May 11, 2023 - 10:23 am
Updated May 11, 2023 - 2:57 pm
Dear Savvy Senior: Do you know of any equipment that can help older golfers? My dad, who’s 76, loves to play golf, but arthritis in his hands has made gripping the club challenging, and his fragile lower back makes stooping over to tee up or retrieve the ball a problem too. — Golfing Buddy
Dear Buddy: A variety of adaptive golf equipment can help older golfers who struggle with injuries, arthritis or loss of mobility. Here are several:
Gripping a golf club is a common problem for seniors with arthritis in their hands or those who have hand or elbow injuries. Helping alleviate this problem are specially designed golf gloves and grips that can make a big difference.
A favorite of mine are the Bionic Golf Gloves (BionicGloves.com) that have extra padding in the palm and finger joints to improve grip.
Another option is to get oversize grips installed on your dad’s clubs. These can make gripping the club easier and more comfortable and are good at absorbing shock. Oversize grips are usually either one-sixteenth of an inch or one-eighth of an inch larger in diameter than a standard grip. You can find these grips and have them installed at your local golf store or pro shop.
For golfers with back, hip or knee problems, a number of different tools can eliminate the repetitive bending and stooping that comes with playing golf. For example, for teeing up the ball without bending over, consider the Tee-Up Foldaway by Zero Bend Golf (ZeroBendGolf.com). This is a 34-inch long-handled tool that has a trigger-style handgrip and a jaw that holds the ball and tee for easy placement.
For other stoop-proof tee-up solutions, see the Tee Pal Pro (TeePalLLC.com) and Joe’s Original Backtee (UprightGolf.com). Both companies also offer ball pickup tools and magnetic ball marker products.
Or, if you just want a great all-around golf picker-upper, consider the Graball GrabAll Jaw, which sold through Amazon.com. It attaches to the handle end of your putter and chipper and is designed to pick up golf balls, flagsticks, putters and green side chippers.
Reflective golf balls
If diminished vision makes locating the ball challenging, Chromax golf balls (ChromaxGolf.com) can help. These are reflective colored golf balls that make them appear larger and brighter.
There are also ergonomically designed golf carts that can help older golfers tote their clubs around the course. If you like to walk, CaddyTek (CaddyTek.com) and Clicgear (Clicgearusa.com) have a variety of three and four-wheeled push/pull carts that are highly rated for function and foldability.
Or, for severe mobility loss, the SoloRider specialized electric golf cart (SoloRider.com) provides the ability to play from a seated or standing-but-supported position. This cart is lightweight and precisely balanced so it can be driven on tee boxes and greens without causing damage. Federal Americans with Disabilities Act laws require that all public golf courses allow them.
Send senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.