I notice, now I am older, I need to be more careful when I play golf. That twinge in the back when I swing or that feeling that the ball is not going as quickly or as fast as it used to, make me realise I am not 25 anymore. It comes to us all; eventually, I suppose. But I love golf and want to continue playing, and I know that I can. I take inspiration from people I see around me who are playing into their 70s, 80s and even 90s. One way they can do this is to choose the best golf irons for seniors. Money spent on the right clubs for your age is money well spent indeed.
I do not think I am unusual in that I am enjoying my golf even more than I used to. I have more time than I used to, I take a more relaxed attitude to life and golf, and I have a mindset where I enjoy having some fun. That’s me out on the golf course these days.
Declining strength but a positive mindset
I get a buzz when I see the number of older people who are beginning the game in later life, often after they have retired. They are having a great time and keeping healthy and fit as well.
I have also found that if you keep a positive attitude some aspects of your game can even get better. Even if you have lost some power from your shots off the tee, your short game can still hold up very well. I know, extra practice on chipping shots and getting those putting drills on the green as near to perfect as possible has improved my game.
Play to your strengths and your short game
If you are already playing golf, my advice would be as you get older, play to your strengths. As a more experienced golfer, it is easier to see that the game is not all about power and speed. I was speaking to a friend, who is now in his 70s and still plays every day. He is delighted with his slower swing, he told me that as a younger man he even took some coaching sessions to slow down his swing so he could get more control, but it didn’t take. Now his swing has slowed naturally, and he feels he can place the ball much better.
Many of us also have more time then when we were younger. It can be a challenge to use this well. If you have more time to practice, then try out some structured practice routines. Don’t just turn up on the practice range and start hitting balls. Look at your game, talk to your golf buddies, work out what needs improving and what you can still improve, even now you are older, and get out there and hit those balls with a purpose.
It may also be the right time to consider seeing a professional golf coach. The key to getting the most out of coaches is to choose carefully. Seek out a coach who specialises in coaching older golfers. Many of these coaches are young themselves, but they know what to look out for; what to help you correct and how you can stay safe and healthy while playing. Here’s Manny Martinez. In this video he runs through some tips for hitting the ball further which the Professional Golf Association (PGA) recommends for older golfers: he talks about grip, stance and ball position.
Play from the right tee for you
Some of my friends now go to different courses. Changes like this are always a big decision, especially if you have played the same courses for years and have a social life with all your golf buddies there. Before you make any drastic moves, make sure you are playing off the right tee.
A few years ago, the PGA started encouraging players to play from shorter tees. Summed up, it advised that if you are hitting less than 225 yards off the tee, you should be playing a course which is less than 6,000 yards. The PGA’s purpose in taking this initiative was to make the game more enjoyable, win back ex-golfers and get more people playing. Challenge aligned with ability was one of its slogans. That sounds good to me.
Novice golfer? Here are my tips to get started
I am now going to write a little bit for any of you out there who have never played but want to start at an older age. People often ask if it is even possible? Yes, it most definitely is. You can work up to a skill level where you have a lot of fun out on the course and stay healthy as well.
Here are my tips for a pain-free start. I would advise taking a couple of lessons from a good coach, that will build up your confidence, and after this, you will feel able to get out on the course. Choose a set of golf clubs which for seniors, you can find my recommendations below. Then, when you start, choose the closer tee boxes, you don’t want to make the game more difficult for yourself and by using the senior or ladies tee boxes you will have a better chance of getting the ball where you want it to go.
You will love it. It is my firm belief that golf is the best possible health workout for seniors. Think about it. You get to walk a fair distance, usually about four miles, and that is great for your cardiovascular system. You learn to swing a golf club, which is terrific for keeping up your strength and flexibility. You will have to get out of trouble and overcome obstacles, which is good for your nervous system and you will be faced with getting that ball into the hole once you are on the green, and that will improve your concentration. Add on all the pals you are going to make, out on the course and in the clubhouse afterwards and you have a perfect health and wellbeing regime. So, ask yourself, how would you prefer to spend your time, an afternoon on the golf course or an hour on the treadmill in a gym? No contest in my view.
