How to Return To Form After Having the Yips
Have you had a few rounds when you flinched halfway through your swing? When those little flinches occur in your swing frequently, it is beyond frustrating.
We are referring to that nasty word: yips!
Words of encouragement don’t work, hoping it goes away doesn’t work, and focusing on stroke mechanics often makes it worse.
The yips are a mental game issue that messes with your mind that causes a hitch in your swing.
You can think of the yips as a mental hiccup during your swing. You never hear the word “yips” discussed during a round of golf. It’s practically a forbidden five letter word!
When you bottle up your thoughts, the yips take a greater stronghold on your game.
In our Golf Yips Survey, a golfer shared his experience with the yips:
“I went to the short putter after years of using the long putter and developed the yips the first round. I decided to go back to the long putter after 2 rounds and the yips followed.”
If you examine this, two rounds of golf may have had a slight impact on your swing but, in your case, your mind played a bigger part in developing the yips.
After you yipped a few times with the short putter, you subconsciously expected the yips to continue. You feared it may happen even when you switched back to the long putter. That little bit of fear was enough to tighten your muscles, quicken your breathing and have anxious thoughts.
You focused on trying not to yip which brought about the very thing you feared. You took the same fearful mindset when faced with similar problematic circumstances. The fears became more prominent, emotions became more intense, and you fostered a mentality that increased the probability of yipping.
This cycle seems hard to break but you must work through the fear. No magic word will eliminate the yips. No one tip will rid you of yipping. Many golfers make physical changes that do not produce immediate results and conclude they will have the yips forever.
In a 2021 GOLF’s Subpar podcast, the PGA Tour journeyman Graham Delaet explained his experience with the yips and how the yips impacted his game.
Delaet: “I remember [the yips] slowly creeping in and it was at Quail Hollow, I think it was 2015, on no. 15, the par-5, I hit driver, 3-wood just up there short of the green by about 20 yards. It was a terrible shot. I flinched at that thing.”
A couple holes later, Delaet flinched again halfway through his swing.
Delaet: “I looked at [my caddie] and I was like, ‘I think have the yips right now.'”
Delaet battled the yips for a while and, perhaps, you have too.
Just trying random “cures” recommended from other golfers often don’t solve the problem.
An outside, objective perspective is the best approach. When you work with a mental game expert who has successfully helped other golfers deal with the yips, you can understand the cause and learn effective strategies to counter the yips.
Returning to Form After Having the Yips:
Try taking a fresh approach to get passed the yips. Many golfers get stuck in a rut because they fail to address the mental component of the yips–fear and over control leading to brain cramp.
Start by understand your underlying fear. What’s so awful about missing a putt or chip shot?
Next, you might feel embarrassed and think everyone is judging you harshly, but often that is not the case.
Related Articles for Golf Mental Game:
- Struggling with Yips on the Back Nine
- Taking your Practice Game to The Golf Course
- How to Stay Confident Even After a Bad Round
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The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes 8 confidence-boosting CDs, MP3 audio recordings, and an 8-session golfer’s mental edge workbook.