Golf is a game of intricate details. Having every possible advantage can sometimes mean the difference between an eagle, a par, and a bogey. In essence, golfers want to reduce strokes as much and as often as possible. Some strictly practice their swings and putts for hours on end, while others rely on a more varied approach to develop their skillset. And then there are those special types of players who integrate different training regimens into their game, incorporating physical and mental practices that come from the likes of yoga.
Yoga offers tons of benefits to people from all walks of life. Pack Your Mat highlights the seven main advantages of this practice and how it helps us in our everyday tasks. Now when it comes to athletes, such as golfers, yoga focuses on three key factors: flexibility, mobility, and mental concentration.
In the United States, golf is a huge deal. As a matter of fact, Golf.com ranked every state in America according to their – for lack of a better term – “golfiness”. Let’s take New York, particularly Long Island, for instance. The state and the city sits at the number eight spot (tied with Illinois), thanks to its hosting of 18 national championships. It also helps that there are a plethora of high-profile courses like Oak Hill, National Golf Links, and Shinnecock Hills. Just like any other athlete, injuries are part of an avid golfer’s lifestyle. A blog post by Ren Gates on the Play Your Course website which covers Long Island, even underlined Tiger Woods’ history of back problems. And here’s where practicing yoga can benefit players of all levels including the illustrious Tiger Woods.
Many golfers complain of lower back pain from repetitive spinal rotation. This same principle also affects the lateral and the vertical power sources. In layman’s terms, they swing golf clubs on a regular basis at a high pace that puts a lot of tension on their bodies. As previously stated, yoga increases our bodies’ flexibility and mobility. By including it in our everyday workouts, we’ll increase our spinal rotators’ flexibility, thus reducing the risk of injuries. Furthermore, one of yoga’s benefits is developing our core strength. Essentially, the stronger our trunk muscles are, the lesser strain it has on our lower backs. CNN’s Dana Santas lists three yoga moves that can improve our golf game and at the same time reinforce our bodies.
Indeed, golf entails tons of physical skill and practice, however, unless our minds are peaceful and razor sharp, we can’t reach the top of our game. Yogic breathing, which also involves the link between our bodies and minds, is vital in developing our concentration, endurance, and mental perception. With this, we’ll be more aware of our surroundings, teaching us to be present in every moment on the golf course. Golf Info Guide even suggests different types of yoga classes for the mind.
All in all, golf and yoga go together in such a way that a player can benefit not just from a physical standpoint, but also from the mental side. In more ways than one, it is one of the key factors that separate the greats, from the mediocre, injury-prone golfers.