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Why is Tiger's Short Game so Bad? Does he Have the Yips?


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Yips? I don't know...but I'd say no.

What I think is it is clear Tiger has a crazy technical mind, I'd say mine is similar but not anywhere near his level. I've been a pretty decent athlete over the years mainly because I have the ability to analyze a motion and then on some level apply it.

What happens to me when I go through changes or get into a slump is there is just to much going on in my head. I start contradicting myself and all of a sudden I can't figure out what to do. What it takes is to get off the range, get off the chipping green, walk away from the putting green and get alone on the golf course and just play. Just rip it and chase it and don't worry about the technical side of it. The other option is getting completely away from it and letting my mind re-boot. I suspect Tiger has been working hard the last few months and his brain is firing on so many levels he can't see straight. Maybe what he needs is a 4-5 days away from it to quit thinking...but it doesn't look like time is going to allow that.

Just hit it and be an athlete and hit it again!

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My thought is that a lot of players on this site may be surprised to learn how awful their short games are if they had to chip off closely mown fairways like the pros play. Especially those who

I disagree he has the yips, his technique sucks (pic @cipher posted). Yips to me means some kind of spasm type of motion or strong mental issue. He's not in denial that it needs to get better.

We should pitch in and get him one of these. "Best wishes, Tigs Members of TheSandTrap.com"

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I saw this on Twitter so take it for what it is but people are saying that Chris isn't working with Tiger on his short game. I guess Tiger feels his full swing work will "bleed" into his short shorts.

Oh boy, shaaaaank.

https://vine.co/v/OFrwA3pT9Q6

Chris Como is there, so the short game thing I saw on Twitter is probably bs. Also this, something he should be practicing.

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What it takes is to get off the range...(some content deleted) and just play. Just rip it and chase it... (some more content deleted).

Just hit it and be an athlete and hit it again!

Methinks there is a lesson in there somewhere for all of us that we need to be continually reminded of (well, at least me)---

Does it always matter how far you (not you specifically) hit your six iron or what RPM you swing at with a sand wedge? How about just go out there and golf your ball around in the fewest strokes you can?

Golf is a game that we play . Sometimes it seems we get so hung up on trackman numbers and 42 different swing thoughts and positions that we forget to just allow some natural athleticism to do its thing.

What happened to just going out and playing with an empty mind? :-)

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Phil says.......

SAN DIEGO -- Phil Mickelson says he sympathizes with the short-game woes that are plaguing Tiger Woods but feels it won't take long for him to emerge from those struggles.

Mickelson is playing in his hometown event on the PGA Tour, the Farmers Insurance Open, a tournament he has won three times while Woods has won it on seven occasions.

"I think that Tiger's going to have the last laugh,'' Mickelson said after the pro-am at Torrey Pines. "I think that his short game, historically, is one of the best of all time. I think his golf game is probably the best of all the time.

"The short game, when you haven't played, it's the first thing to feel uncomfortable and the quickest thing to get back. I don't think he's going to have any problems, I really don't. We all, myself included, have had stretches where we feel a little uncomfortable, we don't hit it solid, and usually it's just a small tweak. Because it's such a short swing it's not a hard thing to fix. I just don't see that lasting more than a week or two.''

Woods had at least seven occasions last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open where he left a chip shot or a pitch shot short. He had similar difficulties in December at the Hero World Challenge. He admitted after some more shaky chipping during the pro-am that it is a struggle for him at the moment.

"It's happened to me a number of times where I have gone through spells where I had trouble chipping the ball close, chipping it solid,'' Mickelson said. "But it comes back. It's not like it's a big concern. As long as he's healthy and as long as he can swing the club the way he's swinging it, with the speed he's swinging at, I think his game will come back pretty quickly.''

Mickelson, 44, is coming off one of the worst years of his Hall of Fame career. He posted just two top 10s in 2014 and after what he said was a productive offseason, was not in contention two weeks ago at the Humana Challenge and missed the cut last week in Phoenix.

