How Ernie Els Responded to The Yips

When Tour Pros Get The Yips

You know I have to talk about Els battle with the yips at the Masters…

Some golfers have a flurry of yips, some golfers see the yips snowball and ruin a round of golf…

Then there are a few golfers who get hit hard by the yips like an avalanche that haunts them throughout a string of tournaments.

Ernie Els, a Hall of Fame golfer, knows firsthand the crushing effects of the yips.

Els has won four major championships with the last one coming at the 2012 Open Championship.

Els has struggled to find his putting form since the 2014 season and the yips have been the menacing culprit.

Els displayed one of the worst cases of the yips in the history of golf, when he six-putted from three feet on the very first hole of the 2016 Masters Tournament.

ELS: “That was a disaster. Anybody who has ever seen the yips, obviously that was the perfect yip stroke you’ve ever seen in your life. It is what it is. The game of golf you’ve got to do some silly things when you play long enough.”

Els made Masters history scoring a nine on the par-4 first hole and finished with a eight-over 80 to share 81st in a field of 89 in the First Round at Augusta National.

With each missed putt, the frustration grew for Els. Els stood over the ball longer and longer after each putt. Els even failed to tap the ball in with one hand while only inches away on his fifth putt watching the ball lip out. On the sixth putt and another one-handed shot, the ball finally dropped to end Els’ record-breaking nightmare.

After the round, Els was at a complete loss to explain what happened.

ELS: “It’s very tough to tell you what goes through your mind… You make some stuff up in your brain. It’s difficult. It’s something that holds you back from doing your normal thing. I don’t know what it is. I can go to that putting green now and make 20 straight 3-footers. And then you get on the course and you feel a little different and you can’t do what you normally do. So it’s pretty difficult.”

When you experience the yips, your mind interferes with what your body wants to do.

It’s often not about missing, but what missing means to you: The aftermath of missing.

Related Article: Golfers Who Are Afraid Of Missing Putts

ELS: “I can’t explain it. I couldn’t get the putter back. I was standing there. I’ve got a 3-footer. I’ve made thousands of 3-footers and I just couldn’t take it back.”

The interesting thing is that the yips usually affects and infects only one part of your game.

ELS: “From tee to green I’m not bad, but with the putter it was difficult on every hole.”

The ultimate quest for many golfers is search for a strategy to deal with the yips

Els said this on his blog after reflecting on the tournament:

“I think enough has been said about what happened on day one at Augusta and, as you would expect, I am taking the positives from the week and at the same time working hard on negative aspects.”

How to respond to the yips like a pro:

Els said he felt different on the course – something was holding him back. You have to find out the source of fear or tension that shows up ONLY on the course. As I have said before, the yips is often about fear of failure and social approval.

He’s focusing on what he did well during the week. Champions tend to repress the ugly and focus on the positive.

Even though you had 36 putts in your last round, what did you do well and what putts did you make?

Overcome The Yips and Enjoy Golf Again!

Golf Yips

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.

Breaking The Yips Cycle: How to Putt, Chip, And Pitch Freely and Enjoy Playing Golf Again

What are Golf Psychology Students Saying?

“I have spent hundreds to dollars on clubs, putters, etc. always looking for answers. But I knew this was not going to work because I have some internal issues I had to deal with on the golf course. Working with Dr. Cohn on mental game by far is the best investment I have made. I have some great tools to work on to see my mental game improve.  I feel better now than I have ever have on the golf course and I thank you so much for helping me with the positive mental direction.”
~Sean McQueary


Download Our FREE Anti-Yips Putting Drills

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!

Download our FREE putting report and drills to help you unlock your putting potential today!

What are golfers saying about our putting yips drills?

“I write you because it’s been 6 months since I started the program Breaking the Yips Cycle. Before that I was putting with a long putt and due to the ban on anchoring I switched to a short putt and started your program. The yips program has helped me a lot. I have been able to focus on what matters instead of thinking about the outcome or fearing a yippy stroke.”
~Ricardo Abogabir C.

Overcome The Yips With Expert Mental Game Coaching!

Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.

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?

“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.”
~Kevin Stankewicz

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