Exercises for Curing the Putting Yips Video
Now obviously I would like to finish this little mini series of putting tips about the yips with a few genuine actual corrections that you can take out onto the putting green and implement to hopefully improve your putting yips if you have any. So the first one we’re going to do is change the way you hold the club to try and actually create a better putting stroke. We’re going to use the Bernhard Langer method, the Pádraig Harrington method, lots of other golfers have adopted a putting stroke where we have is a right-hand golfer, we have left hand low. This is actually my preferred method of putting as well.
So I take my left hand, place it low on the club, my right hand slightly higher up and then work on really keeping the back of this left wrist dead straight to target back and through. So I take the club from here and then back and through, dead straight back and through. There’s no flicking, lifting or spinning the club as I hit it with my wrist, back and through the – and I actually feel for myself that my left hand does a majority of the work and I don’t really feel like my right hand has too much influence on hitting the putt at all but my left hand is what’s in charge of the rocking stroke back and through. So improving your left hand low putting technique might be great way of helping you hole a few more of these short yippable putts.
Now the next thing that can work and this is actually quite topical at the moment as I film this video in the summer of 2015 is the Jordan Spieth method, having your eyes closed or as Jordan does, actually looking at the hole. Now the benefit of this technique is it stops you focusing on the putter head and starts you focusing on the hole which is ultimately your target. Consider if you’re going to throw a dart, when you throw a dart, you don’t look necessarily at the dart, you look over the dart through the dart and see the board on the other side and throw it to the board.
Likewise, when we’re potting snooker ball, we look at the white ball that we’re going to hit rather than watching the cue go backwards and forwards. So the same process in golf here is we don’t necessarily want to be transfixed by watching the putter head going backwards and forwards and worrying about what it’s doing. We’d rather be focused on the result. So from short range Jordan Spieth actually sets up to the putt, tilts his head to the hole and then makes his stroke straight towards the hole and it takes his mind off watching what that putter head is doing and seeing if it’s wandering left to right, right to left. Try that if you’ve got this concept of watching the putter too much and getting the yips.
So the next part of this drill, we’re going to look at the elbow position. Now for some golfers and probably Michelle Wie is the most famous for this doing this. Again summer 2015 when I’m filming this, Michelle Wie is playing quite nice golf at the moment but with her elbow sticking right up probably one of the most awkward putting stance we’ve ever seen in the history of somebody putting. Michelle Wie is a big lass.
She’s about the same size as me, 6 foot 2, 6 foot 3, very, very wide stance and really has her elbows almost parallel to the ground with her forearms leans right over and then focuses on this club just being very, very light and just back and forwards. And again the point of this is by putting the elbows in this position; it puts the wrist in an awkward position where they can’t really move much. Now from here I can move my wrist low but if I’ve already set my wrist into a position, I can’t really move all that much. So Michelle Wie is down here, elbows right there, forearms almost parallel to the deck and then backwards and through, pushing it through. It won’t feel comfortable for everybody clearly but I think as a process if you really got the yips, most people are going to be willing to try anything right now and if that works for you, that’s not about process.
The one last drill that I would encourage you to do particularly on the practice green when we’re trying to work into a nice routine that you can take on the golf course is actually the process of bringing the club through impact and then back to impact again or back to the set up position if you like. I’ll do this front on so you can see this. So we have the club setting up to the ball here. We take it back through and back again. You don’t actually feel like you’ve completed your stroke until the club has come back to its original position. It’s not a case of hitting the ball and then thinking you’ve stopped which a lot of golfers do. A lot of golfers feel that the golf ball is the ultimate target and that’s where they are going to stop. In this process what we’re encouraging you to do now is to come through impact and then back to set up again. Because that’s a little bit more of a continuous smooth motion, the idea is to stop that club hitting the ball and stopping but to have it through and back, much more like a pendulum action. And you should feel it with that you have less of a hit reflex, less of a hit and a bit more control of your back and through motion which should help you control your distance and your alignment of your putter.
So if you try any or all of those four elements of how to improve your yips, hopefully that will improve the consistency of your stroke and the actual movement you have with you technique which in turn will help you hole more putts which in turn will reduce the anxiety and the pressure that you put on yourself. And hopefully the whole big circle joins together when you start having a lot less yips next time you’re on the golf course.