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Tips From the Top: What Does Don Berry Do to Get His Game Ready?

February 11, 2015

Secrets To Keep Your Golf Game Strong At Any Age

2014 was a return to form for Edinburgh USA Director of Golf Don Berry. It was just another year filled with success for the 15-time Section Player of the Golf Game Strong Any AgeYear and Hall of Fame member, but an impressive run for a golfer in his fifties, when strength and flexibility are supposed to be fading. As he mentioned when we last talked to him, Berry’s three shot victory in the 2014 Tapemark Charity Pro-Am at age 52 was a highlight, shooting 67-66-64 (-16) to win his seventh Tapemark title. He last won that event in 2002, so it was gratifying to see the new “senior” beat a field that included many strong collegiate golfers half his age (or less). How does Don Berry get his game ready for the next season, and what secrets can she share for other golfers, regardless of age?

Desire and mental toughness play a big part, he says, but it also takes preparation and devotion to your goals. Berry credits running, practice time on the driving range and putting green, and a focus on enjoying the competitive aspect of the game for his tournament success (which includes more than 200 career victories).

Watch Your Back

“A golfer’s worst nightmare (other than a 3-putt par) is suffering through a bad back,” states Berry, who sustained a serious back injury twenty years ago. Many great golfers had careers cut short and tournaments lost from suffering through back pain (witness Tiger’s troubles at Torrey Pines). While the game of golf will always be stressful on backs, there are certainly things you can do to help your odds of preventing injury.

“I spend a lot of time each and every day stretching my back and doing exercises throughout the day such as extensions and planks,” Berry recommends. “Talk to a doctor, chiropractor, or just Google ‘back exercises’ to get some good ones specific to your body – it may help you avoid a very painful and season-ending back injury.”

Offseason Exercises

The national PGA website recently featured five exercises that can help older golfers:

  1. Seated Thoracic Posture Restoration
  2. Breathing Mechanics Restoration
  3. Single Knee to Chest Hip Stretch
  4. Hip Hinge Goblet Squat
  5. Standing Cross Body Crawl Pattern

These may sound complicated, but the story includes pictures and great instructions to help you do these easy exercises at home without expensive equipment. After age 50, the goal is really to slow down the loss instead of making great gains in power and strength (two critical factors to a solid golf game). These types of exercises, along with a focus on preventing back injuries, can help older golfers play long into the retirement years.

As Don says, “don’t limit your opportunity to play our great game!”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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