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Chipping yips and utterly wrecked confidence.

yips

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#91 jholz

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 12:04 PM

I think people overlook the impact of differing turf and soil conditions on all of this. As the OP stated, this all started because he was playing on some exceptional and unconventional turf conditions - overseeded bermuda.

I must admit I've never seen overseeded bermuda - rye was always more common where I lived.

In any event, as someone who grew up playing rock hard conditions on bluegrass out west, moved to the south and played on bermuda, now playing soggy conditions in the mid-atlantic, that change in the turf and soil can cause all kinds of problems.

Seems like I have to relearn how to play around the greens every time I move.

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#92 juliette91

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 01:49 PM

View Postjholz, on 03 December 2018 - 12:04 PM, said:

I think people overlook the impact of differing turf and soil conditions on all of this. As the OP stated, this all started because he was playing on some exceptional and unconventional turf conditions - overseeded bermuda.

I must admit I've never seen overseeded bermuda - rye was always more common where I lived.

In any event, as someone who grew up playing rock hard conditions on bluegrass out west, moved to the south and played on bermuda, now playing soggy conditions in the mid-atlantic, that change in the turf and soil can cause all kinds of problems.

Seems like I have to relearn how to play around the greens every time I move.

The result may be the same but I think you've got it backwards.  The yippy chips may originate from the different soil/sod, those conditions may make you flinch at impact.  But the yips don't just go away once you're back on native soil or more famiiar ground.  The start of the yips varies wildly.  For me the driving yips-- it was an out of bounds fence close in along the entire left side of the hole.  And all the other yips came in the back door after that.  For some it's the change in sod and soil conditions.  Whatever the start, your mind is saying "uh oh, this could be a real problem, better not swing at the ball because the outcome is too problematic"

That starts the process, your brain trying to protect you from a result it "knows" will happen (because you've somehow programmed your brain to process it that way.)

Just always want to distinguish here between a bad chip, bad technique, bad mechanics and flinching at impact.  They are not the same.

Edited by juliette91, 03 December 2018 - 01:49 PM.


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#93 jholz

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 03:19 PM

View Postjuliette91, on 03 December 2018 - 01:49 PM, said:

View Postjholz, on 03 December 2018 - 12:04 PM, said:

I think people overlook the impact of differing turf and soil conditions on all of this. As the OP stated, this all started because he was playing on some exceptional and unconventional turf conditions - overseeded bermuda.

I must admit I've never seen overseeded bermuda - rye was always more common where I lived.

In any event, as someone who grew up playing rock hard conditions on bluegrass out west, moved to the south and played on bermuda, now playing soggy conditions in the mid-atlantic, that change in the turf and soil can cause all kinds of problems.

Seems like I have to relearn how to play around the greens every time I move.

The result may be the same but I think you've got it backwards.  The yippy chips may originate from the different soil/sod, those conditions may make you flinch at impact.  But the yips don't just go away once you're back on native soil or more famiiar ground.  The start of the yips varies wildly.  For me the driving yips-- it was an out of bounds fence close in along the entire left side of the hole.  And all the other yips came in the back door after that.  For some it's the change in sod and soil conditions.  Whatever the start, your mind is saying "uh oh, this could be a real problem, better not swing at the ball because the outcome is too problematic"

That starts the process, your brain trying to protect you from a result it "knows" will happen (because you've somehow programmed your brain to process it that way.)

Just always want to distinguish here between a bad chip, bad technique, bad mechanics and flinching at impact.  They are not the same.

Yes, you certainly make a reasonable point.

I wans't trying to suggest that "yips" are solely caused or exacerbated by differing turf and soil conditions. Rather, those new, unfamiliar conditions lead to a botched shot - and yet the technique hasn't changed. Once that starts happening, all bets are off. The tinkering and compensations start, the results get worse, and before you know it, the mind will begin to play those "yip" tricks on you.

