Longer Golf Drives for Older Golf Guys (and golf gals!)

Let’s cut to the chase! If you over 55 years old and guy, you have likely lost a lot of flexibility and strength that you need to hit the golf ball with power.

I also know that the majority of golfers are not as excited as I am about golf exercises, golf flexibility exercises and golf fitness.

Today I am going to open up the cheat sheet on how golfers who need exercise can get more golf power without golf exercise. Make sense? Consider this the quick tips and easy fixes you can do today to hit longer drives.

Hit It Longer

  • #1 Easiest Tip: Rotate your right (back) foot outward 20-30 degrees

Increased golf power for old guys Click Here for article by Wayne Allen

You are not going to see many golf professionals on the PGA Tour with their right foot turned out. Young, professional golfers keep their right foot straight because they are trying to maximize the X-Factor.

In order to produce a powerful coil in the backswing, they are trying to limit their hip turn, by keeping their foot straight, and maximize their shoulder turn.
X-Factor Power

However, since you do not have the flexibility of Tiger Woods, maybe the swing rules that he follows are not the swing rules you should follow.

The principles of the X-Factor have diminishing returns. In your case, having a slightly bigger backswing may give you better results than having a bigger X-factor.

Go ahead and turn your right foot outward to release your back hip restriction and allow for a bigger backswing.

  • 2nd easiest tip: Rotate your left (forward) foot outward 20 -30 degrees.

I am not going to spend much time on this tip because it is not unique to golfers over 55. All golfers need to have their left foot turned outward a bit to allow for a full follow through. I have included it hear just to make sure you know to do it.

  • 3rd Easiest Tip: Give up a LITTLE swing width to allow for a longer backswing.

Similar to my advice to sacrifice the X-Factor a little bit, you can allow your left elbow to bend a little bit (no more than 10 degrees) in your backswing.

If you look at the backswing picture of Tiger Woods again, you will notice that his left elbow is perfectly straight in his backswing. With flexible golfers, this is essential for swing width (wide arc) which will produce more clubhead speed.

However, if you have a restricted backswing, swing width also has diminishing returns.

If you have followed some of the great golfers as they have gotten older, you will notice that a little bit of left elbow bend has crept into their golf swings. Fred Couples is a great example.

Contrary to popular belief, allowing your elbow to bend slightly, does not make that big of a difference in your swing. However, it will allow you to have a slightly longer backswing which will add power to a restricted golfers swing. Just make sure the bend is minimal.

  • 4th Easiest Tip: Allow the left heel to lift in your backswing.

This tip has been gaining more traction in recent years. You can allow your left heel to come off of the ground which will allow for a more rotation in the backswing. This used to be very common.

I feel the key here is to allow the heel to come up naturally. Do not force the heel up in the air because this might throw your weight on to your toes. Instead, your heel should naturally rise as you shift your weight on your back leg in your backswing.
Left heel raise in the backswing

  • 5th Easiest Tip: The Walk Through Follow Through

This golf tip is for golfers with a restricted left hip that limits their rotation on their follow through. This follow through can both reduce pain and improve ball striking and distance.

Easy golf tips for Older golfers

To perform this move, all you have to do is allow momentum to pull your right leg forward as you follow through in your swing. It may be awkward at first because many golfers try to force or lift their right leg through. However, do some practice swings and focus on allowing your forward momentum to bring the leg forwards. It really works!

I have played with an excellent golfer for years that uses this step through move with every shot except chipping and putting. He plays to a 5 handicap and is a beautiful ball striker.

  • 6th Easiest Tip: Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm!

My last tip takes a little bit more effort. The problem is that as golfers lose flexibility, they also tend to lose the rhythmic interaction between the upper body and the lower body.

At the top of the backswing, it is crucial that the lower body makes the initial move to the ball. However, when golfers are stiff, the upper body and lower body tend to move together.

I am hesitant to give an exercise here since this post is more anti-exercise so I will give an exercise followed by my easy tip. Go ahead and skip to the section below the video if exercises make you ill (no judgement here!)

The Transitional Move

OK, my easy tip to regain powerful rhythm is to use the SKLZ Gold Flex Swing Trainer. If you are over 50, you should be swinging this thing all the time anyway. Great for warm ups as well.

I specifically recommend this for rhythm because it has a flexibility shaft and a slightly weighted tip which helps hold back the upper body for a fraction of a second which allows the lower body a chance to get ahead.

SKLZ GOLF FLEX SWING TRAINER SKLZ gold flex swing tempo trainer

Thanks for Reading!

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf

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