Six Stress Busters

By Katherine RobertsDecember 12, 2003, 5:00 pm
During this time of the year as our schedules get more and more hectic we have a tendency to overeat and drink, skip work outs and become more sedentary. In addition traveling to visit family can mean long hours in the car or sitting in uncomfortable ergonomically incorrect airplane seats. Combine all of these factors and you will begin to feel discomfort in the back. Even if you cant get to the gym or cannot seem to find the time for a complete yoga practice doing something is always better than nothing!
When my clients ask how many times and what length of time should they do the Yoga for Golfers program I suggest fifteen minutes as day, three days a week is better than once a week for one hour.
This series of yoga poses should take you approximately fifteen minutes and will bring relief to an aching back. In addition, the childs pose and forward fold will calm the nervous system and are suggested to help reduce stress and ground the body ' an asset during the hectic holiday season. Practicing these poses during the off season will help you keep your back fit for golf, reducing your risk of injury when you get back on the course.
Travel Tip: When getting on the plane grab the first pillow you see and place it between your low back and the seat. This will greatly reduce the stress on the lumbar spine. Once you have arrived at your destination I suggest you practice these yoga poses to relieve the strain on your back.
Note: If you have high blood pressure (that is not under control through medication) or glaucoma do not put your head below your heart.
Par Level = Knees into chest

Lying on your back, bring one knee into the chest and hold for five breaths. Switch sides and then bring both knees onto the chest for five more breaths. Relax the head and neck.
Par Level = Child's Pose
Yoga for Golfers - Child pose

Begin on all fours and place a towel on your heels. Begin to sit back, moving the buttocks towards the heels eventually resting on the towel or your heels. You may need to adjust the towel or remove the towel for comfort. Bring your forehad to the floor or place it on a towel. You should feel a nice stretch in your low back. Hold for two minutes or twenty-five deep breaths.
Par Level = Childs Pose with the arms extended.
Yoga for Golfers - Child pose with arms extended

In the Childs Pose extend your arms towards the front of the mat. Place your hands as wide as the mat and feel like you are pushing the mat away from you, deepening the stretch in the low back. Hold for ten more breaths. Come out of this pose very slowly, lifting from your core.
Birdie Level = Standing forward fold with elbows clasped and knees bent.
Yoga for Golfers - Standing forward fold  pose

Standing with the feet hip width apart, bend the knees and fold forward allowing the body to hand like a rag doll. If possible bring the opposite elbows together and continue to hand. Draw the navel into the spine to increase the pose. Hold for five to ten breaths. Come out of this pose slowly to prevent light-headedness.
Eagle Level = Standing forward fold with legs straight.
Yoga for Golfers - Standing forward fold  pose

Remain in the Birdie Level pose and begin to straighten your legs. You will feel more intensity in the low back as well as the hamstrings. Shift your weight so it is over the balls of the feet. Do not hyper-extend the knees. Hold for five to ten more breaths.
Eagle Level = Downward Dog at the Wall
Yoga for Golfers - Downward Dog at Wall pose

This is a great pose for working the low back, hamstrings and shoulders all at one time. Facing the wall, place the hands firmly at shoulder width apart and chest height. Begin to walk the feet back bringing the body to a ninety degree angle to the legs. Draw the navel in and roll the shoulders away from the ears. DO NOT rotate the shoulders inward. Flex the quads to increase the stretch in the hamstrings. Hold for five to ten 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.