Regardless of how it might actually work, I do think it is noteworthy that the OP's problems began while playing in unfamiliar conditions.
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#94 juliette91

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:25 PM

Agree a

View Postjholz, on 03 December 2018 - 03:19 PM, said:

View Postjuliette91, on 03 December 2018 - 01:49 PM, said:

View Postjholz, on 03 December 2018 - 12:04 PM, said:

I think people overlook the impact of differing turf and soil conditions on all of this. As the OP stated, this all started because he was playing on some exceptional and unconventional turf conditions - overseeded bermuda.

I must admit I've never seen overseeded bermuda - rye was always more common where I lived.

In any event, as someone who grew up playing rock hard conditions on bluegrass out west, moved to the south and played on bermuda, now playing soggy conditions in the mid-atlantic, that change in the turf and soil can cause all kinds of problems.

Seems like I have to relearn how to play around the greens every time I move.

The result may be the same but I think you've got it backwards.  The yippy chips may originate from the different soil/sod, those conditions may make you flinch at impact.  But the yips don't just go away once you're back on native soil or more famiiar ground.  The start of the yips varies wildly.  For me the driving yips-- it was an out of bounds fence close in along the entire left side of the hole.  And all the other yips came in the back door after that.  For some it's the change in sod and soil conditions.  Whatever the start, your mind is saying "uh oh, this could be a real problem, better not swing at the ball because the outcome is too problematic"

That starts the process, your brain trying to protect you from a result it "knows" will happen (because you've somehow programmed your brain to process it that way.)

Just always want to distinguish here between a bad chip, bad technique, bad mechanics and flinching at impact.  They are not the same.

Yes, you certainly make a reasonable point.

I wans't trying to suggest that "yips" are solely caused or exacerbated by differing turf and soil conditions. Rather, those new, unfamiliar conditions lead to a botched shot - and yet the technique hasn't changed. Once that starts happening, all bets are off. The tinkering and compensations start, the results get worse, and before you know it, the mind will begin to play those "yip" tricks on you.

Regardless of how it might actually work, I do think it is noteworthy that the OP's problems began while playing in unfamiliar conditions.

Agree about unfamiliar conditions as a precursor to the yips.  Haven't done any exhaustive research on this but I bet dollars to doughnuts that very few chip yip beginnings just happen suddenly while practicing or playing by yourself.  Some kind of "other" pressure usually precipitates it.  Could be a tournament, could be a $1 Nassau, whatever it is it's something you're not used to and then it starts.  You're making good points but I've been on too many of these discussions where too many posters, not having experienced a true case of the yips, offer advice that's not relevant.  If you haven't experienced the yips you're at a disadvantage in offering help.

Edited by juliette91, 03 December 2018 - 05:26 PM.


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#95 deathbymuffin

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:38 PM

I wish I knew how to help you.  I've had the greenside pitch and bunker shanks for 7-8 years now.  If I can't putt it from off the green, I'm pretty much dead.  The only thing that helps is alcohol.  I know it's mental because I can pitch it fine while practicing.  But get me over the ball with any kind of pressure and I just yank the handle and throw the hosel at the ball.


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#96 juliette91

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:15 PM

View Postdeathbymuffin, on 03 December 2018 - 05:38 PM, said:

I wish I knew how to help you.  I've had the greenside pitch and bunker shanks for 7-8 years now.  If I can't putt it from off the green, I'm pretty much dead.  The only thing that helps is alcohol.  I know it's mental because I can pitch it fine while practicing.  But get me over the ball with any kind of pressure and I just yank the handle and throw the hosel at the ball.

I'd give this a try, something I suggested earlier in this thread but many posts since have now obscured it.  For chipping, pin your upper arms to your chest sides and turn your body back and through for contact.  It will help you not use your hands to "throw the handle" at the ball.  If you can do this successfully 50%+ of the time you will move on from what you're beset with now.

