Do Pro Golfers Get The Yips?
In a recent article in Sporting News, Haney reveals why Woods has the chipping yips. A few experts have said that Tiger has gotten too technical with his swing (I’ve always said he has too many “cooks in the kitchen” to think clearly), which is the culprit.
Changing mechanics or going too deep into a practice mindset can start a downward spiral and cause players to get the chippping yips.
The tendency is to over think and this leads to over control of the putter or chipping motion. Soon, the mind is over loading to body with too many signals and the hands or arms misfire.
“It can’t be anything but the yips. The reality is that Tiger is having trouble advancing the ball on short shots out of perfect inch-and-a-half ryegrass rough where he could hit three or four inches behind the ball and have a decent result. In other words, where technique doesn’t matter that much,” says Haney about Woods.
Haney disagrees with the other golf pros and experts about the cause of the tips. He doesn’t think it from changing his mechanics again.
Haney says Woods has good mechanics. Woods’ yips are all mental this time according to Haney.
Haney could see problems with “tension” when he was coaching Woods from 2004 to 2010. He said Woods would hit a bad shot out of nowhere and Haney thus concluded it was the start of the yips.
“I could see some of it in his pitching as early as 2008, when he chunked one at Torrey Pines during the U.S. Open,” Haney said.
Does Haney really understand the yips?
Related Article: Why Tinkering Keeps You Stuck in The Yips Cycle
When you have the yips, you have the yips. Every golfer hit a bad shot on occasion, even Tiger Woods. But when golfers have the yips, they are paralyzed by fear and every stroke is affected.
One thing Haney does have right is that the chipping yips are mental with Woods and says that improving Woods’ mechanics does not solve anything.
“But none of that addresses the underlying issue. Even if he makes a “perfect” stroke in the technical sense, the yip is still in there. That’s why going down the mechanical road won’t solve anything,” Haney states.
Even though Haney insists Woods’ yips are all mental, the only suggestion he has is physical. He suggests changing the type of shot Tiger hits when he has to chip.
He says, “A yipped chip with a sand wedge is a catastrophe. With a 4-iron, it’s still bad, but you can advance it. To change the shot, he might need to make a dramatically different swing, or intentionally play some higher shots with more speed.”
Is “playing around” your short game the answer to the yips?
No, it’s just another Band-Aide in my opinion.
Changing the shot to chunk it less is like changing your grip on the putter or changing your putter when you have the yips.
Haney says that Woods should “find a manageable plan to play around this short-game issue” before he returns to competition.
To me that’s not addressing the real issue:
The chipping and putting yips are mental based on fear and over control of the swing.
In most cases, the chipping and putting yips are about the fear of embarrassment and extreme over control.
Changing the type of shot you, may allow you to hit a better shot, but it does not solve the over control, fear of embarrassment, and lack of confidence issues.
For example, I instruct golfers who have the yips on short putts, to improve their touch on the greens because it’s easier to make a one-foot putt compared to a three-footer when you have the yips. But I understand that this does not address the underlying issue with the putting yips…
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.
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What are our mental coaching students saying?
“I’ve had the yips for 30 years. With the anchor ban, I thought I needed to quit golf. It was frustrating hearing golf experts and commentators state that no amateur was going to quit golf because of the anchoring ban. Obviously, these experts don’t know anything about the yips. I’m so glad I found you. Your drills really helped. It might sound silly, but the biggest thing that helped me is knowing that the yips is mental. It might sound crazy, for someone to have the yips for 30 years, and not know it’s mental. I also believe I know my reason for having the yips, and I see how my insecurities in every day life contributed to the yips. Thank you for your help.”