What are Golf Swing Yips?

What are the full-swing yips in golf? The full-swing yips are another variety of the yips in golf. They are different than the putting yips. I have worked with players who had problems with the full swing. But I think the golf swing yips are much rarer than the chipping or putting yips.

When you have the full swing yips, you simply can’t swing at the ball freely. Charles Barkley, the famous basketball player, who took up golf had one version of the full swing yips. At the top of his swing, he would pause and then violently jerk the club down from the top. So I think this is one common form of the full swing yips. When you take it to the top of the swing, you either can’t pull the club down and paused too long or you jerk the club down from the top.

One case of the full swing yips that I worked with, was a young player who simply could not take the club back. He would stand over the ball in some cases for as long as 30 to 40 seconds before he can pull the club back. Almost as if he was frozen and couldn’t start the club on the backswing. It really didn’t matter what club he had in his hand, you seem to be frozen over the ball never ready to hit the shot. I know some golfers just get the yips with the driver and no other club in the bag.

Many amateur golfers flinch at the ball at impact. They have a very free-flowing practice swing, but when they get up over the ball their swing looks completely different. I called this a hit impulse. The hit impulse is the moment you put a ball in front of you, you hit at the ball instead of take a full swing through the ball. A good friend of mine used to call this chopping wood. I don’t think I would consider a hit impulse full-blown yips with your swing, but is a very close cousin.

Again, my philosophy is that the golf swing yips are not unconscious or a physical defect in your swing. In most cases, the golf swing yips are born out of fear, anxiety, and over control. When you want so badly to make the perfect swing, you might never pull the club back.

Certainly, having good mechanics or technique with your swing can unlock some of the fear and anxiety you have about hitting bad shots. The keys to overcoming the golf swing yips are to have a trigger to initiate the golf swing and have a free and flowing full golf swing. If you’re petrified of hitting a bad shot, you can’t pull the club back smoothly and effortlessly. If you have the hit impulse, try swinging a golf club with your eyes closed and then progressing to hitting shots on the range with your eyes closed. Focus on swinging through impact instead of trying to hit at the golf ball.

36 thoughts on “What are Golf Swing Yips?”

  1. Hello, I’ve had the yips for decades, sometimes full blown cannot take the club back yips and sometimes flinch right at impact sending ball about 45 degrees off target line. I always feel it coming just before it happens, sometimes knowing it’s going to happen as I step up to the ball.

    This holds true for all the yips I have: chipping, putting and full shot. It really doesn’t matter what club I have in my hand on the tee, if it’s yip time I’ll yip it.

    What I want to say on this website is that you’re on track by listing fear as one of the key causes, but your proferred solutions are always going to be short lived. They’re short lived (various putting grips and strokes, no look full swings, no look chips, reverse handed chips on and on and on) because the problem is in one’s
    head. Those solutions are short lived because the genesis problem still exists, it’s just been diverted.

    Now, I putt opposite handed and it works most of the time. I chip with my arms pinned to my sides and chest, rotating my body back and through, and for full swing I just never know when it’s coming. I can cause it to come, too.

    I was asked to be one of the participants in the original 2003 Mayo Clinc study.

    • Jason,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about that. I’ve had the full swing yips since they appeared one day in a college qualifier. I played golf in college and managed to battle through them on and off since. They’ll always be there but I can usually find some thought that will keep them under control so I can finish a round. I just wanted you to know i haven’t laughed so hard in a long time after reading your post. My wife thought I was crazy and I read it aloud to her and couldn’t finish the sentences cause I was laughing so hard. And please don’t be offended because I was more laughing with you than at you because I know exactly what you feel in each situation. No one can appreciate it like a yipper himself, and I just wanted to let you know how great it is that you still play even with these issues. You learn a lot more about your inner strength and character through difficulties, and it takes a lot of courage to expose yourself to these problems. Hope you figure it out and find a way to get them completely under control. And if you do, please share!

