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Hi

I am desperate for some help with my putting. I have always been considered a good putter. Good distance control and accurate.

18 months ago, something crept into my game that I just cant shift and it is causing me significant angst.

In a nutshell, I am struggling to hit the ball. What this feels like is that there is some type of invisible force preventing me from taking the club away. I have tried the forward press, counting 1,2 ,3, not grounding the club, bouncing the club, ball further forward in my stance, all of which has helped, but very quickly the problems returned.

The longer the putt, the worse its is.

Also the problem only occurs when I'm playing with people even in relaxed round. When on my own on the practice green it doesn't happen.

Finally I hadn't had a putting negative experience prior to this

Please Help

 

Paul

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What the heck, here's one more to try. I notice that sometimes, the longer I stay over the ball, the harder it is to finally get the putter to move. So... After you line up the putter...take one la

Honestly, usually the best bet is to try something completely different. If I were you I'd go buy a really cheap left-handed putter and see what it's like putting left-handed.

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I had them for a while. And frankly it bugged me to the point of almost quitting the game period. Everyone is different as to cause and effect. As we get older our bodies change. And you did not bring it up so to the point of not trying to be too nosy I will ask are you on any kind of medication? Some medications will make you jumpy without you knowing it. Also our vision changes and it has a lot to do with hand eye coordination. Wearing glasses or needing glasses or needing the ones you have changed can also affect you. Putting is so precise it can be the most minute thing or a combination of all above. It is hard to tell and diagnose from reading on here and not seeing you in actual play.

I had them for a while about 10 years ago and for me it was a combination. I was never mechanical was always a feel and instinct putter. I had always arc putted. A well meaning friend of mine who was an instructor got me to trying to do the SBST method. That is bad for someone like me who is strictly feel and instinct. That was combined with at the time me needing glasses and also with me going on BP meds. I had the putter face at impact all over the place. Now you see where I was coming from in my statement. I ended up going to a 48" broom stick putter. One day another friend of mine who just happened to be an instructor was giving someone a putting lesson and was using a training aid that promotes the arc style. After his lesson I asked about it. He said well you have always been an arc putter and there is nothing wrong with that. I borrowed his tool and a conventional Ping Anser from him and went back to doing my thing.

Recently I had to drag my old broom stick out and I also built another one. I got into a work related accident and fractured my back. I have nerve damage. I am still under a doctors care so I can not do full swings yet. I am still in a back brace so I can not bend over. Basically I have been putting as a means to get out of the house. I have been canning putts right and left with the Bobby Grace I built. And FTR I have that putter bent so I do not anchor. I did not anchor with the old Ping B-90I either. My Pro and GM told me yesterday when I got back to playing I may need to stay with the broomstick.

For you I just tried to give you some insight--- One thing I will tell you is to relax and try not to get too mechanical---- just think to get it as close as you can and go from there----

Note: Hope I did not mess you up here because I am under the influence of pain meds and man are they kicking this morning

Driver--- Honma G1-X Stock R shaft FW Adams Tight Lies 16* Mitsu Diamana FW 7 woodTM V- Steel 21* Stock TM R Irons 3 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan #2 Apex Shafts SW- Clevaland 588 56* Sensicore S-400 LW Cleveland 588 60* Sensicore S-400 Putter 1997 Cameron Santa FE rusty as heck Bulls Eye Satin fluted shaft Bags- Old School Burton mini staff non logo or Jones Classic

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Didn't know you were injured. Hope you get well soon and are back on the course. And hope you're being properly compensated for your injury and inability to play golf.

I go through cycles of putting well and then having no idea where the ball is going and my head and eyes just can't focus and keep still over the ball. Not a problem on the practice green. Remember when Vijay used a kid's putter in a tournament? Using something unfamiliar will make a different part of your brain engage.

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Maybe a simple dot on the top of the ball. Always focus on the dot with your eyes on the ball....line up the putt and trust your line...only think speed in your next thought. Bring the putter back a short distance that forces you to accelerate to get your desired speed. Focus on the dot and only the dot from the time you bring the club back and make contact and for a second or two longer

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I changed to left hand low and it helped me out a bunch. For awhile prior to that I used the claw grip which worked well also but overall the left hand low really improved the problem. Best wishes on finding something that helps you out.