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#97 FourTops

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:30 PM

View Postdeathbymuffin, on 03 December 2018 - 05:38 PM, said:

I wish I knew how to help you.  I've had the greenside pitch and bunker shanks for 7-8 years now.  If I can't putt it from off the green, I'm pretty much dead.  The only thing that helps is alcohol.  I know it's mental because I can pitch it fine while practicing.  But get me over the ball with any kind of pressure and I just yank the handle and throw the hosel at the ball.

i'm really thinking Xanax now.  Or a bottle of St. John's Wort.  I gotta believe the pro's take something.

Ok, so in my opinion, the "easier" the shot "should be"....meaning "the dumber you feel you will look if you chunk...blade...shank it"....the higher probability of yips.  For putting, when the yips come....I prefer 12 footers or more...and if I leave it 3 feet short...it's like "OH NO!....if I miss THAT I'll look like an IDIOT".  Then the yips.

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#98 Mcgeeno

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 11:04 PM

View Postdeathbymuffin, on 03 December 2018 - 05:38 PM, said:

I wish I knew how to help you.  I've had the greenside pitch and bunker shanks for 7-8 years now.  If I can't putt it from off the green, I'm pretty much dead.  The only thing that helps is alcohol.  I know it's mental because I can pitch it fine while practicing.  But get me over the ball with any kind of pressure and I just yank the handle and throw the hosel at the ball.

Great answer buddy. I respect the honesty and I hope you find your solution out there. I remember having to secretly drink a mickey of fireball before the first tee peg went in the ground just to get through a serious interclub or tournament round it got so bad for me.

Its superficial and lame, but I really hate when someone who hasnt battled the issue chimes in and says something about changing your stance or grip or working on technique like that will just fix things. Do these guys think we havent tried everything? If it was that simple it wouldnt even be worth mentioning.

At one point I was a 4-5 handicap who would rather have an 80 yard pitch than a chip from 4 feet off the green. Its not just some simple technique or grip issue that you can just flip a switch and get over.

Guys always take it the wrong way like it was a cop out, but I had to use a chipper for a full season. I slowly phased in regular clubs after about 100 rounds and I was one of the lucky ones who got over it so to speak. I still chip like a 10 handicap and have my own share of issues but I can managed and hide it with a really strong driver and putter.

Edited by Mcgeeno, 04 December 2018 - 11:05 PM.


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#99 juliette91

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 01:03 AM

View PostMcgeeno, on 04 December 2018 - 11:04 PM, said:

View Postdeathbymuffin, on 03 December 2018 - 05:38 PM, said:

I wish I knew how to help you.  I've had the greenside pitch and bunker shanks for 7-8 years now.  If I can't putt it from off the green, I'm pretty much dead.  The only thing that helps is alcohol.  I know it's mental because I can pitch it fine while practicing.  But get me over the ball with any kind of pressure and I just yank the handle and throw the hosel at the ball.

Great answer buddy. I respect the honesty and I hope you find your solution out there. I remember having to secretly drink a mickey of fireball before the first tee peg went in the ground just to get through a serious interclub or tournament round it got so bad for me.

Its superficial and lame, but I really hate when someone who hasnt battled the issue chimes in and says something about changing your stance or grip or working on technique like that will just fix things. Do these guys think we havent tried everything? If it was that simple it wouldnt even be worth mentioning.

At one point I was a 4-5 handicap who would rather have an 80 yard pitch than a chip from 4 feet off the green. Its not just some simple technique or grip issue that you can just flip a switch and get over.

Guys always take it the wrong way like it was a cop out, but I had to use a chipper for a full season. I slowly phased in regular clubs after about 100 rounds and I was one of the lucky ones who got over it so to speak. I still chip like a 10 handicap and have my own share of issues but I can managed and hide it with a really strong driver and putter.

Yes, you make the point well.  Question for you, with all these yip threads appearing not so infrequently, what do you think it is that so universally affects so many golfers and almost exclusively better players----and does so in just about the exact same way, a flinch at impact or worse, not even being able to take the club back and making such a flailing stab at it anyone would think that golfer was being controlled by some outside force.?

Edited by juliette91, 05 December 2018 - 01:04 AM.


