Senior Golf Tips

Getting older? Joints Stiffer. Need Reading Glasses? Sore Knees? Sore Hip? Sore Shoulder?

There are a host of little signs signaling you have seen 55, 65 or 75 years old and are past your youthfulness. The players of the 19th century had lots to overcome too, even as young golfers. One could draw a comparison to the stiffness and soreness some experience as they age, to having to play in a suit and waistcoat while wearing a neck tie. Also when using wooden shafted clubs players experienced a lot more turning and twisting of the club head  close to impact. Its very hard to time this. Clubs were of different weighting and feel, plus there was considerable variation in the shaft flex from club to club. The golf balls they used were softer and their distance and flight was not uniform from one ball to the next.

images waist coat and jacket

This headless golfer even carried his pocket watch. Maybe he even had a pipe in his jacket pocket. He always rode his bicycle to the golf course.

With this information in mind you can see how efficient the olden day champions were at adapting their golf swing technique to their conditions of play. These pictures show clearly technique variations to the present day golf swing.

19th centuary golf swing

Top of the Swing. Elbows bent. Back of the left hand at a downward angle to the left wrist . Left knee behind the ball. Left heel off the ground. Weight over the right foot. Head back behind the ball.

index stand faerher away

At address while still in balance, the golfer is standing farther away and reaching out more for the ball ,hoping to create more room between the body and arms through impact, This give more club head speed. A recommendation from James Braid, three time British open Champion. Just take your stance then wiggle your feet back another inch. It soon becomes comfortable.

index james braid

A lot of throwing action through the ball getting the arms to clear the body even when wearing restrictive clothing

index harry vardon

Take a look at Harry Vardon. How’s that for magnificent rotation through the shot, even while wearing a suit and  using a whippy wooden shafted driver with a wooden club head. Champion golf professionals have stated Vardon was probably the most dominant golfer in history. He won the British open 6 times and had to travel from England months by ship to win the US open in 1900. There were no Masters or PGA’s in those times.

So if you are feeling a little stiff, always be sure to loosen up and then hit a few balls, before playing your next game.

If at the driving range you find you are losing distance and accuracy and your body feels like a plank of wood even after an aspirin, try having some fun by with out one or two of the moves the old masters used to use. Who knows, one of them may work for you.

Back interfering with your game?

Stiffness in the lower back and hips can make it difficult to accomplish your ambition to gain more distance off the tee, or regain lost strength. If attempting any of the suggestions on these videos, remember to take it easy. Build up your flexibility and range of movement slowly, or you might do more harm than good.

Almost all regular golfers suffer from low back and hip pain from time to time. Here are simple exercises to take a look at. I have selected each of these videos carefully and  found the advice particularly helpful to golfers over  50 who are in the process of improving their technique or distance.


As a NZPGA Golf Professional, I do not hold any medical qualifications. Consult your physician before attempting any of the exercises listed on this website if you have been injured or undergone a medical procedure.

Start Small

You may think you are too old to get fit and strengthen up. This is not the case. Just remember to begin slowly with simple routines you can easily handle .

Here is an every day example of a golfer who now has fun.

I once taught a gentleman who was older, he had hardly ever golfed before and had enrolled for a six-hour series of lessons. He was very stiff, with very limited range of movement and consequently could barely make contact with the ball. Despite his challenges, he was enthusiastic, he practised between lessons, started walking regularly and performing a series of home exercises/stretches I prescribed for him. After the sixth lesson (seven weeks) he could made contact with the ball and get around just well enough to enjoy a round of golf.

After the lessons I didn’t see him at the driving range for about 4 months. When he reappeared I could not believe his improvement! He had developed a nice fluid golf swing, achieved good distance and was really happy. I asked what he had done extra to achieve such outstanding results. His answer was “nothing different”. He just kept up his exercises and played regular golf. He admitted to me  that we he first began he was so stiff he could really only start the stretches I had taught him while still in bed, before getting up in the morning. Still, this tiny start was what was responsible for him loosening up his body up enough to enable the beginnings of a good golf swing. Look at the fun he has now!

The video of Gary Player is a fantastic example of what is possible for some senior golfers. Don’t expect these kind of results, be motivated by them!