Golfers redefine the concept of “Senior.”
No couch potatoes on PGA TOUR Champions.
The corpulent MLB first baseman John Kruk once famously quipped, “I’m not an athlete, I’m a professional baseball player.” The same could be said about most professional golfers 30 years ago, especially on the former PGA Senior circuit.
While some still argue that golf is not even a sport, it is undeniable that these days, PGA TOUR Champions golfers are indeed athletes.
Fitness has become a priority on the highly competitive over-50 tour. And, with few exceptions, beer bellies, cigarettes, and portly physiques are long gone, as are hefty dad or grandad bods.
In 2023, the 78 PGA TOUR Champions members competed for serious purses – over $65 million – throughout a season of 25 events, two playoff tournaments, and the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Tournament.
Success on PGA TOUR Champions today requires stamina and a commitment to maintaining an adequate level of physical conditioning to make it through the season.
Explained 53-year old Masters champion Mike Weir at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, “Fitness is a big part of our sport now. You have to train and, if you don’t, you’re behind the eight ball, so to speak.”
It was not always so. Times have changed dramatically since 88-year old Hall of Fame golfer Gary Player traveled from course to course with weights and workout equipment in his car. Player, who won nine majors on the PGA Tour and nine on PGA TOUR Champions, was an early fitness evangelist who helped spur interest in health among his fellow competitors.
“He was one of the first guys that kind of looked at fitness as a true benefit to the sport,” said