The 6 Keys Limiting Golfers Over 50 from Having More Fun

What are the main factors influencing whether or not a golfer is having fun…?  I am sure it amounts to many things. However, we know from our clients, that losing distance is one of the major drags for golfers over 50.

As the golfer passes the age of 50-60, the changes that the body has been going through for decades, tend to reach a tipping point. Typically, golfers begin to lose strength and flexibility in their 30’s. However, these slow changes do not seem to affect the golfers game until this tipping point is reached.

When all of a sudden the culmination of years of neglecting the body results in drives so short, that the only option left is hit long hybrids and woods into the greens with the distant hope of hitting  a green in regulation.

Of course the common denominator in all these stories is “age.”  As we age, we tend to lose flexibility and strength to name a few.

But does that mean we have to settle for the ladies tees, to have an enjoyable round of golf?

I don’t think so.  In fact, more and more Age Defying Golfers are finding that they can have more fun, hitting longer drives, with consistent results playing golf in their 50’s and 60’s.

Here are the 6 factors you need to key into continue having fun…heck!, have more fun on the golf course this year than you did 10 years ago:

The Senior Golf Essentials

  • Spine angle consistency
  • Where is your weight at?
  • Spine angle position
  • What your right foot should be doing
  • The ‘New’ X Factor
  • Flat left wrist

1.  Maintain Your Swing Center (Consistent Posture)

The first key factor that we always measure is how well you maintain a consistent spine angle from your address position, to backswing position, and back to your impact position.

We call this measure the Swing Center Movement Factor. There is a direct relationship between how low your Swing Center Movement Factor is (how consistent your posture is) and how consistently you hit the ball purely.

 

golf swing spine angle

It is so important, that I can accurately guess a golfers handicap just by knowing their Swing Center Movement Factor score.

Why is this an issue in golfers over 50?  Your ability to keep a consistent spine position is dependent on how much spinal flexibility you have.  People tend to rotate less in later life and so they gradually lose the rotation flexibility.

As a result, when you go into your backswing, and your spine does not have the ability to purely rotate, your spine will move in a different direction. Usually the spine will straighten, or extend, in the backswing and then curl, or flex, in the downswing. All that extra movement is a recipe for inconsistency…..and that is no recipe for fun on the golf course.

2. Weight at Impact

Weight distribution is key because where your weight is located, is an indication of where you are compared to the golf ball.  And where your body is located, will affect many things in your golf swing including.

The biggest reason is that you will not hit the ball purely. If your weight is too far back, you are more likely to hit the ground before the ball or hit the ball on the upswing. Both of these problems have major consequences. Hitting the golf ball with a descending blow and right on the sweet spot will give you the feeling of a purely drilled golf shot. The feeling alone is worth the price of admission.

Some golfers over 50 have a difficult time transferring their weight aggressively to their left side due to either balance problems or restrictions in their hips rotational flexibility. With these mechanics, a pure golf shot is only a pipe dream!

 

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3.   Spine Angle from the Down the Line View

This is slightly  different from a “consistent” spine angle.  This key has to do with your posture.

If you look at the anatomy of the middle spine (the part that does most of the rotation) you will see a bony structure that allows the spine to rotate the most in a very specific position.  If you have good posture, your back is in this position.

If you are hunched over in a “C” posture, your spine shifts into a position where the bones in your back are setup to block rotation. Having good posture, puts the bones in position to maximize rotation which allows for a freer and more naturally flowing golf swing.

 

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(When we are looking at this spine angle, we are looking at the lower back to the mid back.  The upper back and neck should be inclined forwards moderately).

Piano instructors are not the only ones concerned with your posture, your golf instructor should be too.  It’s a big deal!

4.  Right Foot Position in the BackSwing

The key measure here is if you are able to keep your body weight on the INSIDE of your back foot. If your weight rotates to the outside of your foot, or worse, if your foot visibly rotates outward, you are going to lose all the power your back leg can offer.

This is basically an indicator of lateral sway in your backswing.  Golfers over 50, who have lost power due to stiffness, often use sway to supplement that power.  But it just doesn’t work very well.  The more sway you have in your backswing, the less likely you will be able make it back to a good impact position and hit the ball squarely.

5.  The ‘New’ X-Factor

As opposed to the original X-factor that Jim McLean proposed some years back.  If you draw a line through both of your hips and a separate line through both of your shoulders, they will make an “X” in the backswing and impact position.  The bigger the difference between the two lines and the more powerful your swing will be.

How great your “X” factor is, is dependent on how much torso rotation you have and then learning how to separate them at the impact position. You can easily see why this makes a difference in the two pictures below.
In these pictures, both the golfer to the left and Tiger are at the same point in their swing with the same amount of shoulder rotation. The difference is that Tigers’ hips are fully rotated. The golfers hips on the left are rotated about the same amount as his shoulders. Meaning that there is no separation, no “x”factor, and no power.

The difference in power is merely a mechanical position.  However, if you are over 50 you might need to add a stretch or two in order to achieve that small mechanical advantage.

 

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Roger Fredericks calls this position the “2-cheek” position because at the point of impact, you can see both of Tigers…um…posterior cheeks.

6.  A Flat Left Wrist

We see this problem in well over half of the golfers we evaluate that are over 50. A flat left wrist at impact is one of the few universal laws of a good golf swing. Many golfers release the wrists too early in the downswing which can result in the loss of swing speed and consistency of hitting the sweet spot on the golf club.

There isn’t a pro golfer in the world that does not achieve this position and you should to.

 

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Thanks for Reading!!

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