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Golf is Different Now


47 replies to this topic

#1 DrSchteeve

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:00 PM

About 30 years of golf now, gone from "I'm not going to make it serious" to getting serious enough to improve to practice almost daily for 20 years, though that was as much for the enjoyment of just being outside with a purpose as it was with any goal in mind. Never played competitively or even in a competitive league until very recently, and basically found that's just not for me - I like being outside, playing to play as well as I can, but without the external pressure of trying to do the impossible - play better than your handicap number.

I've been most comfortable being the best golfer in a group of worse golfers - being a 10 handicap playing with 15 and 20 handicaps. And most comfortable with playing once a week or so on no particular schedule.

Physical issues have reared their ugly heads, from back pain to shoulder pain, and now at age 60 I'm happy with a 220 yard drive, probably really average 205 or 210. At my best, I could hit a drive 260 and average 230. Those were the days. I was the short guy with long hitters, and the long guy with short hitters.

After recent shoulder surgery and stomach surgery, I thought I might be done. Certainly no interest in going out and practicing with any purpose. But I did go out and play my favorite course locally and shot an honest 86 and had a blast. Had just enough good shots, and really good ones, to remind of what is so much fun about this game. Dead pull-hooked a 7 iron 100 yards left into the desert, then hit a punch gap wedge from a hard pan scalloped lie to 20 feet, and made the putt for par. Also made a birdie during the round.  Had 4 doubles that were unnecessary, know I could have shot 3-4 shots better easily. What fun!

I've seen players I've played with go downhill physically to the point that I can't imagine, yet they still played. Don't know if I can do that. But for right now, with the modicum of physical skills I still possess, I'm going to keep playing. Occasionally, not regularly. Practicing only for pleasure. But I feel lucky to be able to do that, at a time when there's not a lot of luck in my life.

Edited by DrSchteeve, 07 February 2018 - 12:00 PM.

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#2 augustgolf

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:03 PM

 DrSchteeve, on 06 February 2018 - 10:00 PM, said:

About 30 years of golf now, gone from "I'm not going to make it serious" to getting serious enough to improve to practice almost daily for 20 years, though that was as much for the enjoyment of just being outside with a purpose as it was with any goal in mind. Never played competitively or even in a competitive league until very recently, and basically found that's just not for me - I like being outside, playing to play as well as I can, but without the external pressure of trying to do the impossible - play better than your handicap number.

I've been most comfortable being the best golfer in a group of worse golfers - being a 10 handicap playing with 15 and 20 handicaps. And most comfortable with playing once a week or so on no particular schedule.

Physical issues have reared their ugly heads, from back pain to shoulder pain, and now at age 60 I'm happy with a 220 yard drive, probably really average 205 or 210. At my best, I could hit a drive 260 and average 230. Those were the days. I was the short guy with long hitters, and the long guy with short hitters.

After recent shoulder surgery and stomach surgery, I thought I might be done. Certainly no interest in going out and practicing with any purpose. But I did go out and play my favorite course locally and shot an honest 86 and had a blast. Had just enough good shots, and really good ones, to remind of what is so much fun about this game. Dead pull-hooked a 7 iron 100 yards left into the desert, then hit a punch gap wedge from a hard pan scalloped lie to 20 feet, and made the putt for par. Also made a birdie during the round.  Had 4 doubles that were unnecessary, know I could have shot 3-4 shots better easily. What fun!

I've seen players I've played with go downhill physically to the point that I can't imagine, yet they still played. Don't know if I can do that. But for right now, with the modicum of physical skills I still possess, I'm going to keep playing. Occasionally, not regularly. Practicing only for pleasure. But I feel lucky to be able to do that, at a time when there's not a lot of luck in my life.
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#3 Justsomeguy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:03 PM

Keep up the good fight.
I'm 20 years younger, so in the middle of family and career, I can't play but every now and again.
Keep having fun!
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#4 bthomps33

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:24 PM

In college I arranged my classes so I was able to get a round of golf in the morning. Id play with a group of retired guys on those mornings... those guys were a hoot to be around! Keep on playing and having fun! Its good exercise as you get older too.