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I putted left handed for almost 2 years. I was then able to go back to RH putting and the yips have not returned. You have to rewire your brain - in a manner of speaking - so that it forgets the bad. Then when you go back, you rewire it again. I putted pretty good LH and even bought a nice Scotty since if you can't putt great, you should look good.

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Yep and I think Gary Woodland a few years back used a kids putter. I think Robert Garrigus did also. I had just semi retired in March and was working 2 days a week. March 29th I was sweeping out a trailer and the ladder collapsed threw me about 5 feet down broke my L-3 vertebrae collapsed it and cracked my scapula. I also had a concussion spent 4 days in the hospital. Yep I am down till at least September. Yep I get a check from workman's comp every week plus I am drawing my "Mail box money" or Social Security. I did build me a Broom Stick Bobby Grace and putt on the putting green some. The docs say that is ok . I also put one of those ball picker things the old farts use to pick my golf balls up on the grip end.

Driver--- Honma G1-X Stock R shaft FW Adams Tight Lies 16* Mitsu Diamana FW 7 woodTM V- Steel 21* Stock TM R Irons 3 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan #2 Apex Shafts SW- Clevaland 588 56* Sensicore S-400 LW Cleveland 588 60* Sensicore S-400 Putter 1997 Cameron Santa FE rusty as heck Bulls Eye Satin fluted shaft Bags- Old School Burton mini staff non logo or Jones Classic

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I have a good friend of mine who is a PGA Lifetime member that teaches that method

Driver--- Honma G1-X Stock R shaft FW Adams Tight Lies 16* Mitsu Diamana FW 7 woodTM V- Steel 21* Stock TM R Irons 3 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan #2 Apex Shafts SW- Clevaland 588 56* Sensicore S-400 LW Cleveland 588 60* Sensicore S-400 Putter 1997 Cameron Santa FE rusty as heck Bulls Eye Satin fluted shaft Bags- Old School Burton mini staff non logo or Jones Classic

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I like the claw grip really well been using it for a couple of years on and off. Funny thing is the left hand low thing only works for me using a Bulls Eye putter and nothing else--- Go figure that one----- Right now if you read my above post you will know my situation. I have been practicing with a broom handle Grace. Before I was hurt I was using a 35" Grace with the claw grip and rolling it pretty well.

Driver--- Honma G1-X Stock R shaft FW Adams Tight Lies 16* Mitsu Diamana FW 7 woodTM V- Steel 21* Stock TM R Irons 3 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan #2 Apex Shafts SW- Clevaland 588 56* Sensicore S-400 LW Cleveland 588 60* Sensicore S-400 Putter 1997 Cameron Santa FE rusty as heck Bulls Eye Satin fluted shaft Bags- Old School Burton mini staff non logo or Jones Classic

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Here's a radical approach............try putting side saddle, it forces you to fully concentrate and the body positioning also forces the brain to re-adapt. Had a couple of playing partners that did this, because of the yips and it didn't take that long before they went back to their normal setup and everything cleared up.

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Sully - give an honest look at the Axis 1 putters. I am self admittedly a bad putter. Always have been. Yippy, handsy, lack focus. You name it, I have it. I've tried all sorts of putters. Blades, mallets, counter balanced, broomstick (which I had the most success with prior to the Axis 1), belly ... you get the idea.

 

The Axis 1 was a game changer for me. It's the longest I've ever had a single club in my bag and I've never even contemplated changing. EVERY. SINGLE. ROUND I get asked "what in the heck is that thing?" And my response usually revolves around the same sentiment; "the most perfectly balanced putter ever!"

 

I put a counter balanced weight under the grip and some lead tape (I like heavy) and will never look back.

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[u][b]3 wood[/b][/u]: PING G410 SF Tec 16 degree Project X Evenflow Black 6.0
[b][u]Hybrids:[/u] [/b]PING G410 19 degree Tensei CK Blue Pro 80-Stiff 
[u][b]Irons[/b][/u]: PING i210 4-UW, Project X LZ 6.0
[u][b]Wedges[/b][/u]: PING Glide 3.0, 54SS / 58ES DGS300
[u][b]Putter[/b][/u]: Axis 1 Joey.

