But this program is not just geared to professional golfers. “Yoga For Golfers is not targeted to any specific age group or ability,” says Roberts. “The yoga concepts used in this program are targeted to golfers everywhere, and will work for all ages, handicaps and fitness levels.”
An avid golfer since her teens, Roberts saw a dramatic drop in her own handicap after she began practicing yoga. “I went from a 24 to 16 handicap and thought, there must be something to this,” she explains. Roberts then spent two-and-a-half years developing the program and has been offering classes and seminars since 1998. Roberts has been featured in scores of publications, including Golf Digest, Golf for Women, Golf Magazine and USA Today.
Yoga For Golfers teaches students how and why each pose directly benefits their golf game. According to Roberts, the program connects the mind and body to create a powerful fitness regimen. Her program includes pre-round, on-the-course and post-golf yoga sequences. Aspects of the program include: employing yoga postures specifically selected for a golfer’s needs; using proper breathing techniques for better tempo in your swing; teaching mind and visualization methods for success both on and off the course; learning stretches that increase flexibility, strength and balance, and that reduce the risk of injury.
“A lot of guys on the PGA Tour swear by yoga,” says PGA pro Tom Lehman. PGA and LPGA players who have used Yoga For Golfers include Gary McCord, Brad Faxon, Chip Beck, Jill McGill and Julie Inkster, to name a few. In recent years many professional sports teams have begun using yoga, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Phoenix Suns.
The majority of Roberts’ clients are males in the 35- to 65-age bracket. Roberts says that as golfers age, injuries and soreness become more pronounced because most people begin losing flexibility at about age 30. “Back pain is very common among golfers because the upper and lower body coil and rotate in different directions during the swing,” she says. Yoga is particularly helpful in preventing back problems that result from weak abdominal muscles, bad posture and tight hamstrings.
“The older you get, the more you need to maintain flexibility,” says Roberts. “That’s why I maintain that your body doesn’t get a mulligan.”
A fitness instructor for 20 years, Roberts has been certified by the American Council on Exercise and is a member of Coach University, International Yoga Studies, Executive Women’s Golf Association and the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Roberts says some people have the wrong idea about yoga. “This is not a religion of sorts, and you don’t have to chant mantras, burn incense or be able to put your leg behind your head to get it to work, ” she says. But yoga not only increases flexibility, but also helps with mental aspects. Roberts says, “A quieter mind increases concentration and visualization capabilities.”
Age doesn’t matter when it comes to meshing yoga with golf. “Your body will respond, and it’s never too late!” she says.
To order Roberts’ book Yoga For Golfers ($18.95), call (888) 313-YOGA (9642) or visit www.krtotalfitness.com.
Batter up! That familiar refrain will again be heard in the Arizona desert when major league baseball’s spring training begins next month at a dozen venues sprinkled through the Grand Canyon State. Anyone who loves baseball will appreciate the intimacy of spring training. And for the RV Golfer, this is absolute heaven. Attend a few baseball games, grab an autograph or two, and then hit the links for a round of 18. Life is good.
One of the most popular venues to visit during spring training is the Peoria Sports Complex, which is home to the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. According to Jon Richardson, executive director of the Peoria Sports Complex, volunteering is a great way to get up close and personal with the game, players and fans. Richardson oversees more than 550 volunteers working as ticket takers, ushers, parking lot attendants, speed pitch monitors , program sellers and in other jobs. Many of his volunteers arrive in RVs, staying in nearby parks. “A lot of my volunteers come for the enjoyment of the sun and the game,” says Richardson. The only prerequisites for being a volunteer: You must appreciate the game of baseball and be at least 21 years old.
Dianne Hall, a former businesswoman from Bellevue, Washington, and avid RVer, served as a ticket taker last year. But when she’s not volunteering, Hall visits as many local golf courses as possible. And with 330 and counting, Arizona offers a diversity of courses. “This is such a great time of year to be visiting Arizona, and the golfing is wonderful,” she says. Some of the local courses Hall recommends include Camelback Golf Club, Arizona Biltmore (Adobe and Links), Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club and Coyote Lakes Golf Club.
For those seeking autographs, spring training is the best chance you’ll have for doing so. Unlike the regular season, players are readily available at spring training. Most willingly sign autographs before and after batting practice and before and after games.
For a good seat during any spring training game, look no further than the grassy outfield. Most venues offer this option, and these are some of the best and least expensive seats.
Spring Training Facts
• There are 12 major league teams in the Arizona Cactus League (18 teams participate in Florida’s Grapefruit League).
• Spring training runs from early March through early April.
• Ticket prices run from $2 to $24.
• The average stadium seating is about 9,000.
• For more information on volunteering at the Peoria Sports Complex, call (623) 412-4247 or see www.peoriaaz.com/sportscomplex.
Next month in The RV Golfer, look for a review on a driver that will change your game, hopefully for the better.
Rick Stedman is an avid RVer, golfer and writer who lives in Yakima, Washington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org