Three tips for senior golfers looking to improve their game

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NORTH NAPLES, Fla. -- Senior golfers, who already recognize the physical and mental benefits of regular play, may not relish the changes in their body they encounter as they age. With advancing age, comes more knowledge and understanding of golf, but less physical strength and endurance.

Stan Geer, head golf professional at Vi at Bentley Village in North Naples, encounters frustrations from aging players and realize adjustments are necessary for continued game enjoyment and achievement.

"As players age and lose some of their power and flexibility, it is important to make modifications, focusing on strengths and mitigating weaknesses. This often means players need to shift their emphasis from hitting the long shots down the fairway to improving their short game, honing chip shot skills," said Geer.

Since strength and flexibility often deteriorate with age, a solid warm up routine is critical to preserving physical ability and preventing injuries on the golf course. Whether from old sports wounds or arthritis, there are some common problem areas for seniors such as ankles, hips, necks and shoulders.

"Maintaining muscle strength helps players achieve proper posture, stance and balance, increasing their endurance on the course and reducing aches and pains off the course," Geer said. "I recommend 10 minutes of practice swings and stretching exercises pregame."

Since the mechanics of a senior player's game has changed, it is important to reexamine golf equipment and accessories. Toss those long irons and replace them with easier-to-hit hybrids, and exchange their low-lofted 3-woods with much user-friendly high-launch 3-woods, Geer said.

"The shafts in their clubs need to match their strength and ability," Geer said.

Finally, Geer said older golfers shouldn't be afraid to change their grips to a larger size. Superior grips help increase a player's strength and power, allowing them to grip the club better.

Geer said practice is still the key to achieving and maintaining a lower score.

"I recommend that people spend the bulk of their practice sessions making 3 to 4 foot putts. Even a 50 percent conversion of those putts results in a significant decrease in overall score. After all, the end goal is to get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible."

This article was from Naples Daily News, Fla. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.