For the majority of sports, age definitely does become a handicap.
For example it is highly unlikely that a 58 year old can easily have a fair chance of beating a 20 year old at tennis. The youngster will most likely run circles around the older guy.
Although an older player maybe able to score a great goal in soccer, he is most likely to run out of steam and will ask the manager to take him off after half an hour for a breather.
Whereas Golf is one of the sports that is truly a game for all ages.
Certainly with the handicap system in place, Granddad can really enjoy a fair competitive game with his 16 year old grandson.
Even on the professional circuit, the old guys are still up there winning trophies.
Look at Spain's Miguel Ángel Jiménez, the oldest player on the European Tour. At the age of 47years he is still a regular with the Ryder Cup squad, and won three tournaments last year.
Also 40 year old Dane Thomas Bjorn beat the World's number one and two Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, to win last week's Qatar Masters.
Tom Watson's round at the British Open is proof that the oldies are not out of it by any means.
In fact someone asked me last week if their 65 year old uncle was too old to take up the sport, now he was retired and living in Bangkok?
Bottom line is it is never too late to pick up a club, you just need to hook up with a friendly club professional who can quickly give you the basics.
Recently two 50 year old mates of ours decided they were fed up with hearing another golf story, of how we had all birdied the 17th at Red Mountain (down an old disused mine shaft!) or how we had broken our best record at Thai Country Club's treacherous 18 holes.
So they both said they wanted to see what all the fuss was about and give golf a go too.
Being impatient they wanted to start straight away. However first we took them to the driving range for an hour's worth of practice at Bangkok's La Luk Ka Golf Club. Driving, irons, chipping and a bit of putting followed.
They then said they were up for a game, so they just both jumped into a buggie and drove over to the 10th hole on the club's East Course.
We had already explained to the caddies that they really were very green, and starting on the 10th green on a Tuesday afternoon, meant the course was fairly quiet and we would not be pressurised by other golfers following us.
Amazing both teed off and there balls went around 100 yards in the right direction and they were off on their new adventure.
We told them to use their tees on the fairways to help their driving, and they moved their balls away from any obstacles when needed. Also the caddies were very patient, and entered into the spirit, by sneakily moving their balls nearer to the pin on several greens.
Overall both new recruits did remarkably well and afterwards we had to sit there in the club's bar, listening to how they nearly shot a birdie at the 3rd hole. The boot was on the other shoe now, and so we had to put up with their boring golf stories now!
If you feel you want to get out and get some fresh air, then a walk around an 18 hole golf course is definitely great exercise, but it's also a lot more fun than running about in the gym.
Most clubs will have a friendly and patient club professional who will take you through all the shots.
Golfasian the leading golf vacation specialists, now have several European pros who like to escape the chilly winters by flying over with their students for a week's worth of lessons. The only difference is that they can teach you by taking you to play on some of Thailand's wonderful courses, and you are playing in the sun.
Golf in Thailand is for locals, expats and tourists alike, so you don't have to be a member at most clubs.
If you want to just sneak out on your own to hit some balls on the back nine, then that's no problem. Maybe the caddie will give you a tip or two as well.
By playing golf you also get to see a bit of the wonderful countryside around Thailand, from seaside to mountain courses, it's got the lot. And let's not forget golf is also a great way to meet new friends.
So maybe now you are ready to take on your son, grandson and even your granddaughter too!
Mike Bridge Editor Thai Golf News Golf blog No 5 Feb 2011
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