Looking after yourself mentally and physically
You will need to look after yourself if you are to get the most out of your new hobby. Playing a full 18-hole round of golf can be tiring. You are out there on the course for quite a long time, after all. As you get older take care of yourself; make sure you are keeping yourself hydrated and experiment with taking out some high energy snacks to keep your blood sugar levels up. Looking after yourself in this way will keep up your physical strength, it will help your concentration as well.
Some older golfers do report they find it harder to concentrate on every shot. If you feel this is a problem for you, I would suggest you try some mindful meditation techniques. In fact, I would recommend these to all golfers of all ages; you will be amazed at what a difference a clear, relaxed mind can make to your golf performance. And it will make your game more enjoyable as well.
The golf technology you need
There is another big help out there for older golfers, whether new or experienced. Golf club manufacturers now make clubs especially for senior golfers, and these can make your game more natural and better.
I have always been delighted to change my clubs when something new comes onto the market, and that is very often these days. And I upgrade my clubs when my needs change. As I have matured my choice of clubs has altered, and I have researched the new technology on the market and I learned a lot. I can share that with you. So, whether you are an experienced golfer who wants to carry on playing or you are a beginner starting out on golf as a retirement hobby, read on.
I’m going to concentrate on the golf irons because it is when you are using these clubs you will first notice any lessening of strength as you get older. Getting the right golf irons will keep you happily playing for many years ahead.
The weight of the club
The higher-numbered irons are heavier than the lower-numbered irons. As most seniors prefer a lighter club, this could be a problem. Do not worry; modern materials tend to keep shafts light and put the weight in the club where it is most effective.
Many irons now have more weight in the sole of the clubhead, which lowers the centre of gravity and enables you to hit the ball higher in the air.
The grip on the iron is worth some consideration. The rules of golf insist all grips on irons have a circular cross-section, a taper is allowed and can help you hold the club correctly. It is essential that you grip firmly to maximise the strength you do have, but not too tightly as this will tighten your body and can potentially cause injury. I would advise trying out several grips to get the one which is best for you.
Shafts and flexibility
Shafts are still commonly made from steel as it has a lower torque than graphite. The steel construction of these clubs means the clubhead twists less than on other clubs and therefore you can get more accuracy on your shot. However, composite construction is often the friend of senior golfers. Graphite or carbon fiber mixes can make the club lighter and give more distance on the shot, and this compensates for any lack of strength in your body; graphite better stores the energy of your downswing, then releasing it on the point of impact when your club hits the ball.
Lighter shafts are best, and I would recommend a weight of under two and a half ounces for seniors. Obtaining clubs as light as this is readily achievable as shafts are getting lighter all the time and it is now common to find shafts which are under two ounces. Weighting is also important, and many clubs can be customised to move the weighting higher up the shaft.
The shaft length is essential for all golfers and even more so for the older golfer. If you are getting back pain, you may need to change the shaft length of your irons.
Your swing speed is likely to be slower; this means the distance your shots travel is going to be shorter. There is help out there from more flexible, or ‘whippier’ shaft flexes. If you swing speed is less than 70 mph, then a club with a senior flex will suit you.
If you are losing distance on your shots, that is another reason to go for a senior flex. Here is a way of telling if you need a senior flex. Measure the maximum distance you are getting with a driver. If it is less than 200 yards you may need a senior flex, the same applies if you are making less than 150 yards with a 4 iron.
Flex stiffness needs to balance between not putting too much pressure on the body and keeping enough stiffness to hit the ball well, a flex which is too soft can make the ball fly too high in the air.
Accuracy and help with coordination
Coordination is a gift given to the young. On most measures, our coordination is at its best when we are sweet sixteen. It’s all downhill from there. In golf though, technology is there to help us out. If your coordination is not what it used to be then you will be missing the sweet spot, that point on the face of your club where you need to hit if the ball is going to go true.
Some of the innovations which can help, are a wider sole (the bottom of the club) because it will stop you digging into the turf. Lowering the centre of gravity in the clubhead makes it easier to get the ball into the air, this will make it go further and is also useful if you need to overcome obstacles on the course.
Perhaps most important is perimeter weighting on the clubhead, this is where the golf manufacturers engineer the club, so the weight in the clubhead is around the perimeter. Perimeter weighting increases the moment of inertia, making the clubhead twist less on impact, this gives the club a larger sweet spot and means you are more likely to hit the ball accurately, even if your coordination is not as good as it used to be
The characteristics of golf irons for seniors
Golf clubs for seniors have several essential features. Flexes in the shafts which increase the distance the ball can travel and lightness in the clubs can compensate for lack of strength. Engineering in clubheads can mean larger sweet spots, which helps if you have declining coordination. You may decide to put away your driver or number 1 iron in favour of a more forgiving club. The low loft and long shaft on this club make it a hard club to use for anyone and especially for seniors. Consider replacing it with a hybrid or using a number 3 wood in its place.
If you want to keep your driver, then there are particular models for seniors on the market. Look for the following characteristics. A lighter shaft (just over two ounces are now available), senior flexing on shafts, these will usually be made of graphite. Larger clubheads which will give an increased sweet spot. More loft (the angle of the clubhead) on each club, which will make it easier to hit the ball in the air.
Many older golfers make full use of the ranges of hybrid clubs which are now on the market. You can even now get whole sets of hybrid clubs especially designed for seniors. If you do not want to go this far, then replacing the longer irons with 3 and 5 hybrids may be worth a try. Lofts on golf irons have changed a lot over the past few years; this can be a great help to the senior golfer, experiment with higher lofts if you are finding it tough to get the ball into the air. You should be looking at a higher loft the lower your speed swing. Try this calculation. Start with a 10-degree loft, for every 10 mph below 100mph add one degree to that loft. So if you swing is 60 mph you should try out an iron with a 14-degree loft. This suggestion is just a rough guide, and it will depend on your game so you may find 13 degrees or 15 degrees is perfect for you
Our five best choices for the best irons for seniors
- 360 Face Cup + VFT for more Ball Speed
- MIM'd Internal Standing Wave for Optimal Flight and Control
- Urethane Microspheres for Great Feel
- The Ultimate Distance Iron
If you want to ensure sure you keep your speed and your distance into later life, then these are the irons for you. This range of gold irons from the famous and well-respected golf club suppliers Callaway comes in a range which will cover most of your needs. Manufactured by Synergy, the configurations go from 4 irons up to 9 irons so that you can get all your needs from this one set. You can also purchase pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges and approach wedges. The shafts are available in graphite and steel, and the flex is senior. The Rogue X is lighter than the rogue standard, and the wide sole gives a low center of gravity and so a high launch. Both these features are proving very popular with senior. Its face cup technology provides the ball with more speed off-center. The tungsten weighting gives better control of each loft. These clubs are quite expensive, but you are getting a great deal for your money. If they are the clubs for you, then you can expect many years of wear from them, so it is worth spending out at the beginning.
Pros: cutting edge technology and brilliant engineering will give you a great game.
Cons: these are the best choice for clubs for beginners
- Right Handed.
- Senior Flex Velocity Graphite Shaft
- Men's Standard Length: #3=40 Inches: Loft=19 Degrees, #4=39 1/2 Inches: Loft=22 Degrees, #5=39 Inches: Loft=25 Degrees, #6=38 1/2 Inches: Loft=28 Degrees, #7=38 Inches: Loft=31 Degrees, #8=37 1/2 Inches: Loft=34 degrees, #9=37 Inches: Loft=37 Degrees, PW=36 1/2 Inches Loft=40 degrees
- UPGRADE FOR ALL 8 HYBRIDS: Midsize Majek Mens K5s Design High Traction Tech Grips-
If you want to switch to hybrid golf clubs, this could be the answer for you. The all hybrid iron set has fantastic engineering, the engineering department of the University of California, Los Angeles helped to develop this golf club set, and this expertise shows in the features available here.
Positioning weight behind the sweet spot on the clubhead and adding a deeper cavity back will increase accuracy on the shot. A cutting-edge aerodynamic design will reduce drag when you take a shot so the ball will travel faster and a lower centre of gravity will help you get the ball into the air. The lightweight graphite shafts will enable you to keep up your swing speed. Marking on the clubhead and anti-glare technology will help with your alignment.
This set will do everything you need. The 3, 4 and 5 hybrids can replace your driver 3 woods and the long irons, for your short game, there are 6, 7, 8 and 9 hybrids which will do the work of the mid and short irons. The manufacturers have also included a pitching wedge.
