Overcoming the Yips

Every golfer can wince at the memory of a particularly dark day on the greens.

But few can recount the tale of a staggering 48 putts in a Club Championship round.

That was the sorry story for a Surrey club player, after an attack of the dreaded yips, which saw him unable to even complete a three-inch tap-in.

I’d felt the twitch a few times and in the early stages you try and ignore it, you pretend it’s not there, you pulled it or the miss was down to an imperfection in the green.

But trying to ignore the yips feeds their growth. The wrist twitches closing the face through impact and you miss left, you try and anticipate the twitch and push them right. Whatever you do the simple act of knocking the ball into the hole becomes an almost impossible task.

Under the pressure of competition, it gets worse. You lose sight of the task at hand and become solely focused on trying to control the movement of your hands and not embarrassing yourself.

“Back and through” your playing partners say, “just roll it in” or “don’t even think about it” Why didn’t I think of that!

I approached the club championship with hopes of competing, I had a 5-handicap but with our smallish membership any 2 scores in the 70’s would be in contention.

Those hopes died on the first green as I 3-putted from 15 feet.

My putting deteriorated through the round, it was ridiculous, hitting greens in regulation and walking off with bogie or double. I ended up putting with my back to the hole to try to confuse my brain! 

The hardest bit was that the twitch got worse the closer I got to the hole. So sometimes I was in tap-in range and my playing partner had already recorded my score, before I found a way to miss from three inches! 

I signed for an 89 at the end of the round, with 48 putts. 2 putts on each green and I’d have been tied  for the lead.

The Club Championship came and went but the yips remained. I tried a broom handle putter, the claw grip and researched far and wide for a solution. I tried beta blockers in competition and alcohol (which worked quite well but was awkward before morning tee times!). In the end I gave up playing competitive golf.

Several years later I found CBD. Could this be the answer?

I experimented with various doses and with different cannabinoids. I had to fix the physical symptoms before dealing with the mental ones.

I found a combination of CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) which when used in combination removed the twitching, my hands started to move the putter back and through, the putter head started to swing again.

With the help of my pro I then changed my putter, my grip and my routine.

It’s now around 10 years since that Club Championship and I am back playing competitions. More important than competitions is my love for the game has returned.

I’d reached a point with my yips that there was no point in playing, I couldn’t execute an important facet of the game so I couldn’t score. I’d choose to stay at home or do something else.

I don’t think putting will ever be my favourite part of golf but I’m back to figuring out the line and weight of my putts, rather than worrying whether my hands can complete the stroke!

CBD and CBG influence the receptors in the human endocannabinoid system that control motor function and stress response. If you would like any further information please contact us via andy@golferscbd.co.uk

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