You're a golfer facing a pressure-packed putt and you miss it. Did you just clutch? Or did you get a case of "the yips"? That's right, "the yips". This mysterious condition ruins many a golfer's game but it doesn't have to keep you out of the game. Paul Cleary has the yips.
Yips--a four letter word in golf--is an uncontrolled twitch that typically strikes experienced golfers without warning, usually during a putt, costing the player strokes. Bernhard Langer battled the yips for much of his career. He went to a neuropsychologist, they changed his putting stroke completely. Rick Martino is a veteran instructor at the PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie.
And there appears to be one common trigger: pressure. For people who experience the yips, when they're under pressure it can occur more often. Researchers know the heart rate goes up as the yip occurs. But take heart, yipping doesn't have to be the end of your game. Consider a sports psychologist, relaxation techniques, and a teaching pro to nip your yip. As Paul Clearly discovered, a change in putting style may be all it takes.