    • Hi Jason,

      Understand totally what you’ve said, I can be on the range and all of a sudden a full swing yip comes from nowhere and it’s like someone flicked a light switch, I have to really focus and fight my way out of yipping.

      I’ve added 3 posts in October 2016 below so try any demonstrate what I’ve been doing over a 4 week period to try and rid myself of the full swing yips.

      I’d been hitting the ball really well with no yipping on the range but as soon as I got to the 1st tee on the course, I started full swing yipping and these would only get worse during the round as my anxiety built.

      My problem was my body would freeze, refuse to rotate, I progressed during that 4 week period from a radicle pre-shot routine to one now that is acceptable, if I can refine a little further, I’ll be satisfied as it’s starting to feel like my practice swing.

      You have to fight through your yipping, not with aggression, but controlled focus to retrain your mind and body.

      As I said in my posts below, walking away from the golf game for periods to clear your mind doesn’t work because the demons will surface again.

      It’s like if you have a trial separation from your wife or partner, if you get back together and both of you have the same mindset, you’re doomed to fall back into the same problems and fail.


  2. I’ve had full swing yips for 30 years and have tried everything many times over. I putt and chip well with no issues. my handicap has gone from 5 back to 12 then back to 6 during a period of remission. In the horrors again and would appreciate any new suggestions

    • How do the full swing yips manifest? In other words, what changes for you? Is it hard to start the club back or the downswing feels jerky or wrong?

  3. I am a 12-ish handicap. I consistently hover around breaking 80. I have been playing for about 10-12 years. I have had the full swing yips hit me twice. One time in a big time member guest and it was completely debilitating. I don’t know how I finished the tournament. The next time was in a club fitting and again I was totally worthless trying to swing the club. My instructor was there and worked with me for a couple of hours afterwards to try and fix things. I have had a number of mild episodes but usually if I change the club I am hitting and take half swings with my feet together I can manage it. My yips hit me when I have the club back about 6 inches. At that point I completely panic and can feel the face wide open as it approaches the top and at this point I have no hope of finishing the swing in any competent manner. This happened to me about one year apart and I am hopeful it won’t happen again. I used to laugh at Charles Barkley…I will never laugh at him again. It is a horrible feeling and if I were to ever quit golf that would be why. I am open to suggestions…before I have to play tomorrow!

      • i have developed the yips when i have to hit over water,there is a dam on last hole i have put so many balls into it,only the dam gives me trouble the rest of the round no trouble at all,try as i might on the downswing it feels as if my right arm is bending and i hit the ball about 15=20 feet into the dam,any clues what to do cheers –john australia.

  4. I started having the Yips about a year ago. I was downstairs in my basement messing around with my clubs and I happen to have a ball on the floor and I set the club behind it and I was frozen….I thought what the heck is wrong with me. I just couldn’t move. I took the swing outside and said well I can make a normal free flowing swing with no ball but as soon as that white fella gets in front of me its all over. I noticed if I don’t sole the club its not as bad but its still bad…if I sole the club I have to sway away from the ball and lose a lot of distance. I will keep trying to figure this out buy all the lost I read. Each round I play I do manage to shoot mid to low 80’s which is not horrible but I just constantly have to think about the swing instead of just playing the game. I also noticed that I an take the club to the top of my back swing and come down on the ball hitting it so solid and straight. Its the first part of the swing where I cant get it together. Thanks so much for listening -Marshall S

    • Marshall: this is a form of the yips. You can try to hover the club and keep it moving at address and this can help. But it may only be temporary and then you will have to find something new. Eventually you have to slay the inner demons that are causing the fear.

