Golfers who are cursed with the yips

2012-11-02 00:00

MUCH has been said and written about long and belly putters. We know that these unconventional putters are under review by the ruling body, the Royal and Ancient, and that they could soon be banned. Although, this is unlikely because there are too many in use around the world.

We could see different rules for professionals and amateurs regarding long putters, with a stipulation on when they will become illegal. But that’s all speculation at this stage. The reason that golfers use these longer putters is because they have had putting problems of some sort when using the normal short putters. It may be that they were looking generally to improve the number of putts per round or to hole a higher percentage of those two-metre putts.

In the worst case, they use longer putters because they suffer from the yips. There is no doubt that golfers who suffer from the yips improve their putting when they use longer putters.The yips is one of the most remarkable peculiarities in the game.

Golfers know exactly what this is, but try explaining it to a non-golfer. The yips are described as an involuntary twitch or jerk of the hands or lower arms, usually in the putting stroke or short chip shots. In severe cases, it’s more than a twitch, the golfer freezes while standing over a putt, and then the putter head is suddenly jerked in the general direction of the hole. When this happens there is not much chance of holing out.

The yips is not a medical condition, it’s just a nervous reaction to short putts. (Some may argue that a nervous reaction is a medical condition.)

The root cause of the yips is fear of missing a putt and doubt in your own ability. The difficulty is the short putts, from 15 centimetres to a metre. The longer putts don’t pose such a problem.

To see a yipping golfer miss one of those little short tiddlers is a sad sight.

We play golf for the enjoyment of the game and some amateur golfers with the yips refuse to be tortured and tormented every weekend, and sadly give up the game. The long putter has definitely helped and brought relief to them.

FROM THE 19TH HOLE

Men and Women — the difference (part three).

Arguments

A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Dressing up

A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the rubbish, answer the phone, read a book and go to the post-box.

A man will dress up for weddings, funerals and golf club dinners.

Sleep

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.

Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Offspring:

Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favourite foods, secret fears, and hopes and dreams.

A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

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