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#100 Mcgeeno

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 01:57 PM

View Postjuliette91, on 05 December 2018 - 01:03 AM, said:



Yes, you make the point well.  Question for you, with all these yip threads appearing not so infrequently, what do you think it is that so universally affects so many golfers and almost exclusively better players----and does so in just about the exact same way, a flinch at impact or worse, not even being able to take the club back and making such a flailing stab at it anyone would think that golfer was being controlled by some outside force.?

I cannot speak for anyone else, I remember I was in denial and thought it was just a phase or technique issue. You laugh it off, avoid really looking into the problem at first. I remember using a putter often around the greens telling people it was an easier shot and making excuses for not having to hit an actual chip shot.

I can remember the exact shot where I realized it was a legit mental problem.

I hit a good drive, a nice approach to about one yard short of the green and had maybe a 20 foot chip that good players should just consider an easy and makeable shot.

I straight spazzed it over the green. Total jab at impact that left me 60 feet away on the opposite side of the green. Its not like I don't know how to chip or 'use the bounce' or havent spent hours watching videos and reading articles.

The whole practice thing was counter productive for me. I spend 5-10 hours a week working on my game and its fine when on a chipping green or even during a friendly 9 hole type round. Practice is a hobby of mine...But some things you simply cannot replicate on a practice green.

Under pressure or when it really mattered was when it was an issue. My only option because I play in quite a few regional events was to buy a chipper. I didnt want to withdraw or quit or take time away. I added a club to help me, looked at it like it was a putting stroke and actually played really well.

In all honesty I won a club championship with a freakin chipper in my bag LOL. After time went on I just though "its just a putting stroke" and phased some chipping clubs back in. I'm definitely not perfect but it isnt a real worry for me anymore.


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#101 juliette91

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 07:29 PM

View PostMcgeeno, on 05 December 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postjuliette91, on 05 December 2018 - 01:03 AM, said:

Yes, you make the point well.  Question for you, with all these yip threads appearing not so infrequently, what do you think it is that so universally affects so many golfers and almost exclusively better players----and does so in just about the exact same way, a flinch at impact or worse, not even being able to take the club back and making such a flailing stab at it anyone would think that golfer was being controlled by some outside force.?

I cannot speak for anyone else, I remember I was in denial and thought it was just a phase or technique issue. You laugh it off, avoid really looking into the problem at first. I remember using a putter often around the greens telling people it was an easier shot and making excuses for not having to hit an actual chip shot.

I can remember the exact shot where I realized it was a legit mental problem.

I hit a good drive, a nice approach to about one yard short of the green and had maybe a 20 foot chip that good players should just consider an easy and makeable shot.

I straight spazzed it over the green. Total jab at impact that left me 60 feet away on the opposite side of the green. Its not like I don't know how to chip or 'use the bounce' or havent spent hours watching videos and reading articles.

The whole practice thing was counter productive for me. I spend 5-10 hours a week working on my game and its fine when on a chipping green or even during a friendly 9 hole type round. Practice is a hobby of mine...But some things you simply cannot replicate on a practice green.

Under pressure or when it really mattered was when it was an issue. My only option because I play in quite a few regional events was to buy a chipper. I didnt want to withdraw or quit or take time away. I added a club to help me, looked at it like it was a putting stroke and actually played really well.

In all honesty I won a club championship with a freakin chipper in my bag LOL. After time went on I just though "its just a putting stroke" and phased some chipping clubs back in. I'm definitely not perfect but it isnt a real worry for me anymore.

