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Saturday July 23, 2016

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Great Gadgets for Aging Golfers

Can you recommend any products that can help older golfers? I love to play golf, but at age 74, I have hip and back problems that make bending over to tee up or pick up the ball difficult. And I have arthritis in my thumbs that makes gripping the club a problem.

There are actually a wide variety of nifty golf accessories and adaptive equipment that can help older golfers who struggle with injuries, arthritis or loss of mobility. Here are several products for different needs.

Bending Substitutes

The game of golf requires a lot of repetitive bending and stooping that comes with teeing up the ball, repairing divots, marking the ball on the green and retrieving a ball, tee or club on the ground.

For teeing up the ball without bending over, consider one of the Northcroft Golf Tee-Up devices. These are long-handled tools (1.5 to 3 feet long) that have trigger-style handgrips and a jaw that holds the ball and tee for easy placement. They cost between $69 and $72 and are available at NorthcroftGolf.com. For other tee-up solutions, see the Tee Pal ($55, TeePalPro.com) and Joe's Original Backtee ($15, UprightGolf.com).

NorthcroftGolf.com and UprightGolf.com also offer a variety of stoop-proof ball pickup accessories, divot repair and magnetic ball marker products ranging between $5 and $12.

If you just want a great all-around golf picker-upper, consider the Graball GrabAll Jaw - sold through Amazon.com for $10 for a package of two. 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.

Gripping Aids

To help alleviate your golf club gripping problem, there are specially designed golf gloves and grips that can make a big difference.

The best gloves are the Bionic Golf Gloves (BionicGloves.com) that have extra padding in the palm and finger joints to improve grip. The Power Glove (PowerGlove.com) is another option, which has a small strap attached to the glove that loops around the club grip to secure it in your hand. These run between $20 and $30.

You can also get oversized grips installed on your clubs. This can make gripping the club easier and more comfortable and are also great at absorbing shock. Oversized grips are usually either one-sixteenth-inch or one-eighth-inch larger in diameter than a standard grip and cost around $10 per grip. You can find these grips and have them installed at your local golf store or pro shop.

For a grip-and-glove combination fix, consider the Quantum Grip (QuantumGrip.com) that incorporates Velcro material recessed in the golf club grip and a companion golf glove that has matching Velcro material in the palm. These cost $20 per grip, plus $35 per glove.

Vision Helper

If vision problems make finding the ball difficult, Chromax golf balls (ChromaxGolf.com) can make a big difference. These are reflective colored golf balls that make them appear larger and brighter. They cost $10.50 for a three-pack.

Ergonomic Carts

There are also ergonomically designed golf carts that can help you transport your golf clubs around the course. If you like to walk, the Sun Mountain Sports Micro-Cart, V1 Sport Cart or Reflex Cart are great options. These are three and four-wheeled, lightweight push carts that fold into a compact size for easy transport. Available at SunMountain.com for $200, $210 and $230.

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. Retailing for $9,450, plus a $550 shipping fee, this cart is lightweight and precisely balanced so it can be driven on tee boxes and greens without causing any damage. Federal ADA laws require that all publically owned golf courses allow them.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published July 15, 2016
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