      • I\’m 57 and have struggled mightily with the full swing yips to the point where I can no longer play. I definitely feel it is more psychological coupled with the inability to control emotions, particularly fear which causes extreme anxiety. My yips are almost identical to Barkley\’s. The club gets hung up at the top, followed by a few hitches and then a violent downward move producing terribly poor shots. It\’s an incredible tug of war between mind and body. Like others, a somewhat balanced, controlled practice swing vanishes with the inclusion of a ball. I\’ve had brief segments in my life when the yips have dissipated where I could play a round or two but they manage to return with a vengeance instilling a deeper fear to get back on a course.

  5. I have same type of yips that Mr. Cohen describes where the young player was frozen over the ball. Mine started with putting, when I lost the ability to start the takeaway. Prior to the yips, I started my stroke with a small forward press. After a year or two, it infiltrated my pitching and chip shots, and manifested itself the same way – unable to start the takeaway. About two years after that, it infected the remaining shots.

    For putting, I’ve tried everything but the belly and long putters – won’t do those. Nothing has helped.

    Just wondering if anyone has tried hypnosis? I am that desperate!

  6. I have had the yips with my driver for the past few years now. I also have a fear of putting the ball on a tee when i hit a rescue and a 3-wood. i used to hit my driver straight and long but now i dont even carry my driver. i seem to tense up at the moment of impact and always hook the ball way left and very low. as for the tee thing i dont mind it i hit the ball ok without a tee. Any suggestions on how to overcome this?

  7. I’m a r/hand golfer, first got the putting yips about 4 years ago, tried belly putters that worked but eventually got yippy with the belly. My putting is now a bit better, using l/hand low and whilst looking at the ball, start with a slight forward press and bouncing putter up and down about 1/4″, then as my eyes are almost back and looking at the ball, start the putting stroke.

    It sounds like for me and most others with the yips, the anxiety grows as soon as your eyes focus on the bl??dy white thing called THE BALL.

    I was a good 2 h’cp golfer 2 years ago and recently hit 11, back down to 9.

    My putting yips have progressed to FULL SWING YIPS with every club in the bag, putting a little better.

    Tried swing triggers, different swing thoughts, different coloured balls, practicing EVERY DAY but still no solid solution. Take the ball away from my eyes, great practice swing.

    My FULL SWING YIPS comprises of the hands and arms trying to take the club away from the ball by bouncing the club up/down whilst club is moving away from ball up to 18″. My UPPER BODY/SHOULDERS seem FROZEN and not wanting to move, when I can the club away, it’s a YERK with very inconsistent results, mostly a pull hook as the upper body and hips have rotated very little.

    Tried something in my net today, seems to work. At address, hinge WRISTS UP as far as you can, elbows should only hinge up slightly, ROTATE UPPER BODY and shoulders to COMPLETE BACKLSWING and swing through ball as normal.

    The above seems to work as my focus isn’t on getting the club AWAY FROM THE BL??DY WHITE THINGY.

    I’ve had some lessons and the coach can see the tension in my body grow as I try to take the club away, using bouncing up and down and away from ball, eventually a yerk away and sigh of relief until next swing attempt.

    With each failed attempt to get the club away smoothly, the anxiety grows making next attempt more difficult.

    I recently won my clubs Senior Championship gross score playing off 11 h’cp beating a 3 handicapper, he’s been off scratch, I shot 78 in final round, last 6 holes were all pars. I was really leaking that day, not swinging well but somehow held it together.

    If I can’t find a solution fairly quickly, I’m giving up the game I LOVE PASSIONATELY, I can’t put myself through the anxiety 3 times a week, sometimes hyperventilating on the golf course due to my anxiety level and poor breathing. Breathing exercises concentrating on using DIAPHRAM more than lungs has worked, but it’s not the solution.

    I HAVE TO WORK ON BETTER UPPER BODY AND SHOULDER ROTATION to commence golf swing so my hands and arms aren’t bouncing the club away.

    I hope we can all find a solution.

    • I have the FULL SWING YIPS.