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Give Stocktons book “unconscious putting” a read. Has some great points in there and will get your mind off of your stroke and get you back to rolling the ball in the hole. I’ve had some of the worst putting issues lately and tried an arm lock, left hand low, claw, nothing really seemed to click. As soon as I got comfortable with his putting philosophy I started making a lot more putts.

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I got the yips when I was 50, and really battled it for several years. I truly believe that true yips are a special disease reserved only for guys that had been pretty good putters; I'll leave it to others to determine the chicken or the egg of whether the yips start with a technical issue and become mental (Pelz) or if there is an actual physiological issue (Mayo Clinic study). My guess is that there are as many variations as there are cases.

I think that if you are 18 months in, it probably isn't realistic to believe that your old putting stroke is coming back; there is probably just too much scar tissue there. In most cases, a pretty radical change is the best answer at that point; for me, it was using the "two-thumb" grip, first with a grip called the Wishbone, which isn't made anymore, and then with the Flatso by Superstroke. There used to be one called the Two Thumb, but I never really liked it. It's a good way to putt regardless, I think; I've never understood why you don't see more of it because it really takes your arms and wrists out of the stroke, plus your wrists are set in a position where they really can't work independently of each other or break down. For yippers, one of the cool things about that grip is that as you feel some nerves creeping in, you just press harder into the grip with the lifeline on the heel of each hand; sounds weird, I know, but it works.

I used that grip for 5 or 6 years with a lot of success, and the yips pretty much went away, though I could still feel them in the background a bit. FWIW, I converted to side saddle about 5 years ago, and putt better than I ever did conventionally; I didn't convert because of the yips; I just wanted to see if I could make more putts, and I do. I've come to believe that ALL grip changes, and most mechanical changes, in putting are all trying to do the same thing; make the putting stroke more one handed because it's just too hard to make a precise motion with two hands swinging across your body. EVERY other precision movement in sports is done with one hand facing the line of play; we only stand parallel to the line of play and use two hands when we're trying to create power thru speed thru torque and weight shift. To adopt a position designed for power thru movement and then try to make a small, still precise movement is the worst biomechanical thing I can think of, and I'm REALLY glad I don't do that anymore; it has simplified the game incredibly for me.

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Hi all,

Well I have had some initial success in being able to battle this issue, Albeit I have had to apply a number of different things so thanks to you all for responding. Here goes

I sing a song in my mind as I’m approaching the green until I have struck the ball. Something melodici have put a black dot on my ball t focus onwhen I have chosen my line I stand a couple of yards from what will be my stance and do some exaggerated swing s of my putter to loosen the muscles.I then approach the ball slowly but looking at the holei get in my stance with the club elevated and do some Jason Duffner style waggles with the club, with my eyes fixed on the holei then settle looking at the line, the dot and the hole, but mainly the hole. I put my putter behind then ball but don’t ground it and then stroke away. 2 rounds in and so far so good

 

finges crossed

 

Paul

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I feel this pain. I have gone from a +3 to a 0 in the last three years. It started with long putts, where I would open my club head right at impact. Almost like a momentary blackout feeling. It’s simply jarring. I couldn’t explain it, but it felt like poison getting more and more powerful. Not a huge issue on shorter putts, but now it’s crept onto that 8 foot range and sometimes shorter during pressure. It’s completely mental, as we all know. I find it hard to identify exactly what’s going on, but I can tie it to a timeframe of stress at work.

It’s hard to deal with. But I’m working on it. I have read three books by Rotella and I absolutely agree with his approach, but I have a hard time getting to the place he wants us to be. I found that reading Zen Golf a few weeks had a big impact in getting me to where Rotella envisions. Things like breathing techniques, and releasing tension to lower the body’s perceived CG. Definitely has helped. Honestly my putting skills are great when I can get my head into a relaxed mood and just roll the ball. But I played tournaments the last two weekends and I didn’t make a lot of putts. Yipped plenty, but definitely not all.

I have accepted that it’s going to take work, and I’m welcoming the positive side effects of doing some yoga, some core strengthening, and some changing a to my work schedule and organization. It’s not going to keep me from golfing. Keep your heads up my fellow yippers.

