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Why Seniors take to the Links
By Jim Corcoran

There is something special about Golf. It combines the competitiveness of a Super Bowl game with the bucolic joys of fishing and throws in the roar of the crowd when just the right hit is made. No other sport is so all encompassing.

That, in itself, could be the appeal it has to so many seniors. It is not a man's sport or a women's sport, a young person's sport or an older person's sport. It truly is for everyone.

A golfer does not have one opponent - but rather three. First he competes with the Golf Course itself. The Course declares what should be possible when they post the "Par" for the course. Every golfer wants to beat Par - then he knows he is as good as the course and better than average.

Second the golfers compete with themselves. Regardless of what their last score may have been, it is time to improve it. It becomes a personal benchmark for success. It may be 10 over par, but last week was 11 over, so this week was successful.

Finally, the golfer competes with other golfers. A major part of the joy of golf is the re-telling of each stroke - be it successful or not. To be able to report on a game to other golfers is in itself a special joy. And if you are in one of the many Senior or Retiree Leagues set up at various courses your competition with other golfers increases a hundred-fold.

Most courses in the Greater Cleveland area offer a senior rate for men and women over sixty. (There are exceptions, so please check before signing up). You can expect to pay anywhere from $9.00 to about $15.00 for nine holes. There are a few courses in the area with "gold" or "senior" tees, offering the senior approximately a 10-15 yard advantage. Quite often seniors by-pass the gold tee and play from the standard tee anyway.

Be careful, not all courses are senior friendly. This is judged mainly by topography, some courses are very hilly while some are flat and much easier to navigate. As an example, St. Dennis and Manikiki are both hard to walk whereas Lost Nation and Briardale Greens are much flatter. Still, with the use of a cart, there is little to keep you from trying assorted courses, and there are a lot of them throughout Greater Cleveland.

There is little that will stop a golfer from golfing. In this area you can golf from about April thru November, but we have certainly extended those months many times. Plus you can always find a golf package at your travel agent geared especially to the senior looking to take off for warmer climates and play a few rounds.

Physical health is another consideration. There is no running like basketball or tackling like football. Nor is there the impact and action of baseball or softball. The use of a cart makes the long walk do-able and a leisurely pace makes it enjoyable. Figure nine holes to take about 2 hours. The story telling back at the Clubhouse is another story.

If you've never golfed this is your time to start. If you've always been a golfer this is your time to shine. Golf takes you outdoors, provides you with exercise, and gives your spouse a little free time (or maybe you both get a little time together). It gives you a goal, a social network filled with friends and a challenge. You just can't ask for more than that from one activity. It's sure not hard to understand why Seniors Take To The Links!

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Jim Corcoran

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