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Four Ways to Beat the Yips

Nov 7, 2014 6:41 PM
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Truth be told, I don’t really even like typing the word ‘yips’. It isn’t something any golfer wants to think about, let alone talk about for any length of time. The yips are frustrating, annoying, embarrassing, and damaging to the scorecard. If you have ever had the yips – even for just one round – you certainly know how bad it can be.

However, plenty of golfers still struggle with the yips, so I would like to offer my ideas on how to quickly and easily solve the problem. The first thing to understand is that the yips are a mental affliction, rather than a physical one. I’m quite sure you are capable of making a two or three foot putt, and you can probably do it over and over again on the practice green. The space between your ears in what is getting in your way, and these tips are designed to crack the code.

Try any or all of these tips as you try to make your putting yips a distant memory –
  1. More Practice. Sometimes, the solution to the problem can be as simple as practicing more. When you don’t spend any time working on your short putts during a practice session, they can become far more intimidating on the course. Spending just five or ten minutes during each practice session on your short putts can make all the difference in the world.
  2. Quiet Your Eyes. It starts simply enough – you miss one or two shorts putts during a round, and don’t think much of it. However, during your next round, you miss a couple more and it starts to get in your head. Then, your eyes start to dart around during your stroke in an attempt to guide the ball into the hole. There is no need for your eyes to do anything but look at the ball during your stroke. Keep them quiet and focus only on solid contact between the putter and the ball.
  3. Be Aggressive. On a short putt, you can almost always aim right for the center of the hole and hit the putt with enough pace to make it hold the line. As you lose confidence, you may start to read more break than is actually there – and this can cause big problems. Aim for the center of the cup, make a good stroke, and watch it fall in.
  4. Keep it in Perspective. Is it frustrating to miss a short putt? Of course. Is it the end of the world? Not even close. Putting more pressure on yourself than necessary is a common way to make the yips worse. Take a deep breath, put the putt in perspective in terms of real life and things that are actually important, and go ahead and knock it in. 

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