Eight Week Challenge Week 7 - Balance

By Katherine RobertsSeptember 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
Balance
 
Too many people, I believe, feel so uncomfortable and off balance at address that its almost impossible for them to get the swing started, let alone finish it.
- Mickey Wright
 
If you have ever experienced falling forward or backward in the golf swing you understand the importance of good balance. With age, balance and proprioception (the ability to sense where the body is in space) become compromised. In addition, practicing balancing poses requires one-pointed concentration. The more you can quiet the mind, move inward, and focus on one single point, the easier it becomes to balance. Similarly, in golf, the greater the ability to focus on one task and quiet the mind, the more tension free the swing becomes. Balance provides essential motion support as the shifting of weight during the swing requires body steadiness. The entire movement of the golf swingfrom addressing the ball to the follow-through requires balance. Think about it. All phases of the typical golf swingthe addressbackswing (take-away and top of backswing)downswingimpactfollow-through require balance. Focus and concentration are needed for balance just as focus and concentration are needed through out a round of golf.
 
Golf benefits of week seven:
Develops a sense of feeling grounded in the golf stance; a firm connection to the feet.
Supports a consistent swing path as balance helps with weight transference.
Reduces extraneous movement in the golf swing; creates more poise and steadiness.
Progressive balance teaches proprioception.
Quiets the mind.
Teaches one-pointed focus and concentration.
 
For week seven you will need a stability ball and a commitment to do the postures four days a week.
 
Lets get started!
 
Par Level: Single Leg Balance with Bent Knee
Stand tall facing the stability ball at 6 to 8 inches from the ball. Press the navel to the spine, lift the ribs, shoulders down, head in line with the spine and in a level position, and hands on hips. Breathing naturally through the nose focus on a spot 3 or more feet ahead of the ball. Shift your weight on to the right leg (do not lock the knee) and when balanced lightly place the left foot on the ball. Slowly lift the left leg in a bent knee position until the foot is 4 inches or more off the ball. Hold position for 5 to 10 breaths. Slowly lower the left foot and lightly place it on the ball and then lower to the floor. Repeat to the other side.
 

 
Par Level Single Leg Balance with Extended Leg
Begin the same prep at stated before. From the bent knee position with the foot raised off the ball 4 to 6 inches slowly extend the leg to a straight position, engage the quads (flex), and point the toes upward. Hold position for 5 to 10 breaths. Slowly lower the leg to the bent knee position and place the foot on the floor. Repeat to other side.
 

 
Birdie Level Hip Opening Balance
Stand facing the ball, balance weight onto right leg, place left foot above the right knee, pressing the left knee toward the floor opening the hip, while lightly placing the lower leg onto the ball. Bend the right knee, draw the navel toward the spine, hinge at the hips, and lower the buttocks toward the floor. Keep the spine flat, with the shoulders rolling back as the arms come up much like airplane wings. Focus eyes approximately 3 feet or more in front of the ball and on one point on the floor. Hold position for 5 to 10 breaths. Slowly remove left leg from ball and repeat to other side.
 

 
Birdie Level Hip Opening Balance
If you were able to do the above hip opening balance try this one for more of a challenge. Begin with the previous explanation and add the following. Deepen the stretch by rolling the ball so it is positioned to the inside of the right leg. The left leg will be above the right knee and not touching the ball. Sink deeper into the stretch keeping the left leg off the ball. Hold position for 5 to 10 breaths, slowly lower leg to floor and repeat to other side.
 

 
Eagle Level Half Moon Pose at Wall
Stand with the left side against a wall with the ball about 18 inches in front of the left foot. Shift your weight onto the left foot and gently place the left hand on the ball with the arm under the shoulder. Focus the eyes toward the ball. Begin to shift the weight onto the left leg, lifting the right leg off the floor. Begin to open the hips toward the right, rolling the hips open. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Release pose by lowing left leg to floor and standing upright. Move around to the other side of the ball and repeat to other side.
 

 
Eagle Level Half Moon Pose at Wall
Once the pose is mastered with the hand on the ball try the following for a greater challenge. Assume the Half Moon Pose at the wall with the hand on the ball. Slowly lift the left arm extending it until it is parallel to the ball. Focus intently with the eyes on the ball. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat to other side.
 

 
Please e-mail me and let me know how you are progressing. I am here to support you in your new eight week commitment to excellence.
 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Katherine Roberts Video 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@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.
  • Getty Images

    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

    Getty Images

    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

    Getty Images

    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

    Getty Images

    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.