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Cure the Full Swing YIPS in Golf

Curing the full swing yips in golf requires a combination of mental and physical techniques. To begin, it is crucial to assess and address any underlying psychological factors contributing to the yips. This may involve seeking the assistance of a sports psychologist to work through any performance anxieties or mental blocks that are negatively impacting the full swing. Alongside addressing the mental aspect, it is essential to focus on improving the physical technique of the swing. This can be achieved through seeking guidance from a qualified golf instructor who can provide personalized tips and drills to help retrain muscle memory and regain confidence in the full swing.

Implementing relaxation and visualization techniques can assist in calming the mind and body during the swing, reducing the tendency to yip. Finally, embracing a positive mindset and maintaining patience throughout the recovery process is crucial. By diligently working on both the mental and physical aspects of the full swing, golfers can effectively cure the full swing yips and regain control and confidence on the golf course. 

What’s Happening Physically and Mentally to Cause the Yips

The phenomenon known as the yips, characterised by involuntary muscle spasms and loss of coordination in fine motor skills, is a complex issue believed to be caused by a combination of physical and mental factors. Physically, the yips may be attributed to a disruption in the brain’s ability to send signals to the muscles, often stemming from overuse or stress. Mentally, the condition is often linked to performance anxiety, fear of failure, or a lack of confidence. This combination of physical and mental factors can create a vicious cycle, further exacerbating the symptoms of the yips.

Identifying the Root Causes

The first step is understanding what is happening when you start experiencing those out-of-nowhere flubs and mis-hits that define the yips. At the most basic physical level, the yips occur when tensions and anxiety cause your muscles to contract suddenly during the swing, manipulating face angle and club path in ways you don’t intend. This can most often be seen when pitchers in baseball “lose their release point” for no obvious reason.

But in golf, unlike pitching, we are able to stand over the ball and think before we swing. This is where mental factors come into play so strongly. Overanalysis of the perfect swing, lack of confidence and trust in your abilities, performance anxiety when money or your reputation is on the line, and simple bad habits creeping into your motion can all snowball into a true mental block – the yips.

Curing the Physical Manifestations

To address the physical manifestations of the full swing yips in golf, it is imperative to approach the issue with a comprehensive mindset. Firstly, seek out professional instruction from a certified golf instructor who can assess and correct any technical flaws in your swing. Additionally, incorporating relaxation techniques and mental exercises can help alleviate tension and anxiety, ultimately improving your physical performance. 

Simple Drills to Rebuild Muscle Memory

Most good instructors will tell you the physical cure is quite straightforward – continuing to practice full swing shots while trying to maintain relaxation and looseness in your grip, arms, shoulders and stance. But that reassurance doesn’t help much when standing over a shot with your playing partners watching!

Here is a simple drill to start re-instilling the feelings of confidence:

At the golf range, when using a wedge or short iron, practice your swings with a focus on maintaining the position of your palms facing each other at the top of the swing while remaining relaxed and free of any tension. Once you place a ball, continue to visualize that you are simply practicing your swings while keeping the position of your palms facing each other. Position the clubhead behind the ball and swing freely without overthinking about the technique, trusting that your practice swings will send the ball toward your intended target.

If you find it difficult to stop thinking about the significance of the shot, consider choosing intermediate targets that allow you to hit shots that are less pressurized and do not trigger any nervousness. Aim for easy shots towards the 150 yard marker, knowing that there is no pressure to make a perfect shot. As time goes on, and your anxiety decreases, you can gradually move closer to the pins. 

Overcoming Negative Thought Patterns

 Overcoming negative thought patterns, such as the full swing yips in golf, requires a combination of self-awareness, mental discipline, and strategic intervention. First, individuals must recognize and acknowledge the presence of these negative thought patterns in their mindset. They must then actively work to reframe these thoughts and replace them with more positive and empowering ones. Utilizing techniques such as visualization, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy can aid in this process.

Curing the Mental Game

While physical cures are important, if the root issues throwing off your mental approach, confidence, and happiness while playing golf aren’t solved, you’ll likely regress back to battling the full swing yips soon enough. Here are some mental exercises and perspectives to practice.

Pre-Round Mental Prep

 Initiate each round or practice session with a constructive mindset, focused on maintaining optimism and confidence regardless of the outcome. For example, I exude relaxation and assurance or I will approach each shot with a balanced perspective.

When positioned over the ball, deliberately loosen your grip, stance and facial muscles. Conduct a thorough assessment of your body and release any areas of tension. 

Committing Fully to Each Shot

Commit fully to your chosen shot shape, target and execution, putting all mental energy into visualizing the desired ball flight without second guessing. Pull the trigger and react calmly to whatever happens.

