It’s possible to overcome the chipping yips. Here’s how.
There are few things more demoralizing than successfully getting your ball up near the green only to stub your next shot a few feet because you suffer from the chipping yips.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! The chipping yips have plagued some of the world’s best players — including Tiger Woods.
The good news? It’s possible to overcome them. At GOLF’s recent Top 100 Teacher Summit at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., I asked Stefanie Shaw, a teaching professional at Ocean Reef Golf Club in Key Largo, Fla., for her best remedies.
“The first thing you want to do is find out which hand is causing the issue,” Shaw said. “And then try to take that hand out of play.”
Shaw said that her students who suffer from the yips will often tell her that the bad shots happen when they have both hands on the club, whereas taking one hand off the club and hitting the ball alleviates the problem.
She also said that for some students, switching their hand position on the grip can help, or even using a claw-style grip.
Cover up the ball
“With some students, I’ll cover the ball with a towel, and it’s in a little box, so the student is forced to swing under it to make contact,” Shaw said. “And the practice swings are usually fine.” This is helpful because it takes the emphasis off of the result, so the student can swing more freely.
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Try a different club
“Sometimes changing club selection to something different, like a hybrid, can be helpful,” Shaw said. A simple shift in mindset and focus can be all a player needs to overcome the issue. “It’s all about building up the confidence that you can hit the shot,” she said.
Give Shaw’s advice a try, and look forward to conquering those chipping yips for good.
For more tips from Stefanie Shaw, click here.
As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Issue, which debuted in February 2018. Her original interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.
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