If that headline sounds like an ad for Erectile Dysfunction pills, it’s not.
A few weeks back at our annual Round Table Christmas lunch (delayed because of COVID), Jim Deeks stated that he could barely hit his driver 200 yards. I think it’s pretty fair to say that Jim was never a big hitter even in his prime but as a very respectable single digit handicapper, he could usually poke his drives 240 yards, even well into his sixties.
How however, having crept past the 70 mark, he says he just doesn’t have the swing speed anymore and it’s frustrating the hell out of him.
Naturally, everybody at the table sympathized with Jim, as none of us are getting any younger and it got me thinking about my own game. Until a few years ago, like Jim, I could pretty consistently drive the ball 235-240 yards. I was never a bomber but still scored pretty well relying on a combination of short game skill and putting – and playing the correct tees – to keep my own handicap in single digits.
But I’ve noticed two things in the past couple of years: I’m about 10-15 yards shorter off the tee and I often need a little more club on mid and long iron shots.
Obviously, we’re not alone. The youngest Baby Boomers are approaching 60 and the oldest are now well into their 70’s. Some of us are in great shape, some less so and some are really struggling with no end of physical ailments and injuries that inhibit a golf swing. I don’t expect to find the Fountain of Youth and play like I did 20 years ago but even if I can’t reverse the effects of aging, I’d sure like to slow them down.
So, I’m on a mission this year to research the best solutions for keeping Father Time at bay a little longer and passing whatever I find along to interested readers. Let me make one thing clear though – I’m not the expert here, I’m the guinea pig. My job is to look for real expertise, try it out and write about it. That includes everything from swing mechanics, equipment and training aids to fitness, nutrition and mental performance. And CBD. Plenty of friends and colleagues are seeing great results with it. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m looking forward to the research.
I’m also interested in hearing from readers on their own experiences with aging, remedies and finding experts that can help keep the game and body in shape a while longer. Send me an email or use the Comments section below.
One last point: I’m open to just about any ideas for adding back a little distance and improving my golf game. However, I’m not about to go into the gym and pound weights three times a week. You have to draw the line somewhere.
A Teaching Philosophy
At our same Round Table lunch, Michael Schurman, a Hall of Fame member of the PGA of Canada, who has been teaching golf longer than many of us have been playing, made a suggestion to Jim after his cry for help. While most of us were saying, “you should do this or you should do that”, Michael said, “Here’s something you could try.” We all said ‘should’, Michael said ‘could’. My friend, Seymour the psychologist, would have a field day with that one but as he points out, ‘should’ causes people to put up resistance, while ‘could’ is offering them a choice and no pressure. Good one Michael!
Beware the Power of the Shoe
One of the first things I did as part of my Boomer research was to get myself a pair of Sqairz golf shoes. Nick Faldo claims they’re the most comfortable shoes he’s ever worn, and that thousands of people are reporting increased distance with them. I wrote a review about my own Sqairz HERE but also indicated that they hadn’t yet undergone a playing test – just time on the simulator and a walking trial. This week, the Sqairz saw real action. It was cold (7 degrees) and windy (20kph) and I was bulked up more than normal but still managed to hit a few drives longer than I did last year with my former shoes. And I’d agree with Sir Nick, they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Check them out HERE.
Beer and Sausage
Maybe Golf Canada is more with it than we think. I had to laugh as I was putting this week’s issue together. Two of the headlines I posted in the News section involved Sleeman Breweries and Johnsonville Sausages becoming Official Partners of Golf Canada. Did anybody ever think that Golf Canada needed an Official Sausage? Seriously though, beer and sausages are a perfect combination. Can’t wait to find out at the RBC Canadian Open or the CP Women’s Open. On the downside, there’s nothing on the Golf Canada site indicating that renewing your Golf Canada membership will get you any samples. Come on guys!
Have we seen this movie before?
Back in 1995, Greg Norman had a brilliant idea for creating a series of World Golf Championships that would feature all the world’s top players in a limited field with huge purses. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem shot that idea down but then two years later created the WGC events that seemed remarkably similar to Norman’s concept. As we all know, Norman is now trying to launch his new LIV Golf series that will bring the world’s top players together in a limited field for huge purses. Sound familiar? The difference this time is that the prize money is coming from the Saudi Investment Fund and getting no end of vitriol from the Tour and various media members. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour Commissioner Keith Pelley have threatened to ban or suspend any players defecting to Norman’s series. And then news breaks today that the PGA Tour is considering a Fall Series for its top players that would feature limited fields and larger purses. The Sharks’ head must be spinning. And it’s not even Groundhog Day.
What’s the matter with Brooke?
Brooke Henderson withdrew from the Lotte Championship in Hawaii a couple of weeks back with an undisclosed illness, then missed the cut in Los Angeles last week. This week at the Palos Verdes Championship, also in California, Brooke is 15 shots behind the leaders at press time and destined to miss the cut by six or seven shots. So far nobody has offered any explanation, but we’ll be watching.
On another note, Canadian Maude-Aimee Leblanc is just a few shots out of the lead after her second round. Full leaderboard is HERE.