The Mind Matters

By Katherine RobertsFebruary 24, 2006, 5:00 pm
I have been playing golf since the age of fifteen and golf has been an important aspect of our family life. When people describe their favorite comfort feeling as a child, like the smell of a specific food cooking on the stove or a favorite family memory. Mine are the sound of metal cleats on concrete and the smell of good scotch. Both were a good indication of my fathers close proximity.
 
Yoga for Golfers - Katherine RobertsUntil the day I discovered yoga I played most of my life to a 24 handicap. Once I began to implement the physical and mental aspects of yoga into my game my handicap dropped to a 16. Specifically when I became more aware of the first and second yoga principles, addressing my negative inner dialogue, my entire game changed. These principles also benefited my students who have lowered their handicaps as well.
 
The Yoga for Golfers program offers a unique blend of scientific research on golf biomechanics and cutting edge training techniques with ancient yoga postures and principles. Through this blending of the mind, body and breathing, our objective is to maximize your performance on the course and enhance your life off the course. Our intention is to reach these goals through the eight guiding principles of yoga. These principles include the following:
 
1. Conduct towards the outside world
2. Personal conduct or personal discipline
3. The physical exercises or poses
4. Breathing exercises
5. Internal awareness ' withdrawing from the external
6. Concentration of the mind
7. Meditation
8. Enlightenment ' The Whole in One.
 
Now you maybe asking how these principles will benefit you on the course. Over the next few weeks we will practice some of the physical aspects of yoga combined with tips on how to reach the optimum level of peak performance through body and mind awareness.
 
Having grown up with golfers I can say this with confidence ' golfers have a tendency to exhibit self-loathing behavior. We are always telling ourselves we are not good enough, we can always be better. A friend of mine is a sports psychologist and for his Masters thesis he positioned himself off the eighteen green of a local course for two weeks. He asked each golfer as they walked off the green one question, How was your round? The younger golfers responding with comments reflecting how much fun they had on the course. The older the golfers age and the lower the handicap the response reflected some form of disappointment. They should have hit the ball farther, made more putts, etc
 
Your inner dialogue is a direct correlation to the outcome. It is a universal law that what you focus your attention towards is what you create. If your focus is negativity you will be surrounded by negativity. At one time I suffered from the yips in my chipping. It was so bad that for six months I stood over every chip shot and said to myself, This is not going to be good! As you can imagine, my body heard the message my mind was telling it to believe. Once I changed my inner dialogue to, You can hit this shot Katherine! my ability to hit chip shots returned.
 
Here are a few tips to help you establish a positive thought process:
  1. Visualize the desired outcome for each shot before you set up. Visualize with clarity!

  2. Incorporate a deep, cleansing breath into your pre-shot routine and see the tension leaving your body and mind.

  3. Practice positive inner dialogue. I can make this shot!
My recommendation is that you begin this practice on a daily basis, setting a positive intention for the day before your get out of bed in the morning. Practice these thoughts in your car on the way to the course and on the practice tee. You will see benefits in all aspects of your life.
 
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.
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."