Golfers Who Choke Under Pressure
Golfers who are labeled with the yips experience a condition that causes muscular contractions or jerking at impact.
They are seen by others as golfers who choke under pressure.
Research shows that anxiety and stress accelerates the involuntary movements in many neurologic disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and Tourette’s syndrome.
This information lead sports psychology researchers to look at the relationship between performance anxiety and symptoms of the yips in professional golfers.
Related Article: How to Overcome Anxiety Before Golfing
Their study suggested that performance anxiety increases both choking and dystonia. A study by Smith et al., (2003) examined both the mental and physical aspects of performance anxiety for professional golfer with and without the yips.
They found that golfers with the yips reported that yips symptoms got worse with an increase in performance anxiety. A golfer’s personality characteristics, such as perfectionism and confidence in putting, go hand in hand with performance anxiety.
In the study of 435 golfers with the yips (with an average handicap of 4.5), golfers reported that the most high anxiety situations leading to poor putting were:
- When leading tournaments
- When putting tricky putts (those putts with difficult lies or more than one change in inclination)
- When playing against specific competitors
- When they feel they must make an easy putt
- When they worry about embarrassment for missing
Most of these situations were specific to each golfer based on their personality, mental game factors. The golf-specific scenarios that caused high anxiety were specific to the individual golfer, but acted as a barrier to having a good putting round.
Golfers with the yips showed faster heart rate, greater grip tension, and putted worse than golfers who did not report having the yips. Faster heart rate and increased grip tension resulted from the golfers’ performance anxiety, which contributed to poor putting performances.
The study suggested that when performance anxiety is severe, it can lead to choking, which may result in the ‘yips’.
Although some golfers with high performance anxiety showed yip symptoms, others executed putts without ‘yipping.’ Most choking symptoms related to the ‘yips’ during putting happens when golfers are affected by performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety is closely related to fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, and perfectionism, which might be the underlying reasons golfers start with the yips.
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Overcome The Yips and Enjoy Golf Again!
Golfers, do you suffer from:
- Anxiety, tension and over control of the stroke or swing?
- Performance anxiety about what others will think?
- Inability to wing the club freely on the course, despite the fact that you can in practice?
Check out: Breaking the Yips Cycle
Golfers: Learn how to overcome the fear that keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle
Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game edge.
Coaches: Help your team members play with freedom instead of fear or tension.
What are Golf Psychology Students Saying?
“I wanted to tell you I have broken out of the yips short putt issues. I have won 2 of the last 3 competitions. Right now my putting confidence is sky high. I HAD the putt yips for past 6 years. I contribute the success to two of your drills. First focus hard on the hole, forget about all else. It took awhile to get the 100% focus, but I could see the results coming. Then your advice “Let go and trust your ability.” Immediate result. Wow what a relief. Having putted for so long under yip pressure, I now feel I can be put under extreme pressure to win the club championship. I now look forward to short putts.”
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Do you spend most of your practice time trapped by stroke or mechanics on the practice green?
Are you unsure how to practice to hep you overcome the putting yips?
Golfers: Learn how to putt with freedom using proven putting drills!
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What are golfers saying about our putting yips drills?
“Patrick–something seems really weird here. You are giving out so much good material to help with the yips, and I feel like I am stealing from you! I really like your style! You don’t see that very often–ever as a mater of fact! You are an amazing guy!”
Overcome The Yips With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
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You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Yes! Awesome tips and they worked great. I was having a tough time mentally with putts inside of 4 feet for self imposed fear of missing them. After doing all of your drills I found myself just looking at the hole on the shorts putts similar to a free throw. Seems to be working. Thank you so much!”