Bernhard Langer’s enlightened advice for combatting distance loss

bernhard langer smiles

No golfer has accomplished more on the PGA Tour Champions than Bernhard Langer, so when he offers tips for aging golfers, we listen.

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This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but Bernhard Langer isn’t slowing down.

The 66-year-old pro has won twice and recorded 10 top 10s in 18 PGA Tour Champions starts this year. When he won the U.S. Senior Open Championship in July, he broke the Champions’ record for career victories, passing Hale Irwin with his 46th win. Langer also extended his own record as the oldest winner on the Champions tour at 65 years, 10 months and five days.

Here’s our point: If you want tips on how to play well in the second (or third!) stage of your golfing life, Langer’s your guy.

This week he’s at the Stanford International at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, S.D., and on Wednesday he was asked how aging golfers should deal with losing yardage off the tee. New stance? New grip? New driver?

None of that, Langer says. You just have to be smarter.

“If you lose distance, which area of the game can you still improve?” he said. “Everyone is different, but I think most people can still improve their technique, the swing, their putting, their bunker play, their chipping. That has nothing to do with age. You don’t need strength or flexibility to be a better putter or chipper or bunker player or any of that, so you can improve in that area. Technique you can improve on. Has nothing to do with age.”

Langer added that the mental aspect is big, too.

“How you approach every shot, how quickly do you get over a bad one, being upset — all those areas that have nothing to do with age and strength and flexibility,” he continued. “So that’s what I try to focus on. I’m not changing anything. I’m just trying to be the best I can be in every aspect of the game.”

You heard it from Langer. Don’t sweat losing distance. Improve all the other parts of your game instead.

You can watch this week’s Stanford International from 4-6 p.m. ET on Friday through Sunday on Golf Channel.

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at