Sweet!  If you have anything to add about why you think the yips affect mostly better players and why all seem to have the same kind of flinch I'd be interested in your take.  I know from studying this that the flinch affects many sports--baseball to name one as well as many musicians.  Might go by a different name but the physical result is eerily similar

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#102 deathbymuffin

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 09:45 PM

View Postjuliette91, on 05 December 2018 - 07:29 PM, said:


Sweet!  If you have anything to add about why you think the yips affect mostly better players and why all seem to have the same kind of flinch I'd be interested in your take.  I know from studying this that the flinch affects many sports--baseball to name one as well as many musicians.  Might go by a different name but the physical result is eerily similar

I'm guessing some of us neurotic types are just more susceptible to it.  I played baseball throughout high school and actually started out as the starting shortstop on our junior varsity team.  We had a one run lead in the last inning of a game during my freshman year, and with two outs I fielded a routine groundball and then threw a one-hopper that our first baseman couldn't handle.  The ball got past him and the runner took second.  Next hitter singled and we gave him second base on a catcher's indifference.  So, they've got runners on second and third and I get another routine groundball to me at short, which I field cleanly, and then when I try to throw it to first it was as if I couldn't move my arm fluidly to release the ball.  I throw it straight into the ground, it gets past the first baseman, both runners score and we lose the game.  I had singlehandedly lost the game for our team.  The next day in practice I'm taking grounders and throwing every single ball into the dirt.  I literally could no longer throw a baseball across the diamond.  I'm a sure handed fielder, so our coach moves me to 2B and it's the same thing.  I couldn't even make that tiny little throw to first.  Coach eventually moves me into the outfield, which I had never played, and I turned out to be a pretty good outfielder, and had no trouble making throws from the outfield for assists.  In fact, I had quite a few assists where I caught guys at home plate with a rope from the outfield.  But anytime I ever played infield again, I couldn't make an accurate throw, even during fun recreational softball leagues.  To this day, I still can't play normal catch with my Dad or kids without throwing every third ball or so into the ground.  Lol.

I played golf in high school and was a pretty good ball striker.  My short game back then was already poor, but not to embarrassing levels.  I could chip/pitch/blast the ball onto the green and usually give myself a look inside 15', but it was never a strength.  My first real yips were on putts inside 4'.  Playing in the CIF Northern section championships I hit the first seven greens in regulation, but was +6.  Lol.  From that point on, since I was already out of the running, I played even and shot a 78.  Once I took up the game again in my 20s, the shanks slowly started to creep in on the short stuff and now it occasionally gets so bad that I shank putting style chips with an eight iron from the fringe.  When I play men's club tournaments now, I have to take two shots of whiskey at the first tee to calm myself enough to execute these basic shots.  I've tried to stop caring and just laugh about it, but as soon as I get over the ball I just revert to the jerky action and I'm toast.

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#103 juliette91

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:08 AM

View Postdeathbymuffin, on 05 December 2018 - 09:45 PM, said:

View Postjuliette91, on 05 December 2018 - 07:29 PM, said:

Sweet!  If you have anything to add about why you think the yips affect mostly better players and why all seem to have the same kind of flinch I'd be interested in your take.  I know from studying this that the flinch affects many sports--baseball to name one as well as many musicians.  Might go by a different name but the physical result is eerily similar

I'm guessing some of us neurotic types are just more susceptible to it.  I played baseball throughout high school and actually started out as the starting shortstop on our junior varsity team.  We had a one run lead in the last inning of a game during my freshman year, and with two outs I fielded a routine groundball and then threw a one-hopper that our first baseman couldn't handle.  The ball got past him and the runner took second.  Next hitter singled and we gave him second base on a catcher's indifference.  So, they've got runners on second and third and I get another routine groundball to me at short, which I field cleanly, and then when I try to throw it to first it was as if I couldn't move my arm fluidly to release the ball.  I throw it straight into the ground, it gets past the first baseman, both runners score and we lose the game.  I had singlehandedly lost the game for our team.  The next day in practice I'm taking grounders and throwing every single ball into the dirt.  I literally could no longer throw a baseball across the diamond.  I'm a sure handed fielder, so our coach moves me to 2B and it's the same thing.  I couldn't even make that tiny little throw to first.  Coach eventually moves me into the outfield, which I had never played, and I turned out to be a pretty good outfielder, and had no trouble making throws from the outfield for assists.  In fact, I had quite a few assists where I caught guys at home plate with a rope from the outfield.  But anytime I ever played infield again, I couldn't make an accurate throw, even during fun recreational softball leagues.  To this day, I still can't play normal catch with my Dad or kids without throwing every third ball or so into the ground.  Lol.