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#5 Wriggles

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:14 AM

65 and retired.  All the aches and pains.  I've been playing for over 50 years, and really never got a consistent game.  I can play very well, and I can play equally poorly.  I never know which game will rear itself, but I just like to get out and walk.

I venture to say, I golf better than I did when I was in my 20's.  Rarely played, back then.  Now, as much as possible, and I don't worry about scores.

Enjoy golf, don't worry about it.


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#6 SBH9458

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:29 AM

Enjoy it when you get to play!!!

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#7 Swisstrader98

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 07:43 AM

I’m 60 (maybe we should start a geriatric thread. Lol), have had 2 elbow surgeries and a titanium plate in my left shoulder and still practice or play just about every day. I’m also still crazy competitive whether that be a friendly wager between buddies or a club wide tournament and I still win my share.

If I complain for even 2 mins about my physical pains, my buddies jump all over me so I’ve learned to suck it up and take another Tylenol.

Sounds crazy to think how much golf means in my life when I thought growing up that it was a goofy sport.

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#8 MyShortGameSucks

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:05 AM

Good to hear you 60+ guys are still loving golf despite the aches and pains.

I hit 54 this year and according to my older golfing buddies this is around the time when things start going south :).  We’ll see.   I agree with the OP that as one gets older you take stock of what you find enjoyable in golf and get very selective about who, when and where you play.  For me now it’s playing in the occasional club/social tourney, enjoying playing with my son and watching his tourneys and going on golf vacations to play new courses.  At one stage I wanted to get to scratch and below but that ship sailed years ago.  Other than winning a club championship I have achieved everything I wanted in golf so happy with where I amm.
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#9 Boricua Golf

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:18 AM

I am only 46 and have been playing for 22 years, but I do have a few injuries from my deployments, one serious one that had me out for 17 months, that said, golf was my place of zen, I love the game, has it changed?, sure, it's back to bombers paradise!!!!...I am still fairly long, but, I don't take the game as serious anymore, I like to play well of course, but if I don't is fine too...I say enjoy the time on the course and have fun as long as possible...

Edited by Boricua Golf, 07 February 2018 - 08:58 AM.

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#10 Ferguson

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:35 AM

I read the title and thought this thread was going in a different direction.  All of these thoughts ran through my head:

1. 16th hole antics at Phoenix
2. The growing piles of tour cash out there to win
3. Phil and Bones - not a dead horse yet
4. Technology
5. Cost to play
6. Urban Golf, Target Golf and Soccer Ball golf


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#11 MrJones

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:38 AM

I'm only 40 but I'm pursuing goals right now to not only play better now, but to extend my playing years out for as long as I can.



That being said I plan on still being out there at 80+, swinging lady flex shafts with a bag full of hybrids as long as I can keep playing.
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#12 finleysg

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:51 AM

At 57, my obsession with this silly game is the one thing that drives me into the gym and onto the yoga mat. Without that motivation, I'm sure I would just let my strength and flexibility slide.

As I tell my friends and coworkers, golf keeps me off the streets and off drugs.
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#13 Roody

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:55 AM

I was just saying to my wife within the last week that I'm 44 now, and I wonder if I've got another 10-15 years before the body aches start limiting my abilities. I do wonder how I will handle not being able to do everything I want at a physical level. I feel like it might take away from my interest in the game. I hope it doesn't.
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#14 Swisstrader98

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:57 AM

 Roody, on 07 February 2018 - 08:55 AM, said:

I was just saying to my wife within the last week that I'm 44 now, and I wonder if I've got another 10-15 years before the body aches start limiting my abilities. I do wonder how I will handle not being able to do everything I want at a physical level. I feel like it might take away from my interest in the game. I hope it doesn't.

