Concerned about losing distance as you age? Bernhard Langer says to focus on these areas instead
Though he had a stellar regular-Tour career with three wins on the PGA Tour (including two Masters) and 42 total wins on the DP World Tour over two decades, Langer’s consistency as a senior player has been stunning. He’s missed only one cut in 332 tournaments on the Champions Tour, and has 40 runner-up finishes and 146 top-5 finishes to go with his 46 wins.
Langer is a beacon of hope for aging golfers everywhere, proving that you can still play at a top level later in life. And while Langer’s particular talent and work ethic may make him a bit of an outlier, he says there are things that all aging golfers can do to play better — and hitting it farther isn’t one of them.
“You just have to make adjustments as you get older,” Langer said at the PGA Tour Champions’ Ally Challenge on Thursday. “I couldn’t practice hitting balls six hours in a row anymore like I used to, that just — my body won’t be happy with it. So I had to make adjustments, and hopefully I’m learning what I’m doing.
“The key is or the neat thing about the game of golf is you can still get better at it as you get older,” he continued. “You may lose a little bit of distance, but you have so much more wisdom, knowledge, understanding of what you’re capable of doing, whatnot. You can improve your technique by getting better at chipping and putting, has nothing to do with age, bunker shots. It’s all technique and nerves. And whatever you lose in distance you can hopefully make up in accuracy.”
Part of the glory of aging as a golfer, Langer says, is also learning more about yourself as a player.
“Golfing-wise, I’ve matured obviously,” he said. “I know more about the game, I know more about me and how I play golf and I accept that. I’ve learned to take time off.
“That’s the wonderful thing about the game of golf, you can’t get better at baseball or soccer or basketball or any of that as you get older because you don’t have the speed or the strength or the stamina,” Langer continued. “But in golf you can.”