If your looking for the best drills for putting yips, you can stop worrying and read all of this article.
We’ve all been there. You’re out on the green, putter in hand. You’re just about to be your brother-in-law who’s been laughing about how “maybe you’ll do it this time”. All you have to do is one final putt… and then…
We all have had something like that happen to us at least once. It may be Jim, your brother-in-law, or Shaun your drinking buddy, or Sam, your boss. And while it isn’t anything to be too upset over (especially in relation to the rest of the world), it still gets at you. After all, when it’s all said and done, “you missed the hole by half an inch!”
Well, and this is for you guys out there that are just realizing this issue, this is what’s known as “the Yips” and is more common than you might think.
Table of Contents
What Are Yips?
Basically, so that we’re all on the same page here, “the yips” is a term used for the debilitating inability to hole a short putt. It’s essentially “choking” at the last second.
Now, before you start thinking this is just you or specific to golf, I’m here to let you know that that’s not the case. In every sport, every competition, every “thing”, there is some type of “yip”. Like I just said, you’re essentially choking at the last second and messing up a sure shot. You’re so tense and so “in your head” that your body reacts and does something to throw you off just enough that you mess up. This happens to everyone and happens in everything.
But we’re not here to talk about everyone, and we’re not here to talk about everything. We’re here to talk about you and your putting game.
In this breakdown, we’re going to go over 5 of the best ways to fix your yip issue. While these are by no means the “only” 5 ways (who else could forget “close your eyes and pray”?) they are the 5 that have found to be the best ways overall for the most people
Let’s Get Things Rolling
While you’ve probably already figured this from the last bit, it’s really worth hammering this home. From all the tips and drills you can do, including the ones we’re going to include here, you need to realize this one thing.
Breathe While Your Putting
Putting yips don’t have anything to do with your skill or lack thereof. It is entirely (and I mean entirely) a confidence and mental issue. Just think about it logically. You couldn’t reach this point in the game if your technique wasn’t at least adequate. This is virtually nothing to do with skill and everything to do with you “in your own head” and being too tense.
So relax. Breathe. just feel good and start using these best drills for putting yips right now.
1. Make Your Follow Through-Stroke Longer Than The Backstroke
You see this a lot by professional golfers and the like all the time, and I’m sure you’re no different. You’ve just been launching the ball several miles in the air, sending it all over the green, and now you’re just a few inches away. Obviously, you can’t use “that” much strength in your swing anymore. The only problem is, it’s hard to properly gauge how much you “should” be using.
This is the issue.
Most golfers in this scenario actually overcorrect themselves and, whereas before they were using a tight, firm, aggressive stroke stance before, now they believe that this same stance is too much and they actually become too loose when making their stroke.
This, ironically enough, ends up being their undoing as, when the putter head slows down as it nears the ball, it turns the face over and ultimately has it roll “just to the side”.
The best putting method to deal with this issue is to, instead of relaxing too much, you reevaluate your stance. Take a second to breathe, ready yourself, and get ready to make your shot. When you get into this stance now, rather than either shoot like you’re going to send the ball to mars or try to just “barely tap it”, instead, make a very short backstroke.
Then, upon striking the ball, do not let up. Push your follow-through all the way out. This will force you to accelerate the ball while keeping it largely center.
2. Maintain Your Wrist Angle
This next step is also fairly common. A lot of golfers will attempt to “nudge” the ball slightly towards the hole by basically flicking their wrist.
This is essentially describing the first golfer but just at a closer distance. Whereas before he was “a few inches to a foot” away, now he’s basically right on top of the hole.
As such, I think you can get what happens next. Fearful of using too much strength in his blow, he doesn’t even want to give a chance of knocking it past and instead opts to literally flick the wrist and hope that’s enough force to push through.
Unfortunately, this is just more of the same issue but repackaged. The putt still turns the ball’s face and it still cuts slightly to the left and off-center.
And while, without question, the closer you are to the ball the less force you’re going to have to use, there’s more to the story.