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best tip I received was to release the putter head even further than I take it back... occasionally under pressure I would putt with a short, jabby stroke that resulted in short misses ... now I trust my line, exhale (to relax and focus... good dart players and archers do this), and smoothly release the putter all the way through the ball. Overall, my putting has improved significantly since I began putting balls the full length of a 6 foot steel rule (~$12 at Lowe's; https://www.lowes.com/pd/Swanson-Tool-Company-Straight-Edges-6-ft-Metal-Ruler/50438214?store_code=1108). I stop after I get 7 in a row, it's a huge confidence builder, and gives you tons of feedback for alignment, ball position relative to your eye, swing path, etc.

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What the heck, here's one more to try. I notice that sometimes, the longer I stay over the ball, the harder it is to finally get the putter to move. So... After you line up the putter...take one last look at the hole and then slowly trace your eyesight back along the line to the ball and the putter. Feel like your eyes are moving at the same pace as you would normally make your stroke. Once your eyes arrive at the ball and the putter...pull the trigger. Almost like you start your backswing by using your eyes to push the putterhead into its backswing. It works for me and eliminates paralysis over the ball.

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I find that when I’m putting and chipping well my left arm controls the distance and my right fingers are directional. What I do is forget about the hole and putt to the edge of the green Eventually I can start imagining the line and have better feel of the distance control.

Don’t get to caught up with eye position. I don’t think of eye position when I’m putting well. Inside or on top of the balll is fine. The few times I’m notice my eye was outside the ball is when I have a fast breaking away from me Which is the hardest ones for me to visualize and set up properly When I have one of these I will practice putting closing my eyes. It amazing how much feel you can get by closing your eyes to putt particularly downhill putts

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Those of you that are giving "tips" about how YOU putt better should be clear to the OP about whether or not you are actually dealing with the yips, or just bad putting; the difference is MUCH bigger than night and day.

If you haven't had the yips, you might not understand; the yips aren't bad putting, or even terrible putting. The yips are something very, very different, and require very, very different approaches to dealing with the situation. Getting tips from people that haven't had the yips about how to deal with the yips is like being treated for a terminal illness by somebody who stayed in a Holiday Inn Express instead of going to med school.

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I've had this most of this year.. Here are few thing I changed this year and it seems to be making it lot better..

Slow Steady back swing.. Maybe pulse at the back, right before you release.. You don't want to jerk or fight against the momentum of the club.

I've also switched to Superstroke counter weight.

Keeping your head down.. Try not to look up until you finish your swing.

Trust your swing..

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I had the yips bad for a few years. I tried all sorts of different things: I used a left handed putter, I used a super short kids putter, I used a jumbo grip, I used a claw grip, used left hand low grip, used different arm lock grips, I drew lines on the ball. Pretty much anything you can think of, I tried. Of all those, putting left handed seemed to work the best.

However, about 2 or 3 months ago, I came across the Paul Runyan method. I started to use the method when chipping, but I soon carried it over to my putting grip. I am not going to sit here and say I am a great putter now, but using the Runyan grip all but eliminated the yips.

This may or may not be relevant, but I think I was overloading my brain when I stood over a putt. I tended to push my miss hits, and had a hard time with distance control, so those two thoughts were always in my head. The Runyan grip may not be for everyone, but it completely eliminated the push misses from my stroke.

There are a lot of videos/websites about the Runyan method, but I found this one from the man himself the most helpful. I've not been on the forum long enough to post links I guess, but the video is called "Paul Runyan the sort way to lower scores 01 putting and chipping" it's an old golf digest video. It's youtube dot com /watch?v=1VZ_GdIYaJU

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Lots of good comments and suggestions. Someone earlier in this post said "you need to re-wire your brain". I completely agree. I was a really good putter for many years using LHL. About 5 years ago, the yips started to appear. Over the course of 5 years they progressed to even impacting chipping. I would start to get worked up on the drive to the course. Absolutely terrified of a 2 foot putt on the first hole.

