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Senior Golfer - Golf Articles

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

Getting fit for the golf season

The Putting Green

With the golf season upon us, can technology help improve our golf game? Absolutely! Certainly! And any senior golfer who doesn't use technology to improve their games is wasting a great advantage. So says Jim Shenoha, a lifetime golfer who spent 9 years with Wilson Sporting Goods, is currently a consultant to Tour Edge Golf, and has more than 16 golf patents to his name for everything from Wilson Fat Shafts to Tour Edge putters.

Jim said that the most common fault he's seen with senior golfers is not using the right clubs for their current swings "Most seniors with old clubs are probably playing with shafts that are too stiff for them," Jim told me. He said that anybody who has golf clubs that are older than 5-6 years should head down to their local pro shops for a club fitting. Perimeter weighted clubs, custom fit drivers allow golfers to not only the ball straighter, but also longer, Jim noted.

Isn't this costly and time-consuming? Not really, Jim told me. "It's a lot easier for seniors to get custom fit with their clubs because today's clubs come with multiple fittings," Jim said. In English, that means that club manufacturers will allow you to put in different shafts into the same clubhead so that you compare one shaft to another. Callaway and Taylor Made already have these fittings available, and Ping and Titleist are coming out with them in the near future. All major club manufacturers will have them by the time the golf season is in full swing.

Once you're fitted with the correct shafts and lofts for the driver and fairway woods, then you need to be fitted to your irons. "We can even fit your game to the right golf ball," Jim explained. "And, that's no joke."

Jim recommended that all golfers, including seniors, be fit using a golf launch monitor that measures a person's swing path, swing speed, spin rate and other technical information that Jim thought was important and I found too technical for my use. The short version of this is that monitor will be able to tell you what loft, what shaft, what ball you should be using for your golf swing.

What's so important about selecting the right shaft for your club? "The shaft is the motor the drives your swing. With the right shaft and the right loft, you can swing your driver effortlessly and produce outstanding results. Conversely, with wrong shaft, you'll be struggling."

Seniors complain that they've lost 5, 10, even 20 yards of distance over the years, and they want to know if technology can bring it back? "It depends on the person and the swing," Jim said. He recounted a recent conversation he had with a senior who lost distance. After making several suggestions, the person ended the conversation with these words of gratitude, "Thanks, Jim, you've helped an 86 year old senior gain 10 yards!"

What changes should seniors make to their club configuration? For seniors and for any amateur, Jim recommends changing out those 2, 3, and 4 irons with hybrids. "Technology advancements have made these [hybrid] clubs easy to hit, and anyone who doesn't take advantage of them is just not serious about their golf games," Jim quipped.

What about fitting those wedges, putters, and short game clubs? "Definitely look at fitting your wedges and even your putter," Jim said. He said that today's golf sets leave a big gap between the pitching wedge (46 degrees) and the sand wedge (56 degrees), which has prompted manufacturers to create the gap wedge to fit in between.

What about fitting your putter? "This is something everyone should consider," Jim said. Jim himself has been actively involved in helping Kevin Weeks at Cog Hill with his putting aids. He also has helped Dr. Jim Suttie and Bettinardi Golf in the use of putting training aids. "It is not only possible to get fitted for a putter," Jim said, "but I highly recommend it for every senior golfer."

In short, Jim Shenoha says that every senior golfer should get fit for the upcoming golf season by adding hybrids to your set, getting custom fit woods and irons, consider a custom fit putter session(s), and practice with a purpose. "You'll find that technology won't make every senior a better golfer, but it's an essential first step."

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

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