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Short game Yips!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have taken lessons and worked all season on my short game. I have switched back and forth between a 54 and a 56 wedge. I have tried phrases to take my mind off of what I am doing "there is no spoon". But I still have the short game yips. I decelerate through the ball. (perfect example is a great drive on a short par 4, left with a 40 yard chip over a bunker on to the green. I nub it 5 yard. Next shot hit it 10 yards into the bunker, then on the green for a triple boogie) I know how to hit the short ball. At the range I hit my marks with in a few feet. On the course I get the yips. I have had people tell me my short game sucks, and tell me what is wrong (I decelerate). I have just settled on telling them I have the yips and I am clueless how to stop them. Any routines? Mantras? Any ideas?
post #2 of 11

Are you too worried about the outcome?

 

Do you have complete confidence in your wedges? I mean, when you look down, is the leading edge on the ground, you're not worried about skulling?

 

Are you too armsy on the downswing?

 

I once got nervous on putts during the first couple of holes. To solve it, I started strokes, and then all swings by turning my belly button back, and then began the downswing with the legs, and then the belly button turning. That gets the arms out of the way.

 

Or are you relaxed?

 

Take a practice swing, take a deep breath, and take the short game swing. Don't sit over it to think. Just do it. OR

 

And/or Don't look at the ball while swinging. Look at a spot ahead of the ball.

post #3 of 11

Not heard of your situation called 'yips' but I can make a comment.  I believe the reason one decelerates through the ball is because of a backswing too long for the shot.  My wife says she has that 'oh, sh!t' moment when she's taken a 3/4 backswing on a 20 yard pitch with the SW.  She decelerates the club through the hitting zone and chunks the shot.

 

What works for me is a shorter backswing and conscious effort to accelerate through the shot whether is 20 or 60 yards. Nothing good ever comes from decelerating the club through the hitting zone.

 

dave

post #4 of 11

I also agree with dave s' comment about a longish backswing, which can generate an "oh-oh" moment and cause you to decel.

post #5 of 11

Do you have a 60* wedge? If so, do you ever use it? A 54 or 56 is fine around the green or for pitch shots, but I think a 60 makes it a lot easier. You have to make a very small swing with a lower lofted wedge, which sort of decreases the margin for error. 

 

The comments about a long backswing are spot on. Watch a pro hit a 40 yard pitch. Their hands never get past waist high on the backswing. 

post #6 of 11

I hugely improved the quality of my strike on short pitches this year by working on getting the clubhead swinging on a steeper plane.

 

Full swings give you more time to make compensations and get into a decent impact position, but on a short pitch, if you're out of position (in my case, too flat and inside) there's no chance to correct.

 

I also try to hit a low running chip whenever I can. Bunkers, rough and other obstacles don't leave you much choice - but I've been much more consistent around the greens this year hitting runners through fringe and fairway instead of trying to loft the ball all the way to the green, nevermind the pin. To practice, I set up a "limbo bar" in the back garden, maybe 2 feet high, and try to hit everything from a 5 iron to a wedge under it. Ballstriking improves really quickly this way, if you're flaky to start with (and I was).

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

I hugely improved the quality of my strike on short pitches this year by working on getting the clubhead swinging on a steeper plane.

 

The way to accomplish that is with the "hinge and hold" technique. See the short video below for an explanation.

 

post #8 of 11

I get better when using a steep plane but a wide downswing on pitches of greater than 20 yards. The wide downswing promotes use of bounce.

 

For less than 20 yards, we have a thread on pitching techniques.

 

I think the yips will disappear once you acquire a pitching technique that does well under pressure.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmer View Post

I have taken lessons and worked all season on my short game. I have switched back and forth between a 54 and a 56 wedge. I have tried phrases to take my mind off of what I am doing "there is no spoon". But I still have the short game yips. I decelerate through the ball. (perfect example is a great drive on a short par 4, left with a 40 yard chip over a bunker on to the green. I nub it 5 yard. Next shot hit it 10 yards into the bunker, then on the green for a triple boogie) I know how to hit the short ball. At the range I hit my marks with in a few feet. On the course I get the yips. I have had people tell me my short game sucks, and tell me what is wrong (I decelerate). I have just settled on telling them I have the yips and I am clueless how to stop them. Any routines? Mantras? Any ideas?

 

1) you probably don't have the yips. Yips are actually a nerve disorder in the smaller muscles of hands and wrist that make it impossible to keep the hands still. That develops over time in some sports athletes.

 

What you do have is someone who's thinking to damn much. I use to be the same way, to concerned about whats going on with the shot, the mechanics, to worried about the outcome.

 

When you practice, try to put yourself into real life situations. Hit a shot, step away for a few seconds, then approach the next practice shot like you were on a course. Get your data, pick your shot, and execute it. This is why people can make 2nd putt retries and not the first. They get all crazy in the head, miss the shot. Line up the 2nd one, and just strike it, and they make it. Why, because there not think about the results, they just let the motion happen.

 

As for technique, i would say look at Stan Utley's method for a lot of shots, and then look at the pitching stuff on this forum. Basically pitching is a lazy shot. Let the club do the work. When you try to force the club to do something, bad things happen. Chipping is more of a putting motion.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

Do you have a 60* wedge? If so, do you ever use it? A 54 or 56 is fine around the green or for pitch shots, but I think a 60 makes it a lot easier. You have to make a very small swing with a lower lofted wedge, which sort of decreases the margin for error. 

 

The comments about a long backswing are spot on. Watch a pro hit a 40 yard pitch. Their hands never get past waist high on the backswing. 

 

I do have a 60, but I dropped it from my bag for 2 reasons.

1- I was getting no roll with it and so my chips were hitting the green and stopping leaving me with way too many long puts

2- I walk and wanted to lighted my bag. (I figured if I could just open the face of my 54 and do all the same things a 60 could do, why carry it)

 

Anyway I am going to give the "hinge and hold" method a try.

I did spend an hour working at the range on my short game this morning. I worked on 20 yard & 40 yard shots (hit 80 total balls). I worked on 1/4, & 1/2 swings.

The problem is I have to learn to bring this to the course. I can be gold all day on the range and still decelerate on the course.

 

Thank you for all the advice!

post #11 of 11

Before hinge and hold, try this:

 

 

 

I tried Phil's hinge and hold, and had some success with it a few years ago. But don't use it any longer. Try this from Grant Waite and Joseph Mayo. They explain bounce, and show a nice, easy method to pitch.

Also, see the "Quickie Pitching" thread here for shots 20 yds and less.

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