk. I get one of those handicap flags on a golf cart.

 

But, technique and guile overcome a lot of ailments. Thanks to a wasted youth of hitting balls, I can still hit driver 240+ (which converts to 290 using the GolfWRX scale). I hit a couple the other day 270 (I raise my right hand. If you don't believe me, bring a little money and lets's play). I shot my age.

 

I'm about as flexible as a refrigerator.

 

Like I said, I'm not convinced that all that grunting and lifting and sweating people advocate is going to help you.

 

I'm going to go get some Mexican food. I need to start bulking up for the winter. 

 

Don’t know what to make of this but...awesome post. 🤣

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2 hours ago, Soloman1 said:

I'm not convinced that working out is going to help much. Since the pandemic, I'm in shape -- a round shape.

I'm 69 and can barely touch my knees.

It's a struggle with grunts and noises when I try to get the ball out of a hole. I have to lean on my putter.

Same thing for teeing up a ball. I feel lucky if I don't fall over.

I have arthritis in my left hand. I can't make a fist.

I can barely lift a Costco pack of water from a hiatal hernia.

If I did a squat, I might never get up.

I can barely walk. I get one of those handicap flags on a golf cart.

 

But, technique and guile overcome a lot of ailments. Thanks to a wasted youth of hitting balls, I can still hit driver 240+ (which converts to 290 using the GolfWRX scale). I hit a couple the other day 270 (I raise my right hand. If you don't believe me, bring a little money and lets's play). I shot my age.

 

I'm about as flexible as a refrigerator.

 

Like I said, I'm not convinced that all that grunting and lifting and sweating people advocate is going to help you.

 

I'm going to go get some Mexican food. I need to start bulking up for the winter. 

 

There have been a number of notable golfers whom  no one would describe  as having  six- packs . Among other attributes that they all possess would be superior hand-eye coordination . 
Craig Stadler 

Tim Herron

John Daly

Angel Cabrrera 

Shane Lowry

Young Jack Nicklaus


Hoping to improve your golf swing is ONLY a secondary reason to work out.; the more important reason is to improve your overall health . Before the 1970’s, the medical establishment actively discouraged older people to avoid exercise; now that attitude has changed radically .

If you choose not to try to improve your fitness level , that is your personal choice . .But please cite studies that show that a poor diet and lack of exercise leads to positive health benefits or positive benefits for the golf swing. 
Maybe I’ll take you up on playing ; where do you live?

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3 hours ago, golfarb1 said:

But please cite studies that show that a poor diet and lack of exercise leads to positive health benefits or positive benefits for the golf swing. 

 

I did find this study:

 

https://newsakmi.com/news/business/entrepreneur/a-15-year-study-showed-having-a-sense-of-humor-can-add-8-years-to-your-life/

 

 

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Based on yesterdays results.  A complete lack of range time and Father Time leads to poor shots.  As you get older, the ability to trot it out there without any practice seems to be as described by Dr. Hofstader, "What you would be if you were attached to another object by an incline plane wrapped helically around an axis."

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