Is yoga the key to a killer golf swing?
By Julia Boorstin

(FORTUNE Magazine) – FORGET OBSESSIVE PUTTING AND MONSTER graphite drivers: A growing number of luxury resorts are touting yoga as the newest way to hone your handicap. California's famed Pebble Beach had such a strong response to its quarterly yoga class that in August it launched a free weekly Yoga for the Golfer class for guests, as well as a Gyrotonics program ($100 an hour), which uses resistance to accentuate the benefit of yoga motions. "The better you can rotate your body, the more flexibility you have, the better your game will be," says Laird Small, director of the Golf Academy at Pebble Beach.

The Left Coast isn't the only golf mecca imitating an ashram. Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, in Mexico, offers one-on-one Yoga for Golfers sessions. If that's too strenuous, its spa also introduced Active Release Stretching for Golfers, in which a masseuse does the stretching for you. The Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa last year launched a personal conditioning program, in which yoga is used to develop on-course concentration and focus. Finally, next spring the luxury resort and spa Miraval in Catalina, Ariz., will launch a $5,000 four-night program called Mindful Golf, which will teach golfers to concentrate and minimize stress through yoga meditation. Miraval's program will be run by a Carmel, Calif., golf school called Extraordinary Golf, which holds other mind/body classes at the Carmel Valley Ranch Resort and the Landmark Golf Club in Palm Springs.

But are (mostly male) golfers really ready to embrace the downward-facing dog? "Baby-boomers are more open to the softer side of things," says Pebble Beach's Small. "But even though almost all stretches are yoga-based, for some people we don't use the word 'yoga.'"