I read with empathy and fascination golfers descriptions and struggles with the yips. Everyone knows what it is but nobody seems to know the definitive way to get rid of the problem.
In trying to solve a problem, especially when you are working with the human body, wouldn’t it be most efficient to find the cause first? Unfortunately, much of Western Medicine and golf instruction ignores this and treats the symptom.
In my opinion, this is what folks trying to fix the yips do as well. Most instructors will give you some kind of workaround for your swing or putting stroke. This is like giving aspirin to a person with a brain tumor.
Yes, you need band-aids and aspirin as part of any first aid kit but they aren’t going to cure cancer now are they?
I have heard many stories of golfers getting one of these work-arounds for, say, putting, and then the yips moves over to becoming chipping or full swing yips!
And we all know about the famous failed workarounds of Hank Haney trying to help Charles Barkley with the full swing yips on his TV show.
Most Get It Wrong
Even the famous Mayo clinic did a study on it and concluded that it’s caused by “focal dystonia” from overuse of certain muscles. Yeah, right. This makes no sense…
If that is so, how is it that golfers get the putting yips ONLY when they are facing crucial putts in competitive situations and NOT on the practice green? How is it that an older golfer gets the putting yips but not the full swing or chipping yips when they have had FAR more full swings in their lifetime which are far more physical than the act of putting? How is putting the “overuse” and not the swing?
Secondly, go look up “focal dystonia” and most information says there is no cause. This is what science likes to say when they don’t have answers because of sheer arrogance, in my opinion.
I believe there is a cause for every effect! Just because we can’t see or know the cause doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Sometimes, an educated guess that is BELIEVABLE is all you need to be able resolve the problem. That’s what I present to you here because ultimately, the mind and body are one and the same and, even if my theory about the cause is totally false, BELIEF in it is what contributes greatly to solving this problem anyway!
If you suffer with the putting yips, all you care about is getting out of it, right? Who cares if the “science” supports how you got out of it, just get out of it!
I call this my “Plausible Cause and Effect” principle.
Where am I going with all of this?
Many sports psychologists have rightly come to the conclusion that the yips come from an accumulation of perceived mental, emotional, and mechanical errors in golf. I would add to that all the “errors” in life as well.
In short, your unconscious mind has accumulated or repressed unresolved “negative emotions” and the reasons for them in your memory. Many get attached to the act of putting or swinging to such an extent that it has now created a response that is similar to many irrational fears and phobias.
Why does your unconscious mind create the yips?
It’s simply to protect you.
Remember, the number one job of the unconscious mind (ucm) is to keep you alive. It doesn’t care about your golf game or your putting. Everyone is different but in those folks who get the yips, their ucm is running a program to stop them from putting because:
- It believes it is dangerous to their health
- AND/OR, the yips are a message the unconscious is sending you that you now can deal with all that old stuff since you are now out of danger (this is why it hits so many older retired golfers.)
Your unconscious mind has the dual, opposing functions of repression and bringing up for resolution. It keeps unresolved traumas repressed so that you can go about your life doing what you need to do and then when your life settles down, it brings them up for final resolution.
Golf putting is dangerous? How is that possible?
Because the negative emotions surrounding putting are causing internal stress to you. Stress is a killer. Your ucm knows that and is trying to get you to stop playing golf because it’s made you a wreck of built up emotion that leads to physical illness.
This stuff goes deep and nothing about your surface thinking or actions is likely to solve it. You can’t practice your way out of the yips.
The real solution to fixing this is in:
- Clearing all the negativity stored in the cellular intelligence of your body (The inner mind or unconscious mind) from your past experiences with putting, especially the fingers, hands, arms, etc.
- Creating rapport with and teaching the ucm that putting is not only safe, but that it is beneficial to your health to golf and putt so that it will release the behavior. De-link golf from your personal stuff in the process.
- Reconditioning a new response mechanism (undoing the “habit” of yipping)
The most important point for you to go with here is THE BELIEF that you can fix this problem. After all, you created it and so you can also un-create it. Nobody did it to you. It’s not a disease. There’s no virus. It’s not overuse as I said above. It didn’t happen in a vacuum.
I personally have seen mental/emotional patterns from numerous golfers that have given me this theory that we use to clear all forms of the yips – putting, chipping, and full swing. My theory here has come from studying the work of Dr. John Sarno, in particular, his book: “The Divided Mind. The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders. ”
This is caused by primarily mental/emotional issues and have everything you need inside for physical, emotional and mental health to undo it.
Powerful release intervention work through this inner mind connection is THE quickest and most effective way to get back to enjoying your game and your time on the greens. This requires your full attention, focus and INTENTION if you really want the results fast. The yips didn’t happen to you overnight and so they won’t go away overnight either but you absolutely can get there in a few weeks or maybe a bit longer. You may find some additional personal benefits outside of golf from working your way through this.
Do not attempt to putt during the first two weeks of this process unless the yipping is very slight or you don’t do it that much in the first place. Don’t expect a miracle during these first 2 weeks but it is possible.
I have created a 3-part guided visualization process that is obviously not personalized that has done wonders for many golfers. The next step after that would be to work with someone One on One who understands release processes and the connection to the yips so that you can go deeper through your specific and unique issues.
Greens and Fairways,