Questions Answered - Week 1

By Katherine RobertsAugust 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
Yoga tips for better golf performances
This week begins a new series entitled, Questions Answered. I respond to frequently asked inquiries regarding golf performance. The yoga tips specifically address these issues and I am confident these issues will resonate with most golfers. Please e-mail your questions to If your question is answered in the coming weeks you will receive a complimentary assessment and fitness program.

I purchased your Yoga for Golfers DVD and am a happy customer! I have suffered from back pain for years, and golf was often a strain. However, this year I have been consistent in working on core strength - and I have been playing pain-free golf (and better golf!) for some time now. I attribute much of that to the yoga.

I do have a question for you. Much of my back pain is attributable to EXTREMELY tight hamstrings. I can't sit straight up on the floor with my legs straight in front of me because of the tightness. The tightness is most noticeable right behind my knees. I stretch daily, but seem to make LITTLE progress, and one of my written goals is to be able to touch my nose to my knees within 3 years.

My question is this: What is the best way to attack this problem? Is it best to hold the stretches for long periods? Short periods? Should I do different exercises? Currently, I am lying on the floor and holding a rope around my foot and holding the stretch for 8 or so deep breaths.

Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated. And again, thanks for the yoga DVD.

Sincerely, Blair B. Jackson, MS

Blairs question is very common. Because of a sedentary lifestyle, many golfers struggle with tight hamstrings. This restricted flexibility issue is a direct correlation to a high incidence of back pain and most golfers will experience relief in the back once they target the hamstrings. Although many other issues do contribute to back pain (including restricted mobility in the hips, poor core conditioning and compromised posture) the hamstrings play a major part in mobilizing the lumbar spine.
In the Yoga for Golfers program I focus on the subtleties of the pose. The analogy I use is that when you slightly revise the golf swing, for example by changing your grip, this subtle change generates immense results. While practicing yoga this week, please focus on engaging the quadriceps and you will create a much deeper stretch in the hamstrings. It is the subtleties of golf that create the most dramatic results.
Regarding the length of time to hold the stretch the answer is three fold and all forms of flexibility conditioning are applicable:
  1. Dynamic stretching in which you hold the stretch for three seconds.
  2. Active elongation or functional stretching in which you move the maximum range of motion and then flex or engage the muscle. In this phase you will flex the quads, flex the feet and press the heels away from the center of the body. Hold for three seconds, relax and repeat.
  3. Static stretching in which you stay in the pose for twenty seconds to one minute.
Lets get started!
Supine hand to foot pose:

Yoga for Golfers

This is the pose that Blair refers to in his e-mail.
Place the strap around the right foot and bend the left knee. Extend the right leg as straight as possible. Flex the foot towards you and press the heel away from you. Engage the quadriceps on the right leg during the exhalation. Inhale and allow the knee to slightly bend. Exhale and stretch the leg to the fullest extent. Repeat five to ten times and switch sides.
Straight leg pose:

Yoga for Golfers

Sitting with your back against the wall, extend the legs straight out. Flex the quads and feet as you lift the heels off the floor. Spread the toes as wide as possible to increase the flexibility in the feet. Pull the navel into the spine and focus on lifting the ribcage up and off the waist. Visualize your spine elongating as you inhale and exhale deeply. Hold for five breaths, relax and repeat three to five times.
Yoga for Golfers

Fold forward for five to ten deep breaths.
Spread out hand to club pose:

Yoga for Golfers

Place the feet four feet apart and rotate the feet and legs inwards. Hinge at the hips and eventually bring the body to a 90 degree angle to the legs. Do not worry if you are not at 90 degrees when you first attempt this pose. Once at the maximum stretch, squeeze the quads and adductors or inner thighs towards each other. Hold for three seconds, return to the starting position and repeat five times.
If you are facing a physical or mental challenge on the course the chances are high that someone else is looking down the shaft at the same issue. Share your thoughts by sending them to
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    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 or visit
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.