The YIPS


#1

Have you had a form of them and what did you do to control them, get rid of them or deal with them? What club was it?


#2

Never had them, but some on here battle the yips by just putting it down the fairway.


#3

I haven’t but a buddy had chipping yips where 4 out of every 5 times he had a chip shot around the green it would go straight right. It lasted at least a full summer.

He had to either putt or use like a hybrid around the green for a while. Eventually moved to using like 7 iron and once that was good he was able to use more lofted clubs


#4

I’ve been battling the putting yips for that past year.

On longer putts my putter face opens and I push it way right.


#5

Played D3 golf. Had the full swing yips back for our conference tourney one year. Averaged around 75-76 on the year, yips hit during the practice round. Lost all feel with my hands. I couldn’t figure out the bottom of my swing at impact, so I was either holding the face wide open and hitting a 60 yard block slice, or flipping them so early I’d damn near hit the back of the clubface.

Shot a 73-76 in the tournament prior to conferences. Ended up shooting 90-93-101. Started the last round +16 thru 7. In the last round I was hitting 6 irons off the tee just bc they couldn’t reach OB. Hung the clubs up for the summer and just got away from the game for awhile. First tournament back in the fall I shot 73-70-74.
It was the worst 3 days of my life. I’ll get the feeling every so often that they’ll come back but you’ve just got to pound it out on the range til the confidence comes back.


#6

I want to just take a moment and thank @hiphipjorge @Pignorant for coming forward and bravely sharing their stories.


#7

This brings to mind, what qualifies as the yips? I always thought it was failing to do something that is typically easy or second nature. Like flubbing basic chip shots, missing multiple 2 footers, etc.

I have had total breakdowns with my woods before, hitting wild duck hooks, tops, and chunks every time, but I never thought to call it the yips. I just told myself that I sucked. Eventually just left the woods at home and started ripping long irons off the tee for a couple months.


#8

I think there’s a certain flinch that needs to be present…or so I’m told. Sometimes (I hear) people even unknowingly close their eyes at impact. I’ve even heard of cases of “the sand yips” where every bunker shot goes one yard or one hundred yards.


#9

My best friend was a casual but decent golfer through high school and college. We went out one day and he couldn’t even pull the club back. Tried to golf a few times after that, a couple of range sessions here and there and literally could not make a full swing with any club. He hasn’t touched a golf club in 20 years. To this day for me, it ranks up there with the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, because there is no explanation for it.


#10

One for me and one for my best friend:

Me: there is some exact distance, between 2.5 and 4 feet, where I look at the distance and cannot fathom making the putt consistently. It held me back when I played competitive golf and it comes back when I really get playing a lot these days. No idea what drives it. Inside that range and it’s just a tap in. Outside that range I’m actually comfortable canning 4-6 footers. Something in that twilight zone of distance gets me.

My Friend is a former college ball player. Played third base, was your standard power hitter. you’d think his golf swing would be trash, but it is 100% the smoothest, simplest, and most efficient swing I’ve seen that not on TV. It’s unreal. Hit’s a mid-low screaming fade off the tee. It goes forever. But! when he stares down a dogleg right (should be his hole to send it), it’s always an ugly double cross hook. always.


#11

You poor soul


#12

*raises hand reluctantly in shame


#13

Some of you guys are talking about the hooks/lefts but that’s not the same. The yips are very very different. I have battled both.

This isn’t easy to write but here’s my story.

I’ve had what I would describe as “the pitch yips” for about 2 years. It all started one night when I found this video on youtube.
After watching Eldrick I started thinking foolishly…Why don’t I have the face in that position at the top? What can I do to add a little more spin? Mind you, there was nothig wrong with my wedge game back then. I was scoring well. But after watching that video my life went into a tail spin. I started blading wedges…Burrying the leading edge into the turf…Hosseling 20 yard shots…It was a nightmare.

I flew to Scottsdale. I told my wife it was for work but really it was to take a short game lesson with a guru named Stan Utley. I think I holed 3 of my first 20 shots with him. He was like “Damn, you’ve got good hands.” We worked on set up, staying sqaure, being natural. I had it going for about 2 days then I ended up in a bunker for about 3 shots that pulled me right back into the abyss.