Not even close. You have at least another 30 years so stop worrying at age 44:)

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#15 SBH9458

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:07 AM

 Boricua Golf, on 07 February 2018 - 08:18 AM, said:

I am only 46 and have been playing for 22 years, but I do have a few injuries from my deployments, one serious one that had me out for 17 months, that said, golf was my place of zen, I love the game, has it changed?, sure, it's back to bombers paradise!!!!...I am still fairly long, but, I don't take the game as serious anymore, I like to play well of course, but if I don't is fine too...I say enjoy the time on the course and have fun as long as possible...

I can definitely relate. Injuries have mounted a little early for me. I used to like to disappear into the gym....now I’m more likely to force myself to find time to get onto the course for some quality time. But again, I going to play as long as I can!


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#16 Boricua Golf

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:09 AM

 finleysg, on 07 February 2018 - 08:51 AM, said:

At 57, my obsession with this silly game is the one thing that drives me into the gym and onto the yoga mat. Without that motivation, I'm sure I would just let my strength and flexibility slide.

As I tell my friends and coworkers, golf keeps me off the streets and off drugs.

I hear you, I am a little younger (46) full of injuries...I too hit the gym 5 days a week, I have to in order to keep the injuries at vey and the pain controlled, like you, golf and the gym keeps me off the streets and not getting into stuff I shouldn't...
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#17 Boricua Golf

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:10 AM

 SBH9458, on 07 February 2018 - 09:07 AM, said:

 Boricua Golf, on 07 February 2018 - 08:18 AM, said:

I am only 46 and have been playing for 22 years, but I do have a few injuries from my deployments, one serious one that had me out for 17 months, that said, golf was my place of zen, I love the game, has it changed?, sure, it's back to bombers paradise!!!!...I am still fairly long, but, I don't take the game as serious anymore, I like to play well of course, but if I don't is fine too...I say enjoy the time on the course and have fun as long as possible...

I can definitely relate. Injuries have mounted a little early for me. I used to like to disappear into the gym....now I’m more likely to force myself to find time to get onto the course for some quality time. But again, I going to play as long as I can!

It became my way of coping with the issues I had, now I feel great and like you get out as much as I can, just being out on the course is a blessing!!! HOOAH!!!!
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#18 NJpatbee

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:26 AM

I am 66 and started playing golf at age 40.  I fortunately have been able to avoid surgery for a bum back and shoulder but visit the chiropractor regularly.  I drive the ball about 20 yards less with a 460cc Titanium ball than I did with the original Big Bertha about 20 years ago.  I gave up my 2 - 6 irons for hybrids and can still play from the middle tees.   I was never a good golfer and never played more than 30 rounds in a season with a handicap ranging from 14- 18.  I hope to be able to play twice a week when I retire since I need a day or so to rest the aching bones, but I still believe my best scores are ahead of me  And I have never had a better time playing golf.  Enjoy your own game and understand your limitations but push them and achieve your own goals.  Keep at it and best of luck!

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#19 Jack Pearsall

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:14 AM

He works with what he’s got.
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#20 SixtySomePing

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:27 PM

So like others have said, you go through different phases with golf, but it seems to come down to this. Enjoy playing. I'm a lot like Wriggles, I just don't worry about scores, when you get older, things like satisfaction and enjoyment take precedence over scorecards. The opportunity for just the appreciation of the game and the surroundings become more apparent if you let them. Now I swing easier, land in more fairways, make more putts, appreciate the surroundings, it's a totally different experience... wish I had done it a long time ago.