      The only setup routine that seems to work fairly consistent is as follows, may assist others as well:

      1. A couple waggles with some shoulder/chest rotation
      2. Then move club behind the ball
      3. Immediately lift and move club head diagonally across so that toe is slightly forward of ball and club is your side of the ball
      4. Immediately move club diagonally behind ball and IMMEDIATELY COMMENCE SWING

      Not full-proof, but the 2-3 inches of diagonal movement to get club head behind the ball is THE START or COMMENCEMENT OF THE BACKSWING.


      One of my coaches had me change my waggles so I had 2 slow waggles forward of the ball along the target line. Problem with this was I had to move the club head over the ball and drop behind the ball, I always felt I was going to hit the ball.

      Let me know if this works for anyone.

      • Ken, thanks for sharing your tip to help with the full swing yips. I’ve used this with golfers a bit and like the idea of constant movement instead of getting stuck over the ball and you can’t take it back. However, keep in mind that this might be a band aid to the real issue related to fear of failure.

        • Hi,

          Yes, I agree, band aid treatment, we all need a full-proof technique but I don’t think it’s forthcoming.

          My problem is the upper body (shoulders/chest) freezes so the hands are trying to start the swing, doomed to fail.

          I shot a 78 with 3 birdies today but really struggled with my take-away, I don’t see any fix coming my way in the short-term.


  8. Hello,the backswing yips have plagued me for fifteen odd years,no problem with the putter or short chips because the legs sway and hands remain fairly still. When I start the swing I lock completely at half swing,its as if someone has held the club and I just cant release.I have to swing the club right back almost in a full circle to overcome this and lose control of the ball as a result .My handicap went from single figure to eigteen ,in fact I would not compete any more as I could not perform to my ability and it hurts your pride. Have tried hypnosis,psycologist,counting,music playing in ears.having a few pints to relax before playing,eyes closed,reciting poems,all types of swings.and listened to advice from golf pros without success. I dont feel any tension or nervousness as I have been enjoying the game for over fifty years and have never had a problem that way.I also have no problem in the practice swing ,in fact if I put an airball or stone or any other object on the tee it does not happen,if I just swing at the tee no problem,but directly that ball is addressed bingo.I just accept it now as a problem to be solved in life and its comforting to know others share it as well.Good luck,if I find the answer ill let you all know

  9. I have to disagree with most of these posts, at least from my experience with the yips. Most everyone agrees that fear is a major component but I don’t see that. I have a “yip” which feels like a “twitch” at impact regardless of it being a putt, chip or full swing. The reason I say it is not fear is because if I’m on the practice green and I just try to knock the balls off the green with my putter using my right hand, I twitch every time and the ball goes sideways. If I use my left hand, no problem. Fear has nothing to do with that. My buddy had the putting yips and cured it by switching to left handed. If fear was the problem, why did switching sides help? I also don’t identify with not being able to pull the club back etc. never had that issue. I started with putting yips in my 20’s when I was a scratch golfer but have developed the full swing yips when I hit my sixties and it’s extremely depressing. I used to be a very good ping pong player but hadn’t played in a long time. When I played recently, I “yipped” with my paddle just like in golf. Now the same is true in tennis. Even if I’m just hitting against the wall. Where is the fear in that? I believe it’s mostly neurological which is why it got so bad for me as I got older and why my left side doesn’t seem to be affected. It just doesn’t make sense to me that I would be fearful using my right hand and not with my left, especially since I’m right handed.

    • Why can golfers putt freely and well on the practice putting green, but ten minutes later tighten up and stab on the course? That’s all mental. It’s the fear of shooting a bad score or looking silly, that holds them back. You can always make a quick change but it it just a quick fix and doesn’t address the real issue.

  10. I have the full swing yips. I had it in the past and it went away. Now it’s back again. I waggle by moving my feet. I call it dancing. It could take 2 to 3 waggles or it could take 25 waggles. I feel that I can’t move the club back. Frozen. I had putting yips in the past, but that went away when I switched to left handed putting. Today putting is my best stroke. I have tried everything to figure out a trigger, but nothing seems to help. I’m almost at the point when I have to give up the game I love. Any suggestions or tips as to how I can cure this horror would be appreciated.

