Good Posture

By Katherine RobertsNovember 7, 2003, 5:00 pm
What defines good posture?
If you have ever had your golf swing videotaped, you know the horror of seeing your posture for the first time. Remember when your parent told you stand up straight? Maybe you should have payed closer attention. Why does posture matter? According to Paul Chek, a golf biomechanical specialist and founder of the Chek Institute, posture is defined as, The position from which movement begins and ends. This definition is particularly useful when you consider that a persons posture is a physical result of the interaction between their mind and body, nervous system and musculoskeletal system. If you begin and end movement with poor posture, you greatly increase the chance of joint wear-and-tear and injury.
Even if you possess straight posture while sitting, it does not insure sound postural alignment in your golf stance or during your golf swing. For example, while sitting, you are in a static, controlled condition. Standing in your golf stance and executing the swing, places your body in a dynamic position. This correct postural position now requires explosive movement, tremendous strength and flexibility.
During the address phase of the swing, it is important to keep the shoulders back. When the shoulders begin to roll forward it creates a condition known as thoracic kyphosis ' an undesirable postural condition on and off the golf course. As we age, a rounding of the shoulders develops, as a slight hump in the upper back and forward head position is a common condition.
The following Yoga for Golfers poses address muscles affecting the upper thoracic spinal region. You will begin to experience better posture in the thoracic spine, increasing the opportunity for a consistent, repeatable swing.
Depending on your fitness level, hold each pose for five to fifteen long slow deep breaths.
Cat / Cow pose:

The Cat pose will gently and effectively increase your spinal range of motion.
Yoga for Golfers - Cow pose

Begin on the floor, place your body on all fours - hands and knees. The hands are placed directly under the shoulders - knees directly under the hips. As you begin a deep inhalation, engage the buttocks and curl the spine from the base up to your neck (tucking your chin into your chest).
Yoga for Golfers - Cat pose

As you begin the exhalation, arch youre back bringing your shoulder blades together, moving your shoulders away from your ears. Be sure not to scrunch or hyper-extend your neck during this exercise. Perform this ten times in each direction - moving very slowly with focus on deep breathing through the nose.
Note: Before you begin this or any exercise program obtain written permission from your doctor. Move slowly and gently, never experiencing pain. If you have high blood pressure or glaucoma do not place your head below your heart. Remaining standing straight up.
Modified Dog pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Modified Dog pose

Place hands wider than shoulder width apart. Spread fingers wide and begin to move the knees back to just under the hips. Pull your navel towards the spine, protecting the low back and move the buttocks away from the hands. Forearms are off the ground. Feel the stretch in the shoulders and upper back, down to the thoracic spine.

Yoga for Golfers - Rhomboid stretch

Rhomboid stretch:
Place feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Bend knees and draw the navel towards the spine supporting the back. Lace hands together in front of body and drop arms slightly lower than shoulder height. Press hands and arms away from the upper body, tucking the chin towards the chest. Feel the stretch in the upper back.



Yoga for Golfers - Chest opening pose

Chest opening pose:
Stand with feet hip width apart, slightly bend knees and draw navel towards the spine supporting the low back. Clasp hands behind back, bringing the fleshy part of the palm together. Roll the shoulder open and hold for five breaths. Fold forward allowing the hands to come over the head. Hold for five breaths.


Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at
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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."

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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.'"

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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."

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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."

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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.