Are the Yips a Medical Issue Video
Some interesting question to see whether actually having the putting yips is a technical issue as in you’re making mistakes in your putting stroke or actually a medical issue. Now not very often the medical concerns actually, actually concern is as golf professionals or golf players. But there is some research that suggest that people that suffer with the yips be it in a putting stroke or in a darts action or a snooker action or anything else where they have the yips can actually be related to medical concern called – condition sorry, called focal dystonia.
This actually happens generally when golfers get a little bit older, between 40 and 50 years old. We start to see older guys start to suffer with this. And it’s actually sort of neurological process of getting a little bit of a twitch or a bit of cramp or a spasm almost in the fine motor control. So it doesn’t happen on the big full swings necessarily but it happens more on the shorter motions and more controlled motions and that’s why really it affects golfers more on 5 foot putts and then 3 foot putts particularly rather than the sort of 25, 30 foot range.
And if we look at why that happens particularly here you know, a foot away you can probably nudge the ball in from there, 2 feet maybe the same but 3 feet to 5 feet it’s that still a fine motor control where we just bring in the club back and through very, very slowly and that’s where we start to see this twitching, this spasm, this muscle movement, this involuntary muscle movement start to have more of an impact. So you know can you take medication to stop this? Well as a golfer around the golf course, not really legally.
You know you can’t really take many things. There has been some extreme cases in other sports where people have actually taken Botox injections to quieten down the things that are causing them to have that involuntary motion. But as golfers, we generally look more to things like changing the technique. Look at someone like Bernhard Langer, probably the world’s most famous yipper of a golf ball; have struggled for years when he’s at close range until he adopted the very famous putting stance.
You know Langer’s putting grip at one stage was left arm right the way down the shaft, right hand all the way up here clamping it to his arm and then using the big muscle. So he actually takes out the yipping muscles in his hands and his arms and using his shoulders to rock it backwards and forwards. We see other golfers using the big claw, sorry the big broom handle putters or the claw grip of something of that nature to try and take out this yipping reflex.
So it could be related to a medical condition but as golfers we often look at improving the technique of golfers. But if you struggle at sort of 40, 50 years old when you’re starting to yip, maybe we need to look at altering the technique of the putting style to try and improve your control of the very short shots where you might be classed as having the yips.