Becoming older doesn’t mean you become a bad golfer – just
look at Tom Watson and Gary Player. However, if you’re a senior golfer you need
to make minor adjustments to maintain a good distance and strong overall game. Here
are Bernard Gallacher’s top tips for senior golfers to help increase their
technology to your advantage
There’s some brilliant technology out there which can help golfers
play for longer. You can use a buggy if
you have problems walking around the course, or an electric trolley if
you want to preserve your energy for swinging.
A buggy is especially handy if you’re playing on a hilly
course, and a trolley is ideal if you’re playing in wet
weather and need somewhere to store your waterproofs and towels. You can
carry as much equipment as you want around with you. This technology has existed
since I was playing and it’s improving all the time.
Nowadays, the pros score highly because the shafts are
tailored to their game. Senior golfers can also take advantage of this development
by customising their clubs. They can get their clubs fitted by a
professional, who’ll find the weight and shaft to suit their game.
The advent of titanium shaft clubs has been a massive
development in golf. Titanium shaft clubs allow you to make a big head, which
helps you tee it up higher.
You couldn’t make a head that size in my day, because the
clubs were made of wood and you could barely lift it. Now, when you drive, the
ball’s up in the air to start with. You don’t have to get it up in the air
anymore and that’s a big bonus for senior golfers.
ball to suit your game
Once you have the right club for your game, you can start
experimenting with different golf balls. You won’t use the same ball Dustin
Johnson or Rory McIlroy would use, but your game will benefit from this.
You’ve got to use a ball that you can compress – avoid high
compression balls with a rating of 100 or higher. Senior golfers should use a low
compression ball with a rating of between 70 and 80. It’ll make a big
difference to their distance.
Work on your
should never underestimate the importance of a grip in improving your distance.
The pros concentrate a lot on their grip and they take it very seriously. By
contrast, I’ve often felt that amateur golfers take their grip for granted, and
their distances suffers as a result.
grip should be in the roots of your fingers of both hands as much as possible. It
should never spread to the palm of your hands, otherwise you’ll lose the
flexibility in your wrists.
your aim and alignment
is another area which I don’t feel enough golfers pay attention to, but your
aim and alignment are vital in increasing your distance off the tee.
advise all senior golfers to take an alignment stick with them to optimise
their aim. This will help them find the all-important angle of attack.
the alignment sticks and align your feet slightly to the left of your target. Try
to mirror the spine angle in the ground as you address the ball.
posture is also important. Remember the basics – stand as tall as you can to
the ball and bend over from the waist. Think about the turn as well – the turn should
be clear on the right side and the backswing.
People rush to the course having not played for two or three
weeks and think they can hit a 240-yard drive down the middle. You can only do
that now and again – it doesn’t happen very often!
The only way you’re going to prolong your playing career and
maintain a strong distance is by conducting a proper warm-up routine.
There are plenty of stretches
and exercises you can do before each round. Then there’s the playing drills
– I like to arrive at the course in plenty of time to hit some balls.
I’d advise all senior golfers to start with a short iron,
hit a few balls with a medium iron and then hit a couple of drives.
Don’t take out a driver and try and kill the ball 300 yards.
You wouldn’t try and go straight into top gear if you were in a car, and it’s
the same when you’re playing golf.
I’ve seen so many senior golfers make this mistake and it’s
an easy mistake to make.
When people retire and they’ve suddenly got nothing on their
mind, they’ll go to the golf course. If you’re a retiree, don’t make the
mistake of playing EVERY day. Have a day off to re-charge the batteries and
give your body a rest.
If you want to play as often as possible, maybe play nine
holes instead of 18 sometimes. Whatever it is, you need to give your swing a
break and recharge your batteries. Your distance will be all the better for it.