Ten Week Challenge - Week 1

By Katherine RobertsJanuary 9, 2004, 5:00 pm
Over the next ten weeks we will be rolling out a golf-specific yoga program that will get you and keep you in great golf shape ' body and mind! Based on specific golf biomechanical information, the Yoga for Golfers program will address the physical components often responsible for swing faults. Each week the next series of yoga poses focuses on the following:
  • Standing poses that will increase strength, balance and endurance in the lower body.

  • Standing poses that utilize the wall so you have the opportunity to increase the intensity of the pose and support better balance.

  • Core conditioning poses stabilize the body from which all movement is initiated. Core conditioning also supports posture and endurance.

  • Seated poses increasing rotation, shoulder turn and strength in the upper body.

  • Seated poses using props and the wall that will enable you to work into the connective tissue.

  • Learn the basics of meditation techniques which can be applied to visualization techniques increasing your capacity to stay focused.

Each weeks yoga sequence should be added to the previous one so you will build an effective, flexibility and strengthening yoga based program.
Here's what you need to get started:

  • Frequency: Practice a minimum of three days a week. If possible five days a week is better. (I practice yoga six days a week)

  • Duration: This program is designed to be approximately 30 minutes. Adherence is more important to success than duration.

  • Equipment: You will need a yoga mat, yoga block and yoga strap. These can be purchased on-line at www.huggermugger.com or at most retail stores such as Target. You will also need three bath size towels.

  • Location: Find a space that is quiet and warm. You only need enough room to accommodate the mat (24 x 64 inches). This is a great program to take with you if you travel. If possible heat up the room so the muscles stay warm. You will be sweating!

And some guidelines to follow:

  • Move slowly in and out of each pose. You should never experience pain when practicing yoga. Slight discomfort is acceptable ' pain in not!

  • Breath deeply inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Note: If breathing becomes to strained, back off the pose so you can control the breath. The controlled breathing is more important than the pose. (more on that subject to follow)

  • Align your body with keen attention. Just as in golf the placement of the feet, posture and awareness is critical in yoga.

  • Each pose requires that you draw the navel inwards, lift the ribcage to lengthen the torso by working the core.

In my instructional DVDs, I offer three levels of intensity, what I refer to as the Par (Basic), Birdie (Intermediate) or Eagle (Advanced) levels. For our purpose we will mostly focus on the Par or Birdie levels.
Week 1 - The Warm-up
This week focuses on a warm-up sequence of yoga poses. This sequence should be performed at the beginning of every yoga practice. Some of these yoga poses look familiar and linked together will prepare the body for the yoga practice and a round of golf.
Breathing Awareness exercise:

Yoga for Golfers - Breathing Awareness exercise

This yoga exercise will facilitate deep, diaphragmatic, effective breathing. Begin by lying on your back, knees bent, and fingers resting lightly on your ribcage. As you inhale fee the expansion in the ribcage, as you exhale feel the contraction. It is as if the entire mid-section is rising and falling. Try to maintain the inhale for a count of four the exhale for a count of six. Practice this for ten to twenty breaths or until you feel you have awareness and control of your breathing.
Spine Warm-up with block:

Yoga for Golfers - Spine Warm-up with block

This pose warms up the spine and abdominals. Bend knees and place block between thighs, feet flat on the floor. Place hands under thighs to support the back. Draw the navel into the spine, pressing the abdominals against the spine, tucking the chin in. Slowly roll back wards, squeezing the block as tightly as possible. Go to the point of muscle fatigue and roll back up. Exhale as you roll down, inhale as you roll back up. Focus on the abdominal strength. Repeat ten times.
Cow-Cat pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Cow pose

On all fours, place the hands, fingers spread wide, directly under the shoulders, knees directly under the hips.
Yoga for Golfers - Cat pose

Inhale, draw the navel towards the spine, press the spine towards the ceiling, tucking the chin into the chest.
Exhale, press the spine towards the floor, shoulders moving away from the ears, lifting the head slightly. Continue for ten repetitions.
Modified Downward Facing Dog pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Modified Downward Facing Dog

On your knees, place your hands at the top and as wide as the mat. Spead your fingers wide, palms flat. Lift the buttocks away from the heels and feel the stretch in the shoulders and low back. Hold for ten breaths.
Downward Facing Dog pose:
Yoga for Golfers - Downward Facing Dog

From the modified dog pose, lift the hips up, pressing the mat away from you and feeling the stretch in the shoulders and hamstrings. Try to move the heels towards the floor and straighten the legs (EAGLE). If necessary, bend the knees to relieve the stress on the hamstrings. Feet are slightly less than hip width apart. Allow the next to relax, eyes gaze towards the nave. Hold for five to ten breaths.
Modified Cobra pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Modified Cobra

On your belly, squeeze the legs together, engage the buttocks, draw the navel towards the spine and lift the chest off the floor. Hands are placed next to the chest, elbows tucked in next to the body. Hold for ten breaths.
Upward Facing Dog pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Upward Facing Dog

Keeping the hands and top of the feet on the floor, lift the body up. Keep the lower body very active ' quads and gluts engaged. Roll the shoulders back and chest forward. Hold for five breaths.
Next week we will move into a series of standing poses. Feel free to e-mail me with any question at info@yogaforgolfers.com.
As my gift to you for your new commitment to Yoga for Golfers I am offering a 25% discount off all the instructional DVDs to TheGolfChannel.com readers. Go to my website - - www.yogaforgolfers.com. Select the product and enter PR25 in the purchase code and receive the discount. Enjoy!

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.

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “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.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.

Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

Here are some other social media posts that have surfaced:

Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.