The key to these up-close shots is to, rather than “nudge” the ball, make a “pendulum” motion. This keeps your wrists locked and still while, instead, uses your arms and shoulders to push the ball forward. Be mindful of your strength and this should do you well.
Yes, modification of strength is definitely important. The primary issue here is making sure you’re not overdoing it on either side.
3. Listen For The Ball To Drop
As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. While this may not happen primarily to the experts, it can and does still happen. Especially for those that have only recently picked up a stick, this sticking point can be pretty big.
Basically, if a golfer has had a bad couple of runs or is maybe new to the sport, they may start getting a bit too impatient with their swing. Instead of the two methods where they use too little strength, this method has them swinging a bit more “recklessly”.
Too focused on getting the ball in, they’ll move their head in concert with their putter just as it meets the ball. This will cause his shoulders to pull back, taking his swing slightly off track.
And while for most this might seem like a tiny thing, when you’re playing a game like golf, these tiny movements can determine whether you make your shot or not.
To resolve this, all you have to do is what you’ve been doing this entire time. Don’t lose your cool and get overeager.
Keep your eyes focused on where the ball is and only move your eyes after you’ve heard it hit the cup. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about taking it offline and messing yourself up at the last second.
Are you using these best drills for putting yips yet? If you’ve been paying attention, I want you to take a second and review these past three steps. “small backswing and long follow-through”, “maintain the wrist”, “keep your eyes focused”…
What do all of these things have in common? They’re all about, fundamentally, relaxing yourself.
Yes, they require you to maintain a level of firmness with the body. I’m not talking about whether or not your body is firm or solid. I’m talking about the tension you are holding in yourself, fearful of whether the ball is going to go in.
If you are “tensed up” you know it and your body knows it. If you are tensed, your natural inclination is to overcompensate by using less strength. If you’re tensed, you’re going to be uncertain and overanxious and want to look up too soon.
What is the ultimate solution? Exactly what I said in the beginning. Breathe. Relax. Feel Good. Understand that, while this isn’t a yoga class or anything, if you’re trying to make that final putt in, you can’t give it so much significance. If you do, you’re going to get the yips. Period.
Now I’m going to include two additional grip types that will help more effectively hit the ball. Again, while they are helpful, they aren’t going to do much for you if you’re tensed up and not applying enough strength, have your wrist too loose, or throwing yourself off kilt. Use these grips to supplement your swing, not treat it as a “magic pill”.
4. Lighten Your Putting Grip
I’m not going to go too much further into this as I have already as I hope you’ve seen the trend. Holding the club too tightly will cause you to choke the life out of your grip and potentially cause you to spasm at the last second.
By lightening your grip, you can hit the ball with less tension and ensure it moves the way you want it to.
A good method of practice is to start by initially holding the golf club in a super light grip to the point that it might just fall out of your hand. Then, take a few practice swings, slightly tightening your grip each time. Then, when you feel you’re at a comfortable level, make your putt.
5. The Left-Hand Lock
This is an interesting addition. For those that simply can’t get out of their own heads, this is something to consider trying. Basically, your while your right hand will largely remain in place, your left hand will latch itself to the top of the handle before locking the wrist outward. This will give you great stability when making your putting stroke.
While this step is a great crutch skill, keep in mind that it can only take you so far. When you use it, what is essentially happening, is you are factoring in your tension into the swing. In effect, you’re somewhat using that for your benefit, which is certainly good initially.
Ideally, you are going to want to get as relaxed as possible so that you won’t need this step, however, in the beginning, it’s definitely a good tool for the toolbox for that game later on today.
I hope this has resonated with some of you all reading this. As a golfer, it’s well known just has good it feels to make that putt and how frustrating it feels if you don’t. Still, the key that needed to be impressed here was that, when it comes to the yips, sometimes it’s worth it to take a breath and realize it’s just a game.
I think these are some of the best drills for putting yips and if you take the time to grove them into your putting routine, You will start to see your putts drop.
I like to practice my putting with Puttout training aid.