For me, there were two big parts to the solution:

Technique: Try to find the setup that is very different from your past setup AND something you feel can be reliable for many years to come. Things i tried - Putt while looking at the holePutt with eyes closedFace-on putting (really requires a face-on putter) / arm lock / broomstick / belly (pre-ban)Reverse your hands / LHL / RHL / ClawSimplify your pre-putt routineGo from a blade to a mallet or vise versa. Change the physical grip (over size, pistol, etc.) Don't look at the ball or the hole. Concentrate on a spot - either a mid-point or one just an inch in front of the ball (i.e. Dave Stockton drill).Force yourself to get out of your comfort zone. I started to only play with the same 3 guys. Very little competition in the group. Not much "grinding" on shots. While the yips were present in this "safe" group, they were not that bad. As soon as I played in a tournament / different group / etc., the yips were on full display.

I ended up adopting a few technique changes. The biggest impact for me was going from LHL to the claw. This was comfortable immediately. However, it was very inconsistent at first. Also added focusing on an intermediate point and rarely concentrating on the actual hole. Focused a lot more on the process instead of the outcome. Pre-shot routine became very short. Once i analyzed the putt and had my intermediate point, i would take my stance and stroke the putt. No practice stroke, no waiting, just putt. The only thing in my mind is to roll the ball at that intermediate point.

I also decided to drastically increase the number and types of games / playing partners. Started playing tournaments again after a 5+ year layoff. I had the technique first then added this layer.

Once i had the technique and the change in environment, i promised myself a 1 year trial. I think this was tremendously important. No new putters (sorry golfwrx's), dedicated to the claw grip, varied playing groups, and limiting my practice putting sessions (sounds counter intuitive but helps to stop being hyper-focused on putting). Other than focusing on the process, i don't even think about putting anymore. I feel like I am finally yip free for at least the past year +. Averaging 31 putt per round this year and my hdcp is back to a +1.

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I, like many, have had similar problems in the past. One thing that has recently helped has been finding a putter I love to look at and feel confident in (Pxg lucky d). I have also been a big believer in putting a counter balance weight in the grip and adding lead tape or aftermarket weights to the putter head. I feel like this keeps my stroke more smooth and consistent than a lighter putter. I also don’t use any alignment on my ball when putting. I always mark with the logo straight up. I try to keep putting as simple as possible and get a quick read and let it roll. No practice strokes. This has helped me not think about it so much and I’ve become a much more solid putter. Especially on shorter putts around 6 feet and in

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  • 2 months later...

welp, after a ton of money in a roving cast of putters, tournament chances blown, personal low rounds donked, multiple grip techniques (sometimes in the same round), and bitter frustration, I had some real changes happen for my yips.  A golf friend talked to me about my setup after watching me miss several short putts and yip long putts in a qualifier.  He imitated my setup for me, perhaps exaggerated, and asked if I knew I was standing like this.  Essentially came down to two big factors.  Ball was too far from me, and I had a big angle between the shaft and my forearms.  My hands were close to my body, my putter head was far from me, my toe was up.  I honestly didn't realize it.  He put me into good position and it felt so upright and awkward.  It was a huge change in feel.  I almost didn't buy it.  Few days after that I went to the putting green and put my stroke on video.  I made myself feel awkward and get into the position he described.  Then I watched the video and it looked like the most classic and traditional putting stroke.  It looked pure, and better yet, the results of the stroke was great.  I gave it a few hours of practice for the next few days before heading to a ryder cup tourney with the boys.  Confidence was through the roof on the greens.  Everything was on line, and zero yips over 5 rounds in 4 days.  I can't even begin to describe the change in feeling.  I can just roll the ball again, and it's fun. 

 

From a technical standpoint, I think the angle between my shaft and forearms was creating a ton of tension that I wasn't even aware of.  It was just physically difficult to put a ball on line with my setup.  Add pressure and expectations, frustration, and the tension increased.  The yips were a buckling mechanism under the tension, with mental and physical factors playing into it.

 

I would strongly recommend a putting lesson, either online or in person.  Be open to change.  I think there's a great chance you'll be changing back to where you were before the yips.  The phrase my buddy used that stuck with me is common in golf, "feel vs real", but man I couldn't believe how relevant is was for my situation.  Stay positive.

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I came here to say the same thing the first guy said. Get a lefty putter.

 

When I get into a funk I spend a few sessions at the practice green with an opposite hand putter. Helps clear and reset my mind.

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