Why Does This Golfer Putt Freely in Practice, But not the Course?
Okay, so John downloaded my Anti-Yips Putting Drills and has some mild success at home in practice working on the drills to free up his putting. However, when he goes to the course, he still can’t putt with total freedom. John says,
“I downloaded your suggestions for Anti-Yips Practice Putting Drills, and I’m trying to absorb and practice your drills, so far it works for a short period at home, but when I go to the course and try to putt I am still unable to put smoothly.”
He thinks it will take longer to change his attitude with putting as his yips have been going on for a long time. And he’s right. If you have the putting yips, it takes a while to rewire your brain so you can putt freely again.
But John, like so many other golfers who are not having fun with a balky putter, feels like quitting the game because it’s so frustrating for him:
“I have played for a long time and was a pretty good player, but now I have no confidence because of my putting and it has really affected my whole game. I was a club professional for a few years and could play pretty good, putting was not my strongest attribute, but I still managed to maintain a low handicap. I am retired now and play on a regular basis, but am getting so frustrated that I feel like quitting the game that I love so deeply, I just hoped to enjoy the game again.”
How can John take his free putting to the golf course? First, anyone can putt freely on the practice green and putt relaxed and smooth when it does not count. In most cases, golfers put pressure on themselves when they go to the golf course and for many different reasons. This causes them to stay stuck in the yips cycle.
But in my opinion, the pressure golfers feel is often hidden from their conscious mind. They are not aware of the real issue that prevents them from putting freely. For example, I worked with a club pro from California who had the yips. His main pressure was the need to be respected as a teaching pro. He felt others expected him to be a good player as well as a fine teacher. So the real issue was the fear of embarrassment and avoiding a bad reputation as a teaching pro. Most of the time, these fears are irrational.
So to take you game to the golf course, you have to understand the “core” issues that cause you to feel pressure and expectation. Working one-on-one with a trained mental coach or golf psychology expert can help you uncover the fears and take your practice game to the course as you will not find a book to solve this problem.