Overcoming The Yips
On Monday, Padraig Harrington won the Honda Classic when it the event was extended into Monday due to rains. This was his first US win since 2008.
He has had a a difficult past few years with his golf game. Harrington believes his difficulties came from his mental game and that he was trying to live up to others’ expectations.
Related Article: Why do Tour Pros Struggle With The Yips?
HARRINGTON: “I really have struggled too, as a lot of people who win major tournaments, you look back at them and you try and live up to them, play up to them.”
“You know, I just got very intolerant of my mental game, my focus. It was never swing related, all focus related, and just got frustrated with it and found it very hard to really separate from the bad shots. In terms of playing, it was disappointing.”
Harrington has struggled for the yips in the last two to three years. It hit him the hardest in 2012, but he still struggles with it.
During an interview, Harrington was asked about his lowest point in his golf game.
HARRINGTON: “I had the yips in 2012. I had my best ball striking year ever in 2012, in terms of the stats, but I had the yips that year. I was looking at, you know, when you get things like that, it’s really frustrating, it’s really hard. You don’t know what to do. You grind your way through it and it is a tough thing to get through.”
“And again, as I said with my mental game, I was pretty much, you know, I struggled especially this year, after finishing strong last year, I was very positive coming out this year. But I was back to the same old situation coming out this year. It’s disappointing, I’ve got to say.”
How did he get into the winner’s circle at the Honda Classic if he was struggling with his putting?
HARRINGTON: “I was just trying so hard to tell myself that it wasn’t back last night, I could tell you. I hit a few very, very iffy putts. But I practiced my putting last night… until about 7:00 in the dark, and I got something going again with my putting.”
“I came out here today, and one of the things that helped change my putting around was if I had a 10?foot putt to win on the 18th green, actually a 15?footer as it turned out today, I wouldn’t want anybody else to putt it. So as much as I was struggling, I still would choose myself to read that putt and hit that putt.”
Even though Harrington struggled with the yips, he was able to overcome them and win the tournament.
If you are struggling with the yips on the course, know that they are beatable. Learn from Harrington’s example to push past them.
— Be aggressive with your play. Stop over analyzing what you need to do.
HARRINGTON: “After hitting a bad shot, I’m thinking, no, I have to really take everything on. If I’ve got a chance from 20 feet, you’ll find that every single putt I had today ran by the hole. There was nothing ?? when you don’t feel 100 percent with all your shots, you can’t be patient. You’ve got to attack when you get an opportunity, and 11 was a perfect example.”
— Be at peace with your game. Come out on the course ready to face it. Don’t let past mistakes influence how you play.
HARRINGTON: “You know, what was positive for me was I found something in my game last week. I felt a lot better on the golf course. I came out here this week, 50 percent of the time, it was??I was at peace with myself. Not all the time.”
— Remember that it’s your game. Don’t let anyone else’s success bring you down. Use that to fuel you to push through.
HARRINGTON: “Standing over putts today, I knew, I’ve got to hole it. I had no choice. Especially like on 14 when Patrick holed before me, it gives you a certain clarity when you see that and you know, well, I’ve got to do it.”
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