Articles, activities for boomers & seniors
A favorite hobby for those over 50 is golf. I sat down with an expert to get the best advice for improving your golf game. Mark Csencsits, PGA, is a charismatic ambassador for golf and the head golf pro at the Bethlehem Golf Club.
“The first thing that people need to do is get fit for golf. In the Northeast golfers take winter off and tend to get out of shape.” Mark recommends that golfers maintain fitness through winter time with activities like yoga or tai chi. Weight training, swimming and other activities are also valuable but he acknowledges not everyone enjoys them.
“If you look at the mechanics of a golf swing, people need to be able to make the motion. This includes flexibility in the legs, torso and arms to maintain good swing speed. Hindrances like belly fat, muscle tightness, and fatigue will effect swing speed and range of motion. “Activities that target general fitness, conditioning, and stretching help golfers remain strong and flexible for the game they love,”
The second bit of advice - take advantage of technology. “People typically are not playing with an ideal set of clubs.” Csencsits recommends getting properly fitted for clubs. This not only includes the proper length and types of clubs, but also flexibility in the shafts and weight in the heads.
“Belly putters” say Csencsits, “are also becoming popular and are ideal for older golfers. The putting stroke is actually one of the first things that golfers loose as they age and belly putters make putting easier. Jumbo hand grips for the clubs are also a good idea due to overall decreased hand strength and sometimes arthritis.”
Other advice from the golf pro includes playing the proper tees. Csencsits notes that “No one accustomed to playing the standard tees their whole life wants to step down to the senior or women tees. The reality is that there are times when people need to do it, it’s within the rules of golf they shouldn’t feel bad about it. I find that when golfers get over the psychological effect of changing tees, their game improves, they become more competitive with their group and they have more fun. Golf is supposed to be fun.”
Lastly, Csencsits says, “Golfers who are serious about their game should have lessons with a professional to receive the obvious benefits of coaching, things like swing mechanics, breaking bad habits and even course management (knowing which club to use in varying situations). Csencsits recommends finding a good golf pro with whom they get along well.
In the golf business since 1992, PGA. Golf Professional Mark Csencsits is the Head Teaching Professional at the Bethlehem Golf Club. Mark can be reached at (610) 428-3434 and lehighvalleygolfpro.com.