Power from the Core

By Katherine RobertsDecember 19, 2003, 5:00 pm
Davis Love, Jr. is quoted as saying, You should want to hit the ball as far as you can; dont be a shamed of that. The $64,000. question, How do you do that?
Studies have proven that the core of the body is a key source for generating power in your swing. In the practice of yoga we continuously incorporate the use of the core ' it is an area of the body that is always working. In yoga, the Sanskrit term is called uddiyana, which translates into flying up. The notion that working the core abdominal area below the navel or lower abdominal area will fly strength up the torso or generate more power.
I have always believed in preparing the body for a workout or golf game with a good warm up routine. Over the last four years I have incorporated a core abdominal routine into the early portion of every class I teach. By initially working the core of the body, you will increase blood flow to the core and you will not be tempted to skip that part of the workout. I have noticed a significant improvement in my students as a result of this conditioning routine.
First: Their posture is greatly improved.
Second: They are able to rotate their core more efficiently, generating more speed and power.
Third: They are less prone to injury because they have taken the time to warm up the abdominals.
In your golf swing, the majority of the initial movement in the golf swing initiates from the external abdominals or obliques. Some other benefits of working the abdominals include:
  • Supports a straight spine at address and throughout the golf swing

  • Increases rotation

  • Supports healthy lumbar spine

  • Facilitates better posture

  • Supports internal organs

No Bogeys: While practicing crunches, elbows should remain in the peripheral vision. Head and neck should be supported at all times. Do not pull on neck. Allow the head to rest in the supported clasped hands. Keep the lower spine pressing against the floor, engaging the lower abdominals.

Supine core strengthening:

Yoga for Golfers - Supine core strengthening pose

This pose provides a safe, slow and effective method for working the abdominals. Note: You will begin to feel relief in the low back by practicing this pose daily.
On the back with knees bent, place towel between inner thighs, inhale, squeeze towel and exhale, pressing navel towards lumbar spine and lumbar spine towards floor. Hold for five breaths and repeat three times.
With hands laced supporting the neck, inhale squeezing the towel. Press low back toward the floor; exhale lifting the sternum and face directly toward the ceiling. Repeat fifteen to twenty times, exhaling during the exertion phase of the exercise.
Yogi bicycles:

The key to this pose is to move very slowly, breathing deeply through the nose. Control is the way to work the abdominals effectively. Faster is definitely NOT better!
Yoga for Golfers - Yogi bicycles (level 1)

Level One: Bend the knees, feet flat on the floor. Keep one foot on the floor, hands behind the head supporting the neck, as you exhale lift the right shoulder to meet the left knee. Switch sides repeating until the abdominals are fatigued.
As you exhale, lift the sternum and face towards the ceiling. Exhale, moving the right shoulder towards left knee and then switch sides. Repeat ten times.
Yoga for Golfers - Yogi bicycles (level 2)

Level Two: Extend the bent leg and lift the opposite leg off the floor. Repeat ten times.
Bogey: Keep the elbows in the peripheral vision and do not pull on the neck.
Yoga / Pilates abdominal rolls:

Yoga for Golfers - Abdominal rolls

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.

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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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.