If you're still young, I know what golf can be like too, it can grab a hold of you, and make you competitive, and call you by name, you expect yourself to improve, and rightfully so...there's plenty of time to get hyped, frustrated,
or even mad at yourself, or get to that first big goal you set for yourself, and never stop... :yess:  

Either way, if you like to enjoy, or like to stay competitive, you can be what you want to be, but never give up, you won't lose that drive when you get older, or if you get injured, keep at it. I started at 14 and will be 67 in March. For you guys that are in your 40's or whatever age that are wondering if you will be able to play when you get to be our age (there are several of us who have responded already) I would say if you get a chance, tune in to this in March: https://www.pyeongch...ympics/schedule It may encourage you a bit. If they can do it in their sport with their challenges, (the Paralympics) so can you with perhaps minimal challenges.

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#21 Sean2

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:06 PM

View PostDrSchteeve, on 06 February 2018 - 10:00 PM, said:

About 30 years of golf now, gone from "I'm not going to make it serious" to getting serious enough to improve to practice almost daily for 20 years, though that was as much for the enjoyment of just being outside with a purpose as it was with any goal in mind. Never played competitively or even in a competitive league until very recently, and basically found that's just not for me - I like being outside, playing to play as well as I can, but without the external pressure of trying to do the impossible - play better than your handicap number.

I've been most comfortable being the best golfer in a group of worse golfers - being a 10 handicap playing with 15 and 20 handicaps. And most comfortable with playing once a week or so on no particular schedule.

Physical issues have reared their ugly heads, from back pain to shoulder pain, and now at age 60 I'm happy with a 220 yard drive, probably really average 205 or 210. At my best, I could hit a drive 260 and average 230. Those were the days. I was the short guy with long hitters, and the long guy with short hitters.

After recent shoulder surgery and stomach surgery, I thought I might be done. Certainly no interest in going out and practicing with any purpose. But I did go out and play my favorite course locally and shot an honest 86 and had a blast. Had just enough good shots, and really good ones, to remind of what is so much fun about this game. Dead pull-hooked a 7 iron 100 yards left into the desert, then hit a punch gap wedge from a hard pan scalloped lie to 20 feet, and made the putt for par. Also made a birdie during the round.  Had 4 doubles that were unnecessary, know I could have shot 3-4 shots better easily. What fun!

I've seen players I've played with go downhill physically to the point that I can't imagine, yet they still played. Don't know if I can do that. But for right now, with the modicum of physical skills I still possess, I'm going to keep playing. Occasionally, not regularly. Practicing only for pleasure. But I feel lucky to be able to do that, at a time when there's not a lot of luck in my life.

I am glad to hear you are still teeing it up, and I hope your luck changes!

I am in my 60s, realize I am on the sunset side of my golf game, and while I still practice, I have also made accommodations, such as playing the senior tees if they are available. This game is hard enough as it is, I don't need my ego to make it even more difficult. :-)
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#22 596

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:50 PM

I'll be 63 shortly.  After getting hit by a car early in my life then torturing by body for 22 years racing triathlons, I took up golf 8 years ago.  2 years ago saw the left hip replaced.  I still score in the 60's-80s and play 6-7 days a week.  Gets me out of the house.  I walk 18 holes on Mon, and 9 on Thursday.  2-3 other days are 18 in a cart and 2-3 days on the range.

I no longer swim, bike or run, but I do lite weights at home on a Bowflex and of course, fishing. I see the chiro every other Wed for arthritis in my thoracic spine, right hip is nearly history, nerve pain and the list goes on and on.  Golf allows me to continue a fun sport without killing myself everyday in a triathlon workout.

Edited by 596, 07 February 2018 - 05:51 PM.


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#23 Ziggystz

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:11 PM

You made my day.  I love hearing stories about sticking it out for the love of the game.

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#24 Medic

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:30 PM

Getting old stinks. But beats the alternative.

I have come to the conclusion that golf means more to us older guys (and gals) because we have experienced enough bad in our lives that we have learned to truly appreciate the good. And our idea of good has matured.

I personally know a couple of guys who would literally give anything to be able to play again but can't. And so, even when my swing is a mess, my body hurts and my game is a total wreck it's easy to realize that things could always be worse.

