“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” -- Mark Twain
I love Mark Twain’s quote, but for us older guys, we KNOW that it is nonsense, total poppycock.
The truth is that as a golfer gets older – say beginning at age 50 -- the parts begin to break down and the game itself becomes a bit more obstinate and demanding.
Your drives don’t quite get to the corner any more. You notice that your irons are a bit lazy instead being committed to the target. You find yourself mumbling that “I’ve never seen the rough so thick and high before.” The bunkers, which, by the way, are hazards, either have too much or not enough sand. The walks up hills have become “ascents.” If the yips haven’t negatively affected your putting, either your vision or elbow bursitis has.
In earlier times, you would think about the post-game beer on the 18th tee. Now it is as you are walking off the 15th green. And whether the cause is age or life’s demands, the ability to concentrate on each shot for 18 holes takes real effort.
And do you remember the days in the 19th Hole when you would talk about how late you stayed out last night and where you were going out tonight? Now it is all about “the numbers” you recently got from your doctor and which vitamins are actually worth taking.
Yes, the game is changing for those of us who are 50-plus. However, instead of worrying about the years flying by and the loss of distance, focus on today and tomorrowor as Robert Browning said, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be." Think about why golf is the world’s greatest game. For example:
- You can play with your children and/or grandchildren whether you are 30 or 90.
- Stepping up to the tee for the first drive of the day is still exciting.
- A great round – a low score and winning some money from your friends – produces the feeling that all is right in the world.
- You can bet on golf!
- Every golf course has its own personality, charm and challenges.
- A high handicapper can have just as much fun playing as a low handicapper.
Allan (My Index went up to 10.3 from 9.4, which means I am from an 11 to 12 handicap on my home course. That’s the wrong direction!)