The YIPS


#42

My best friend has had the chip yips for ever, 1 night he bought a square strike. Spoiler alert, he still has the chip yips…


#43

Hey @iacas, since you are an instructor and have been active on the Refuge, I’d like to direct you to a thread that was started by some brave people that have shared their stories of battling the yips in all forms. I post this because I struggle with putting yips where I tend to freak out when I step on the green surface (particularly fast greens), so I’d like to hear your take on this topic. Perhaps you’ve had students struggle with this and have helped them. For me personally, my putting yips happen sporadically…sometimes I go a whole round without yipping and putt wonderfully and make a good amount. Other days it’s like I’ve lost all control of the putter face and flinch hopelessly at impact pushing or pulling the putt well offline. The theories of why this happens and how to fix are scattered throughout the thread, but if you have any input it would be greatly appreciated, I’m sure, by many.


#44

I’ll keep this short just because it’s late, and I’m teaching all day tomorrow so if I don’t get back on this topic until Sunday, I apologize.

Also, I’m not an expert on the yips, but I’ve done some reading and helped a few people.

IMO, and from what I’ve read… the yips are most often (I hesitate but almost want to say “almost always”) an eye thing, in the sense that your eyes “see” something that your body doesn’t “think” is correct, and so it makes a last-minute “twitch” to try to “correct” what it sees.

For example, you’re coming into impact with the blade open, your eyes see it, and they do a last-minute “twitch” to try to “save” the putt.

That’s often why people won’t have the yips on practice strokes. They sometimes won’t even have the yips on every short putt. Most people don’t get the yips on longer putts, because the putter head is moving fast and the eyes can’t see it well enough.

The “fixes” often involve short circuiting the brain by just doing something very different. Putting lefty sometimes works. Completely changing your grip. Looking at a spot 2’ in front of the ball that you want to roll the ball over, or at the hole (like Spieth used to do).

One guy I know - he’d four-putt from two feet sometimes - fixed it by finding a putter he could aim (an Edel). I think with his old putter he saw the putter coming in closed (or open? I forget) and “yip” in an attempt to save it. The new putter basically knocked those out. The weighting was also a bit different, but not remarkably so.

“Focal dystonia” is a more generalized medical term, but it’s closely related to the “yips” in putting. For example, you can find medical papers, like this one - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12477375 - that discuss this type of stuff.

I’ll write more if y’all would like on Saturday or Sunday, but… yeah, I’m sorry for anyone who is dealing with it. I recommend you try some things and see what can produce a yippy stroke and what actions - like closing your eyes, humming a solid note the whole time, changing your setup or grip dramatically… etc. helps or fixes it. If you only yip under pressure, find a way to add pressure to your testing.


#45

This makes so much sense it’s scary. One of our regular guys, who is a scratch, plays two putters. Odd in general, but downright bizarre considering one is lefty and one righty. Makes perfect sense though as he uses the lefty for all putts inside 8 feet or so.


#46

That dude sounds like a savant


#47

That man is my hero. I assume the rest of his bag is just hybrids and wedges.


#48

Haha he actually is a ball striking machine that would have no issue hitting 2 iron. Back when he was in high school and shortly after people would gather around to watch him hit balls on the range. Stripe show.