The Only Way to Overcome Yips
As a golfer, nothing’s better than waking up early on a beautiful, sunny morning and heading to the golf course for a round of golf.
In contrast, nothing worse than playing with the yips, incapable of sinking a three-foot putt on that beautiful, sunny morning and thinking your can’t score up to your capability.
This is the dichotomy a golfer faces when experiencing yips. Do you love the game more than you hate the yips?
The yips place you on an emotional roller coaster, one minute your game is on point and you are playing at ease. The next minute it feels like the ball has a mind of its own and you want to take every club out of your bag and smash them against the ground.
In our golf survey, many golfers seem desperate for help, such as this golfer who is searching for help to overcome the yips:
“I’m curious if there is anything like self hypnosis or anything related that might help me overcome the yips. I’m getting close to quitting after having played for 50 years. I’m missing 3-foot putts consistently and the fun is pretty much gone. I was a single digit handicap player at one time and still could score if I could putt even at a half decent level.”
Based on our survey on the yips, golfers have tried many strategies to remedy the problem:
- Walking up to the shot and telling myself it doesn’t matter.
- Slowing down. I tend to rush.
- Speeding up tempo so I don’t think so much.
- Taking a few deep breaths.
- Working on mechanics.
- Different putters. Different grips.
- Changing pre-shot routine.
- Practicing more often.
- Stop playing the game; hope it goes away.
Many of these solutions are temporary or fall short of their intended goal..
Frustration seems to be your predominant emotion while golfing instead of the excitement of the challenge each hole presents.
Why do you still have the yips after attempting so many strategies? The answer is that you keep thinking and focusing on the yips.
Unfortunately, worrying about the yips is often the last thing you think about before hitting the ball. After telling yourself it doesn’t matter, you are left alone with your thoughts and hoping you won’t flinch at the ball.
Despite slowing down in hopes of calming yourself, your mind still fills up with thoughts about pushing the ball wide of the cup.
Working your mechanics, practicing more often, switching grips or changing are only temporary fixes that don’t address the underlying issue.
If you are not clearing your mind or refocusing, negative thoughts will slowly eat away at your trust in skills.
Occupying your mind or purposefully directing your attention will put you in control of your focus instead of allowing yip thoughts to dominate your mind.
Managing the Yips
First, you have to free up the stroke. However, in order to do this, you have to overcome the fear and outcome thinking…
I categorize outcome thinking into two areas: (1) Results and (2) Aftermath. Missing a short putt is not awful. What makes it awful for most golfers is the aftermath.
You have to let go of the what ifs… What if I miss a two-footer? Will I look silly?
Next, you have to focus on the process and not the outcome or missing.
One way of keeping your mind into the process is the “Look, Set, Go” strategy.
Use the steps in your routine to help you focus on the process. Remember, the fear of missing and the aftermath is what leads you to over control the stroke and then yip.
We work with golfers of all ages on this challenge. You have to uncover the fear and not look for the next new putter.
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