Golf Yips and Tiger Woods

Here’s an interesting comment from Padraig Harrington re: Tiger Woods and what his biggest issue is now, technical or mental.

Q. Do you think he’s fighting more of a mental barrier than a technical barrier?
P�DRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, in the end of the day, I was having this discussion a bit with other players with Bob Rotella around the PGA and I should actually know the names, but he mentioned two of the best players in the late 70s and early sate tees and they were the two guys that everybody wanted to copy their golf swings. And both of those players came up to Bob Rotella on different occasions and said, they wouldn’t like my golf swing so much if they had to swing with it; as in both players didn’t like their own swings.
And you see that a lot with players. You know, everybody looking in thinks, hey, I could work with that, I’d like that. But the person themselves obviously feel a little differently about it. So yeah, you know, I’m sure if there’s a little bit of that in Tiger, that he’s not as happy with his swing as, you know, if you turn around and gave that swing to somebody else, they would be thrilled sort of thing. But that’s the nature of the game. He hits shots that he’s not happy with and that’s why he works on things like that.
Yeah, there is an element of he’s not as — he’s getting certainly — and this is what I would have seen at the PGA. Certainly he played better, much better than his score; whereas when he was on top of his game, he always scored really well. It was very rare that you would ever see Tiger Woods walking off a golf course where he had not got the most out of his round, where he certainly didn’t at the PGA. He got the minimum out of his rounds, and that usually is down to more frustration with the technical side and not necessarily that there’s so much wrong with it.
You know, he hit plenty of good golf shots. But he certainly — you know, he’s not — when you’re kind of happy with your game, you tend to get the most out of it, and you feel like you played like you shot 70 and you end up shooting 68. And when you’re not happy with your game, you feel like you played like you shot 70 and you end up shooting 72. I experience that myself a lot. That’s kind of what I see in Tiger’s game.
Read the whole article, which includes some insights on the belly putter, HERE
Harrington makes a good point: the actual state of your technique may not be as important as what you think the state of your technique is.
The way for Tiger and you to find out the state of your technique is to get the mind right first: believe, focus, enjoy.
Then, if your game lags behind, you can be confident a technical change is in order.
As for the yips, you know it if you have it. If you have a lot of anxiety about putting or throwing you have, at least to some degree, the yips.
There’s no magical threshold where “some nerves” becomes the yips. Underperformance is caused by interference of a greater or lesser amount.
That interference needs to get cleared out before you’ll play consistently at or near your current potential.