Developing a Quiet Mind

By Katherine RobertsJune 9, 2006, 4:00 pm
Golfers often ask me what they can do to quiet their minds on the course. With so many things to think about such as course management, club selection, grip, stance, mechanics, etcit is no wonder that golfers have a tendency to be mentally distracted.
 
Yoga for GolfersYoga is often considered to be only a series of physical exercises or poses but yoga is primarily about the mind. Traditionally the physical practice is intended to prepare the body to sit in meditation. Many of my students tell me they want the physical benefits of yoga in addition to the mental benefits of a quiet mind.
 
I describe an advanced yoga practitioner as not the student with the most flexible hamstrings or the deepest back bend but the student with the calmest eyes. By that I mean the student whose eyes remain on their own mat and whose eyes do not dart around the room.
 
To this day the topic of mediation invokes thoughts of sitting still for hours in uncomfortable positions while burning incense and chanting unusual sounds. Facilitating a quiet mind through meditation is possible through various avenues.
 
This week we look at ways to help you learn to focus and quiet the mind!
 
  • Moving meditation - When we coordinate movement, breath and focus.
  • Visualization - Mediation designed to achieve a specific outcome.
  • Quiet mediation - Sitting in silence.
     
    So, how do you quiet your mind? My suggestion is that you practice your mediation three days a week and begin with short durations of time. Let's get started!
     
    Yoga for GolfersMoving meditation #1: Practice your yoga for golfers poses without any interruptions and try to focus on one spot on the floor. Stay focused as you move in an out of each pose.
     
    Moving meditation #2: Go for a walk and as you strike your foot against the ground breath deeply with each step. Feel your entire foot striking the ground, heel through each toe. Translate this walking mediation to the golf course and you will find yourself in a zone state of concentration.
     
    Visualization meditation: Every yoga practice ends with the most important pose of all ' corpse pose. As you lie on your back, palms facing towards the ceiling use this time for total relaxation. Your nervous system is integrating the physical practice and you are allowing your mind to rest. Typically this time is spent without thought but for our purposes we will use this time after your yoga for golfers practice to visualize your desired outcome.
     
    Visualize with clarity the body moving in the way you want to optimally swing the club, the trajectory of the ball, the sound of the ball falling into the cup, etc Repeat this visualization three to five times and then allow the mind to drift away for another five minutes.
     
    Yoga for GolfersQuiet meditation #1: Begin with sitting for short periods of time. Find a quiet space and sit upright in a chair or with your back against the wall. Focus only on your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply without holding your breath.
     
    Quiet meditation #2: Extend the period of time to five to ten minutes. Your breathing will unconsciously slow down and your mind will begin to settle down as well. When external thoughts creep into your mind, acknowledge them and then let them go.
     
    The more you practice your meditation, whether moving or in stillness you will see and feel a more focused, keen awareness naturally progress from your living room to the first tee!
     
    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.
     
    Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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 Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.
  • Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    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 6 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 Web.com 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.