Golf Lessons: Yips Washington DC

Why do people get the yips? From a lack of confidence they feel after missing short putts and from anticipating poor impact. Read more.

University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Turfgrass Trends
1775 T Street NW
Washington, DC
 
Langston Golf Course & Driving Range
202/397-8638
2600 Benning Rd Ne
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

Data Provided by:
Landscape Architecture Magazine 
(202) 686-2752
4401 Connecticut Avenue
NW Washington, DC
 
University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Langston Course & D.R.
(202) 397-8638
2600 Benning Rd NE
Washington, DC
 
East Potomac Golf Course
(202) 554-7660
972 Ohio Dr SW
Washington, DC
 
Ft. Mcnair Golf Course
202/685-3138
262 3rd Ave Sw Sports Center
Fort Mcnair , DC
Type
Military
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
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Cure Your Yips!

Cure Your Yips!

Can't knock it in from five feet? My tips will cure your yips!


Cure Your Yips! Cure Your Yips! Buddy Drill
Why do people get the yips? From a lack of confidence they feel after missing short putts and from anticipating poor impact. In my first drill, simply make some smooth pendulum stokes with your eyes closed. Then, as you make your stroke, count out a simple rhythm “1-2,” “1-2,” etc. Once you feel a good flow, have a buddy, at his discretion, place a ball in the path of your putterhead. Not knowing when it’s coming eliminates flinching and the yips.

Cure Your Yips! A Change Of Style
Right now, your brain is wired to putt in its current adopted technique, most likely the common “reverse-overlap grip” in which the index finger of your weak hand overlaps your dominant hand. While that grip is used by many golfers, it’s important to remember that small hand muscles are particularly vulnerable when you’re nervous and will, thereby, promote the yips. Try to short circuit the fouled up system by radically changing your gripping technique. Look at the images (left) and pick out your new grip today!

Cure Your Yips! Create A Putting Ritual
If you’ve ever watched a basketball player get ready to shoot a free throw, you’ve seen him go through a set of movements to help stay relaxed and rhythmic. He may, for example, bounce the ball twice, flex his knees, set his wrists and then shoot. If you say or make those movements to a beat, it might come out like this: “Bounce, Bounce, Flex, Set, Shoot.” If you repeat this sequence in the form of a basic beat, it might sound like this: Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom. Just like the beat of a drum. Basketball isn’t the only sport in which you create rhythm. The next time you’re on the putting green, develop a ritual. Start by lifting your right thumb off of the putter grip. Now, begin your ritual by placing the thumb back on the grip. We’ll call this “Tap.” Then rotate your head to look at the hole. Follow this by turning your head back to the ball. Swing back, and then swing through.

Cure Your Yips! Get Some Exercise
In many cases, golfers who suffer from the yips stab at the ball with a short, choppy stroke. Motions like that yield any number of ugly results. To get the feel of putting beyond impact, try this “isometric” exercise. Have a buddy place some gentle, but constant pressure with his hand against the face of your putter. Then make five strokes, making sure you swing the putter into the followthrough at least as far as your backswing. Then have your buddy step aside and roll two or three putts. I guarantee you’ll feel an immediate “freeing” feeling and significantly more acceleration.

Cure Your Yips! Build A Bridge
Hole? What hole? To help eliminate the pressure of outcomes, practice with a scorecard over the hole. Practice putting from three to five feet away, trying only to roll the ball over the card. If you’re making a good, aggressive stroke, the ball should come to rest ...

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Knee Knockers

Knee Knockers

Knee KnockersDown the stretch, the last thing you want is to find yourself uncomfortable over a short putt. In most cases, the yips comes from the golfer decelerating, the putter then strays offline and well, there you have a missed putt!

To prevent this mistake, I like to encourage my students to practice this simple drill designed to help instill better mechanics near the hole. First, place a few golf balls one-to-two feet from the cup on the practice green. Make your normal stance, and then with no backswing, start pushing the ball toward the hole. Hold the finish until the ball is holed.

Get the idea? Good, now back away and do the same from a distance of three-to-five feet. By ingraining a push-feel, you’re training your body to accelerate through the ball. This drill has limited effectiveness from longer distances, since most golfers accelerate from more than 10 feet anyway, but from short range, it’s even more imperative to maintain a steady acceleration to produce a steady and straight roll. After all, you aren’t trying to lag it, you want to make it! Once you feel comfortable from short range, experiment with putts that are straight, uphill, downhill, and putts that break to the left or right.

After a few 15-minute practice sessions working on this drill, you’ll feel much more comfortable and confident over short putts, knowing that your body is trained to accelerate. All you have to do is read the line, pick your spot and make a confident stroke!

Southern California-based Bobby Hinds, PGA, is one of the area’s most popular instructors, thanks to his back-to-basics approach to swing fundamentals. To learn more, call (818) 787-8163.

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Yikes the Yips

Yikes The Yips

Yikes, The Yips Though diagnosed a hundred different ways, the yips begin with loss of conscious, directional control of the ball off the putterface. Next comes the resultant loss of confidence. And suddenly, the possibility of actually hitting a controllable putt into the hole becomes nil. Yikes!

The primary cause of the yips is controlling your hands with your eyes. Your hands are two of the most intelligent appendages on your body. One of their greatest gifts is proprioception, the ability to sense where they are in space without your having to look at them. You don’t have to monitor their work with your eyes.

Giving your hands the freedom to do their job independently, however, is only part of the yip cure. You must also understand what makes the ball go in the direction it does when you putt. Almost everyone I ask believes the “stroke” is responsible for the direction a ball takes during a putt. Actually, the face angle relative to the target is the deciding factor, not the path of the putter. The ball will always leave the putterface at 180 degrees from the part of the ball that made contact with the face (i.e., if you touch the ball at “3 o’clock,” the ball will leave in the direction of “9 o’clock”).

Since the relationship of the putterface to the ball is that of a straight line to a circle, the putterface can only touch the ball as a tangent, at one point at a time. To change the contact point, you must rotate the shaft either clockwise or counterclockwise during the stroke. If you don’t rotate the shaft during the stroke, you can’t change the contact point on the ball.

During the stroke, your hands can move the putter up and down (along the Y axis), to and from the target (along the X axis), and rotationally clockwise or counterclockwise (around the Z axis). The Z axis, which runs up the forearm from the wrist to the elbow, is the only one that influences puttershaft rotation and, therefore, the only one that influences direction. To cure the yips, a.k.a., the “conscious loss of directional control,” you must control the Z axis and the varying levels of forearm rotation.

A Drill That Works
Practice making a putting stroke by rotating the shaft clockwise on the backstroke and counterclockwise on the forwardstroke. Don’t watch the putter! Continue this drill for 20 repetitions. Then, make the same stroke without rotating the shaft at all. You’ll be able to feel the difference immediately. The contrast between rotation and non-rotation will help you “anchor” the proper non-rotational stroke.

Next, place a coin on the putting green five feet from the cup. Start with a straight putt. This coin marks the spot to putt from, like you would in a scramble tournament. Now, using five balls, hit all five balls from the same spot so they stop at the back of the cup using the “non-rotational” stroke. Repeat this drill 20 times. In my experience, it takes about 100 five-foot putts to ingrain this new “non-rotational” stro...

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