Yips: Physical or Mental?

Are Yips Physical or Mental?Are the putting or golf yips caused my mental or physical problems? Depends on who you ask about this phenomenon. Golf psychologists will say the yips are all in the mind. Some golf instructors will say that it’s a physical problem. I have the same debate with my motocross students who are afflicted with something called “arm pump.” Arm pump is when the racer’s arms get so tight due to lactic acid build up, he has to pull of the track. I’ve explained why I think this is purely a mental problem in my program Arm Pump Solved.

I do not think the golf yips are cause by a physical problem, such as poor nutrition or neuromuscular problems within the golfer. Maybe in rare cases. My view is the yips, in most cases, are due to mental game issues. The majority of golfers get the yips from tension, anxiety, and fear. If  you only get the yips on the course or when putting in front of others, but not on the practice green, is this mental or physical? It has to be totally mental when it ONLY happens to you on the course or in competition. If you get the yips on the practice putting green, we can also conclude that they are mental if you are concerned about what others think about your performance, what we call social approval in the sports psychology world.

I think you want to ask yourself? Is there a time when you don’t feel the yips and the putter feels relaxed, such as when you are home alone putting on the carpet or in a hotel room? If this is the case–you have times when you don’t feel the yips at all–we can assume that the golf yips are caused by mental game issues and not physical problems. And is you putt free of the yips some days and not others, can this really be a physical problem? Most likely, it’s not physical or you would have them every time you play!

Start by downloading my anti-yips putting drills to help you learn how to free up your putter in practice.


  1. I’ll share why I believe the yips are more than nerves. If I hold a putter with my right hand and move it back and forward in a putting stroke my right hand and henceforth the putter will twitch.I used to play squash but recently tried to play but could not serve forehand because of my yips…..:(((

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