    • It’s not about finding the secret trigger to help you start the swing. You can’t cure the yips with a simple trigger. It might work for a day or two, but the newness may wear off. The goal is to uncover and address the fear that prevent you from pulling the club back.

  11. Same problem . Started when I saw an article about winding up on my right side to get power on the backswing . Mostly with the driver . My practice swings are as smooth as silk . Painful problem .

  12. Its very reassuring to know I’m not the only person with this problem and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share ‘their’ problem. I have had ‘my’ problem since May 2016 and unfortunately can link it to a non-golf related issue that caused me significant stress and I am convinced the problem is a bi-product of the primary issue. Ive only been playing golf for 5 years but share your passion for this wonderful yet frustrating game. I have not suffered any issues like this previously and have managed to fight my way to a handicap of 12. My problem is getting worse as I fully believe that if it hadn’t joined me in May, I would be a single figure golfer by now. Ive tried many mechanical and process related strategies and as previously posted they are all very short term fix.. Ironically golf has been a major factor in the recovery from my primary non-golf related issue, yet now leaves me feeling sad rather than frustrated. Its certainly not a technique related issue and I am trying to embrace it as a positive believing it will go and I will be a stronger golfer for it. Evidentially I recently went on a ‘lads golfing weekend’ for 3 days and won the middle day competition with a fairly chunky hangover, not a yip in sight that day through any of the clubs in my bag but Im not condoning the use of alcohol to help!!! Thankyou

    • Hey John:

      You are fortunate to only have the yips for a couple months. Many golfers I work with have had the yips for 10, 15, or 20 years. They jump from fix to fix and never solve the real issue. I applaud you for take action with solving the yips and focusing on your mental approach to golf.

  13. I have been inflicted with the Putting Yips for over 3 years. Mine manifest themselves as an involuntary twitch of the right hand at the precise moment of impact with the ball. It is soul destroying to see all the hard work of getting to the green marred by taking 4 puts plus a gimme, from 10 feet. I had seemingly tried all sorts of grips with my right hand, but it never fails to twitch, causing the ball to ping off the face at some random angle.

    So today, having read this article yesterday, I thought about “The Claw” grip, and wondered had I ever really held it in that specific “Claw” way. Where you are simply pressing the tendon/muscle between the fore-finger and thumb against the grip with my right hand, with no tension in your fingers.

    With the “Claw” in mind, I have just hit 40 putts, admittedly on the carpet, and guess what? Not a twitch in sight. Gobsmacked.

    I am now keeping fingers crossed that “The Claw” grip is the answer.

    • It’s new and you have not hit any bad puts with it, but like most physical remedies, it will not have lasting affects because it does not address the real issue of the yips.

  14. Hi Guys,

    I really feel for the golfers with the YIPS (yes I said that nasty word, OK I’ll say $hank as well) as I’ve been fighting FULL SWING YIPS for 2 1/2 years now.

    I got down to 2 h’cap and playing to it and decided to play some interstate senior events at Royal Melbourne (West/East/Composite), Yarra Yarra, Victoria GC, Kingston Heath and Huntingdale in the Victorian sand belt area, amazing courses but you don’t get a practice round so I was playing all seeing for the first time. Anyway, in Adelaide I was generally the better player in my group but playing those events, I was the worst as I was the last person in the ballot to get a spot. All of a sudden I was playing with +2, +3 and +4 senior golfers and I felt inferior, became too self conscience about my game and very quickly felt additional anxiety trying to compete well and my game went to pieces, I just couldn’t get the club away, it started bouncing up and down and along the ground for up to 12 inches, I became further embarrassed. MY BODY WAS FROZEN, refused to rotate so my arms/hands were trying to move the club, snatch away, bouncing up/down and along the ground, not pretty for anyone to watch.

