Golf can be the definition of relaxation—until that pond starts acting like a magnet for your drives. Don’t let a bad round ruin your day; instead, train your mind and body for maximum success and enjoyment out on the course. A variety of out-of-the box techniques can help your golf game. They may not make you into the next Tiger Woods, but they might give you a mental and physical edge.
When you get down to it, the golf swing is one of the most unnatural movements the body can make. The twisting and force it requires to get a tiny ball 300 yards straight down a strip of grass can be a literal pain in your back. Spas now offer massages dedicated to golfers, focusing on areas most affected. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort’s “golfer’s relief” massage is concentrated on the shoulders, lower back and back of the legs. ritzcarlton.com
The best golfer is the relaxed golfer—body loose and head clear. Many pros, such as LPGA champ Michelle Wie, have taken to yoga to help improve their game. The key is finding the right routine. Focus on static poses that build strength, flexibility and stability, such as downward dog and warrior. Like in golf, you’ll want to focus on your movement and extension of each pose. Naples yoga instructor Laura Grabinski has specialized golf yoga routines on her site. losyoganaples.com
If your mind isn’t right, neither will be your swing. Try meditation beforehand. It won’t necessarily fix your swing, but studies have shown meditation can help improve concentration and problem-solving by subduing the panic that sometimes sets in during challenging times. And while just one session won’t cure all, the practice of meditating regularly (as little as 15 minutes a day, according to some studies) can help flex those mental muscles that will make you a little less anxious in life and a little more focused on the course.