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"Whatever happened to the days when the old could compete against the young on the golf course?"

As much fun as it was seeing geezer Peter Senior compete with the flatbellies in recent weeks Down Under, it doesn't sound like that'll be the case this summer since the Australian Open winner earned a spot in the WGC at Firestone.

The Aussie Golfer featured Senior's quote...

"Already last week I got into the World Championship at Firestone but I won’t be playing. Firestone is just ridiculously long for me. I played Doral two years ago, it all depends, yeah I am quite happy to go back to Doral, it’s not overly long and I feel that I can play there. But Firestone, some of the holes they have really taken back. I don’t want to blaze away for four days and be 55th and that is pretty much how it would be because the course just doesn't set-up for me."

"Holes like number eight, when I first played Firestone back in 1990 that was the first time I ever played it, that was like driver - seven iron, now I’d be going in with driver rescue, the greens are so small and nearly every hole that I'm hitting I'm landing onto the uphill in the fairway and I just stay there, all the other guys are carrying the hills and getting 30-40 yards run and they are going in with a nine and eight iron."

Prompting the Aussie Golfer to ask a fair question: Whatever happened to the days when the old could compete against the young on the golf course?

Maybe all of that core work the young guys are doing?

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Reader Comments (16)

An argument could be made that technology allows the old to compete against the young longer than they could in the balata era. Just mot on a course like Firestone.
Aren't players guaranteed a minimum $100,000 or so for just showing up at the WGC Bridgestone since there is no cut?

How rich is Peter Senior?
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Tom Watson - Almost Open Champion.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJRP
Seems to me that Senior's comments raise interesting architecture/maintenance related questions....

....sure appears that the Brown & Fast movement will significantly extend careers, no?
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
And brown and fast is so much more fun!
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTaffy
DTF....when I was a super, my motto was always 'brown is beautiful'
Unfortunately my members never agreed
It always left me shaking my head that they couldn't see they could have better playing conditions and lower maintenance budgets
All they wanted was lush green everywhere.....pity really
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
this guy is pineing for a past that didnt exist. Before the senior tour, almost nobody played the big tour after 50. For every Palmer. Colbert, etc., there were 20 guys who weren't good enough to keep their cards after getting that old .
12.20.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails

How rich is Peter Senior?

He couldn't count it all. He has an incredibly successful business outside of golf in Australia - and he has made a lot of money playing these past 30 years.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
That seems like an odd decision at first given that the WGC events have no cut and usually have large payouts. But the opposite event that week on the Champions Tour is the 3M Championship also has no cut. It's purse is about 1/4 the size but those earning would tie in to all the year long stuff like the money list position and awards associated with that.

Taking Senior's expectation to not do well at Bridgestone, last place there earned $40,750 last year. A T10 finish at 3M last year would have earned ~$37,000 and a T7 $56,000. Senior finished T7 at 3M last year. It seems a justifiable choice financially to skip the WGC.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew
"Whatever happened to the days when the old guys could compete against the young?" Erm, excuse me, but WHEN was that, apart from Hogan shooting 66 on Saturday at Augusta in ´67 and Snead getting a back-door 3rd place finish at the ´74 PGA? When Nicklaus, the best player in history, won the Masters at age 46 everyone marvelled at how he could still win at such an advanced age. And since 2003, i.e. the year of the "distance explosion", more golfers than ever around and over 50 have competed and threatened to win majors. Watson at Turnberry in ´09? 59. Norman at Birkdale in ´08? 53. Perry at Augusta in ´09? 49. Add to that perennial short hitter Fred Funk winning almost-major The Players Championship in ´05 at 49.
There have always been and always will be courses that are too long for certain players, and most certainly old guys, to compete. But the fact is that modern equipment has allowed players to stay competetive longer in this era than ever before.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Hawkeye makes my argument more eloquently than I did.
Brad, I feel your pain, however I believe that golfers, if educated by the Super, Greens Chairman, good players at the club, and maybe a USGA Sectional guy, can really make a difference. Clubs like Pasatiempo have been successful because the membership was educated and supported the change. Golfers need to know the amount of money saved from less watering and therefore less mowing labor and so on. I think most(some will always want the wall to wall green) are willing to change if they understand the savings and sustainability factor.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
In the end though...the putts still need to fall, but if you're hitting furniture into greens and mostly putting for par all day it's hard to be competitive.

Hard fast conditions are usually needed for older players who wish to compete on longish courses. That and still being able to swing it 115mph+ helps too...that's when the new rocks really kick into high gear. The youngsters don't know how easy they've got it.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
I will probably be roasted for saying this since I don't have the data to back it up, seems to me that today's equipment gives performance gains that are non-linear. A regular weekend guy doesn't benefit from today's souped up ball, head materials and shafts. No surprise there. But I also think that at the TV level, faster swing speeds see disproportinate gains in yardage. Simply put, Bubba Watson gets a hell of a lot more bang out of today's gear than Peter Senior. And that is definitely a change from persimmon heads and even a change from 10 years ago.
The game is uncrecognizable now in the sense that a 200 yard 7 iron is pretty commonplace.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSomebody
I agree 100% with Hawkeye. When Nicklaus won at Augusta in 1986, at 46, that was seen as incredible-but he finished 6th 12 years later. I think the opposite is true-modern equipment has helped older guys stay competitive.
Couples, Calc, Perry, Norman, Singh, Lehman-these guys are still all longer than the likes of Donald or Zach Johnson-so to say that 50 plus golfers can't keep up, distance wise, is nonsense.
There are seniors who don't hit far enough to compete-but that's because, sorry Peter Senior, they're out of shape and/or have techniques from the old school that favoured precision over power i.e. Faldo, Price, Funk.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrewCoop
Peter Senior is going to tear Tiger Woods up the very next time he gets his chance!
12.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

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