I played golf in high school and was a pretty good ball striker.  My short game back then was already poor, but not to embarrassing levels.  I could chip/pitch/blast the ball onto the green and usually give myself a look inside 15', but it was never a strength.  My first real yips were on putts inside 4'.  Playing in the CIF Northern section championships I hit the first seven greens in regulation, but was +6.  Lol.  From that point on, since I was already out of the running, I played even and shot a 78.  Once I took up the game again in my 20s, the shanks slowly started to creep in on the short stuff and now it occasionally gets so bad that I shank putting style chips with an eight iron from the fringe.  When I play men's club tournaments now, I have to take two shots of whiskey at the first tee to calm myself enough to execute these basic shots.  I've tried to stop caring and just laugh about it, but as soon as I get over the ball I just revert to the jerky action and I'm toast.

I get it.  Used to be a competitive table tennis player but I too suffered the same hitting fate as your infield throws to first base.  I could not hit a backhand, could not get my right hand wrist to turn over and square the face of the paddle.  I'd hit towering ball off the planet off the table strikes.  Or, as you, slam them into the table well short of even the net.

No doubt I'm strung a bit tightly as you are.  Also no doubt the less thinking the less likely to yip.  Cannot imagine a grip it and rip it player like Dustin Johnson ever getting the yips.  Can imagine--and know it's true--David Duval getting the driving yips.  He was always cut differently from other contemporary tour players.  Read a lot, interested in far more than wine cellars and vacationing with the guys. So I see a pattern.  Some of the tour players with yips never get to the spotlight because they're long gone on account of it.

Once you went into the outfield the bad flinching throws went away.  You couldn't even move to a different position in the infield to rid yourself of the dread.  But the outfield looked and felt different to you.  Your subconscious deemed it "safe" to be there and didn't try to protect itself from known failure but actually causing the failure via preventing you from failing.  It's a weird concept but I've read enough about it from researchers to go along and think it's as good as or better than any other proffered explanation..

Well, leave it at that.  Wish I could help you, truly do, but I have no answers.  Somehow whiskey calms you, maybe there's something you could do--meditating--less of a problem in the long run and more of a real solution.

Edited by juliette91, 06 December 2018 - 01:09 AM.


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#104 juliette91

juliette91

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 10:20 PM

Realize this thread is over but came across a news item that I think so important it's worth tagging onto the end of my own post.  Cody Blixt, trying to qualify for the web.com tour limited status, needed to shoot (he thought) about 8 under par on the last day to do it.  One hour before his tee time he discovered his clubs had been stolen from the garage of his airbnb.  Keeping his wits about him he cobbled together a set that was not really on point at all with his stolen set, titleists but more upright a way different putter, a new driver and 3 wood not with his specs, and so on.

Shoots 63 and qualifies.  Says: "“It was an attack mentality all day,” he said. “Hitting bad shots was OK, almost, like, Dude, I have a mismatched set. It’s not expected of me to hit good shots. In a weird way, that was comforting.”

​I've been posting something similar on this and other yips discussions, this big idea that you have to somehow distance yourself from the result, and I'd add acknowledge that things could go poorly but at the same time also admit to yourself you could do well.  Here, he gave himself permission to fail and a "what the heck" kind of attitude.  As one who has yipped, I can tell you it's hard to will yourself to yip, make yourself yip by putting all your effort into making that happen.  Not saying this is the cure, not at all, but if you can (and I think it works wonders for all shots by the way, especially effective for shots with a club or on a hole or in a situation where you've screwed up time and time again previously) just allow yourself to fail and not kill yourself over it if you don't--while nodding to yourself that you've done well at times with this situation--I think you'll have a better chance at not yipping that shot.

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