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Beating the Yips
There may be no more painful affliction in our game than the "yips" – those uncontrollable and maddening little nervous twitches that prevent you from making a decent stroke on short putts. If you've never had them, consider yourself very fortunate (or possibly just very young). But I can assure you that when your most treacherous and feared golf shot is not the 195 yard approach over water with a quartering headwind...not the extra tight fairway with water left and sand right...not the soft bunker shot to a downhill pin with water on the other side...no, when your most feared shot is the remaining 2-4 foot putt after hitting a great approach or scramble shot, it makes the game almost painful.

And I've been fighting the yips (again) for a while now. It's a recurring nightmare that has haunted me most of my adult life. I even had the yips when I was in my 20s, but I've beat them into submission off and on most of my adult life. But just recently, that nasty virus came to life once again. My lag putting has been very good, but when I get over one of those "you should make this" length putts, the entire nervous system seems to go haywire. I make great practice strokes, and then the most pitiful right-handed jab at the ball you can imagine. Sheesh.

But I'm a traditionalist, and do not look toward the long putter, belly putter, cross-hand, claw or other oddball thing as the solution. My approach is to beat those damn yips into submission some other way. So here's what I'm doing that is working pretty well, and I offer that to all of you who might have a similar affliction on the greens.

When you are over a short putt, take a few practice strokes to get the pace and feel you feel is required. Address your putt and take two looks at the hole and back to the putter to ensure good alignment. Lighten your right hand and make sure that only the fingertips are in contact with the grip, to prevent you from getting to tight.

Then, take a long, long, long look at the hole. Fill your entire mind and senses with the target. When you bring your head/eyes back to the ball, try to make a smooth immediate move right into your backstroke, and then let your putter track right back to where you were looking – the HOLE! And focus on seeing the putter make contact with the ball, preferably even the forward edge of the ball – the side near the hole.

For me, this is working, but I am asking all of you to chime in with your own "home remedies" for the most aggravating and senseless of all golf maladies. It never hurts to have more to fall back on.

Chime in, guys!
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
ErikBrown says:
That is good advice, but when that goes south on you , just putt with one hand. I've finally made the step (that frustrated that it couldn't hurt) and on 4 feet and in I rest right hand on thigh and stroke it in with one hand!!
8/21/12
 
ally1957 says:
whats wrong with BEER
8/22/12
 
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
 
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