Building Your X-Factor - Week 1

By Katherine RobertsJune 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
I have always considered my work as a teacher a true blessing. I am able to blend my passions for golf and yoga and I have the opportunity to help golfers play better and live healthier lives. Additionally, I have the honor of working with some of the most talented golf instructors in the world. This week I will be teaching a golf school with one of my favorite teachers, Hank Haney. Last year we taught four schools together and this week begins the kick-off for our six schools together in 2006. Teaching with Hank offers me an opportunity to learn an unprecedented amount of information about the golf swing and to emulate his constant curiosity about the golf swing.
During the golf schools we work with cross section of golfers ' varying handicaps, fitness levels, quality of equipment, etc They all share one common thread, a deep desire for improvement. Having taught fitness for golfers for twenty years I can tell you that most golfers are looking for more distance. How do you get more distance? You will need to increase your range of motion, specifically your ability to turn your trunk and shoulders in relationship to your hips! The X-factor! I use Jim McLeans term to describe the ratio of shoulder turn to hip turn.
According to Jim the optimal x-factor is a 90 degree shoulder turn to a 45 degree hip rotation. What does the X-factor mean to you? When I teach with Hank our objective is to make your swing as good as your swing can be. The goal of this series is to provide you with the tools, yoga poses and balance ball exercises, to help you achieve your optimal X-factor.
The range of motion in your trunk directly correlates to the ability to generate club head speed, maintain your spine angle for more consistency, efficiently generate power transferred from the lower body and maintain your endurance.
This week will use a series of yoga poses based on the Crescent lunge and trunk rotation. Training the body to rotate the shoulders separately from the hips will increase your X-Factor and increase your ability to generate power from the trunk.
Lets get started!
Crescent lunge pose with extended club ' trunk rotation:

Yoga for Golfers

Begin with the right leg bent at a ninety degree angle and slide your left leg back placing your knee on the floor.
Note: If your knee is sensitive place a towel under your left knee.
Yoga for Golfers

Place the club in your hands, extend your arms to shoulder height and take a deep breathe. Draw your navel towards your spine and elongate your waist. Inhale and rotate the trunk to the right. Twist to the left and repeat this rotation ten times over the right legs, switch legs and twist over the left leg.
Note: Lead the twist with your base of your spine and rotate up to your thoracic spine.
Crescent lunge pose with club crossed over the chest:

Yoga for Golfers

Begin in the crescent lunge position again. The objective in this pose is to stabilize the hips and rotate the trunk and shoulders. Inhale deeply as you draw the navel towards the spine, lift the ribcage off the waist and focus on stabilizing the lower body.
Yoga for Golfers

On your exhalation twist to the right and left ten times and switch sides.
Special Note: Tune in to The Golf Channel to see Katherine Roberts on How Low Can You Go? Wednesday's at 9:30 PM ET. Check out her new fitness tips in The Golf Channel Video Vault.
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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at or visit
  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."