Journey into the golf yips – part three

clown

“The yips are one of the most frustrating things you will ever experience”The Golf Yip Study

By Ian Hardie

In the posts Journey into the golf yips – part one and Journey into the golf yips – part two

I outlined a little bit about the yips and how they come about

As well as introducing the study that I am undertaking in an attempt to find an actual cure

I thought that it might be useful to share a bit more about my experiences with the yips

But be warned – it’s not pleasant reading!

If you don’t have the yips but know someone who does – please forward this onto them

We pick up the story starting with the quote I have used at the start of this post;

I know this because as a professional golfer since the time I left school

I came back to golf after a ten year break

Having done a lot of fitness work in the gym over those years

I was way fitter than I was before

I was able to drive the ball about 20 yards further than I used to

Even though I was 20 years older than when I was in ‘my prime’

After some time working on my putting stroke

I could still hole putts as well as any other golfer

My distance control on full wedge shots was good

Possibly better than when I was younger

Moving the ball from left to right or from right to left was still a piece of cake

Low boring wind shots were still fairly easy

Sand shots were as good as they used to be

And my trusty old #1 iron was still as reliable as ever

At getting the ball on the fairway on tight holes or into strong winds

But there was one teeny, tiny problem

Well ok – it was quite a major problem

If I had a chip shot that was say 3 yards from the green

It didn’t matter what I did or tried

I wasn’t able to hit the green

That’s right, I wasn’t able to physically get the ball on the green

Let alone get the ball close enough to the hole to make a par

I was able to mix it up though

Half of my chip shot attempts would go a yard (at best)

Or be ‘double hit’ on the way through

And the other half would go rocketing over the green

Where I found out there are some particularly nasty places to play your next shot from

As well as the next shot, the one after that and the next one

How could this be?

I was a golf pro since I left school

I’ve shot a seven under par round

And now I can’t get the ball on the green from 3 yards away

Are you serious?

At that point the rest of my game was going well

On the holes that I hit every shot from tee to fairway, then onto the green in regulation

Going for birdie putts

I was scoring under par for those holes

That whole chipping / short pitching thing though

If I missed the green in regulation

Was as if someone completely different turned up to play those shots

It felt like it was the clown in the image at the start of this post

It can’t have been me

But it was

Thinking more about it

the count

It was most probably The Count from Sesame Street

“One chip shot, two chip shots, three chip shots, four chip shots, five chip shots – ah ha ha! I love counting chip shots”

Like every other golfer that starts experiencing the yips

Once I got over the humiliation and frustration of what was happening on the golf course

And actually returned to the course after that ‘break we all take’

I headed straight to the practice area

‘To get rid of them there’

After all as a (at that point in time – former) PGA teaching pro

My first reaction was – it must be my technique right?

Wrong!!

It just got worse

So I spent a lot of time checking out as much as possible on the internet

And the stuff I found seemed to fall into two categories

Either completely useless advice

Or the best sounding stuff in the world which when you looked behind it

Had the simple aim of selling me something (or more than one thing in a lot of cases)

I did get a couple of things and tried them with great anticipation

But neither of them had the effects they were claimed to be able to give

Not very helpful

So I kept grinding away at it on the practice green

Hoping that I could practice my way out of the yips

Which while I was there on the practice area worked ok

I could chip like Seve while practicing

But as soon as I went and played

It was back to being The Count from Sesame Street

“One chip shot, two chip shots, three chip shots, four chip shots, five chip shots”

Except it wasn’t “ah ha ha! I love counting chip shots” at the end

That was going on in my head

It was more like

“One chip shot, two chip shots , three chip shots………………”

Why the hell am I here?

I might as well give up this stupid ##/@@*&&&^%$ game

It just kept getting worse

So bad that I got to the point

Which I’m not comfortable admitting to be honest

That if faced with a chip shot on the golf course

Not only did I start to tighten up

As soon as I realised I had missed the green

Which got progressively worse as I got nearer the ball

Once I got to the ball and surveyed the shot

I would initially choose a shot to play

And of course the club that was right to play the shot

I’d get ready to hit the shot

Then realise over the ball

That I just couldn’t hit that club

No way – just couldn’t do it

A gun to my head would have made no difference

(A yips golfer will be nodding in agreement after reading that by the way)

So I’d stop and go back to the bag

Get a different club

For a different type of shot

But once over the ball

I couldn’t pull the trigger on that either

So back to the bag for another club

Same thing again

Final result

Get the putter out and just get it on the green somehow

Which was never that pretty or a good result

Finish the hole (somehow)

And head to the next one

Trying desperately to block out what had happened

Hoping that I was going to hit the next green in regulation

So that I didn’t have to face chipping again

Do you think I was able to hold a positive attitude and play well at that point?

Clearly not

In fact I’m surprised I’m still playing golf at all

But maybe the reason I am

And have regained my PGA professional status since then

Is so I can use my experiences to help the millions of yips suffers around the world

To get past them and continue playing the game of golf

At least that’s my hope

I hope you will join me by doing the yips study that is applicable to you

Putting Yip Study

Driver Yip Study

Chipping Yip Study

Other Yip Study

And sharing your story if you feel compelled to

As well as forwarding this to as many golfers as you know that have the yips

I thank you in advance

And I hope that you

Play well

 

Related Posts

Journey into the golf yips – part one

Journey into the golf yips – part two

A helpful chipping tip from Phil Mickelson

What causes a shank in golf?