Best Learning To Play Golf Tips For Seniors Ages 50s, 60s And 70s

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 7th April 2024

Tips for Learning Golf

Golf is often viewed as the sport for business meetings and older people, so if you’re a senior in retirement, there’s a good chance you’re looking towards golf as an option.

It’s not a bad idea. Golfing in retirement has many benefits, both physically and socially. But it can often feel like you’re too old to “learn new tricks,” so if you don’t already know how to play, the wall can feel daunting to climb.

Are you ever too old to learn to golf? Of course not. As long as you can stand and swing a club, you can learn how to play the venerable game.

Here are our tips on learning and getting the most out of golf in your later years.

Why Golf is a Good Sport to Pick Up in Retirement

Golf isn’t always a sport focused on heavy swings, long-distance shots, and chasing a ball. In fact, it’s both a relatively leisurely sport and has a very low impact. It’s easy on the joints and muscles and has virtually no risk of dangerous physical activity or falls. It’s not like you’re out on the rugby pitch.

Why is Golf a Good Sport in Retirement

Golf also has many benefits for seniors, both physical and cognitive. Cognitive decline is one of the greatest risks seniors face, and golf is a great way to keep up focus, concentration, and decision-making, all of which can help improve overall cognitive function and keep your memory sharp. 

Golf is also a great way to reduce mental stress and anxiety. It’s hard to feel bad or anxious when surrounded by a gentle breeze, chirping birds, bright green grass, rustling leaves, and all of nature’s soothing elements. Plus, sunlight is great for that ever-important vitamin D.

Socially, playing golf when you’re 60, 70, 80, or even older is a great way to spend time with friends and family members and even make new friends on the course.

It’s a good way to improve social relationships. It can reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness that often come from having a surfeit of time when you retire from a job that took up most of your time – and provided most of your social life.

Some Suggested Golf Equipment for Seniors

EquipmentDescriptionWhy It’s Important for Seniors
Lightweight Graphite ShaftsGraphite shafts are lighter than steel, reducing the strain on your body.Easier to swing, which can help maintain speed and reduce fatigue.
Higher-lofted DriversDrivers with a higher loft (12-14 degrees)Helps to achieve greater height and distance, compensating for slower swing speeds.
Hybrid ClubsA mix between irons and woods, designed for ease of use.Versatile for various shots, reducing the need for perfect swing technique.
Soft Compression Golf BallsGolf balls that are designed to compress more easily upon impact.Provides better distance for golfers with slower swing speeds.
Spikeless Golf ShoesLightweight shoes with a flat sole.Offers comfort and stability without damaging the greens.

Physical Fitness and Stretching Routines

WalkingRegular brisk walking, ideally on varying terrains.Improves cardiovascular health and stamina, essential for 18 holes.
Yoga or PilatesFocus on flexibility, balance, and core strength.Enhances range of motion and reduces injury risk.
Resistance TrainingLight weights or resistance bands focus on the upper body, core, and legs.Builds muscle strength, aiding in more powerful swings.

Mental Game Improvement Strategies

Visualization TechniquesImagining the perfect swing or putt before executing.Improves focus and reduces anxiety, leading to better performance.
Routine DevelopmentEstablishing a consistent pre-shot routine.Enhances concentration and confidence in each shot.
Mindfulness and MeditationPractices to enhance present-moment awareness.Reduces stress and improves cognitive function, aiding in decision-making on the course.

Social Aspects of Golf for Seniors

Golf Leagues and ClubsJoining senior-specific golf leagues or clubs.Provides a sense of community and opportunities for social interaction.
Golf Events and TournamentsParticipation in senior golf tournaments.Encourages friendly competition and social bonding with peers.
Golf Travel GroupsGroups that organise travel to various golf destinations.Combines the love for golf with the adventure of travel, offering new experiences and friendships.

A Good Scaling Challenge

One of the biggest benefits of golf as a sport for seniors, especially if you’re only just now learning anything more than the basics of “make the ball go into the hole,” is that it’s a very technical sport that scales as you go.

In the beginning, golf is a simple sport to learn, and a lot of what you need to learn is focused on physical motions and form.

How do you hold a club, swing a club, aim where you swing, and aim where your ball goes? You can focus on yourself and internal processes and, through practice, learn the muscle memory necessary to carry you through most of what you need to be successful. 

From there, the challenge ramps up, but it does so in terms of the mental game. How do you choose which kind of club to use and how to swing? How do you adapt to the weather, the wind, or the conditions of the course?

How do you plan not just for the shot you will make, but for the shot you need to make after that one? 

Scaling Challenge

You don’t need to be out on a course, sending balls into threes or water features, to learn how to golf, and you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds on golf equipment just to get up to speed.

In fact, before you even set foot on a course, you can spend time in a driving range, learning how to swing and how it feels to hit a ball the way you want to hit it. This is an ideal benefit for people who have anxiety over “holding up the course” or anything of the sort.

Golf is also a sport that you can carry as far as you want. If you want to spend more of your time on the course shooting the breeze with your friends, where playing the course is just a side objective, and no one really cares how well they do, that’s great.

Or, if you want to dedicate yourself to the technical side of the game, learning how to play with the pros, you can do that, too. Age is not a barrier—in fact, long life experience and a history of critical thinking can make learning and performing in those technical aspects easier.

