How to Cure the Yips
The Yips can be a golfer’s worst nightmare. That uncontrollable involuntary muscle movement that happens right when you don’t want it to can cause even the best golfers total misery. As a mental game coach, I get asked regularly about this problem, so I thought a lesson on how to cure the yips was long overdue. I have friends and clients, most of them good players, who have literally been close to giving up the game because of the frustration brought about by this debilitating issue. But there is help at hand and with the right techniques, you can cure the yips forever and get back to the job of playing natural golf.
So what exactly are the yips?
In 99% of cases, the yips is a purely mental problem. It’s anxiety from within that builds up overtime, leading to over-control of the shots that are feared. This results in twitchy and jerky movements, with no fluidity and confidence. Once the golfer has a very negative association with that particular shot, they can’t free themselves from it. The yips bring on the fear of embarrassment, inadequacy, failure, and frustration. And vice versa.
It’s far worse than the occasional shank which can ruin a hole. That’s a physical swing flaw. This is a deep emotional issue.
The yips take several forms but most of them fall into the following:
- Chipping Yips – chunked, thinned or miss-hit chips
- Putting Yips – jerky hands movement during the stroke which makes it almost impossible to keep the putter on-line hit the ball squarely and judge distance.
It can affect any level from high handicapper to Tour pro, yet it has nothing to do with a player’s natural ability. I’ve played with scratch golfers who have an amazing long game, but give them a shot within 20 yards and they go to pieces. That look of disbelief when it happens. The inner (or outer) monologue. Once it happens, it’s there for the rest of the round. It creates an awful experience for the golfer and it’s saddening to watch.
How to cure the Yips
There have been many attempts to cure the yips but most are temporary. Golfers have tried changing their style of grip on the putter or using a long putter, but this is not long lasting. You need to go deeper and reprogram your mind.
I’d like to share with you the things that have worked for me and my students.
Are you ready to take back your game and banish your Yips?
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