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

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

Ko told Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

“It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

"It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."