Putting is such an important part of any golf round that if something goes wrong with a golfer’s putting stroke, no amount of long, straight drives and lovely iron shots will compensate. Everyone can have an off-day on the greens but if it is something that happens too frequently, it is even worth spending the time normally spent on the course on the practice putting green, perhaps under the watchful eye of someone who can identify problems and repair them. If the problem is the ‘yips’ it is an absolute priority to sort it out.
Good putters have a smooth stroke with a slight acceleration through the ball. The last thing anyone needs when standing over a putt, especially one that is crucial during the round, and having self-doubt. The more putts a golfer misses, the more self-doubt can creep in and the poorer the stroke can become.
Yips occur when the mind messes with the body. The jerk, which is how yips manifest themselves, during the stroke means that the chances of holing a putt on a regular basis are minimal. The problem may only happen on the course when there are consequences in missing a putt. The practice putting green after all is exactly that; practice that counts for nothing on a scorecard.
The root of the problem is lack of focus and ultimately a completely scrambled mind. Like any problem in life, the beginning of the solution is admitting the problem exists. By doing that in relation to putting yips, you:
The solution is ultimately a personal one. You will certainly need patience. It is sometimes difficult to clear the mind completely and forget the consequences of missing but it must be done.
If you can find your own way to focus on the present, and forget your current score for example, then you may be able to see the present putt for what it is and not think beyond the stroke itself. Every good putter should have a pre-shot routine that they use for every single putt. If you get into the habit of a routine your mind is less likely to wander. Once you have sharpened your ability to read a putt, decide on pace and have a good setup and stroke, you should be less prone to the yips. If you get them, then back to those basics.