AUG 23, 2018 05:45 AM PDT

What Can You Do About a Case of the Yips?

Don’t you hate it when you have a full weekend of golf planned and you come down with a severe case of the yips? That just takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it? For those that aren’t familiar with the term, “the yips” is the name given to a neurological or muscular misfire that golfers experience when making short putts that normally are easy shots, especially for professionals.  According to Golf Digest, the term was coined by the Scottish golfer Tommy Armour, who said it was a "brain spasm that impairs the short game." It’s been called by other names, including freezing, the waggles, the staggers, the jerks and even whiskey fingers. While it’s often attributed to stress and anxiety, researchers at the Mayo Clinic think there is a neurological component to it as well and are conducting research on possible treatments for the yips.

The term “focal dystonia” is used to describe specific muscles that get overworked. Much like writer’s cramp or carpal tunnel from overuse, it’s believed that the muscles in the hands and forearms, which are used extensively in golf, go into spasm, usually because of fatigue and repetitive motion. While performance anxiety can worsen the yips, it’s believed that the cause is overloading of nerve signals to these muscles that present as twitches or tics at the precise moment a ball is being hit or chipped in the “short game,” i.e., strokes used near the putting green and hole. There are many exercises and grips that golfers use to avoid the yips, but it’s all about the signals from the brain, so it’s best to have periods of rest and make sure muscles are relaxed with stretching before and after a game. 

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
AUG 12, 2018
Videos
AUG 12, 2018
How A Therapeutic Gene Circuit Might Work
University of Wyoming researchers demonstrate their research in optogenetics....
AUG 15, 2018
Videos
AUG 15, 2018
What Your Doodles Say About You
During a boring meeting, a teleconference or a less-than-interesting class, many of us will doodle mindlessly on paper. It’s a way of passing the tim...
AUG 27, 2018
Videos
AUG 27, 2018
Why Do Turtles Live So Long?
Why do turtles live so long? Apparently, it may have something to do with a slow metabolism which means that turtles need fewer calories than other animals...
SEP 13, 2018
Videos
SEP 13, 2018
Antibiotics Are Still Being Over-Prescribed by Some Health Facilities
The opioid abuse problem continues unabated, despite public health efforts to curb the use of narcotic painkillers that can cause dependence and push patie...
SEP 16, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 16, 2018
If You Thought T. Rex Was Big, Then Watch This
Dinosaur-themed Hollywood movies have hyped up Tyrannosaurus Rex, making it seem like the king of all dinosaurs. But realistically, T. Rex was quite small...
SEP 17, 2018
Videos
SEP 17, 2018
How THC Binds to Cannabinoid Receptors in the Brain
Seconds after marijuana is consumed it begins to affect your brain. The main cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant is called THC (tetrahydrocanna...
Loading Comments...