JABONG! Senior golf moments

As I inched my way to the long line of golfers signing up for registration one September morning, I can’t help but notice the perfect weather that pervade in the lush fairways of Rancho Palos Verdes. It was the first day ofthe 12th Eagle Master’s Golf Cup.

“The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you” says Lennon in his song, Dear Prudence. It’s a perfect day for golf.

I took my scorecard and slowly I eased my way out of the table but I was stopped by the clerk.

“Sir Chito, you took the wrong scorecard. Here, the one for you. The Senior’s . Ugh!!

It dawned on me. This is my first tournament as a Senior and for the first time I felt that funny tingling sensation in my spine when I heard the word “Senior” bluntly and direct,,hahaha.

Welcome to the Seniors golf.

Actually, I have been playing seniors golf for a while, way past the age group mark but haven’t competed formally as a Senior in a tournament.

In layman’s term, the common stereo type description of older people, or shall we diplomatically say Senior Citizenconnotes negativism; suffering from poor health, loneliness, physical and cognitive incompetency, unattractive and unproductive.

In the twilight years so they say. In the last years of a person’s life especially those spent in retirement.

It is so unlike in the golf world .

In golf, once players hit the fifty five years old mark, they are considered already as Senior golfers But don’t get deceived by the description since just like wine, golf life gets better with age. Age is just a number and I can attest to that. Cheers!

The older they get, the more positive they are with aging and more adaptive to their limitations.

Thanks to the recent development in golf technology. As it evolved with time, it has become the great equalizer.

New designs were made for golf equipment, ball types, shoes and gadgets. Some were even customizedaccording to the needs of a golfer.

Age is no longer a factor. Stamina ,maybe? But golf courses are no longer designed for walking. They werenow made for golf carts. Some purists still insist on walking including myself but the trend is heading towards the other direction. The distance from the green to the next tee box is getting further and rolling fairways and hills are becoming the norm.

How about the length? It still matters but as the old adage says, It’s not the drive but the arrive. Short game still is the thing and they say , senior golfers always have that veterans move.

The battle shifts now on the adaptability to the chosen equipment as you hit those shots, on your mental toughness basing on the wisdom you learn from the mistakes of yesteryears and lastly on how to conserveyour energy. Golf is hard but it applies to everyone.

It doesn’t follow anymore that young golfers have thatadvantage over the Seniors. Golf was invented to level the playing field ; make it equal for everyone. That’s why the handicap. That’s why the blue and the white tee.

There’s this phenomenon they call the paradox of aging, that even though physical health and functions may decline when golfers enter into Senior stage, their happiness does not necessarily.


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