How Long Can You Continue to Improve?

Arnold

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One of my friends just turned 64. His dad still plays(in his late 80's) and still shoots, occassionally , in the 70's, playing the courses at about 6,000 yards.
My friend's dad told him that he played the best golf of his life at age 64. My buddy is good, about a 5 , and feels that this is his year.
I am fast approaching 60. It is strange, but, I am, in fact, playing better than I ever have. I take more club, not fighting the loss of distance too much, and it is amazing how much easier it is to score when I just accept that I hit a 5 iron around 175, now.
I wonder, if I will continue to improve and for how long. I know a lot depends on staying in decent shape and whether my health holds.
Are other guys seeing this, that they are getting better this late in life? What a great game.
 

Jackf

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I am now 65 and retired. I get to play a lot more and find that I have been improving steadily over the last few years. Equipment improvements are partially responsible but mostly it seems to be an attitude difference. As I get older my expectations have lowered, I know I can't cut the dogleg, so I don't try. I don't hit as many greens in reg, but my short game has improved. Your game adapts, par the par 5's, birdie the par 3's, at least that's the theory. Hoping to lower my index again this year.

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CharlieMoy

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Depends where youre at. If you start at 65, you can continue to improve. Heck, you can always be better on the greens. Just move up tees.
 

Kobey

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I think as you get older you quit worrying about what others are doing as much and start focusing on your own game. When I play with older guys, I always outdrive them but they always score better than me. They consistently move the ball forwards while I'm moving it at angles. Once I can completely accept that Im not able to compete with the younger guys in distance, I think I'll start playing a lot better. BTW, I'll be 50 this year so I'm still in the denial stage when it comes to getting older. My goal this year is to force myself to quit trying to kill the ball to get more distance. We all know that doesn't work but it's a tough to get over it mentally and I always find myself swinging out of my shoes and flubbing way too many shots.
 

Jjmorris

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As Lonfg as I keep playing.
 

Trout Bum

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I think I can improve until I get too old to play. For me it's about the mental game and as others have said as I age I make better decisions, it's about placement now not attempting to hit impossible shots.
 

Owen

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darnall

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I would hope that I will still be improving 20 years from now when I hit my 60s...I occasionally play with a 70ish year old man..the longest shot I have ever seen him hit went 200 yards after it rolled out downhill 30 yards. The thing is, this old fart hits it dead straight every time he swings, and once he gets inside 100 yards he is deadly accurate...I usually score better than him, but I am always impressed with how good a number he puts on the card with such a lack of distance. I sure hope that as my body starts slowing down and binding up that I can compensate with accuracy like he does.
 

Jeanthemachine

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I got serious about golf when I was 30 and improved (not steadily) until I was 65 or 66.

I was never very long and I did lose distance as I got near 65 and that started to impact my ability to make birdies but my short game improved so I could save par. Some illness and injury have taken a further toll on my distance and ability to practice as much as I'd like but I can still gat around a 6000 yard course in something close to 80 with an occasional 76/77 thrown in to keep my handicap around 8.
 

One-T

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I have always said, improvement is easy from 110 to about 95. then breaking into the 80's is a whole new ball game. but getting into the 70's(consistantly) is one of the toughest things you will do.
 

HandyManny

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I am not close to your age but I can assure you that when I continue to stay in a good exercise plan I play very well.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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At 51 years old my index is twice as high as it was when I was in my 30's. Equipment is better today, but I don't put in much range time. I think it is possible to be better as you get older as like as your health stays good which is not the case really with me with my back, neck and shoulder issues. We all have various levels of natural ability as well, and most reach their limits I think at a early age. The rest comes from the right equipment and hard work.
 

One-T

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can a mod PLEASE fix the spelling in the title? its driving me bananas
 

motoo344

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Is there really a cap to improving? I think it depends on how much time and effort you put into GOOD practice.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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Is there really a cap to improving? I think it depends on how much time and effort you put into GOOD practice.
I think to a degree, everyone has a cap in golf. There are millions of people out there that have zero chance of ever being a scratch player. Tour level players are a very rare thing.
 

Tadashi70

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I think there is a stopping point for everyone sooner or later we will all reach that point were we have peaked. It will be different for everyone but you will reach that point. Of course there are exception to the rule but not many
 

Smallville

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I'm not to that age yet, but I am playing better and scoring better than I ever have. The last five years in particular have been significant in terms of improvement.
 

pmoa

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I think there is a stopping point for everyone sooner or later we will all reach that point were we have peaked. It will be different for everyone but you will reach that point. Of course there are exception to the rule but not many
I think this is true. I was stuck the past few years and im taking one last gasp to correct all my bad habits. Once this improvement stage is over with, its time to chalk it up to peaking.
 

motoo344

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I think to a degree, everyone has a cap in golf. There are millions of people out there that have zero chance of ever being a scratch player. Tour level players are a very rare thing.
I think if there was a cap, tour players wouldn't continue to practice, train, take lessons and so on. Improving is not always a reflection of handicap or scores, just my opinion.
 

Tadashi70

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I think if there was a cap, tour players wouldn't continue to practice, train, take lessons and so on. Improving is not always a reflection of handicap or scores, just my opinion.
Mitch there is a huge gap between someone that has a grooved swing like a pro and an average golfer. Pros continue to improve because their mechanics are solid. Average golfers without this same action will have diminishing returns on their swing as they get older.
 

oiler3535

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Hard question. What I'd say is that you can continue to improve your short game until the day you die. I know guys I play with in their 80s who still work on their short game. They don't worry about length off the tee b/c they know they can't realistically improve or Alice around even, so just worry about 100 yards in. But they say their short game continues to get better in most ways (bunkers become hard-understandable), but chipping/pitching/putting they say they still see improvement in when they practice it. I had one 92 year old life long pro tell me his short game is better now than when in his prime; if he only counts shots from inside 80-90 yards as his approach shots and compares to when younger, he hits fewer shots now.Might take 4-5 shots to get there instead of 1-2, but he doesn't worry about that, only his short game.

I'd argue your overall game and true cap can continue to improve until your health starts to deteriorate, whatever age that may be, and possibly even after that if your short game improvements outpace your long game decline.
 

wbealsd

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And as someone who just turned 60 and hasn't played that long, my hope is that by continuing to TRY to improve, I'll be alive! :banana:
 

Chunkylover77

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I think I still have decades of improvement in front of me. Or at the very least, I have decades of swing changes
 

motoo344

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Mitch there is a huge gap between someone that has a grooved swing like a pro and an average golfer. Pros continue to improve because their mechanics are solid. Average golfers without this same action will have diminishing returns on their swing as they get older.

If the ultimate goal is being a professional, I would agree there is a finite cap because 99.9% of people are never going to be professional at anything and I suppose age is a factor do to physical restraints. I just don't like the idea of there being a cap because to me it makes it feel like once I get there I have no reason to play anymore. Part of my enjoyment of the game is learning new things about the game and I like to think it helps me improve.
 

Tedfroop

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Of course there is a cap at some point for everyone. Health, athletic ability, skill, and disabilities limit almost everyone.

That said, the average golfer does not take on improvement enough. Lessons, practice and all that cost money and take time and dedication to be effective and while juggleing a career, family and all the rest of that most average guys may not have the time and money to dedicate to work on improvement.

Either that or they are too lazy to break the suction between their butt and the couch more than once a week to go do something that resembles exercise.
 

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