Golfing Yips: Are you a Half or Half-not?

Check out the yips in Wikipedia and you see this:

In golf, the yips is a movement disorder known to interfere with putting. The term yips is said to have been popularized by Tommy Armour — a golf champion and later golf teacher — to explain the difficulties that led him to abandon tournament play. In describing the yips, golfers have used terms such as twitches, staggers, jitters and jerks.

The yips affects between one-quarter and one-half of all mature golfers. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that 33 percent to 48 percent of all serious golfers have experienced the yips. Golfers who have played for more than 25 years appear to be most prone to the condition. Golfers seriously afflicted by the yips include Bernhard Langer, Ben Hogan, Harry Vardon, and Sam Snead, whose late-career putting was “painful to watch” according to fellow pro golfer Ben Crenshaw.

Although the exact cause of the yips has yet to be determined, one possibility is that, in some golfers, the condition may result from biochemical changes in the brain that accompany aging. Excessive use of the involved muscles and intense demands of coordination and concentration may make the problem worse. Focal dystonia is mentioned as another possibility for the real cause of yips.

Zoiks!  Up to a half of Us Will Get the Golfing Yips?

I doubt that.  But it’s a lot, and probably many more than you and I think.

I don’t know much about focal dystonia, I have to admit.

Frankly I think people taking a Western science approach are looking for their ball in the wrong rough.  But when you keep going West you eventually get East, and vice verse.

Dr. Tom