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Is there an age limit on when you can pick up the game of golf?
In this article, we will answer some common questions about playing senior golf, how age can affect you on the course and whether you can play to a decent standard in your twilight years.
The good news is that you may think that playing golf at 60 is ridiculous but we think you are going to be pleasantly surprised with how realizable a dream of playing golf after the age of 60 really is.
So what are you waiting for? Have a read and let us show you how senior golfers do it…
Can a 60 Year Old learn to Play Golf?
A man or woman over the age of 60 can learn to play golf and reach a good standard. In fact, as long as you are reasonably fit and can swing a golf club there is no real upper age limit restricting anyone from picking up the sport. Some of the best players in the world play on into their 60s and beyond.
On the PGA Tour, for example, A golfer who is older is considered a senior golfer is over the age of 50 but in club golf, the reality is that many members are older than 60.
Golf is definitely a game that you can play all your life – did you know there is a dedicated professional PGA Tour for seniors?
If you are worried about taking up golf then check out your local golf club and enquire about golf lessons.
Most golf coaches will have dedicated group sessions for older players, this way you can learn the game without having to jostle with the young guns.
Can You Learn Golf Later in Life?
You can learn to play golf in later life without any major issues. Many sports fans turn to golf after playing a more strenuous sport or hobby such as squash, tennis, or running. Because golf is a technical sport, many older players thrive and are able to pick up the basics very quickly.
In fact, age really is no barrier when it comes to playing senior golf as long as you ensure that you have a reasonable level of fitness and have a positive attitude to learning something new.
If you enjoy the outdoor life then taking up golf is a brilliant way to keep active whilst also making new friends.
The real secret is making sure that your body will be able to deal with the rigors of playing 9 or 18 holes on a regular basis.
Many seniors find that mixing yoga with golf is a great way to balance out the physical aspects of a round.
Yoga can help the body become more supple and this can definitely benefit golfers who have minor health issues such as aches and pains between the shoulder blades and in the lower back.
What Effect Does Age Have on Golf Performance?
When learning to play senior golf, age can be an issue for how far you can hit the ball. When you are younger you are better at swinging the club faster and can generate more clubhead speed which in turn drives the ball further down the fairway.
As you get older this tends to decrease, but driving the ball is only one factor of golf.
If you can slowly develop a sound technique then age is not going to stop you from playing even if you can’t smash it down the fairway at over 100 MPH.
Approach play, chipping, and putting all require a completely different skill set and you can certainly get better at these elements of golf without having to hit the ball 300 yards.
With a proper rest schedule integrated into a golf regime, tailored for senior golfers there is no reason why a 60-year-old cannot play to a decent handicap of under 15 and compete in the major local golf tournaments and leagues.
How Far Should a 60 Year Old Man Hit a Golf Ball?
An average handicapped golfer who is 60 years old should be hitting the ball off the tee to a distance of approximately 200 yards. This is dependent on the player’s fitness, technique, and skill level of the golfer. A low handicapped senor golfer can easily drive the ball for over 220 yards.
Women golfers who are 60 years and over and have a handicap of over 20 can be expected to hit the ball to a minimum distance of 110 yards.
Although driving the ball for long distances helps, it is only a small factor in playing a good round of golf.
Distance off the tee is important, but accuracy and course management are just as vital in lowering your score.
With regular practice and playing golf at the same golf course 2 to 3 times a week, you can soon counteract swing power with course knowledge and playing experience.
What is very noticeable on the professional senior tour is that the pros know how to play the course and use every element of the layout to their advantage.
They don’t need to clear a lake 50 yards from the tee, they just drive it down the middle, hit their second shot onto a fairway that is very similar in length to the first one, and then chip it close enough for an 8-foot putt!
Are There Pro Golfers That Are 60 Years Old or Older?
There are no current players over the of 60 on the regular PGA Tour. The oldest golfer ever to play on the main Tour was Jerry Barber, who at the age of 77 years played in the 1994 Buick Invitational of California.
On the Senior Tour (PGA TOUR Champions) the oldest current player is the legendary Hale Irwin. Although he now limits his playing times to just a few tour games a year he is still active despite him being in his late 70s.
Perhaps the most famous golfer who is still making an impact on the PGA tour is Phil Mickelson who in his 50s is competing on a regular basis with players half his age.
Is Golf Good for Seniors?
According to the University of Southern California golf has numerous benefits for older players. Being active, socializing with other like-minded people, and competing with younger players is considered beneficial to the overall health and well-being of someone who plays on a regular basis.
Other reasons why playing golf is beneficial includes:
- Plenty of fresh air, good for the soul!
- Sport teaches good values (even for older players) in terms of fair play, integrity, and perseverance.
- helps senior citizens in many ways including physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Improves strength, mobility, and eye-to-hand coordination.
- Can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels (can help reduce the risk of heart disease).
- Strengthens bones and muscles.
- Stimulates social interaction among senior citizens by joining golf clubs or playing in senior tournaments.
All in all, golf is a wonderful sport and you only have to take a look at your local golf club to see how many older people are enjoying the greens and fairways of a well-kept course.
Are You Ready to Take Up Golf?
The older you get the more golf becomes an activity that’s less about competition than just playing to enjoy time with friends on the course.
Golf can help keep your mind sharp by increasing cognitive function through problem-solving skills and spatial awareness.
It also helps senior citizens increase their bone density and muscle mass which decreases the risk of falls or injury from everyday activities like gardening or housework.
Plus, there are plenty of senior tournaments out there so if you’re looking to meet new people who share your interests consider starting with a few lessons at your local country club.
All in all, golfing at 60 isn’t too different from when we were younger. What are you waiting for!