    On my return to Adelaide my usual golfing buddies could sense something was wrong with my takeaway, I sensed it but didn’t know why.

    From all my research on the YIPS subject, it’s really the sub conscience saying TO YOU that the golfing activity/experience is painful to you, whether putting, chipping, full swing etc. and because you build-up so much anxiety and muscle tension trying to play golf, it becomes very uncomfortable and many will give up golf from the EMBARRASSMENT they feel, I did.

    IF YOU GIVE UP GOLF, you no longer feel anxious or uncomfortable. BUT IT ISN’T A FIX.

    I stopped playing golf for periods of 3 to 6 months over the last 2 1/2 years because even thinking about golf made me anxious, again, the sub-conscience was saying that activity is painful SO DON’T DO IT.

    After 3 months or so, my mind would be clearer and I didn’t feel as anxious thinking about golf but conscience started teaming up with my sub-conscience. Just the thought of playing golf, an inner voice would be saying:?What about the embarrassment you’ll feel?

    ?You’ll have to play with people you’ve never played with, WHAT WILL THEY BE THINKING

    ?Think of all the people around the 1st tee that WILL BE WATCHING YOU

    ?Everyone will be TALKING ABOUT ME and my affliction

    ?and so on
    Sometimes I built up the courage to go onto the practice range, but only when others weren’t there. Many times, I’d try to take the club away but was frozen, body wouldn’t rotate, just club bouncing up and down and along the ground, I’d leave without hitting a single ball.

    I started having lessons with my long time swing coach but I was embarrassed, really struggled. One day I was supposed to have a playing lesson on the course but when he saw me on the range, he said, no point as we won’t finish, I was that bad.

    SORRY FOR MY RAMBLINGS, but this is a complex issue.

    Anyway, rather than that playing lesson, Warren decided to connect me to his laptop via the head band to see what my brain waves were doing, conscience and sub conscience and facial muscle tension. While just talking my brain waves were pretty normal, but as soon as my eyes saw the golf ball, the waves hit the top of the scale, even if he said GOLF BALL, I spiked.

    Warren said I’d turned a sub conscience FUN GAME into a conscience unpleasant activity. I continued to try on the range, slowly improved, saw a Sports Psychologist numerous times, was given audio tapes to listen to so I could reprogram my bodies response to muscle tension and reduce anxiety levels.

    I started spending more time on the range, was getting really good but all of a sudden on the range, it was like someone flicked a light switch, my body would become FROZEN again, I couldn’t take the club away smoothly.

    I did a lot of thinking and sole searching and basically decided I’d give up the game I LOVED SO MUCH and after 34 1/2 years at my golf club, I decided to cancel my membership, I WAS NOW FREE, or I thought I was.

    I quickly determined I still wanted practice range facility to try and hit some balls and one of my golfing buddies I’d been playing golf with for 20 years decided to join another golf course and asked did I want to follow. The thought of paying A$8,000 joining fee plus A$3,900 per year was hard to comprehend not knowing if I would every play golf on the course again but after 3 weeks decided I’d take the chance and pay the money. YIKES, my wife won’t be happy if I don’t play again.

    I started going to the range 2 to 3 times a week and was slowly improving, my pitching/chipping/bunker play became really good, better than ever before as I didn’t have too much trouble getting the club away on short shots.

    Range became OK, but 1st tee, anxiety dramas and body freezes, started feeling embarrassed again, same as before, I wasn’t cured, my mind felt clearer but my sub conscience was putting up barriers again.

    I’d invested too much money to walk away again, I had to persevere.