OP, I love your attitude.
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#25 Fairwindsgolfer

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:38 PM

View PostMrJones, on 07 February 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

I'm only 40 but I'm pursuing goals right now to not only play better now, but to extend my playing years out for as long as I can.



That being said I plan on still being out there at 80+, swinging lady flex shafts with a bag full of hybrids as long as I can keep playing.
Forgive me for prying, but I am also 40 and am trying to work on extending my playing years.
What kinds of things are you focusing on to achieve the goal of longetivity?



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#26 Sun Devil

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:45 PM

OP:  I remember reading a lot of your posts in the regional section.  I just turned 55 and have been lucky to not have any serious ailments.  I actually took your advice and joined the NSMGA.  I'm currently on an upswing with my golf game ... so I thought I would test it out with some friendly competition.  As we both know .... golf is about ups and downs.  Kind of like the stock market lol.  I was recently on a downward trend for the last few years.  Not age or injury related .... just was in a slump.  A few months ago .... I was reading a golf article and picked up a small tip.  Tried it at the range ..... OMG .... transformed my game.  Been playing really well lately.  

But as we both know .... this upward swing will end at some point.

Golf is a game.  Play it as you like and with whom you like.  Good luck.
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#27 MrJones

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:04 AM

View PostFairwindsgolfer, on 07 February 2018 - 09:38 PM, said:

  Forgive me for prying, but I am also 40 and am trying to work on extending my playing years. What kinds of things are you focusing on to achieve the goal of longetivity?

Sent you a PM but overall I'm working on diet, different types of exercise than what I've always done, flexibility, and stress reduction.
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#28 Fairwindsgolfer

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:30 AM

Pm received and replied.

Your pm was extremely insightful and mirrors the journey I have undertaken

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#29 MountainGoat

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:58 AM

I'll be 68 in a couple of months, and golf is a different game for me now than it used to be.  I used to read, study, practice for hours on end, video, keep stats, etc.  But, last year I decided that it was all about exercise.  If I can't walk and carry, I don't play.  I keep my weight under control and visit the gym regularly.  I switched to SL clubs, which simplified the game quite a bit, and I got an ultra-light bag.  Most of my rounds are 9-holes.  Even for 18 hole rounds I'll walk as far as I can.  I never keep score, though I do note the doubles when they occur, because they drive me crazy.  My best drives are 265, not 295 anymore.  My putting is still solid (no yips), and my short game is actually better than it used to be.  When I practice, that's what I work on.  I hardly ever go to the range except maybe early in the season.  I just want to feel the grass under my feet and hear the quiet.  I'm more comfortable standing in the middle of a fairway than anywhere else on earth.

Edited by MountainGoat, 16 February 2018 - 06:16 AM.


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#30 spud3

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 12:13 PM

Great thread.

I'm turning 57 in a couple months, in overall excellent health, but what I've really noticed is a steep decline in distance over the past couple years.  And this paired with the natural deprecated ability of my body to rebound from any overuse or injury is what is most on my mind.  I soft-stepped my stiff iron shafts this past year, and that helped a little, but distance off the tee is dropping about 10% per year.

I've taken to yoga the past three years in an effort to maintain flexibility, and it's helped tremendously.  Also, a shifting attitude about most any physical activity.  My mindset when I was younger was 'how hard can I push myself?'  Now it's 'how can I protect myself so I can keep doing these things for a lot longer?'  This mindset is strange and unfamiliar, but I think it's necessary.

I also have much less interest in score and stats than in previous years.  I used to mark up an entire scorecard during a round with stats about FIR, GIR, putts, up & downs, etc.  Now I keep a running score in my head (if even that) and tend to enjoy the walk.  I still also make a point to go out occasionally with a half set in a light carry bag and just play 'hit the ball that way.'

So far, it's working and I'm enjoying the game now more than ever.  I think this mental evolution is part of the aging process, and it's a good thing.

Edited by spud3, 08 February 2018 - 12:15 PM.

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