Langer Is An Ageless Wonder
I don’t think that nearly enough ink (actual or virtual) has been expended in recent years on the subject of Bernhard Langer.
This past weekend, at age 64 became the oldest winner in PGA TOUR Champions History. That win marked his 42nd win on the Champions Tour, a mark surpassed only by Hale Irwin.
Langer’s longevity is absolutely remarkable. He turned professional in 1972, and his first pro win was the Dunlop Masters in 1980. That’s 41 years between his first professional win and his most recent.
Along the way, Langer managed to pick up two Masters wins, and a pair of seconds in the Open Championship. Langer played in ten Ryder Cups and was number one in the world for three weeks in 1986. He is second — behind Seve Ballesteros — in European Tour wins.
In total, Langer has 118 professional wins: 42 on the European Tour, 42 on the Champions Tour, three on the PGA Tour and a smattering of others around teh world.
But all of that in my mind (Masters wins aside) takes a back seat to the incredible consistency he has shown past the age of fifty.
At age 64, Langer still averages 272 off the tee, which places him 35th on the Champions Tour. He’s second in greens in regulation, second in putting and second in birdie average.
True, the Dominion Energy was Langer’s first win in since March of 2020, but he seems to always be hanging around the top of the leaderboard. In 2021, he has eleven top tens. He ranks first on the money list over Jim Furyk, who is thirteen years his junior. Thirteen years difference doesn’t mean a lot to guys in their their twenties
At the Ally Challenge earlier this year — on his birthday — Langer shot his age in the first round. He finished second.
Physical fitness is of course one of the major reasons for Langer’s longevity. I published a post last year about Langer’s workout routine.
There is a lot in his routine that any amateur golfer can employ. He uses some fairly ordinary equipment such as an exercise bike, medicine ball, fitness ball, dumbells and kettlebell. That’s all stuff that I use in my own basement gym.
Langer’s swing also likely is a large part of the equation. Golf magazine has a pretty good article on the subtle swing changes that he’s made over the years. I think there are somethings there that us older golfers can take away.
Here’s clinic langer put on in 2018.
I haven’t had the opportunity to have a chat with Langer, but I’d like to. I’d love to know what advice he might have for aging golfers like myself.
A few years back, I played a round of golf at Indianwood CC. It turned out that during the US Senior Open there, Langer had stayed in the home of one of the guys in my group. He talked about what a gentleman Langer was, and how well the golfer had treated his host.
I hope to be able to get to the next Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Maybe I’ll get the chance to chat with him there.