Age is the enemy of the golfer

2012-04-20 00:00

WATCHING the U.S. PGA tournament, the RBC Heritage in Harbor Town, South Carolina, on television last weekend, it was noticeable that there were a couple of, what you might call, heavyweight golfers leading the field.

One of those heavyweights and the eventual winner was Swede Carl Pettersson­. He won by five clear shots leaving the skinny young flat bellies in his wake (this is what Lee Trevino called them).

In recent years with professional golf, there is more importance paid to physical fitness, with many pros spending time in the gym. They are looking better and obviously feeling better, but there is still some doubt whether being physically fit and the development of larger biceps actually lowers the numbers on the scorecard.

Golfers, as we know, come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and looking back over the years at tournament winners there is no evidence to show that golfers with a particular physique win more tournaments.

What is evident, however, is that there are very few golfers over the age of 40 winning tournaments. A surprising statistic is that only five golfers over the age of 50 have won on the regular PGA tour.

It is generally accepted that older golfers don’t play as well as younger ones. The professional body, the U.S. PGA recognised this many years ago and established the Champions (senior) Tour. The age was pegged at 50, where golfers could leave the regular tour and compete with golfers their own age.

The oldest major winner is Julius Boros, who won the U.S. PGA at the age of 48 in 1968. The most recent over-40 major winner is Darren Clarke, who won the Open Championship last year. He was 42.

So if you feel that you could play better golf if you were taller, shorter, fatter­, thinner or fitter you are wrong. These things don’t appear to be important.

Age is the enemy of the golfer. Your scores will gradually increase as you get older and it will be hardly noticeable. Golf is a wonderful game that can be played from kindergarten age to the old-age home and the game can still be enjoyed even when the standard deteriorates and the scores are higher.

So for all those older golfers who feel shooting your age is not a realistic goal, try shooting your weight.

From the 19th hole:

Three old golfers, Sam, Harry and Fred were sitting together after their weekly game of golf. These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other:

Sam said: “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

Harry said: “The difference between light and hard is that you can sleep with a light on.”

Fred said: “When the Earl of Sandwich died, they buried him between two other guys.”

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