Overcome the Yips – putting psychology with Golf Hypnosis


I work, using Golf Hypnosis and NLP, with different clients on almost every aspect of the game of golf, from the putting psychology and the Yips through to concentration and lack of confidence. My clients often go on to seeking my help with their lives in general. With so many common factors, you could be forgiven for assuming that there’s a standard "cure" for each problem or opportunity a client may bring. The good hypnotherapist sees each client as the unique person they are, with their own set of unique issues and expectations, and develops a unique approach for that client.

Nowhere is this more true than with putting, the game within the game of golf. Putting is the great equalizer in golf and we all have the opportunity for success, regardless of age, sex, build, health and level of fitness. Putting also accounts for approximately a third to a half of our total score. The lower your handicap, the larger the proportion of your score will be putts.

Golfers typically take as many as thirteen other clubs with them when playing golf, and yet it’s rare to see anyone take more than one putter. In addition, most of those other clubs are pretty similar to everyone else’s. My 3-wood is unlikely to be substantially different from your one in terms of length, loft, size, shape or weight and the same is true for every other club in the bag – apart from the putter. How many times have you played in a fourball and every player has had a similar style of putter, let alone the same model. Do you often come across mallet-headed drivers, centre-shafted woods, broomstick sand wedges or long-irons with two-thumb grips?

You’re also likely to see much greater diversity in how people stand, grip and swing their putters than you ever see with the rest of the clubs. That’s probably why Dave Pelz, one of the leading short game experts, can take 387 pages in his Putting Bible to explain the complexities of the "flat stick."

So it should be no surprise that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to putting psychology – any good work here needs to be interactive and iterative. To demonstrate what I mean, here’s my reply to a single-figure handicap golfer who wrote in to tell me about how his putting Yips was driving him away from golf after more than 20 years of enjoyment.

I know what you mean about having the Yips. I remember having putting problems like that back in my younger days when I was playing off a handicap of 2. I still can’t believe that for over 25 years as a category 1 player, I averaged around 35 putts per round. I can even remember going round in 1 over par with 38 putts! Thankfully, that was before I got into golf psychology and things have improved quite a lot for me in that area.

So what can I suggest to help you overcome the yips? Well, it would help to know a bit more about how they started for you and what you’ve tried in your quest to get rid of them. Working face to face or even on the phone, I could soon develop an approach to help you. Now, in the absence of that information, here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Putt while looking at the hole or your target spot, rather than looking at the ball. The separation of the conscious task of looking for the result and the unconscious task of swinging the putter certainly helped me when I used the technique.
  2. Relax yourself in a comfortable location and recall some good putts from your past or imagine what they would have been like. Just imagine you were hitting those putts again. It may help to do this after listening to my golf hypnosis recording. You don’t have to listen to the full 25 minutes, just listen for about 10 minutes and then do some putting visualisation in your mind. When you are physically practicing your putting or out playing, imagine the putt you are about to hit and "see" the ball rolling along your chosen line and falling into the hole. Then just step into the shot and let it roll.
  3. When you hole a putt, replay it in your mind both at the time and later when you review your practice session or round. If you miss a putt, just imagine that you holed it and replay the imagined successful putt in your mind.

Another, possibly even weirder, approach is to use a technique called EFT. Some people say it’s like a version of acupuncture, except you tap the meridian points with your finger rather than uYsing needles! For me it works like hypnosis, in that you consciously have to focus on the tapping sequence while you unconsciously think about the problem you want to correct – the Yips.

I’ve already documented the process in a series of four articles I posted on my blog back in March. The process requires you to use a "Setup Statement" that’s explained in Part 3. I would suggest that you start out using a simple setup statement such as "Even though I have this putting problem, I completely and utterly accept myself." Now I know this sounds a bit daft, even though it works wonders!

The four articles on EFT for Better Golf are:

So, there are a few suggestions to be going on with. If you would like me to give you some more specific suggestions, then email me some more background information or give me a call.


  1. […] from: Overcome a Yips – putting psychology with Golf Hypnosis as well as EFT    Posted in Hypnosis   […]

Leave a Reply