Where Do the Driver Yips Come From?

Where Do the Driver Yips Come From?

Where do the Driver Yips Come From?

How can you get rid of the yips?

These questions steadily flow into our Golf Yips Survey

Golfing with the yips can be terrifying, maddening, frustrating, and depressing.

Ultimately, the yips can cause you to question your abilities as a golfer and the feasibility of ridding yourself of this performance block.

Imagine stepping up to the tee and staring down a narrow fairway lined with dense rough, and enormous trees knowing you have been dealing with the yips. You feel anxiety swell inside you. 

Hitting the ball into the fairway feels impossible. You start to imagine every negative possibility, “What if I sail the ball into the trees? What if the ball lands in the rough? You think, “Maybe I should play it safe.” 

You feel everyone’s eyes are locked on you, judging you. Your extra-cautious approach causes you to yip, hit the ball short, and send the ball into the rough anyway.

Every yipped shot further causes you to question if you will ever recover from this horrible condition.

Focusing on negative thoughts or extensive technical thoughts causes you to remain stuck in the yips cycle.

How Can you Break the Cycle? 

One way is to direct your focus away from thoughts about your mechanics, past results, or where the ball might land. Many golfers have overcome the yips by immersing themselves in their preshot routine.

Your preshot routine has the benefit of occupying your mind right up until you swing the club. 

So, instead of focusing on the trees, you are focused on the ball… Instead of noticing your heart pounding, you are focused on slow, controlled breathing… 

Instead of worrying about making a jerky swing, you are immersed in merely performing a routine that clears your mind and settles your nerves.

Golfer Sihwan Kim Struggling has struggled with driver yips throughout the 2023 season. On the LIV Golf circuit, Kim has shot a combined 68 over par in six tournaments and has beaten only six players throughout those events.

Kim opened up about his experience with the yips.

KIM: “You’re standing there, and let’s say there’s out of bounds right and a hazard left, and at one point, I’m trying to put it in the hazard so you can go up and drop rather than being back at the tee. That’s pretty much how bad it got and how my mindset was at one point.”

Overthinking your strategies, over-analyzing your mechanics, or trying to remember the vast amount of technical advice given to you causes you to retreat further into your mind.

Kim also commented on “not worrying about the results.”

KIM: “But that’s hard to do in golf when one bad shot can pretty much ruin your day. So that’s been a struggle… I’ve been hitting it with a lot more freedom. It all starts with a bad swing and creeps into my mental side. So I just want to get better with that.”

Since conscious thoughts contribute to the problem, performing an action such as your preshot routine takes your mind off the yips and immerses you in the present.

Tips for Immersing Yourself in Your Preshot Routine:

For your preshot routine to be effective, observe the following rules:

  • Perform your routine before every shot, whether you are playing well or are off your game.
  • Keep your routine consistent. Make sure to perform each component of your routine in the same order.
  • Be sure to focus on the process and not a bad outcome or swing.
  • Avoid over controlling your swing and “grip it and rip it.”

Be comfortable with your routine by practicing your routine until it becomes a habit.

Related Golf Psychology Articles

Overcome The Yips and Enjoy Golf Again!

Breaking the Yips Cycle

Breaking The Yips Cycle Video and Workbook program is ideal for any amateur, collegiate, junior, and tour professional golfer who wants to break out of the putting, chipping, or pitching yips.

Golf coaches and instructors would also be wise to teach Breaking The Yips Cycle principles to their players who struggle with tension in their swing or the full-blown yips. This program is perfect for any golfer who wants to improve performance by swinging freely again!

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