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How Can I Stop Yipping My Golf Putts?If you are yipping your golf putts, it simply means that your golf stroke is quite quick and jerky and has a very stabby action. There is not a lot of rhythm to your putting stroke, or tempo and it happens because you are getting nervous about the putt that you are facing.

It is quite a problem when you are only three feet away from the hole and you feel you are in a situation where you should make the putt easily and you then start to get anxious and nervous about it. You draw the putter back and you have no tempo, the stroke is very quick going backwards and forwards, or very slow on your back swing and then really accelerating through the ball, producing a stabbing action. The arms and the hands/wrists become very tense when this is happening and thats what produces the sudden jerking of your muscles, that stabs the putter head towards the ball and then makes it very difficult to control, making you miss the putt when you feel really you should hole the ball.

To improve your putting stroke, you need to start by working on relaxing more so focus on your breathing. Make sure you are breathing from your belly rather than from your chest, with nice deep breaths. Work on counting the in breath and the out breath – work on breathing in, taking a good four seconds to get a really deep breath, breathing in counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Then breathing out doing exactly the same and just focusing on your breathing for thirty seconds to a minute or so, just to get yourself relaxed and get your breathing under control.

Work on the tempo of the stroke. A really good drill to help you improve your tempo and to make the stroke much more rhythmical, is to place two head covers down, one to the left of your left foot, one to the right of your right foot. Take up your putting stance, so that the ball would be in the middle of these two head covers but take the ball out of the equation. Initially, do this drill without the ball. Work on swinging the putter head back so that it touches the right hand head cover and then swing it through so it touches the left hand head cover. Think of a clock ticking, or a metronome, something where you can hear a rhythm - tick tock, tick tock, and say that to yourself. As you are saying tick tock, swing the putter head back and forth to that rhythm.

Because we are all individuals, some of you will want to swing the putter quite slowly, some of you will swing it much quicker, but as you are saying tick you want to hit the right hand head cover and as you are saying tock you want to hit the left hand cover. Just keep that going over and over again until you get used to the rhythm of the swing.

Now get the ball back involved, after you have done that for a while. Set up so that you are going to hit ten swings with the putter. But you are not going to hit at anything, just hit across the green. The first five swings you make will have no ball involved, only the last five swings will have the ball. On the first swings, set the head covers up so you have got one on the left and one on the right and set up as though you are going to hit a putt from the middle of those head covers. Swing back to the right and then to the left, so that you are hitting the right hand head cover from tick and the left hand head cover on tock. After you have done this five times or so, step forward so that you just move outside the head covers to a ball set up there ready for you. Have five balls set about a foot in front of each other. Now swing the putter head back and through, imagining that you are still doing the touch, touch drill. You are still thinking of hitting your right hand head cover and then the left hand head cover to that tempo and you are not hitting at anything, just putting straight across the green, striking a ball in the middle of that tempo. Now that you have done this with the first ball, step forward again and do it again to the next ball. Repeat this until you have hit five putts, and keep working on this over and over again, keeping the rhythm of the swing in your putt.

Once you have done this for a while and your confidence is building with this, then set the situation up, but this time so that the very last putt you have to hit is towards the hole. Set the putt at whatever distance you find difficult or awkward. Set the width of the head covers to the width that you would need to hole that three foot putt. Do a few practises with the touch, touch drill, 5 to 10 and then step forward and hit the first putt at nothing. Step forward again and hit the next putt at nothing again and so on until you get to the last putt and see if you can knock the ball in the hole keeping that rhythm.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Although some practise may be required, focusing solely on this issue may make it more of a concern when you go and play.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Too much technical focus can spoil your natural rhythm and tempo.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

The key to improving your putting and to stop yipping, is to prepare better. Just walking up to the putt and hitting it, speeding up, will not help. Your stroke needs to become more controlled, more relaxed and slower. Rushing will not promote any of these things and will lead to more missed putts.