The golf yips are without question the most devastating fault in golf as it has caused many a golfer to revert to long putters, swapping which way they face the shot and can actually cause the most extreme cases to give the game up.
Many top players have suffered the yips and there really is no reason why someone develops this fault. It is mainly caused by a lack of confidence and over time it is the only thing the golfer can think about. The yips are a muscular spasm that takes place in the hands at impact which cause the club face to twist and the ball can easily miss the hole. The yips tend to take place when it is a short putt as the expectation level is high.
The best way to cure the yips is to make a dramatic change, such as a grip change or putting style change. The best grip change for the yips is the claw grip. The reason the claw grip is so good is because it takes the bottom hand out of the equation so that the putting stroke can start to flow again.
Claw grip - great for nervous putters:
- Place the hand closest to the target on the top of the grip with the palm facing the side of the grip and the back of your hand facing the target. Place your thumb down the centre of the putter grip which normally has a flat front to the grip. From there, hold the club in the fingers, not dissimilar to the normal grip, and place the hand on the side of the grip. As a check point, you should see your thumb is straight down the middle of the grip.
- The hand furthest away from the target is applied on to the club in an un-conventional way. Turn your hand so that the palm of your hand is facing your body. Use the thumb, index finger and middle finger to hold the golf club in a claw like fashion by placing the thumb at the back of the golf grip and the index finger and middle finger on top of the flat part of the putter grip.
- Keep the hands relaxed and tension free. Aim to hold the golf club at about a 5 out of 10 grip pressure.
- This grip will take some time to get used to so do make sure you practice this technique on the practice putting green before taking it out on the golf course.
- Many golfers find it hard at first to judge distance control, however once practiced, the feel will come back.