Six Stress Busters

By Katherine RobertsDecember 12, 2003, 5:00 pm
During this time of the year as our schedules get more and more hectic we have a tendency to overeat and drink, skip work outs and become more sedentary. In addition traveling to visit family can mean long hours in the car or sitting in uncomfortable ergonomically incorrect airplane seats. Combine all of these factors and you will begin to feel discomfort in the back. Even if you cant get to the gym or cannot seem to find the time for a complete yoga practice doing something is always better than nothing!
When my clients ask how many times and what length of time should they do the Yoga for Golfers program I suggest fifteen minutes as day, three days a week is better than once a week for one hour.
This series of yoga poses should take you approximately fifteen minutes and will bring relief to an aching back. In addition, the childs pose and forward fold will calm the nervous system and are suggested to help reduce stress and ground the body ' an asset during the hectic holiday season. Practicing these poses during the off season will help you keep your back fit for golf, reducing your risk of injury when you get back on the course.
Travel Tip: When getting on the plane grab the first pillow you see and place it between your low back and the seat. This will greatly reduce the stress on the lumbar spine. Once you have arrived at your destination I suggest you practice these yoga poses to relieve the strain on your back.
Note: If you have high blood pressure (that is not under control through medication) or glaucoma do not put your head below your heart.
Par Level = Knees into chest

Lying on your back, bring one knee into the chest and hold for five breaths. Switch sides and then bring both knees onto the chest for five more breaths. Relax the head and neck.
Par Level = Child's Pose
Yoga for Golfers - Child pose

Begin on all fours and place a towel on your heels. Begin to sit back, moving the buttocks towards the heels eventually resting on the towel or your heels. You may need to adjust the towel or remove the towel for comfort. Bring your forehad to the floor or place it on a towel. You should feel a nice stretch in your low back. Hold for two minutes or twenty-five deep breaths.
Par Level = Childs Pose with the arms extended.
Yoga for Golfers - Child pose with arms extended

In the Childs Pose extend your arms towards the front of the mat. Place your hands as wide as the mat and feel like you are pushing the mat away from you, deepening the stretch in the low back. Hold for ten more breaths. Come out of this pose very slowly, lifting from your core.
Birdie Level = Standing forward fold with elbows clasped and knees bent.
Yoga for Golfers - Standing forward fold  pose

Standing with the feet hip width apart, bend the knees and fold forward allowing the body to hand like a rag doll. If possible bring the opposite elbows together and continue to hand. Draw the navel into the spine to increase the pose. Hold for five to ten breaths. Come out of this pose slowly to prevent light-headedness.
Eagle Level = Standing forward fold with legs straight.
Yoga for Golfers - Standing forward fold  pose

Remain in the Birdie Level pose and begin to straighten your legs. You will feel more intensity in the low back as well as the hamstrings. Shift your weight so it is over the balls of the feet. Do not hyper-extend the knees. Hold for five to ten more breaths.
Eagle Level = Downward Dog at the Wall
Yoga for Golfers - Downward Dog at Wall pose

This is a great pose for working the low back, hamstrings and shoulders all at one time. Facing the wall, place the hands firmly at shoulder width apart and chest height. Begin to walk the feet back bringing the body to a ninety degree angle to the legs. Draw the navel in and roll the shoulders away from the ears. DO NOT rotate the shoulders inward. Flex the quads to increase the stretch in the hamstrings. Hold for five to ten breaths.

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
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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.

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Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.