Strategies to Overcome The Putting Yips
Golf is a challenging and sometimes frustrating game…
One day you are playing great and the next day you are hitting the ball all over the place.
So, how do golfers respond to having a bad round?
Many of these golfers go the “figure things out” route. This can be a very slippery slope that digs them further into a rut.
This is often how this route unfolds… You’ve played well for a few weeks then, suddenly, you have an atrocious round…
All you can think about is everything you did wrong after the round…
“My grip didn’t feel right on my tee shots and couldn’t get the clubface around. Then, on my putts, I was so tight trying to make up strokes that I kept leaving my putts short.”
A few days later, you go to the driving range for some extra practice.
You remind yourself to grip the driver more firmly and adjust your thumb position.
Next, it’s off to work on your putting…
You tell yourself to relax and make sure you complete your backstroke. You work on these aspects of your game over and over until the next tournament.
You keep reminding yourself of everything you worked on…
“Firmer grip on tee shots… Make sure to get clubface squared… Relax on the putt… Stay relaxed… Focus on backswing… All the way back… Don’t leave it short…”
Unfortunately, everything seemed to backfire. You asked yourself, “How is this possible? I put in a lot of work on my technique!”
You continue to over-analyze, overthink and over-work your technique but your play only worsens.
Your swing feels jerky and out of control. It seems like there is absolutely nothing you can do to get back to your normal swing.
Not only does overthinking and over-analyzing hurt performance, it can lead to an even greater problem… the yips!
The yips are the ultimate manifestation of over-analyzing and overthinking.
Golfers with the yips have similar characteristics:
- Golfers with the yips try to talk themselves through each swing.
- Golfers with the yips focus too much on the outcome.
- Golfers with the yips over-analyze the result of every shot.
- Golfers with the yips over control their technique prior to each shot.
Professional golfers are not exempt from the yips…
Take for example, Jordan Spieth…
Spieth had a great start to his career with 11 PGA Tour victories by age 24, including wins in three Major Tournaments (2015 Masters Tournament, 2015 US Open and 2017 Open Championship).
Spieth’s last victory was in July of 2017. In 2018, Spieth started the year ranked No. 2 and has since dropped 15 to No. 17.
Spieth admitted that not only was his putting problematic, but also his thoughts exacerbated the issue.
SPIETH: “[Putting] wasn’t the strong suit of my game. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. A lot of it was mechanical. A bit of mental because of the mechanical… Unfortunately, I had to play so much towards the end that I couldn’t really get it intact. So I stepped on the first tee knowing that I was playing a C-game instead of figuring where my game is at through the first couple of rounds.”
Renowned swing instructor, Hank Haney, sees the yips as the main cause for Spieth’s decline in performance.
HANEY: “[Spieth] has got to get his putting figured out… I think that spilled into the rest of his game. When I watch him putt, he visibly has the yips. You watch his hands on short putts and there is a tremor in there. I don’t care if the putt goes in or doesn’t. He was center cut on his first putt at the Ryder Cup. But his hands were shaking. He had to miss more short putts than anybody on tour.”
Getting back on track is more than working on your swing.
If you want to regain your form, you must first attack it from the mental angle. That includes learning to trust your stroke, instead of over thinking how to swing the club.
A bad round doesn’t need to send you into a performance slump.
Getting Beyond The Yips:
First, you must understand the underlying cause of your yips: FEAR.
In most cases, the putting yips is all about fear of embarrassment.
Next, you have to simplify your approach to putting and chipping.
Less is better here. Go back to what’s worked and stop the over analysis or hyper focus on the stroke.
You want to free up your stroke, not over control what you are doing. Trust your swing and your work, then get out of your own way… And PLAY!
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game. In fact, many athletes struggle with the same problem….
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
Meet with us via Skype, phone, FaceTime, or GoTo Meeting. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.
Mental toughness coaching helps serious athletes like you to uncover the beliefs and attitudes that keep you from performing to your potential. You’ll learn mental game strategies to perform at your peak more often, overcoming performance plateaus and lack of consistency
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 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.
“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.”
“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!”
“Yes Patrick, I’m a five handicap and also mentally handicapped by the yips. What worked for me was the aim, set and go drill. You don’t have time to think about yipping. I played today and not one yip. I owe you big time. Thanks again.”
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 went on to the putting green right after receiving your mail. What a great feeling of freedom. No tense at all, smiling and more consistent than ever before. I have a very low handicap and of course I have great rounds during the years, but you have taken me to a new level by curing the yips. I have just read your report again, and now I get the point in your comparing with throwing darts. I am very grateful – if you visit Denmark I will invite you out for dinner.”
“I read the Article on the chipping yips about 10 or 15 times now. I can feel the difference already from some of the shots that I have been hitting and I really think I can lick this. I think your mental coaching is really helping. Thank you so much!!”
“I’ve tried various things and made no progress with the yips. I found your articles and read one sentence that is changing things: It was that I should treat putts like tap ins. Putting 50 to 100 a day on the mat and the hands started to move normally. No jerking. I concentrated on one grip putting through two coins three feet away. Whether it goes in or not is secondary. Still had a few three putts, but the fear factor is gone. Many thanks and best regards.”
~Otto Baer. Nagano, Japan