Considered one of the best short-game players in the game, Mickelson said he does not agree with the concept of matching the short game to the long game. Woods said he has been consistent with this process, adopting Sean Foley's teaching into his short game along with Chris Como now.

"The patterns are polar opposites,'' Woods said.

Mickelson said he has not followed that philosophy.

"In my view, there's a million ways to swing a golf club,'' Mickelson said. "We have got guys like Jim Furyk 's golf swing and Adam Scott 's golf swing and they both have tremendous command of their game, their swing, their ball flight. And those are totally different swings. And you can swing it a million different ways and be effective. I think that you can putt a million different ways and be effective.

"But there's only one way to chip effectively. So regardless of how you swing the club, regardless of how you putt, there's only one way to chip, because the leading edge on a 60-degree wedge is coming into the ball first. And everything you do chipping is to get, keep the leading edge down. So there's three or four fundamentals on chipping that everybody has to do to chip well. No matter who you are. And it has nothing to do with your swing.''

espn.com

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I am not sure they are the yips. I think Tiger has always used a technique that has required a lot of precision for pitching. I think it is a combination of poor technique and lack of volume in practicing. I just think he's rusty and is trying to find contact and his technique leaves no leeway for any error and he ends up hitting the ball poorly.

I always thought that yips were actually a neurological disorder in the fine motor muscles of the hands that basically make it impossible to pitch or chip.

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Having a little fun today, trying to mimic Tiger's technique. This one I actually hit ok, some others I semi-stubbed.

http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/tiger-woods-seen-receiving-short-game-advice-other-pros

undefined
Photo: AP/ Lenny Ignelzi
by Sean Zak
Posted: Wed Feb. 4, 2015

Last week Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, finishing tied for last place in the field through two days. Observers pointed to his once celebrated short game as the cause. Repeatedly, the 14-time major champion chunked or bladed simple chips and pitch shots, causing many to suggest that Woods has developed the dreaded yips on the short shots. Now he’s apparently looking for help.

On the driving range Wednesday morning at Torrey Pines, where he is playing in the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods was asking advice from a wider circle than normal. His latest swing guru, Chris Como, was helping with prep, but Woods also had two other pros weighing in with short game suggestions. Tour winners Pat Perez and Billy Horschel were both alongside Woods as he progressed through his practice.

Photo: AP/ Larry Ignelzi
Photo: AP/ Larry Ignelzi
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This is actually good news for yippers like myself to see possibly the world's best ever go through this because very few people realize that it actually is a chronic golfer's "disease" faced by even low handicappers (and pros)..........

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What happened to just going out and playing with an empty mind?

I literally can not hit a good ball with an empty mind, I swing too steep and muscle the club. I do keep it simple though, I say to myself..."Path & speed." right before I take the club back. Path to simply remind myself to come in on plane, and speed reminds me that the club is going its fastest a split second AFTER you hit the golf ball. Once I think about that I can create more lag/speed.

I do agree that your mind should be relatively clear, but I think the majority needs 1 or 2 swing thoughts.

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This could get worse before it gets better.......I know some people that have had short game yips for years. Low handicappers that can go up and down with it, one day they are awful and another day they seem to be back to normal alike it never happened....but then it takes just once.
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I literally can not hit a good ball with an empty mind, I swing too steep and muscle the club. I do keep it simple though, I say to myself..."Path & speed." right before I take the club back. Path to simply remind myself to come in on plane, and speed reminds me that the club is going its fastest a split second AFTER you hit the golf ball. Once I think about that I can create more lag/speed.

I do agree that your mind should be relatively clear, but I think the majority needs 1 or 2 swing thoughts.

