50 years old is when a golfer becomes a senior golfer. Giving them the option to move up to the forward tees from the standard men’s tees. They also become eligible for either a local tournament or other senior tour events.
The physical aspect of golf isn’t like other sports. Whereas football and basketball may require someone to be in top physical form, golf remains a sport where one doesn’t necessarily have to be. Instead, golf is a game best played with expertise that requires dedication and, above all, practice.
So, it makes sense to say that the older you are, the more time and dedication you have put into golf. But does that mean that you have to be old to be great at golf? Not necessarily. Regardless of this, age matters in this game. When golfers reach Senior status, they start an entirely new chapter in the sport. So, what classifies a person as a Senior golfer? Keep reading to find some answers.
What Age is a Senior Golfer
Once you reach a certain age in golf, you have crossed into the “golden years” of the sport. In professional golf, once someone has reached the age of 50, they are considered a senior. Yet, golf is one of the only sports enjoyed by both the young and the old alike.
Senior PGA Tour
When golfers become a senior, they are eligible to play in the Senior PGA Tour, on their 50th birthday. However, they are not required to join, as some stay in the PGA Tour well after their fifties. Naturally, some dread this eventual outcome and resist it at all costs, but it certainly is not the end. On the contrary, others can’t wait to reach this level.
Another name for the Senior PGA Tour is the Champions Tour. This tour is made up of professional golfers who have played golf on the PGA Tour their whole career. It also has the option for professional golfs who weren’t on the PGA Tour to qualify in to a local Champions Tour Event. These are done in local qualifiers the week of the Champions Tour tournament.
In addition to the local qualifying, there is the ability to qualify for a full season. This is completed by moving through a regional qualifying stage and a final qualifying stage. Once through these the player would be able to play golf in many Champion Tour events that year!
There is no definitive rule that states you are a senior once you reach the age of 50 because some older golfers are still playing like their younger competition. This leads further into the idea that golf still has a lot to offer to seniors.
Senior Golfers Is About More Than Age
Ever wonder why older golfers stick to the PGA Tour much longer than you expect? For one, it is more competitive, and the drive to compete against your fellow golfer doesn’t fade away with age. Also, it is more entertaining to play in the PGA Tour, experiencing different courses instead of the same golf course at your local country club.
If you have played golf for most of your life, you have perfected and discovered tricks and techniques that put you way ahead of the competition. However, being a senior golfer still has a deeper meaning.
Seniors should focus on these factors:
● Do you notice a change in your golf game each year?
● Are you losing distance on your shots? Has your swing speed lowered?
● What sort of golf clubs are you using? Is it comfortable and reliable?
● Have you considered playing from different tee markers, such as the Senior Tees?
Aging is a natural process and will eventually affect your game; the only options are to let it ruin things for you or to accept it and start affording yourself the advantages you deserve.
Is Your Golf Game Changing As You Age?
Generally, most golfers notice a decline in their performance as they age. This change becomes more apparent between the late fifties to early sixties. While individual golfers’ experiences may vary depending on skill level and knowledge, these changes can negatively affect your experience.
However, at that 70-year-old mark, it is difficult to deny that our bodies start to perform differently, turn differently, and work at a slower rate.
Are You Losing Distance?
While the PGA Tour may recognize you as a senior by age, the designation starts to stick as you lose distance in your shots. Most golfers will notice their distance dropping around 65.
It may not be as noticeable at first, a few yards here or there, but by 70, the difference is very apparent. But, of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as many 65-year-old golfers can still hit the ball farther than their 40-year-old counterparts.
What Equipment Are You Using?
It can be challenging to know when to switch to different equipment because each experience is so subjective. However, if you notice your swing’s speed declining, this is an excellent time to start switching your gear out.
Senior-shafted golf clubs are made with graphite shafts and are lightweight, allowing golfers to swing them faster. These special clubs also have low centers of gravity with a high launch capacity. In addition, there is an extra-large sweet spot on the club’s face to assist those who are losing their speed.
If you’re adamant that your club isn’t holding you back, switching to low compression golf balls is another option. These golf balls are easier to hit with slower swings and provide more roll coming off the driver. In short, they go the distance.
Move Up a Tee on the Golf Course
There is no shame in this, but moving up to the Senior Tees is another way to accommodate your game of golf. While it’s difficult to pinpoint how much distance you will lose as you age, most senior golfers could lose anywhere from 25-40 yards. Of course, some senior golfers can still drive 220 yards on a swing, but it’s more likely they will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 yards.
This is the time to move up a tee because doing so still allows the sport to be fun for everyone. Different courses and clubs may have rules on standard tees, but they should have tees where seniors can still be competitive.
To remove the stigma of moving up a tee, the USGA and the PGA of America created the Tee It Forward initiative. Essentially, the program was designed to help players tee from areas that match their driving distance. The initiative also helped seniors feel more confident about moving up a tee box.
By utilizing this program, the USGA found that 56 percent of people played faster when they moved up a tee, and 85 percent of golfers had more fun.
How Old Is Too Old?
As we mentioned, while the PGA Tour or other professional outlets may recognize you as a senior by age 50, it’s more complex than that. Each golfer must acknowledge that their situation may not be straightforward, and they should not be ashamed of their age.
By making a few changes, they can succeed and still enjoy and compete in the sport like the younger generation. By doing so, Senior golfers will see that their experience and knowledge will far outweigh any disadvantage their age brings to the table.