old houses on green hillside behind foggy mountain in evening
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Watching topline golfers on TV you could be forgiven for thinking that golf is a young person’s game. Heroic drives reaching 350 plus yards and lithe young sportsmen and women clad in Lycra like outfits are the order of the day. The white belt wearing wunderkinds fresh out of the nursery booming big drives down the fairways. Swings that bend backs 180 degrees before slinging back like rubber bands on steroids. Kids just out of college parking their Ferraris and Lamborghinis in the clubhouse carpark on their brief stop to mega-wealthy status. Is golf a game for the young or the old?

Mean Average Age of Golfers in Sixth Decade

Playing golf on these local shores is another thing entirely, however. The average age demographic of club golfers reported in Australia is 56.3 years, according to Golf Australia in 2019/20. Most golfers I play with are older than this again, so, depending on where you golf your ball, then, golf can be an older person’s game. Most golf clubs are challenged by an ageing membership and ensuring intergenerational growth for their economic survival long term. Will younger Australians pick up the baton and play golf, as they get a bit older? Right now golf clubs are in a post-pandemic growth spurt, with memberships at record levels due to Covid. Will this last?

The Game of Golf Suits Retirees Best

Retirees have long been the backbone of golf around the globe. These folks have more time to devote to a game, which takes on average 4 plus hours to play. Working Australians with young families find it hard to spare the time to play much golf. It is a strange irony that golf has become a game best exemplified by young Adonis’ and Dianna’s’ but only the old and weary can afford the time to play it. It is yet another bitter pill for the elderly to swallow, along with the travesty of aged care in the ‘so-called’ lucky country.

Old Golfers Better Have Good Technique

Older bodies must learn to work with what they have got. Of course, the vast majority of golfers lack the technique to swing the golf club properly anyway. The real solution for golfers of all ages is to commit to a series of lessons to maximise their golfing potential. One lesson will not do the job. It takes time to overcome bad habits. It takes guidance and practice to groove a repeating swing that works. The slice is only so prevalent in golf because golfers do not understand the golf swing. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome.

“you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

This kind of thinking only keeps people from achieving their potential in whatever endeavour they may be involved in. Is golf a game for the young or the old? Australians are living longer than ever before, with better health and bodies functioning more fully for longer. It is never too late to make the changes you want- it only takes real commitment to do it. The game of golf favours patience in many instances, which apparently comes with age and experience. I think they call it wisdom. The older golfer has a natural advantage, when it comes to a relaxed tempo in the swing. Trying too hard is not so good in golf. The older golfer, is often, better around the green with his or her short game skills. Learn to hone your natural advantages via practice.

Antique golf clubs
Antique clubs gather dust in the corners of our souls

The older golfer must, also, develop an inner steeliness to combat the vicissitudes ever present in the game of golf. You have been around the block a few times, so suck it up and wait it out without too much whinging. Things, most often, turn around during a round of golf. The benefit of age and experience is expansive vision in this regard. Younger folk can buckle under pressure sometimes due to inexperience. Remember to stay patient and hang in there. The game of golf is a marathon and not a sprint.


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