Agree totally with this.  The thing that struck me when watching Tiger hacking around was how uncommitted he was to his shots.  He seemed to be decelerating into most of them, and then occasionally over compensating on the next chip, and skulling it through the green.  I also agree with Mickelson that chipping technique is completely separate from golf swing, and for this reason am highly sceptical of Tigers excuse about being caught between swing patterns. It seems to me to be about loss of confidence and focus in what he's attempting to do.

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i think all he needs is one good round.  if he goes maybe 4 for 5 on up-and-downs and does it by pitching the ball close, he will take that confidence and shake off whatever is ailing him.

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You guys love the word "yips"

There's no such thing as yips in my opinion. It's a synonym for excuse created by the weak minded. and someone certainly cannot declare another individual to have a condition, only they choose believe in. It's simply a way to rationalize why Tiger was #1 in world 8 months ago and now after this tournament, he struggled in the short game? It's no different in my opinion than saying "he's been cursed by voodoo"

I find it equally as strange when some admits they themselves have this yip thing. It's kind of giving up, right? Just my 2 cents.

If you have never had the yips then you have no idea, and an opinion like this is just letting your ignorance show.

My thought is that a lot of players on this site may be surprised to learn how awful their short games are if they had to chip off closely mown fairways like the pros play.

Especially those who say their "go to" club from inside 70 yards is a 60 degree wedge. Hitting off a spongy cushion of grass is not the same as hitting off what is essentially just like the putting green.  Margins for error are almost zero on those tournament course set ups.

Not saying Tiger doesn't have the chipping yips.

Just saying that those who currently think they could do better may not be able to hit the green from 20 yards with what they think is a great short game from grass like that ;-)

This is fact.  Using a 60° wedge from a tight lie is an art form, and it requires precise control of the club, which requires precise mental control.  Whether you call it the yips or just lack of playing under pressure, it's still a mental problem with confidence.  As mentioned above somewhere, I would imagine that Tiger can hit perfect chip after perfect chip when he's practicing, because there is no pressure.  For some reason lately, his stroke breaks down under tournament pressure.  I really believe that to play golf at the top on ones ability, one has to be having fun, and I don't think that Tiger is having a lot of fun right now.  He is grinding, and playing under a lot of self-imposed pressure because I think he sees his career goals slipping away, and he isn't dealing very well with it.  I think he needs to find a way to have fun playing golf again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cfritchie

What it takes is to get off the range...(some content deleted) and just play. Just rip it and chase it... (some more content deleted).

Just hit it and be an athlete and hit it again!

Methinks there is a lesson in there somewhere for all of us that we need to be continually reminded of (well, at least me)---

Does it always matter how far you (not you specifically) hit your six iron or what RPM you swing at with a sand wedge? How about just go out there and golf your ball around in the fewest strokes you can?

Golf is a game that we play. Sometimes it seems we get so hung up on trackman numbers and 42 different swing thoughts and positions that we forget to just allow some natural athleticism to do its thing.

What happened to just going out and playing with an empty mind?

There is a lot to be said for this.  Tiger may have a great practice regimen, but to really sharpen his game, he needs to compete.  The question is whether he is willing to change his schedule to get in more competition before the Masters, and if he does, will his body hold up?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MrFlipper

What happened to just going out and playing with an empty mind?

I literally can not hit a good ball with an empty mind, I swing too steep and muscle the club. I do keep it simple though, I say to myself..."Path & speed." right before I take the club back. Path to simply remind myself to come in on plane, and speed reminds me that the club is going its fastest a split second AFTER you hit the golf ball. Once I think about that I can create more lag/speed.

I do agree that your mind should be relatively clear, but I think the majority needs 1 or 2 swing thoughts.

If playing with an empty mind can be considered the same playing the game subconsciously, then you might be on to something. I know I have read in books by some of the mental swing gurus like Rotella that a players best swings are in their subconscious brain parts. Something like what Romeo told Roy. " Your brain was getting in the way. "

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It's anybody's guess. What's yours? I think people need to relax and realize it is early in the year, especially for someone who had been fighting injuries/new swing.

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