In a major tournament, Jack Nicklaus was putting for the lead when a dog ran onto the green. Jack proceeded to sink the putt. Later, when asked if the dog distracted him, Jack responded, “What dog?”
Golfers call this being “in the zone,” and yogis would perhaps describe it as withdrawing from the senses or having a one-pointed concentration. Golf is an intensive mind-body sport, requiring strong mental discipline. Yoga teaches us how to remain focused in the present moment, which can greatly aid the internal and external challenges on the golf course.
The golf swing occurs in approximately two seconds, beginning from a static position, proceeding through the swing, with explosive power at impact. During the swing, the trunk and spine move in three planes of motion, supported by flexibility, balance, and strength. These three foundational components can all be cultivated through a dedicated yoga practice.
- Increased dynamic range of motion will allow proper coiling and uncoiling of the torso and spine.
- Reduces potential swing faults caused by short, tight muscles.
- Increased flexibility reduces the risk of injury.
- Balance in the stance and throughout the entire swing plane is vital for a repeatable and reliable golf swing.
- Proper balance enables efficient weight transfer, generating power and accuracy.
- Proper balance through the finish position allows full extension of the body towards the target.
3. Core Strength
- Allows you to deliver the club to the impact position, generating power and club head speed, resulting in increased distance.
- Assists in maintaining a proper spine angle.
- Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles is a critical element for golf performance and longevity in the sport.
Also, mindful breathing increases oxygen flow to muscles, relieving tension, and allowing rhythm and tempo in your swing. By including mindful breathing techniques during yoga practice, breathing awareness becomes second nature on the course.
Incorporating a consistent yoga practice into your life will allow you to deliver your best game on the course. Make your 15th club a strong, healthy body.