10 ways to maintain (and even gain!) distance as a senior golfer

As we get older, we tend to lose distance. But GOLF Top 100 Teacher Kellie Stenzel shares 10 ways to maintain length even as we age

Despite getting older, here are 10 ways to still get the distance you want.

Getty Images

As a golfer ages, it’s natural to think that they’re going to lose distance off their golf shots. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and, in fact, the opposite can happen — so long as you know the right fundamentals.

Sure, our bodies may not be capable of performing the way they did 30 years ago, but there are still ways that senior golfers can maintain the distances they’re looking for.

If you’re a senior golfer, follow these tips to maintain distance

If you’re a golfer who’s worried about how getting older will impact your game, follow the 10 tips below to not only maintain your distance, but, quite possibly, even gain some as well!

1. Plan to draw the ball

This might sound difficult if you’re traditionally a sliver or fader of the golf ball, but one way to maintain or gain distance is understanding how to draw the ball. In order to do this, always rely on good fundamentals, focusing most on your grip and setup, which will help the ball flight and produce more of a roll upon landing.

2. Flair the toes to create better ball flight

Whether you’re an older golfer or just have some physical limitations, flaring your toes outwards can make it much easier to rotate in the backswing. So if you struggle with getting depth, you can flare your toes and even consider using a closed stance — both of which will help offset any lack of flexibility. If you never create depth, it’s difficult to draw the ball and maintain distance.

3. All things can turn together

In order to allow rotation without injury, it’s important to turn both your upper and lower body together — which will avoid putting strain on your back. If your hips turn at the exact time as your upper body, you’ll allow the club to get enough depth, providing the best chance for your swing path to create power.

4. Heels can come up

If your body is tight, whether it’s the back or the hips, one way to still optimize your golf swing is by allowing your heels to come up during the backswing and downswing.

During your backswing, allow your lead heel to come up, which will help create movement. On the downswing, allow your trail heel to come up, which will eliminate any strain on your back or hips and help you increase power.

5. Use your wrists

This is a really important one when you’re looking to maintain club speed, because, the less you can generate power through other areas of your body, the more you need to use other levers.

To get the feel of using your wrists more in the swing, I suggest turning your driver upside down and holding it by the clubhead. Then take a swing, making sure you hear the swoosh — with the goal to focus on the noise at the bottom of the swing where the ball would be.

A good training aid to see your progress is TheStack System (available here), which provides exercises catered to your goals.

6. A shorter swing means an earlier turn

With less flexibility comes a shorter backswing, so it’s imperative that you complete whatever turn you can as early as possible.

A backswing that spends a lot of time going too straight back delays this rotation, so the shorter your ability to swing your club back, the earlier you need to start and complete your turn.

7. Proper grip in the fingers

Having any tension will make it extremely difficult to generate speed, so always make sure you’re holding the club correctly in the fingers in order to eliminate stress in the hands, wrists, elbows and, arms, allowing you to move correctly.

If you’re holding the club rather than squeezing it, you should be able to feel the clubhead throughout your swing. If you don’t experience this, you’re probably creating unnecessary tension that is costing you speed and distance.

8. Add some loft

When you generate less speed, I always suggest choosing different clubs to help with your launch. This is particularly true in the middle of the bag, where your club selection can help you get the ball into the air.

For instance, try a 7-hybrid rather than a 6-iron, or a 6-hybrid rather than a 5-iron. In doing so, you’ll create more loft to see a higher ball flight.

9. Add tilt

When you tilt your shoulders while using the driver, it can make a huge difference in the result of the shot. So always make sure your lead shoulder is higher than your trail shoulder at address. By doing so, your contact will be directly on the back of the ball on the upswing, which maximizes distance and gets the ball to launch higher into the air.

10. New driver

With the way golf technology has advanced in recent years, getting a new driver is worth it if you’re looking to maintain or gain distance as you get older. I recently got a new Ping driver, which I love, as it allows me to swing freely and hit it much farther than I did before.

So take advantage of demo days that might be available, which allow you to test new products out to help get the feel for them.

True Spec promo

True Spec Fitting

With over 50,000 clubhead and shaft combinations, True Spec Golf will custom fit and hand build you the most well-constructed, precise set of golf clubs you’ve ever played.
generic profile image


Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor