Senior Golf Clubs
Senior golfers tend to be overly concerned with hitting the ball farther. As a result, they typically get fit into extra-long, ultra-light, strong lofted golf clubs.
I believe this is a mistake.
As we grow older and lose club head speed our priorities should change. When being fit for golf clubs, we should focus primarily on comfort, feel, accuracy, and distance “control’. Not Raw distance.
You don’t gain distance through purchasing expensive golf clubs. How far you’re able to hit the ball will always be limited by your club head speed. There is just no way around this.
You can, however, gain distance through learning how to make better quality contact. That becomes far easier when you use clubs that compliment your size, strength, and basic swing motion. It’s club specifications that are key, not expensive “high-tech” head design.
During the fitting process, I like seniors to consider the following options:
78 years old and I’m hitting the ball better than I have in years. Phil built me a set of hybrid clubs that are very easy to hit. He also taught me how to play the game differently. I recently shot a 90 and I believe I’ll soon be shooting rounds in the 80’s!
Retired Sales Manager
All my life I shot in the mid-90s, and I didn't even carry a driver because I could never hit one. After I retired, I started working with Phil Moore and applying the ideas he writes about in his book "Understanding Golf". Today, I regularly shoot in the low 80s and the KZG driver Phil built for me has become my favorite club. This year, my goal is to break into the 70s.
Using a custom built set of irons and wedges I purchased from Phil Moore and applying what I learned from Phil's books “Understanding Golf” and “The Mad Science of Golf” I was able to win the Club Championship at Industry Hills Country Club three years in a row! For the first time in many years, I feel confident with every club in my bag. I’m 63 years old.
Retired Accountant, SCGA rules official
Rancho Cucamonga, California
I’m still playing the same set of golf clubs Phil Moore build for me years ago. At the time, I was stuck in the middle 90s and often failed to break 100. Through working with Phil and reading his books my game has steadily improved. I’m now 67 years old and have shot 80 at Goose Creek twice!
Yorba Linda, California
Longer single-length wedges and short irons
For many seniors, the wedges and short irons are uncomfortably short. With slightly longer shafts, they’re able to stand taller and assume a more relaxed address position. Also, having the lob wedge through 8-iron the same length provides simplicity and confidence.
A slightly longer putter
For the avid senior golfer, putting practice is essential. Using a short or standard length putter can be stressful on the back. Adding just an inch or two (and adjusting the putter's lie-angle) can make practice far more enjoyable.
Consider wide-sole, off-set irons
The wide-sole provides the lower center of gravity needed to launch the ball higher. The off-set hosel makes it easier for many players to square the clubface. Making square and center contact, and launching the ball on a playable trajectory, is the ultimate goal and this head design supports that goal.
Consider more hybrids
Hybrid clubs are generally longer and lighter than their iron counterparts. For that reason, most seniors hit a 7-hybrid higher and longer than a 7-iron. Over the years, I’ve fit many seniors into a full set of hybrids and they’re enjoying the game more than ever. I encouage all seniors to be more open minded when selecting their set composition.
Consider high-lofted low-profile fairway woods
Seniors will generally hit a fairway wood higher and farther that a hybrid with the same degree of loft. This is because the fairway wood has a lower center of gravity and is generally built with a longer, lighter, and more flexible shaft. After the 5-hybrid, many seniors move to a 9 or 7-wood.
Consider dropping the 3-wood
Few seniors can effectively play the modern designed 3-wood. The shaft is too long, there is too little loft, and the heads are generally designed to reduce spin. I took my 3-wood out of the bag years ago. I seldom fit a senior into a fairway wood loft with a loft below 17 or 18 degrees.
Consider 2 drivers
If you need a 3-wood to reach longer Par-3 holes, consider a second driver instead. A high lofted driver is far easier to hit off the tee. I’ve been playing with two drivers for a couple of years. For longer holes, I use a 10.5 degree, 44 inch driver. For tighter fairways or long Par-3s, I use my 14 degree, 42 1/2 inch driver.
Consider adding a chipper
For seniors who struggle with their chipping, adding a chipper to the bag can immediately save strokes. I build chippers to the exact specifications of the longer putter.
Consider larger grips
A larger grip enables many seniors to hold the club with less tension. A more relaxed grip immediately reduces tension in the arms and shoulders. As Bobby Jones famously stated, “Tension is the golfers #1 enemy”.
Consider fewer clubs
While you can legally play with 14 clubs, I seldom fit seniors with more than 10 or 11. A typical senior set would consist of 3 wedges (SW, GW, PW), 2 irons (9 and 8-iron), 2 hybrids (7 and 5-hybrid), 2 fairway woods (7 and 5-wood), a putter and a driver. While this would be all that is needed, there is room for a few specialty clubs (like a lob wedges, chipper, or a second driver).
Consider slightly heavier graphite shafts
In an effort to gain club head speed, don’t immediately selected the very lightest graphite shaft. A slightly heavier shaft may provide greater feel and improved ball striking.