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Can you practice putting too much?


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Yes, if you don't also practice other parts of your game.

Spending 90% of game on putting won't help much if you an't find the fairway off the tee.
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Yes, in fact there is good reason to believe that excessive practice is an element in getting the yips. I'll skip the fancy words, but basically the portion of the brain responsible for fine motor cooridination becomes over stimulated and is so sensitive that voluntary control is dimished. It is not just golf, musicians, artists, any fine motor skill that intitially requires large amount of repetition to master can be overdone.
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Yes, in fact there is good reason to believe that excessive practice is an element in getting the yips. I'll skip the fancy words, but basically the portion of the brain responsible for fine motor cooridination becomes over stimulated and is so sensitive that voluntary control is dimished. It is not just golf, musicians, artists, any fine motor skill that intitially requires large amount of repetition to master can be overdone.

Have to agree with this. The normal human brain can only keep focused on one thing for a finite amount of time. Go beyond that and you reach a point of diminishing returns. That point may be different for different people, but everyone has that limitation. The hard thing is learning to recognize when you've reached the limit.

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Seems impossible for a person with a job to practice putting too much. I know what you mean about getting to the point when you aren't getting anything out of it but then I just stop. I wonder how much the pros practice putting every week. I bet it is around 20 hours a week. I really have no idea but for how good they are at it, they got to be putting the time in to be that accurate with speed week in and week out.
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I think you can practice putting too much. When I played in league there were guys who hit the putting green anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours before teeing off. Almost without exception they became overconfident and got a rude awakening when their putts on the regulation greens went differently than they did on the practice green. For that reason, I limit my practice on the putting green to 30 minutes or less before teeing off.
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Why narrow it down to just putting? I don't think it's possible to practice anything too much...with a caveat. If you're doing something so much that you're developing repetitive motion injuries, then yes, it's detrimental. Otherwise, it's all good. I disagree with the people who say that simply pounding balls is no good at all. It's better than nothing.

As far as the yips and practicing too much, I've never experienced or heard of this mentioned in my thirty-some years of playing.
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Yes, in fact there is good reason to believe that excessive practice is an element in getting the yips. I'll skip the fancy words, but basically the portion of the brain responsible for fine motor cooridination becomes over stimulated and is so sensitive that voluntary control is dimished. It is not just golf, musicians, artists, any fine motor skill that intitially requires large amount of repetition to master can be overdone.

Have to agree with this. The normal human brain can only keep focused on one thing for a finite amount of time. Go beyond that and you reach a point of diminishing returns. That point may be different for different people, but everyone has that limitation. The hard thing is learning to recognize when you've reached the limit.

I should have also added to my comment that I don't think it's possible to practice too much, but I also wouldn't recommend going out and practicing putting for five hours per day. For me, a good putting practice session is 20-30 minutes working on one thing, e.g., lag putting, stroke, etc. The brain definitely starts to wonder and lose focus after a period of time. Practice putting every single day if you have the time, but don't stay out there for hours at a time doing it.

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As far as the yips and practicing too much, I've never experienced or heard of this mentioned in my thirty-some years of playing.

You can scratch another thing off your "never heard of that" list today.

I had the yips so bad at the start of the season it was just plain ugly. The more I practiced the worse I got. I'd miss putts from every conceivable distance for hours on end. There was no end in sight because there was a lot wrong and unnatural in both my putting stroke and my approach to putting in general. A lot of the tips and on-line lessons which offer things as "absolutes", aren't for everyone. I luckily found the right information, for me, and now 10-15 minutes every couple days is more than enough.
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You can scratch another thing off your "never heard of that" list today.

But overpractice is not what caused your yips in the first place, right? The OP said that overpracticing develops the yips. I don't buy it. Still stand by never heard it claim.

After my post, I did a search to see if I was missing something and came up empty. Any articles or such?
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Ok I will add in the fancy words, I am in social work am not medically trained. There are a number of medical researchers that feel the yips etc are a mild form of focal dystonia. This is is based on studies of neurological disorders from the extrapyramidal group. It is believed that the Thalamus area of the brain and basil ganglia can be over stimulated or over developed. A severe form of one of these disorders is seen in people who receive powerful anti pshychotic drugs for a long time. They deveop a conditon called Tardive Dyskonisa, ( might have misspelled that, been out of schoool a long time). Often the street people types you see acting strangely have this problem, it is not from their disease but a side effect of the long term treatment.
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But overpractice is not what caused your yips in the first place, right? The OP said that overpracticing develops the yips. I don't buy it. Still stand by never heard it claim.

Yeah it is. If I'd practiced 10-15 minutes incorrectly, I'd have just been a poor putter. Hour upon hour of it gave me the yips. You've obviously never had them - they're paralyzing.

I actually don't really care what you believe. My putting is much better with less practice now, and that's all that really matters to me.
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Note: This thread is 4016 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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