Questions Answered - Week 1

By Katherine RobertsAugust 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
Yoga tips for better golf performances
 
This week begins a new series entitled, Questions Answered. I respond to frequently asked inquiries regarding golf performance. The yoga tips specifically address these issues and I am confident these issues will resonate with most golfers. Please e-mail your questions to Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com. If your question is answered in the coming weeks you will receive a complimentary assessment and fitness program.
 
Katherine,

I purchased your Yoga for Golfers DVD and am a happy customer! I have suffered from back pain for years, and golf was often a strain. However, this year I have been consistent in working on core strength - and I have been playing pain-free golf (and better golf!) for some time now. I attribute much of that to the yoga.

I do have a question for you. Much of my back pain is attributable to EXTREMELY tight hamstrings. I can't sit straight up on the floor with my legs straight in front of me because of the tightness. The tightness is most noticeable right behind my knees. I stretch daily, but seem to make LITTLE progress, and one of my written goals is to be able to touch my nose to my knees within 3 years.

My question is this: What is the best way to attack this problem? Is it best to hold the stretches for long periods? Short periods? Should I do different exercises? Currently, I am lying on the floor and holding a rope around my foot and holding the stretch for 8 or so deep breaths.

Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated. And again, thanks for the yoga DVD.

Sincerely, Blair B. Jackson, MS

 
Blairs question is very common. Because of a sedentary lifestyle, many golfers struggle with tight hamstrings. This restricted flexibility issue is a direct correlation to a high incidence of back pain and most golfers will experience relief in the back once they target the hamstrings. Although many other issues do contribute to back pain (including restricted mobility in the hips, poor core conditioning and compromised posture) the hamstrings play a major part in mobilizing the lumbar spine.
 
In the Yoga for Golfers program I focus on the subtleties of the pose. The analogy I use is that when you slightly revise the golf swing, for example by changing your grip, this subtle change generates immense results. While practicing yoga this week, please focus on engaging the quadriceps and you will create a much deeper stretch in the hamstrings. It is the subtleties of golf that create the most dramatic results.
 
Regarding the length of time to hold the stretch the answer is three fold and all forms of flexibility conditioning are applicable:
  1. Dynamic stretching in which you hold the stretch for three seconds.
  2. Active elongation or functional stretching in which you move the maximum range of motion and then flex or engage the muscle. In this phase you will flex the quads, flex the feet and press the heels away from the center of the body. Hold for three seconds, relax and repeat.
  3. Static stretching in which you stay in the pose for twenty seconds to one minute.
Lets get started!
 
Supine hand to foot pose:

Yoga for Golfers

This is the pose that Blair refers to in his e-mail.
 
Place the strap around the right foot and bend the left knee. Extend the right leg as straight as possible. Flex the foot towards you and press the heel away from you. Engage the quadriceps on the right leg during the exhalation. Inhale and allow the knee to slightly bend. Exhale and stretch the leg to the fullest extent. Repeat five to ten times and switch sides.
 
Straight leg pose:

Yoga for Golfers

Sitting with your back against the wall, extend the legs straight out. Flex the quads and feet as you lift the heels off the floor. Spread the toes as wide as possible to increase the flexibility in the feet. Pull the navel into the spine and focus on lifting the ribcage up and off the waist. Visualize your spine elongating as you inhale and exhale deeply. Hold for five breaths, relax and repeat three to five times.
 
Yoga for Golfers

Fold forward for five to ten deep breaths.
 
Spread out hand to club pose:

Yoga for Golfers

Place the feet four feet apart and rotate the feet and legs inwards. Hinge at the hips and eventually bring the body to a 90 degree angle to the legs. Do not worry if you are not at 90 degrees when you first attempt this pose. Once at the maximum stretch, squeeze the quads and adductors or inner thighs towards each other. Hold for three seconds, return to the starting position and repeat five times.
 
If you are facing a physical or mental challenge on the course the chances are high that someone else is looking down the shaft at the same issue. Share your thoughts by sending them to Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com.
 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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 Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.
  • Getty Images

    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

    Getty Images

    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

    Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

    Getty Images

    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”