Is Golf Good for Older Beginner Golfers?
February 26, 2015 by Bobby Lewis
Even if you’ve never picked up a golf club, starting now might be easier than you think
friends play golf, colleagues from the office have invited you out, and
even your spouse has picked up the game.
But you’ve never taken much
interest in golf.
But now, you’re finally at a point where you’ve got more time on your
hands and you’re starting to take a look at the game with a more
serious eye. You notice that there seems to be a lot of interest in the
game among people closer to your age than ever before.
Still, you’re older and you’ve never played before, so you’re wondering if it’s too late to take up the game of golf.
Nope. Unless you can’t move, it’s never too late. In fact, golf
facilities and equipment manufacturers are catering to new golfers like
never before. It’s actually a great time for someone considering taking
up the game.
Golf is no longer considered just a hobby for retirement — it has become a more active and engaging sport.
People are drawn to golf for a variety of reasons — mainly because of
family and friends — and most want to be good at it. So if you’re
considering starting golf, let’s talk about what you need to consider to
enjoy the game.
The questions that come up most often for those considering starting golf is — “…are there special considerations for lessons, equipment or courses to keep in mind?”
Sure, and I’ll go over each of these for you…
Should I take golf lessons from a professional instructor?
I definitely recommend it. Finding a qualified instructor and taking
lessons is guaranteeing yourself some success. Golf is not an easy game
to go out there and learn on your own, or from a well-meaning friend or
A professional instructor will save you a lot of
frustration by helping you learn how to feel the correct motion in your
golf swing and eliminate any bad habits you might be creating.
A professional instructor can also give an objective appraisal of
your skill, help you set realistic and manageable goals, and provide you
with the technical know-how you need to become a good player. He can
spot your flaws and offer suggestions on how to correct them. He can
personally assess what areas you need to work on, whether it’s your
posture, alignment or swing control. And taking lessons can give you
feedback on your progress, allow you to ask all the questions you have,
and learn how to avoid injuries.
A golf instructor will tailor lessons to your needs and abilities,
and deliver information in a way you you can easily understand, which
will help you master your golf skills faster.
A few instructors will also videotape your lessons (as I do my
students). Watching yourself swing and having it correctly dissected by a
skilled professional is an invaluable learning tool. The work you do
with a good instructor creates a unique dialogue of trust and respect
while you’re building your game.
Do I need an instructor who specializes in older golfers?
Not necessarily. What you need is an instructor who can show you how
to get a natural, powerful swing — one that’s on plane according to your
body’s own mechanics —that’s easy on your body and that can dependably
deliver consistent shots.
What golf equipment will I need?
You’re going to need a set of clubs that fit you — meaning fit to
your size, swing speed and strength. You don’t need to pay a bunch for
them, though. Regardless of the set you choose, I highly recommend
getting a custom fitting from an expert who can guide you into the right
set for you.
A club fitting takes about 30–60 minutes and can cost $50 to $75,
which most stores will credit back to you in the price of your set. The
value of the fitting is in the time, frustration and money it can save
you later. All too often I see beginners who buy a driver or a set of
irons that doesn’t fit his/her personal characteristics… and they never
really get the benefit of that club.
Don’t make this mistake. Most golf pros are able to help you with this important decision.
So I’ve had some lessons and I’ve got my clubs. Is it time to hit the links?
Some new players have this misconception that you’ve got to be able
to play 18 holes before you ever walk out on a course, but that’s just
not true. What I say is to relax, think about what you’ve learned from
your instruction, and enjoy the game. Playing a round will get you into
the flow of the golf course and a sense of what you’re doing.
You won’t be perfect — you’ll have some successes and some failures —
and that’s okay. Enjoying your time out there is what it’s all about.
As a beginner golfer, you can’t take a 20 on the first hole and have any
fun. You just can’t enjoy yourself. So, if you hit a few bad shots and
you’re struggling, pick it up and go to the next hole if you want. And
if you’re playing with a group who think it’s wrong to do that, you’re
playing with the wrong group.
What should I look for when choosing a course to play?
You’ll feel less pressure if you call up the course and say, “We’re
a group of new golfers and we don’t have a lot of experience, but we
want to come and play your course. When would be a good time of day when
the course isn’t so busy and we wouldn’t feel rushed?” I see a lot
of beginners who go out at the end of the day, thinking there won’t be
much going on. But for a lot of courses, that’s the busiest time for
singles or twosomes to go out — this is a time when a slow foursome
really is in the way.
The golf shop will be able tell you the best time for you and/or your
group to go out — it’s important to ask before you book a tee time.
As an older beginner golfer, is there any areas of the game I might see an advantage?
Definitely. Older golfers tend to be more level-headed, so you often
learn to be a much better manager of the game out on the course. You
have the maturity to play your own game rather than try to imitate one
of the touring pros you’ve seen on TV. Most older golfers have the
attitude that you’re going to play your own game and you don’t worry
about what other golfers do.
Beginners often feel shy or embarrassed about using the senior or ladies tees. Should they?
Not at all. In fact, I think beginner players need to start using
these tees more. Golf is not an easy game and one of the reasons many
stop playing is because it’s too hard for them. So, as a new golfer,
definitely go for the closer tee boxes. You’ll give yourself of much
better chance of hitting the ball where you want it to go, and you’ll
enjoy the success you get doing it.
Are there mental or physical health benefits of golf for older players?
Absolutely. Walking 9 holes or 18 holes gives you a great
cardiovascular workout. Compare spending a couple of hours on the golf
course versus being on a treadmill — I’m betting you’ll have a lot more
fun playing golf! Also, being out on a golf course is a great way to
relax and socialize with others.
Link to original article:
Swing tips for Senior Golfers