How to Improve My Senior Golf Score

By Brian Hill
Senior golfers can continue to learn and improve their games.
Senior golfers can continue to learn and improve their games.

Although pro golfers can join the Champions Tour when they turn 50, amateurs are generally considered to be seniors when they are 55 or older. Being a senior golfer doesn't mean you can't continue to lower your golf scores, even if you find that as the years go by you begin to notice you can't hit the ball as far as you used to.

Take advantage of the technological advancements in golf equipment that allow you to hit the ball farther today -- and more accurately. Ask a PGA-certfied professional to recommend the clubs and the type of golf ball that best fit your game, based on your swing speed, physical condition and game improvement objectives.

Improve your physical fitness. Something as simple as going for a walk each morning can strengthen your legs over time. Focus on improving your flexibility by lifting hand weights. The weights can be as light as 2 or 3 pounds. Gentle yoga-style stretches can help loosen your muscles and widen your swing arc. Two-time U.S. Open winner Curtis Strange recommends practicing more on the driving range. Strange says driving range practice improves your strength and endurance, making it less likely you will become fatigued toward the end of a round.

Sharpen your short game to make up for any loss of distance you experience. When Jack Nicklaus reached senior golfer status, he dedicated himself to improving his short game to save strokes and remain competitive with younger players. He found that as he got older, he hit fewer greens in regulation and needed his short game skills to save par.

Become a more strategic golfer. Young golfers tend not concern themselves as much with course strategy because they can hit over potential trouble spots, such as water hazards. They also are strong enough to hit the ball out of the deep rough after a wayward shot. Senior golfers need to place the ball better to avoid trouble in the first place.

Make swing adjustments to maximize your power. Instructor Chuck Cook recommends seniors work on not letting their swing arc shorten over time. For example, try letting your left heel come slightly off the ground as you near the top of the backswing. Cook also recommends a practice drill that involves hinging your wrists as you begin the backswing. By making sure your wrists are fully hinged at the top you maximize the length of your swing.

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