If you suffer from short putt yips you have a subconscious conditioned response to that particular situation.
When faced with a short putt, you respond by freezing up over the shot and then follow this by a sudden jerky, stabbing action, rather than a smooth, rhythmical putting stroke. The jerky action is a response to the perception of the threat, in this case the short putt. The perception of this threat triggers a 'fight or flight' response within seconds and when faced with fight or flight situations, your brain fires the neurons required to get you ready to either fight or run. Your heart beat and your breathing quickens and you experience an adrenalin surge, readying your muscles with tension. As a result of this, when you now play the putt, your body makes the jerky stabbing action and you yip.
This response of the yip develops when you perceive you have a weakness in your putting, you have elevated stress, golf or otherwise and when you have suffered one or more frustrating, embarrassing failures.
To recondition the yip you need to do the following:
1. Initially, you need to view the situation differently. Instead of dreading the situation, you need to view it as an opportunity to alter your behaviour and change it.
2. Secondly, you need to relax physically. Work on slowing your breathing and breathing deeply rather than shallowly. Hum a tune or do anything that will relax you.
3. Now work on having a great pre-shot routine. Visualize yourself making the putt, focus on the tempo of the stroke that you will play the shot with.
4. Finally, don’t judge yourself on the outcome of the putt, but instead judge the process just discussed and how well you followed this. The outcome will be a result of following this process well.
Work on the four stages above and slowly you will see that your putting action improves and within two months you should be making a much more confident, relaxed and smooth putting stroke that holes all the short putts that you face.