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Ways to beat the Yips
By: Jim DeLarme
Have you ever played with a person who has the yips? It is a sad sight and may affect your
thoughts when playing with them. I have seen some players yip their chips as well. Chipping
yips are rare however it is a true reflection of what can happen when people’s nerves do not
allow them to take a normal stroke at the ball.
I believe that fear is at the center of all players yip problems. What is the fear? What could
possibly make a player shake so much that they can barely take the club back without shaking?
The answer, I believe, comes from the past. When a player misses putts from very short
distances multiple times it shakes his confidence as well as his or her hands.
This mental image resurfaces when the player gets ready to attempt a short putt and affects
their nerves. The fear of missing a short putt again affects the stroke that they are trying to
make. If missing short putts continues for a long period of time any confidence that they may
have had drains out of their bodies. They begin to believe that they are a bad putter and resign
themselves to a life of poor putting. When their mindset changes so too does their putting.
What they think does actually happen. A habit of bad putting and nervousness when
confronted with a short putt creates the shakiness called the yips.
We all know that it can be very hard to break bad habits and the habit of bad putting along with
the yips is very hard to break. Some people just give up and take up another sport and that is
sad for golf is a great game that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
We all know that no one is perfect and that no one can make every putt. It is how we deal with
the fact that missing putts is just as much a part of the game as making them. Being a good
putter is only a matter of belief.
The way I believe to break this mental bad habit is to replace the negative thoughts in the
players mind with a positive affirmation each time the player steps up to putt.
After having chosen the line of the putt the player should repeat these affirmations (in the mind
not out loud) as they step up to the putt; I am a good putter, I always make a good stroke.
Immediately after the word stroke the player should move the putter away from the ball giving
no time for any other thought in the mind except, I always make a good stroke.
Habits are not broken overnight and this routine should never end even when the player once
again becomes a good putter.
Never abandon good habits when they bring good results.
Find out what learning just the basics of the game can do for you by reading
Golf the Journey “A Book of Living & Learning” by Jim DeLarme