Staying Balanced

By Katherine RobertsDecember 5, 2003, 5:00 pm
One of the great things about yoga is that you can practice anywhere, anytime, during any season. How many winter seasons have we declared our commitment to staying fit during the off season? Now is the time. During these upcoming winter months you will have the opportunity (and no excuses) to practice yoga for golfers in your home.
 
This weeks article will address balance ' a key component and an integral part of practicing yoga. Every standing yoga posture requires balance. In golf, balance means many things ' balance in the musculo-skeletal system as well as the ability to balance when performing various tasks such as the golf swing. As we age, flexibility and balance are greatly compromised. Working on balance will help the body as it relates to proprioception - ones ability to adjust the body and know where the body is positioned in space. Practicing yoga and specifically balancing poses will help you in this area.
 
Golf Tip: If you have ever found yourself feeling off balance, even on a flat tee box or falling backwards in the finish position, working on balance will help you feel more grounded - more in balance.
 
In the Yoga for Golfers program I have developed three levels of intensity. Par represents the basics, Birdie is a more intermediate level and Eagle represents the advanced levels. It is important to start at the beginning and these varying levels will give you the opportunity to advance.
 
Par Level = Tree Pose
Yoga for Golfers - Tree Pose

Begin by focusing on a spot on the floor approximately four feet in front of you. You can place a golf ball on the floor at that spot. Bring the right foot up, placing it on the inside of the left knee or the inner thigh. Hands come to the waist. Hold for five breaths. Lift arms over the head and hold for five more breaths. Switch sides.
 
Birdie Level = Hip Opening Balancing Pose
Yoga for Golfers - Hip Opening Balancing PoseYoga for Golfers - Hip Opening Balancing Pose

This pose works on balance as well as stretching the adductors and hip area. Begin by focusing as you bring the left heel on the outside of the right knee. Try to press your knee towards the floor. Note: You should feel a stretch in the hip, not the knee. Bring the hands to the waist, draw the navel in working the core and hinge at the hips. Note: Keep the back flat, not rounded. Hold for five breaths. Extend the arms out to the side and hold for another five breaths. Switch sides.
 

Eagle Level = Balancing T Pose
Yoga for Golfers - Balancing T PoseYoga for Golfers - Balancing T Pose

Begin by focusing as you step the right foot forward two feet. Drawing the navel in to protect the back and work on the core, hinge at the hips, bringing the upper body parallel to the floor. Note: Keep the hips level and you will also develop strength in the legs, hips and gluts. Engage or squeeze the buttocks on the left side as you flex the left foot. Hold for five breaths and then extend the arms out to the sides. Hold for an additional five breaths and then switch sides.
 

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 info@yogaforgolfers.com.
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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.