One of the reasons I like golf as much as I do.
Did you watch the Masters’ over the weekend? Did you notice what I noticed?
After the cut on Friday, there were 46 golfers left in the Masters. Their ages ranged from 25 to 54. There was a 10 year difference in the ages of the two players in the final pairing. Fred Couples is 46 and Phil Mickelson is 36. Granted, the 36 year old won the tournament, but the old guys gave them a run for their money!
I looked on the Masters web site
, and checked out a few things. Since the Masters’ is one of the 4 majors and everyone that’s anyone in men’s’ professional golf usually plays in it, it’s probably a good place to check a stat like this one.
The top ten players at the finish of the Masters’ this year ranged in age from 30 to 46. The youngest player in the top ten was Tiger Woods. He’s thirty now and in some sports, he’d be at or past his prime by now. The oldest player was Fred Couples. He’s 46 now and he’d be past his prime in just about every other sport. Fred and Tiger actually tied yesterday. Both of them shot four under par for four rounds.
There have been 5 players over 40 that have won the Masters. The oldest to have won, Jack Nicklaus, has retired from professional golf. He was just a little over 46 when he won his 6th green jacket. But there are guys like Ben Crenshaw, who’s 54, that can still play this game pretty darn well! Ben was a contender after 36 holes this last weekend. Pretty impressive that a guy in his 50’s can keep up with guys in their 20’s, but it happens in pro golf all the time.
Watching that final pairing yesterday I noticed that the old guy and the younger guy both hit the ball about the same distance off the tee. I also noticed that distance wasn’t necessarily gauged by age as size. The smaller guys on the tour just can’t generate the club head speed needed to hit a ball 300 yards. The thing is, you don’t need to hit every ball as far as possible to play good golf. You need to hit the ball as straight as possible to play good golf. Well maybe, straight as possible isn’t the right way to put it. You need to hit your intended target in order to play good golf.
I once played a round of golf with an 83 year old man. He shot his age and whipped my arse! The old guy couldn’t hit the ball more than 200 yards, but he hit it straight down the middle EVERY time. It was actually a lot of fun to watch.
The only other sport I can think of that old guys like me can perform in is NASCAR. The old compete with the young in this sport as well. Of course, there are those of you out there that don’t consider either golf or car racing to be a sport. I disagree with you. I’m old…and I’m allowed. Careful, I just might whip you. You never know what us “old” guys can do if we set our mind to it!