Maintaining Proper Perspective

Most importantly, always maintain perspective about your expectations and purpose playing the game of golf. Not every round can be your best and no one shot defines your abilities. Golf is meant to be an enjoyable lifetime pursuit, so reflect on keeping things in balance when frustration builds.

Reinforcing Confidence through Instruction and Practice

Reinforcing confidence through instruction and practice is crucial in overcoming the full swing yips in golf. Learning how to cure the yips requires a strategic approach that entails seeking professional guidance and diligently working on refining one’s technique. By engaging in regular practice sessions and following the guidance of a skilled instructor, golfers can gradually build their confidence and regain control over their full swing. It is important to understand the root cause of the yips and address it through targeted instruction and consistent practice. With dedication and perseverance, golfers can cultivate the mental and physical skills needed to conquer the full swing yips and elevate their game.

Working with a Coach

While solo range sessions and rounds can provide the opportunity to rebuild your confidence in full swing shots, working concurrently with a teaching professional can shortcut your road to recovery.

Reconnect with your golf instructor to ensure no major technical flaws have entered your full-swing motion, then commit to meaningful practice reps focusing on sound fundamentals and free-flowing motion. Consider recording your practice sessions so you can review and make incremental improvements. No one expects instant perfection, so celebrate small wins.

Carrying Confidence to the Course

Once some semblance of muscle memory and confidence begins to return in practice, it’s essential to carry over that mindset immediately into course play situations, not allowing your brain to default to self-doubt when on the first tee with your foursome.

Play friendly “money” games centered on things unrelated to score, like longest drive or longest putt made. Start a points tally system for positive outcomes to reinforce building confidence. And know that any backsliding into old mindsets or tension issues can be corrected – the hardest part is making the decision to conquer the mental challenges causing the yips once and for all.

The Road to Recovery

With an openness to employing both physical and mental adjustments to how you approach working through this common golf affliction, restoring consistent and repeatable full-swing yips mechanics is an achievable goal. Stick to the process outlined above, leaning on social support from your playing partners and golf instructor, and remember that battling the yips is about progress, not perfection. With dedication and an upbeat perspective, you’ll soon be back enjoying the game you love with the confidence of past capabilities.


How do I get rid of golf YIPS?

There are a few key things you can do to overcome the golf yips:

  • Stay relaxed and loosen your grip pressure before and during the swing. Tension is the enemy. Shake out tension in your hands and arms.
  • Slow down your swing tempo, don’t overswing or get quick from frustration. Rhythm and balance prevent yips.
  • Rebuild confidence through practice swings visualizing perfect contact. Imagine the turf kick or ball flight you want to see.
  • Take practice swings and even real swings with your eyes closed, relying on your muscle memory and feel.
  • Try the towel drill place a towel under your armpits and keep it there during the swing to prevent tension.

What causes the yips in golf?

Golfers mainly get the yips due to physical and mental tensions. Too much grip pressure, tightness in the hands, arms or shoulders, and even squaring the clubface too early can cause flubs. Overanalysis, loss of confidence, and frustration only make it worse.

How do you get rid of the yips mentally?

Mentally overcoming the yips requires rebuilding self-trust and positive momentum. Set process-focused goals, use trigger words before shots like “smooth” or “free”, only focus on your target, and always stay calm through both good and bad outcomes, not judging your swing or ball flight.

How do I get over driver YIPS?

For driver yips specifically, alignment issues often play a part, so realign your stance away from the tee box and pick intermediate targets to start. Also, consider choking down an inch on the grip which reduces tension, grip too lightly at first, or even tee the ball slightly higher so you sweep it. Getting the driver off the ground more easily reduces the mental block. Follow through fully and watch the ball land rather than judging flight. Building confidence off the tee cures driver yips over time.

Conclusion: how to cure the full swing yips in golf

The best way to cure the full swing yips in golf is through a combination of mental and physical strategies. It is important for the golfer to seek professional guidance from a coach or sports psychologist who specializes in addressing performance anxiety and mental blocks. Through targeted mental exercises and visualization techniques, the golfer can work to retrain their mindset and build confidence in their swing.

It is essential to address any physical issues that may be contributing to the yips, such as tension in the body or poor mechanics. Working with a golf instructor to improve technique and ensure a smooth, natural swing can also help to overcome the yips. Finally, regular practice and repetition of the correct movements, combined with a positive mindset, can help to alleviate the yips over time. By utilizing a multidimensional approach that addresses both mental and physical aspects, golfers can effectively cure the full swing yips and regain their confidence on the course. 

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