At left: Dr. Hank Wright played golf
well into his senior years ... and was
pretty good at it, too!
Middle and right: Playing The Gasparilla
Inn & Club’s Pete Dye course is a dream
come true for many players.
Gary Player’s 10 Tips
To Keep Your Golf Game Strong After 80
(Provided to Sports Illustrated by Gary Player)
Make it part of you. People who are fit do something
almost every day. Many have simple routines
that they can perform almost anywhere, with or without
a facility. When I travel I take a jump rope.
Calisthenics are free and they work.
Walk at a good clip. You could also take the stairs
whenever possible and take advantage of other routine
opportunities for physical activity. In middle-aged
and older people, once walking speed starts to decline,
health problems usually follow.
Develop both sides of your body. Imbalances lead
Focus on your hands and wrists. What skill sport
does not require use of your hands? With aging, those
with good grip strength live the longest.
Work on your core. The core is where your power
comes from, and that is true if you are 18 or 80.
Fight becoming overweight. We all know that the
best exercise is sometimes pushing away from the
table. People who avoid weight gain in middle age are
active, but they also watch what they eat and reach
for a piece of fruit instead of the bag of chips.
Eat super foods. The observation that eating too
much highly processed food contributes to weight gain
is a valuable one, and folks who stay lean watch what
they eat. Things like tree nuts, fruits, veggies and olive
oil have been shown in well-done research studies to reduce
cholesterol level and are associated with longevity.
Try to get winded 10 minutes a day. Physical activity
is good, and even a little bit of higher-intensity activity
can go a long way toward boosting your aerobic
Be smart about weight training, a key for improved
performance for younger people and perhaps a bigger
key for middle-aged and older people. Frailty is the
ultimate enemy as you age.
Get energy from young people. Most of us are lucky
enough to know an 80-year-old who is still really with it,
and most of them spend plenty of time with younger
people and make a point of trying new things and being
in the thick of things.