How to Overcome the Yips with Putting
According to the research done by the Mayo Clinic, 33% to 48% of all serious golfers have experienced the yips. Lots of top players also fought the yips including Johnny Miller, Bernhard Langer, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead.
Golfers fighting with the yips in putting are known to have the certain movement in common during the putting stroke.
Most of them have rapid eye movement during the putting stroke. This extra movement of the eyeball will restrict you from focusing on the stroke, putter face or other important aspects of putting.
To overcome this problem, just close your eyes and hit putts from short distance. You can practice long putts with your eyes close as well.
This is the drill that top pros use. I think it will help you, too.
When you close your eyes, you will start to feel the weight of the putter head, the path of your stroke and more.
When putting on the course, try to focus on the things you felt with eyes-closed drill. Focus more on the process than the result.
Don't worry. You will do just fine.
Focus on Your Putter Face
To beat your yips especially with short putts, you need to focus on your putter face instead of swing path or stroke itself.
The face angle determines the direction of the putt. Don't worry about swing path for now and just concentrate on your face angle.
Don't even worry about where the ball will go. Just make sure your putter face is perpendicular to the target line at impact.
If you find it hard to focus on your face angle, I have a drill for you.
Set up to hit a putt. But before putting it, turn your putter head 90 degrees toward target so that the toe will point directly at the target.
Hit puts using the toe of the putter head. Don't use the face. Just focus on rolling the ball straight using the toe of the putter head.
This drill was used by Annika Sorenstam.
Of course, it's hard to roll it straight using the toe of the clubhead. But this drill will help you focus more on your putter face.
Change Your Thinking Pattern
Golfers with the yips have the same kind of thinking pattern.
When they face the short putt, they start to think “I have to make this." or “I might miss this putt like previous time."
As they set up to hit the putt, their muscles become tight. This will prevent them to take a smooth putting stroke. If you putt like that, making the short putt becomes very hard.
To overcome the yips, you need to get out of your thinking pattern.
The fastest way to change your thinking pattern is to change your grip.
Try a different putting grip. You can try cross-handed grip, ten-finger grip or overlap grip. Any grip is fine as long as you feel awkward when you hold your putter with your new grip.
It's important that you feel awkward with your new grip. When you set up to hit your putt, your usual thinking pattern creeps in. But with your new grip, you start to think “this feels really awkward."
This will help you change your old thinking pattern.
I also suggest you to use a belly putter. A belly putter will help you taka a stable putting stroke and reduce any excess movement of your hands. I think it will work well with the yips as well.
- Fat Shots
- Fairway Woods
- Long Iron
- Short Iron
- Pull / Push
- Shots from Rough
- Fairway Bunker