Eight Week Challenge Week 8 - Meditation Part A

By Katherine RobertsOctober 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
Meditation Part A
The Zone, a mystical state of consciousness that seems to be neither physical nor mental ' effortless amid tense exertion ' as if playing in slow motion ' perceptually sharp, keenly alert, with heightened concentration ' almost as if being psychic. Such profound experiences, often commonplace to athletes, bear comparison to daydreaming, communion with nature, and spiritual contemplation.
-Gary Gach
The Complete Idiots Guide to Buddhism

How many swing thoughts come into your mind while addressing the ball? How do you overcome distractions? How do you attain peak concentration? What about confidence? Where is that zone and how do you attain it? Week Eight the focus is on meditation with relaxation and visualization. Meditation is practiced to calm the mind, focus, and visualize the desired golf-specific outcome. Focus, meditation and visualization are essential tools on the golf course.
When the body and mind become one we are completely aligned. Everything works from driving the ball to putting out the hole. There is a feeling of being in the flowits euphoric. The mind is quiet and the body is relaxed. There is no effort and calmness within exists. Total focus within equals total focus on the course. Moving the mind into a zone-like state while maintaining full awareness can be achieved through meditation practice. A quiet mind is open to subliminal and conscious suggestions. Practicing visualization techniques will create the power to manifest your intention and your desired golf outcome into reality. Developing a quieter mind will increase concentration and visualization capabilities.
Tiger Woods in an ABC-TV interview said, My mothers a Buddhist. In Buddhism if you want to achieve enlightenment, you have to do it through meditation and self-improvement through the mind. Thats something shes passed on to me: to be able to calm myself down and use my mind as my main asset.
Week Eight will be divided into Part A and Part B. Next week we will focus on Part B with a Post Round Restorative Sequence.
Golf benefits of Week Eight Part A:
Learn to quiet the mind.
Improve focus and concentration.
Increase visualization capabilities for desired outcome.
You will need a yoga mat, 2 large towels, and a golf club. We will begin with an explanation of the Easy Pose. The Easy Pose (with variations) is traditionally used for meditation. An explanation of the Corpse Pose will follow.
Lets get started!
Meditation ' Easy Pose
Place a golf club directly in front of you. Sit on the yoga mat with the legs crossed. If the hips and/or groin are tight, the legs can be crossed in a more open position, or with one leg straightened or both legs straightened or bent in front of the body. The important issue is that you be comfortable. If the position is not comfortable the mind will drift to the body parts of discomfort and it will be hard to concentrate. If you have a tendency to round the back, sit on the edge of the front of a folded towel or rest your back against the wall. For those folks with knee issues or hip issues you may want to sit on a chair with the feet flat on the floor. When in a comfortable seated position, gently close the eyes, press down on the sitz bones, elongate the spine, lift the rib cage and crown of the head, and spread your wings (bring the shoulders down and back). The arms and hands on in a comfortable position resting the back of the hands on the knees, palms up with the index finger and thumb gently touching.
Begin to take long but gentle inhalations and exhalations totally focusing on the breath as it enters and leaves the body. If unnecessary thoughts or chatter enter the mind bring the focus back on the breath. Notice every detail of the breathing process from the moment air enters the nose, through the throat, the action of the ribs and abdominal area as you inhale and exhale. Use the count of two as you inhale and two as you exhaleallow a slight hesitation at the peak of your inhalation and at the end of the exhalation before beginning the next round of breath. Gradually increase the count to three in and three out, then four, and then five. As you feel your body and mind relaxing into the breath let the breath normalize (without counting) and begin to visualize a desired outcome to improve performance on the golf course. For example, you may want to visualize a round of golf on your favorite course. See yourself from the first tee to the last putt on the eighteenth hole playing the best round you have ever experienced. Notice every detail of the course from the tee boxes, the fairways, and the greens.

Corpse Pose
The relaxation pose or corpse pose is the most important part of the yoga practice, second only to breathing. Practiced at the end of a yoga sequence, it should never be skipped. If short on time, it is more beneficial to take time for the corpse pose then it is to do the poses. This is the period when the nervous system incorporates all the work youve just done, allows the body to rest, and offers the mind an opportunity to imprint the mental intentions so important to golf and life. In the corpse pose, although completely relaxed, the mind is still awake. Remain gently conscious, being present in the pose.
Setting up for the corpse pose option one: Lie on your back on a yoga mat and place towels under your knees as pictured. Begin by contracting every muscle in the body. Hold two breaths and relax on the exhalation.
Setting up for the corpse pose option two: In corpse pose focus on the breath as you begin visualizing tension leaving your body. Begin from the toes and move to the crown of the head. Each exhalation relieves tension, sinking you deeper into the ground. You can let you mind rest, allowing the mind to drift and flow freely, or take this time to practice the visualization techniques so important to golf performance.

Please e-mail me and let me know how you are progressing. I am here to support you in your new eight week commitment to excellence.
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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.
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    Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

    Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

    Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

    “The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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    Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

    She wondered if there would be resentment.

    She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

    “I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

    PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

    Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

    She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

    Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

    “It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

    Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

    He waved Lincicome over.

    “He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

    Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

    “The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

    Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

    Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

    “I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

    Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

    Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

    Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

    What are Lincicome’s expectations?

    She would love to make the cut, but . . .

    “Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

    Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

    “I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

    Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

    Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

    As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

    “The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

    Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

    The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

    “She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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    Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

    There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

    Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

    She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

    It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

    Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

    "It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

    Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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    Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

    Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

    “I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

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    Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

    “It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

    The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

    “All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”