Study: This one thing could be causing your putting ‘yips’

May 25, 2019

Why do some players yip their putts? It’s a question that has perplexed golfers for years. It’s also becoming an emerging line of inquiry for academics, including Australia-based psychologists Timothy Chambers and Dave Marshall.

In a recently-published study, in the International Journal of Golf Science, Chambers and Marshall asked 280 golfers about their experiences with a dozen common putting maladies, such as “cramping of the hands” and “trouble visualizing an imaginary line to the hole.” Subjects ranked each from 1 (“never”) to 5 (“always”). After crunching the data, Chambers and Marshall found two noteworthy correlations. The first was that older golfers reported greater incidences of the yips. Not much we can do to roll back the clock.

This won't always be the result. So don't convince yourself every putt is going in.
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The second — that golfers who focus on being “perfect” were more prone to yipping — provides serious enlightenment, if not hope. According to the study, the strive for perfection results in greater anxiety, and although a direct correlation between anxiety and yipping has yet to be determined, common sense indicates the potential at the very least.

It’s worth a try: Stop attempting to be perfect. Accept misses as part of the process. In any athletic movement, less stress can only be a boon to performance.