Take 10 Years Off Your Swing
Golf Digest South Africa|January 2017
Take 10 Years Off Your Swing

These experts’ secrets for longevity might surprise you

Ron Kaspriske

OLD TOM MORRIS thought the North Sea was golf ’s fountain of youth. According to his biography, The Life of Tom Morris, written by WW Tulloch in 1907, the legendary Scot believed that a daily dip in its frigid waters kept him healthy. He was once spotted breaking shoreline ice so he could take his constitutional swim. Was what we now know as cold-immersion therapy Tom’s secret weapon? He did, after all, win four Open Championships after turning 40 and lived past 86, still relatively healthy and working on golf courses until the day he died. ▶ If you knew for sure that cold baths would make your swing faster and better, we’re guessing you’d be doing just that. However, there’s not a lot of scientific evidence to suggest it works. The good news: Slowing, or even reversing, the aging of your golf swing might not be something of old-world remedies. We asked several experts, from Hall of Fame golfers to biomechanics specialists to top instructors, what was essential, and their answers were as hopeful as they were diverse. Read on to hear their advice for swinging as well as you did a decade ago, or even better.

GARY PLAYER, who competed in a record 52 Masters (the last at 73): “It’s no secret I’ve been a huge proponent of diet, health and fitness. That’s why today, at 81, my average score is 70. Taking 10 years off your golf swing is not an overnight task. But those who hit the ball longer have strong hips and core, and are flexible. The best example I can think of is comparing myself to Jack Nicklaus. For years he outdrove me by 20 to 30 yards. But as we’ve grown older, my strong legs and core, as well as my flexibility, allow me to outdrive him today. Flexibility is the key ingredient. So that’s my advice: Stretch, stretch and stretch again.”

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January 2017