Of course, there are always tournaments, either for anyone who wants to enter or specifically for seniors, being organised all around the world.

Golf can be a great excuse not just to play but to compete and even to travel, depending on your resources and how deep you want to dive into it as a hobby, game, sport, or competition.

The Tangible Benefits of Golf

Golf has tangible, real benefits to people in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even older.

Physically, golf is a great, low-impact sport that is easy on the joints and the back. It’s a good way to get exercise, even if it’s just out walking, without risking tearing, falling, or breaking anything. It can also help with balance, flexibility, and even coordination, so it helps maintain your physical health as you get older.

Mentally, golf is a game that requires concentration and attention. The focus required helps sharpen the mind. Keeping all of the different details and factors, from your bodily position to the weather and more, all in mind can help with memory and cognitive health.

Plus, physical activity helps keep blood flowing; even something as simple as being out in nature can be mentally and physically refreshing.

Tangible Benefits

Socially, golf is a game best enjoyed with friends. Everyone you’re playing with is there to have a good time, and you can join social clubs, golf organisations, and even other social organisations with golf as a part of their activities.

Whether you’re there to hang out with old friends or you’re making new ones, it’s an excellent venue.

Tips for Starting Out Golfing in Retirement

If you’re interested in learning how to golf, there can be a lot of information out there, and different people have different approaches to the game.

We’ve compiled as many pieces of advice and tips as we can, but bear in mind that the best tips are the ones that work for you. Take the approach you prefer and that you find the most fulfilling.

Consider starting close

One of the hardest parts of golf is sinking the ball. Learning how to putt properly is one of the least physically demanding and one of the most satisfying parts of golf.

One common way of learning how to golf is to start as close to the hole as you need to be: just a step away, or a few steps, then a metre or two.

Work your way out from the hole, and once you’re more comfortable with those putts, you can start working on further shots. Work on your chips, then your wedges. It’s hard to start from the drive and learn the accuracy when you aren’t even sure where you can go from there.

Power, then accuracy 

When you’re learning how to drive a ball, you need distance, which doesn’t just mean hitting the ball hard.

It means hitting the ball properly. Once you have the power down, then you can start figuring out how to land the accuracy. Remember, in the early days, there are no real stakes, just practice. And practice, as they say, makes perfect.

Tips for Starting

Relatedly, be prepared to spend more time on your short game than you do on your long game. It’s “easy” to hit a long drive; it’s harder to know how much to pull it to land where you want, and even harder to zero in on the green and the hole. 

Play with people above your skill level

Most people who play golf aren’t in it to be hyper-competitive about it; they want to play a game they love and enjoy with others.

Many will even find new joy in teaching new players and helping them level up their skills. While it certainly can feel demoralising to play with someone so far above you that their skill seems unattainable, the things you can learn from them, directly and indirectly, can be incredibly useful.

Spend money the right way

All sorts of resources will tell you such and such a brand or style of club will level up your game.

Still, those are really aimed at two groups of people: the pros who can feel a tangible difference from the metallic composition of a club’s core and the novices who believe they can buy their way into the big leagues of anything they want. 

When you’re learning how to golf, it’s not the clubs, the gloves, or the shoes that are going to make the difference.

It’s the attitude, the lessons, and the information. Spending money is going to happen – you can’t pick up a new hobby or sport without it – but you can get a lot more mileage out of lessons than you can from more expensive clubs. 

A general rule of thumb is to wait until you can consistently shoot in the 90s before you start considering custom-fit clubs and other gear. 

When it comes time to spend the money, there are some things you may consider prioritising over others:

  • Rangefinders. A rangefinder can help you determine how far you can hit a ball and how far you should aim when you’re trying to estimate how to play a course. You don’t need to get an expensive rangefinder with a ton of extraneous features, though; cheap rangefinders aren’t difficult to use and can do the job just fine.
  • Balls. Truthfully, while the ball you choose can make a significant difference, most of that difference doesn’t matter until you’re pretty experienced with the game. Getting cheap bulk balls for beginners is usually the best way to go.
  • A Trolley. One of the biggest drags—pun intended—on golf as a senior is having to haul all of your gear from hole to hole. Not everyone can have a caddy carry everything around for them. A good golf trolley can make it easier and allow you to focus more on your game.
  • Clubs. The sky is the limit with clubs, but you absolutely don’t need a high-end customised set of clubs to get started. 

Other items, such as golf apparel and gloves, aren’t necessary, at least not right away.

Making the Most of Your Golden Years

When you’re retired and facing the free time and challenges of your 60s, 70s, and 80s, you might have a lot on your mind. While golf can be a great way to maintain your physical and mental health and maintain a robust social life, it can’t solve every problem.

Golden years

One of the most pressing concerns for retirees in the UK is finances. Your pension can support you, usually alongside other savings and investments and those of a spouse, but what happens after you pass away?

Only some of that can transfer to your loved ones. If you want them to be able to maintain their standard of living, you might need something more.

This is where life insurance comes in. Life insurance helps guarantee a strong financial future for your spouse, your dependents, or others in your family you want to see cared for beyond your life.

Fortunately, it’s easier and cheaper than you might think to get life insurance coverage set up. In fact, by filling out a simple form right here on our website – or calling our team directly – you can get quotes from all of the UK’s best insurance providers right away.

Get the cover you deserve, secure the future for your family, and enjoy your time golfing the day away.