Regulation play requires that you can carry up to 14 clubs in your bag. Yet, the most important club in your bag is your body. If your body cannot perform optimally, it doesn’t matter how many sessions you take with a pro or how much money you spend on a new driver. Your body is your secret weapon for getting/staying in shape and shooting lower scores.
Think about what happens in a typical round of golf:
- Walk 4-5 miles (2-3 miles riding in a cart)
- Take 100 actual swings and maybe even 100-200 more practice swings
- Lean over 30-40 putts
- Bend down 40-50 times
It’s also not surprising then, that many golfers are playing with injuries every day. 30% of all professional golf players play injured. And 53% amateur golfers are experiencing and potentially not playing due to injuries. Back, shoulder and wrists account for the top three injuries in golf. By incorporating a golf-centric fitness regime, you can reduce your chance of injury and increase your golf longevity.
That’s where yoga comes into play. By applying a golf-centric approach to traditional yoga methods – flexibility training, core conditioning, breathing awareness and concentration – golfers can achieve more power, consistency, strength and focus in their game.
Still need convincing? Consider this:
I need to lose weight and get flexible before I can start yoga: Wrong! Even if you don’t feel like you are particularly strong, flexible or need to lose weight (we’ve heard all the excuses!) you can start yoga at anytime. Strength, flexibility and balance come with practice. All of these can be achieved at any age and any fitness level.
I’ve heard there’s chanting and burning incense in yoga and that makes me uncomfortable: There are many forms of yoga from relaxing restorative yoga to hot power yoga. Yoga for golfers is very golf-centric. When was the last time you saw burning candles and smoking incense on the golf course? Exactly! So in each pose and sequence that we do, we always connect the golf reason for why we are doing the pose. That way, you’ll have a direct connection to each pose and how it relates to your golf game.
Get out of your comfort zone! There is a saying…“Stay in your comfort zone and you will remain the same. Push beyond the comfort zone and you will make the changes you desire. Living outside of your box is where the change occurs.” It’s difficult to push yourself outside your comfort zone. I get it. When I walked into my first yoga class, I felt intimidated. But I quickly learned that unlike golf, yoga is not about competition or ego or judgment. It’s about finding your true strength, real self and balanced way to live both on and off the course.
Written by Kirsten Hinz, Certified Yoga for Golfers Instructor
Kirsten Hinz is a Certified Katherine Roberts’ Yoga For Golfers Instructor, Titlelist Performance Institute Level 1 Fitness Instructor and Certified Power Yoga Instructor. She teaches all over the North Shore including at Elite Sports Club-North Shore and Elite Sports Club-Mequon. You can check out her full Yoga for Golfers offerings at www.yoga4golferswi.com.