Pros: Lightweight with graphite shafts and the larger heads mean these clubs are forgiving when you mis-hit the ball. Higher lofts mean you will get the ball in the air. Well-made and durable
Cons: No head covers. There are easier hybrid sets for hitting the ball. Shafts slightly stiff for a senior flex
TaylorMade says this is the most technologically advanced clubs they have made to get distance out of the course. The clubs have a low center of gravity speed pocket technology (TaylorMade fill the speed pocket with a specially formulated polyurethane which will cut vibration when you hit the ball while enabling you to maintain speed). The engineering of the sole of the clubs incorporates TaylorMade’s famous Geocoustic engineering which will help you make consistent swings. It also means the ball makes a clear crisp noise on impact. A thinner topline and a lower blade also help you get more consistency on the shot.
The face slot technology will give you a lot of forgiveness on the shot if you ever hit off center. If you are looking for longer carries, then this club will help you keep that ball in the air for a long time, thanks to the very low center of gravity in the clubhead. These irons are ideal for golfers who want longer carries and a lot of forgiveness.
This six-club set high quality. It is customisable with an adjustable hosel which means you can alter the loft of the clubs. If you are looking for distance, this may be the club set for you.
Pros: Great engineering gives a lot of forgiveness if your coordination is not what it was and great distance if your strength is failing a little.
Cons: Quite expensive but there is a lot of technology for the money
- Complete golf set includes premium components, advanced materials and the latest technologies
- 460cc Driver features large sweet spot and aerodynamic design to improve head speed and deliver greater distance
- Deep, undercut stainless steel cavity-back irons are precision engineered for longer, straighter shots
- Lightweight, premium Carry bag features adjustable shoulder straps, rugged handle top, numerous pockets and self activating stand
- Scoring clubs features very low weighting for better Greenside control and improved shot making
If you are looking to change to a senior set of clubs, this can be a perfect place to start, especially if you are a less experienced golfer or if you are taking the game up in retirement.
This set gives you every club you will need. It includes a driver, a fairway wood (5W), a hybrid club (5H), 6, 7, 8, 9 clubs, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge and a putter.
The driver is made of a forged titanium composite and has a large sweet spot, so combines forgiveness with power. The stainless-steel irons have what the manufacturers describe as extreme perimeter weighting again creating a big sweet spot and more forgiveness. The pitching wedge is designed to help you get spin and is very versatile. The wide sole on the sand wedge will get the ball out of any bunker, and the putter is very stable and easy to align. The one hybrid club in the set has a particular high launch technology which will help you if find it difficult to play with long irons. To help senior golfers, Wilson has included the following features: lightweight shafts, senior flex, large grips and higher lofts. The set is customisable as well. It also comes with a large cart bag with soft shoulder straps.
Pros: Great value for the price, very forgiving and lightweight
Cons: More suitable for less experienced golfers.
- Right Handed.
- 100% pure graphite shaft – Senior Flex (beware of sellers not using pure graphite shaft on similar set)
- Men's Black Pro Velvet Grips
- Men's Standard Length: #4=38 1/2 Inches: Loft=24 Degrees, #5=38 Inches: Loft=27 Degrees, #6=37 1/2 Inches: Loft=30 Degrees, #7=37 Inches: Loft=33.5 Degrees, #8=36 1/2 Inches: Loft=37 degrees, #9=36 Inches: Loft=41 Degrees, PW=35 1/2 Inches Loft=45 degrees
- Maximum Forgiveness
From Majek, this is a set designed especially for the senior golfer. It features very large clubheads (right up to the maximum permitted size which the PGA allows), graphite shafts and senior flexes. The appearance of this set is one of its selling points, with a red white and black cart bag matching the distinctive red and black markings on the clubs. These markings are not just for show either but are bright enough to make your shot aligned much easier.
The set consists of Titanium degree Driver, 3 Wood, and Hybrid. Oversized Irons 6,7,8,9, PW and a Face Balanced Putter. Each club has been designed for a good responsive feel and added accuracy. Designed for scratch for the senior golfer makes it very smooth and easy set to use. If you are starting out on your golfing hobby, this is an excellent choice to make. You will be able to play without putting too much pressure on your body and will be able to make good fast shots with increasing accuracy.
Pros: a complete package designed especially for senior golfers.
Cons: only available for right-handed golfers
The best golf irons for seniors– our choice
If you want a good all around set we like the Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue X Individual Iron, Right Hand, Synergy, 60G Shaft, Senior Flex, 7 Iron a good maker and an excellent club.