The #1 SURE-FIRE Drill to Fix the Putting Yips

Ever struggled with the putting yips? This one comes straight from a recent DLG Performance Center Inquiry we received and because it’s such a common (and devastating problem plaguing so many golfers), we wanted to share the solution with the rest of the golfing world. 

You’re standing there, about to pull the trigger on a putt just on the edge of the “gimmie” range, and you freeze. Your mind is telling you to pull it back, but your body won’t activate. It’s locked. Your hands start to sweat and that all too familiar lump in your throat resurfaces. You muster every bit of strength and resilience you have to start the motion. You feel helpless. 

jerk,swing, loop, poke…MISS.

Yikes. That feeling of a short putt sliding by the hole is unlike anything else. It’s even worse than blasting a drive into the woods because at least your swing was moving over 80MPH with the big dog.  “Hey, the driver is the toughest club in the bag” your buddy tells you.  But when you’re missing putts your grandmother could make one-handed, there’s absolutely no excuse for it. There’s no fall back. There are no words for consolation and nothing that can give you that putt back, because it’s the last and final step to every hole and the defining moment just before your pencil has to hit the scorecard. That written number becomes the benchmark of our perceived self-worth all too frequently. It brings us to a phrase we use quite often in the putting training aid business

“You can save par from the woods, but you can’t RECOVER from a missed par-putt.”

 

Let’s look at the concept of good putters: The putter head must travel on a simple arc, with a face square to that arc.

If you’re struggling with a “yip,” it means you have an expectation to make the putt but a realization you wont.

Let’s take a systematic and scientifically proven approach.


THE DRILL: 

To cure the putting yips, you must trick the brain into removing that expectation. I’m going to say it three times for emphasis: 

REMOVE THE EXPECTATION

REMOVE THE EXPECTATION

REMOVE THE EXPECTATION  

^ This is so incredibly important, and you’ve got ZERO CHANCE OF SUCCESS if you do not follow closely here. To remove the expectation, you must become ‘process oriented,’ rather than ‘results oriented.’ To do that, I want you to focus on one thing, and one thing ONLY:

Pick a flat 3-foot putt. Lay a golf ball down and address it. I want you to aim the putter face at a spot that is 3-6 inches in front of your ball on a straight line to the hole.  YOUR ONLY GOAL IS TO ROLL THE BALL OVER THAT SPOT. The goal is NOT to make the putt. You must learn to judge your success on whether or not the ball rolled over the spot. This FORCES you to focus on the process of rolling the putt and starting the ball on line – two processes that ‘yippers’ really struggle with.  

HERE’S A SIMPLE TRUTH: Most golfers from tap-in range (3-6 inches) have LITTLE TO NO conscious thought about stepping up and rolling the ball in. Some even do it one handed. This is because it’s MINDLESS. There is no conscious EXPECTATION. (It’s so easy that you don’t need to think.) The truth is… if you can get a ball started 3-6 inches, chances are you’ve given it enough speed to travel AT LEAST 3-feet. And if you change your goal from MAKING THE PUTT to ROLLING IT OVER A SPOT 3-6 inches in front of your ball, you can accomplish this goal quickly, easily, and efficiently. That leads to building CONFIDENCE. And CONFIDENCE will forever and completely remove the ‘realization of missing’ that we talked about earlier.

Then, when you hit the course and you’re forced with another 3-footer, you’re not focused on ‘making’ a 3-footer, you’re focused on ‘making’ a 3-6 incher. The rest of the putt will take care of itself. 

focushereandhere_2If you’ve followed these steps (and it will take some time), you will have completely re-routed the brain from a defensive and hesitant space to a confident and assertive one.

We’ve rewired your innards to remove the ‘realization  of missing.’ It’s nearly impossible to miss from 3-6 inches.  And if you start the ball on-line the first 3-6 inches, chances are the putt will drop. Goodbye, yips. 

TA-DA!

We’ve got a great tool to help with starting the ball on-line if you haven’t seen it. The Navigator Putting Aid is making waves on the PGA Tour this year and for a good reason. In the words of Kyle Thompson and PGA Tour Coach Scott Hamilton: 

Kyle Thompson, Scott Hamilton

To your putting! 

-DLG