The ‘yips’ have ruined many golf careers

2008-10-22 00:00

There are some strange quirks in the game of golf. One of the most remarkable peculiarities is the “yips”. 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 becomes more than a twitch. The unfortunate golfer freezes while standing over a putt and then suddenly jerks the putter head in the general direction of the hole. When this happens there is very little chance of successfully holing out because the ball veers off to one side and often misses the hole by quite a distance. The longer putts don’t pose such a problem. It’s the short ones from 15 centimetres to a metre.

Former professional golfer Tommy Armour is credited with the term “yips” and it forced his early retirement from competitive golf.

The yips is not a medical condition, it’s merely a nervous reaction to short putts. The root cause of the yips is fear and doubt. Fear of missing the putt and doubt in your own ability to hole the putt. To see a yipping golfer miss one of those little tiddlers seems amusing but it certainly isn’t a laughing matter. Many amateur golfers with the yips refuse to be tortured and tormented every weekend and sadly give up the game.

The yips have ruined and cut short many professional golf careers — Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Johnny Miller and Tom Watson are some of the big names who have suffered from the yips. The one success story of a professional who has overcome the dreaded yips is Bernard Langer. This was done by perseverance and by holding the putter in a strange and unconventional way. More recently, he has used one of those extra length putters.

Last weekend’s results:

On Saturday, Victoria Country Club held a four ball better ball Stableford competition sponsored by Venn Nemeth and Hart. The winners on 45 points were the father and son combination of Dale and Boyd Michau. Second were Dave Sutton and Brandon Leer with 43 points and in third place were Peter Todd and Charles Severn on 41 points.

On Saturday, Maritzburg Golf Club also held a four ball Stableford sponsored by Savages Football Club. The winners on 47 points were Alastair Mackenzie and Alan Grant, counting out Ian Peel and Christo Van Tonder. In third spot were Mark Kruger and Leo Combrink with 46 points.

From the 19th hole:

A man staggered into a hospital casualty room with concussion, multiple bruises, two black eyes and a five iron wrapped around his neck.

Naturally, the doctor asked him: “What happened to you?”

“Well I was having a quiet round of golf with the women’s captain when, at a difficult hole, we both sliced our golf balls into a field of cattle. We went to look for them and while I was looking around I noticed one of the cows had something white near the tail region. I walked over, lifted its tail and sure enough, there was the captain’s golf ball stuck right in the middle of the cow’s rear end. Still holding up the cow’s tail, I yelled to her: ‘Hey, this looks like yours.’ I don’t remember much after that.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.