    I started a checklist that I had to tick off for my recovery to proceed: (most seem insignificant to others, but were critical to me)?Play on the course, not just the range

    ?Play in a Friday completion, not too many other golfers around to watch me

    ?Play in a Wednesday comp, more people around 1st tee

    ?Play in a Saturday comp, MANY PEOPLE WATCHING ME 🙁

    ?Play with other golfers I hadn’t met before

    ?Play in interclub Senior Pennant (match play off the stick)

    ?Play in Senior Order of Merit events (still to do)
    Playing on the course was difficult for me because for some reason, as the length of the club got longer, I found it more difficult to get the club away because of frozen body. As most courses start with a par 4 or 5, the driver would come out immediately and I was reassured immediately because of my stuttering, SEE, IT’S A PAINFUL EXPERIENCE and my anxiety levels escalated and my muscle tension would increase during the round, my upper back would get SO TIGHT, it felt unpleasant and I’d count how many more shots I probably had to finish the round.

    When I was at my worse, I would be hyper-ventilating on the course, I’d have to capture my breath.

    As my body was frozen standing over the ball, the longer I looked at the ball, the worse my anxiety would get and stuttering would get uncontrollable. What I decided to do was to try and get my mind and body used to rotating again, so I would stand behind the ball, pick out an intermediate spot, walk to the ball from the side and start swinging as soon as my feet were in position, there was no pause, no more looking at the target, no glances at ball, no waggles, JUST SWING AND HIT.

    The guys were amazed and were wondering what I was doing, I wasn’t doing a Happy Gilmour, JUST WALKING UP TO THE BALL AND SWING. I believe it started working after a few practice and course sessions. Weirdest thing, my swing almost felt like my PRACTICE SWING where I had no trouble taking club away, it felt smooth as well but results were very inconsistent, sometimes pull hooks, some high cuts and many good results but my body and mind were getting conditioned to rotation. At times I could sense my body was starting the backswing but my mind was saying, YOU’RE NOT READY but I tried to start anyway.

    I’m not cured yet, but meeting MY FEARS head-on and walking up to ball and just swinging were the turning point.

    My last 2 rounds have been my best for sometime, shot 76 at Kooyonga GC, my home course, a very tough course in Adelaide, SA. Still a little jittery getting club away, but a lot better and my muscles aren’t getting tense and best of all, I’M STARTING TO ENJOY GOLF AGAIN.

    What am I doing differently NOW??TARGET FOCUS – picking out specific leaves AT THE TOP OF THE TREE/SHRUB. VISUALISATION IS KEY TO THE CURE but you have to keep/retain the TARGET FOCUS when your eyes come back to the ball, you DON’T SEE THE BALL, YOU ONLY SEE YOUR TARGET. When my eyes retain/hold the TARGET FOCUS, I say TARGET and when eyes are coming back to the ball, I say TARGET AGAIN.

    ?SWING ROUTINE – I’m now using a REMEDIAL SWING TRIGGER – my yip routine caused me to lift the club up and drop down. Now I’m hovering the club about 3 inches above the ground, then after getting my alignment setup and a couple quiet waggles, I’m lowering the club and body down so the club is 1″ above the ground and this crouching process is setting the weight on my feet and I take back club immediately. To others, it would look like the ROCCO MEDIATE routine.

    ?GRIP CHANGE – I always felt my HANDS/ARMS were fighting against each other. Now I’m taking my left hand grip (RH golfer) and sliding the RIGHT HAND up the grip until the RH lifeline overlaps the LH thumb, I still overlap RH little pinky but my RH doesn’t cover the LH thumb as much, wrists don’t feel as tight and RH grip pressure seems better

    ?BREATHING – (at times before I wouldn’t take a breath for upto 45 seconds, my coach timed me one day, he could see the muscle tension going up from my hands to my shoulders) – Now I’m concentrating more on my breathing leading upto my pre-shot routine and REMEDIAL SWING TRIGGER as above, taking deep breathes focusing on Diaphragmatic breathing.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheerz 🙂

  15. Hi,

    Just a follow-up report. after 1 week.

    This yippy stuff is really weird, I’m making good progress on the range, as the length of the club gets longer I may stutter a little more, but still moving forward positively.

