THE 60 METER MIND SET – Some advice for aging golfers from John

John Morris (now 86 years young) author of “Great Golf Holes of New Zealand” and “Famous Golf Holes of Hawaii”. Retired editor of New Zealand Golf Update magazine and New Zealand Golfing World. 

The big trouble with old golfers is they still tend to be bold golfers.  When you’re 70, 75, 80 plus your mind tells us that you can still hit your drive 200 meters or more, but your body simply isn’t up to it.

Bob Castle, one of the finest 88 year-old golfers I have ever played with never pressed for distance, yet he consistently broke his age in gross strokes. How? He had developed what I have termed the “60 meter mind set”. On the par fours, this joker used the six inches between his ears to sharpen up his pitch (or chip and run) into the ‘one putt’ zone. True, he bogeyed many holes but double bogeys were not on his golfing agenda. Double bogeys also became rare because he knew he could get up and down from 60-80 meters out in two or three shots.

If the high-handicap 75-80 year old wants to make golf fun again, he should try and apply a few of what I would call ‘The Twilight Rules”.

  1. !Bury your ego and play off the front tees.
  2. Slow and shorten your back swing and accelerate the club only near the bottom.
  3. If you can’t take a divot – don’t. A little whiff of grass will do it. In the rough, take your medicine early and don’t try for distance, just safety.
  4. Concentrate on the short game, the scoring game especially long lag putts. Three putts mostly occur where you didn’t get the first putt close enough.
  5. If you tend to pull your short putts (a common error) try the left hand low grip from 6-4 feet. It’s almost impossible to pull a putt from that distance using the Harrington grip.
  6. Don’t forget to say ‘thanks mate’ when your opponent has to pay for your drinks at the nineteenth.

How about old people freezing over the  ball? Have a laugh at the video below.




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.

Disc Golf Swing Analysis

The latest craze is disk golf, unbelievably some of these players can throw golf disks up to 800 feet! (well over 200 m)

If you watch the video, the  power source appears to originate from body rotation. As most of these players are throwing the disc right handed, the body rotation is similar a left handed golf swing. For a right handed golfer, practise the throwing action with the disc held in the left hand.

Use the same body rotation coupled with a hinged right elbow action on the downswing, then expect to hit longer drives.

The Hand Action

My dear GreyPower golfers. You can disregard hand action if you do have a perfect swing, as the hand action will then perform automatically . As almost all of us don’t fit into this category, 99% of senior golfers should be interested in how the hand action works and aware of some drills to help accomplish this. Have a look at this video from Henry Cotton, who in his time was regarded as the hand action master.

The video above is a gem from Henry Cotton. Henry was a great champion and you will notice he places paramount importance on the hands. Should a golfer be lucky enough to have grooved a near perfect swing, where the hands are in time with the body turn, the hands will still come into play to manipulate the club face on uneven lies , punch shots, pitch shots, bunker shots and big hooks and slices around trees etc.

In contrast, the video below demonstrates the feeling in the hands and wrists when combined with good body rotation and balance. This feeling becomes more difficult to repeat on full swings as age gradually reduces our ability to turn and stay in balance when swivelling around the ball. If you are suffering from this, take a look at my posts in the Exercise category to counteract your loss of flexibility and balance.

David’s video above shows how the hands and wrists feel and work in a swing which combines with good balance and body movement.