Let me tell you something, it’s dark in here. I’ve probably bought 8 different wedges just to get a different “look.” I sign up for qualifiers at courses that will allow my to favor a chp and run to avoid the pitch. Just last month the residue of the pitch yips started to manifest in my full wedge game-- in a pretty big event. I was either dead fat, dead shank or dead skull from 120 yards. Disaster. But I learned I was just flipping the club instead of rotating it through. Watched a lot of videos of Annika, DJ, and Spieth. Saw their rotation and knew what I had to do. I hit no less than 700 wedges over the last month. Played in a tournament a week ago and hit every wedge shot exactly how I wanted to. Was very satisfied. Then last night I went to the range and hosseled 10 of 100. I am at a loss as to why (I should note I suffered a Grade 1 separation of my AC/shoulder a few years ago when this started but I’m also hitting the ball father than ever, so I’m not sure that is a contributing factor.)

The yips are like battling an addiction. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. It’s an everyday battle. the first step to confronting the yips is to acknwledge them. I feel more at peace now and will be at the range after work hitting another 100 wedges.


#14

Hang in there. I don’t know if you putt with the line on the ball but give it a try from that distance.


#15

I have an overswing with driver that pops up on occasion. I want to stop and swing through but I end up with this crazy long swing that often produces hooks. Sometimes I even get away with a good drive with the overswing but I know I did it. Generally it’s under control but will pop up occasionally under pressure.

I think maybe a good thing is to absolutely embrace the club you fear. Instead of hating hitting it or being fearful try to make it your favorite club. In your mind you love when you have to hit a Drive or wedge under pressure.


#16

This cannot be stated enough. It is something I have accepted as part of my golf game now.

I liken it to herpes. Once you have it, it will always be there. Won’t always be visible, but its there, lurking, just waiting to pounce. Your confidence will never be the same. I can still vividly remember what it was like to hit a non-shanked 9 iron 40 yards right of the green OB on the first hole. Looking up on the follow thru wondering what is going to be in store for the next 4-5 hours. Wondering if the game you’d played since you were 4 years old is now out of reach to you. Looking down at the scorecard after the round and seeing 3 digits for the first time in 15 years and hoping it was all a bad dream.

Its a dark place and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone


#17

As my handle demonstrates, I battle the putting yips. @ANTIFAldo claims I suffer from putting M.S. meaning I have bought “multiple scotty’s” in an attempt to distract me from my failing stroke. During sophomore year qualifying for my D3 collegiate golf team I shot 4 rounds of 80-83 with exactly 45 putts per round. I lost all confidence in my stroke and essentially quit practicing it. The putter path has remained consistent and by all accounts I have a solid stroke. On longer lag putts when I’m not committed to the read I will over rotate the face causing wild misses both from a distance and direction perspective (typically a playing partner will come over and graciously demonstrate how they could have kicked it closer). There was a time where 4-5 footers became an issue, but alcohol helps those nerves now. I also got a good lesson from my longtime instructor recently where I putt holding the club with my right arm and hold my bicep with my left hand. This helps cut down with the over rotation and I’ve been putting significantly better.


#18

You sound like a very capable ball striker. Have you ever considered the side saddle? It’s great.


#19

Side saddle could be a good cure and I have tried it but have never actually bought one, because it just feels like cheating (and because if the extreme criticism I would receive from friends). It’s SO SO easy. However, I would not think someone is cheating because they side saddle. It is a more natural way to aim at a target and stroke a ball in. because you are facing the target as you do in darts, bowling, archery, shooting a gun, etc. Just because you stand facing away from the target during a full swing doesn’t mean you have to for putting. In full swings, we need the power to advance the ball far, so we have to create a big arc which is why we stand the way we do. But in putting, the swing is small so you don’t need to stand facing away from the target.

Maybe someday I’ll break down and get one, cause yea there are days where I have a bunch of 3 putts for no reason other than the yips and it’s very frustrating. I only flinch on uphill putts from 5 feet or beyond. Downhill putts are great smooth strokes. For some reason on uphill putts my brain thinks I have to give it a little more pace, and boom…yip.

I think the trick, although hard to do, is to re-learn speed control. In the case of wedge yips, perhaps it’s to re-learn distance control. Hit a putt to nowhere in particular, doesn’t matter how far it goes or where it goes. Then hit a putt 1 foot beyond that. Then another 1 foot beyond that, and so on until you’ve hit 10-15 putts, all 1 foot in front of the other. Seeing where the ball goes and how long of a stroke it took to get it there will put a nugget of memory in your brain that you can recall on to say ‘ok I need this long of a stroke to hit this putt’. It helps but I need to practice it a lot to get good at it.


#20

Now that i carry a 2-3 handicap and only play once a month there’s no real need to try and mimick the delicate genius mixed with robert duvall from 7 days in utopia.