    If I can hit it great on the range, my golf swing fundamentals must be sound, it’s just on the course, I feel my swing routine changes slightly but I can’t put a finger on it yet.

    Anyway, I think I’m starting to turn the corner on the course with the longer length clubs, I go through my usual pre-shot routine, focus on my target, eyes come back to the ball and I find myself commencing the backswing.

    It’s like my mind is putting up a barrier by saying you’re not ready to start but I continue anyway, most of the time with good results.

    I can’t explain it but it’s like the brain has to be rewired, maybe I’ve had to break down the barriers and force myself through the embarrassment that had built up over the previous 2 1/2 years.


  16. Hi,

    A follow-up after another 3 weeks.

    I’ve changed my interim pre-shot setup and it’s working really well, virtually NO STUTTERS during oncourse competition rounds, maybe just the odd hiccup, maybe one or two per round.

    What I’m now doing is:1.From behind the ball, visualise the target and pick an intermediate spot a foot or two in front of the ball

    2.Just before moving to the ball, I take my grip

    3.I walk to the side of the ball with left foot placed in my usual hitting position

    4.Immediately my left foot is planted, I move my right foot to the right in my usual hitting position

    5.As soon as right foot is planted, COMMENCE MY BACKSWING

    I racked my brain for days to figure out why the above process is working on the course, finally figured it out.

    With my stuttering, my body would become frozen ALONG WITH MY LEGS AND FEET, no weight shift, nothing wanted to move. I tried a lateral shift to the right but I tended to sway, not turn.

    What point 5. above IS DOING FOR ME, IS CREATING THE WEIGHT SHIFT TO THE RIGHT SIDE/FOOT AUTOMATICALLY and this weight shift is a trigger for my body to turn.

    Some of the guys I play with have given me a new nickname, HG standing for Happy Gilmour. My routine is nothing like Happy Gilmour but compared to how I was at my worse with my stuttering, it’s lightening fast.

    Point 5. above evolved from a previous routine where I would visualise target, pick an intermediate spot, take grip then walk from behind the ball until I was in position next to the ball and start swing, this was more extreme as there was no stopping once I started walking from behind the ball.

    I’m starting to love my current swing routine, it’s controlled with little pauses and gives me NO CHANCE FOR ANY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS and my actual swing feels almost like MY PRACTICE SWING, fluent and body moving correctly.

    My ball striking is very solid, hitting straighter drives than ever before and longer, maybe 10 metres or more.

    My only issue at this stage is I’m hitting a number of irons to the right, pushed straight right, I’m probably just not rotating back fully but I’m sure I can work it out.


    • Ken , just read your posts and very interesting as my situation is closest to my own that I’ve been able to research online . Mine started with the putting yips but has now affected all my game . I’m rather different in that I have no problems with freezing over the ball on the practice range but once on the course and addressing the ball I simply cannot repeat my practice swing . I will get to the top of the backswing and not be able to swing back to the ball . Some sort of switch gets flicked in my brain which just won’t let me complete the through swing. I am keen to try your methods and thanks for posting the advice. Thanks again .

  17. It’s nice to know I’m not alone! I’m 69 years old and I’ve had some shoulder issues, so my flexibility isn’t the greatest. Like most all of you, I’m able to make decent practice swings, bringing my front arm back straight a little bit past parallel to the ground on my takeaway. But once the ball is in front of me, I get to that point and I…just…can’t…make my swing without first folding my lead elbow and basically wrapping the club around my neck. And once I do that, it’s anybody’s guess where the ball is going to go. As a cure (or band-aid) I started taking 4 or 5 full practice swings over the ball and then immediately swinging to make contact. It seemed to help some, but I could still feel my arm folding a little. Plus, I’m going to wear myself out taking 400 or so full swings for every 18 holes I play! Any other tips before I have to start searching for what I fear on the course?


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