How To Beat The Chipping Yips

During various times during every golf season, I develop a case of poor chipping. I am not sure it would be considered the yips, but needless to say it is very frustrating. With such a short season, I am always looking for ways to beat my chipping woes and return to the path of confidence that leads to positive results. I am sure many of you feel the same way and wish you had a process that works for your game…..don’t we all. I found an interesting drill by Butch Harmon that just might be the answer.

Butch Harmon describes the chipping yips as the left arm stopping before you complete your swing. Then your wrists break causing the ball to shoot across the green away from the pin. In my case, the yips emerge when I pull up with my left (leading) shoulder just at contact. I have no idea why I decide it is a good idea to help the ball along, but it happens. And for some unknown reason I cannot stop it immediately.

When the yips finally disappear, I am back to normal like nothing has happened. I know many of you have experienced the same thing and understand how I feel. I am always searching for a way to beat my poor chipping because even one day on the links with poor chipping caused by me pulling up my left shoulder is one day too many!

However, with Butch Harmon’s advice, I think I might have found a solution.

Harmon’s advice is something I can do while playing as a practice swing. It does not look complicated and seems to be a viable solution to my challenges by forcing my left shoulder in the proper position during the completion of the my swing. If this works (which I will try today), then I have landed on a gold mine.

I wonder if any of you have tried this drill? If so, how did it work for you?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


4 thoughts on “How To Beat The Chipping Yips

  1. Jim, I had the chip yips for about five years and tried a variety of remedies to resolve. They are awful. I gradually emerged after taking a short game lesson where my pro discussed technique, club selection, and mental approach to chipping and pitching. Funny thing about Harmon’s recommendations, while I’m practicing, I’ll occasionally leave a chip short and make sure to exaggerate my follow through on the next few balls. This is effectively what he is advocating and is good advice.

    You are a good chipper. I don’t think a momentary lapse constitutes the yips but more likely just a “bad day at the office.” Be grateful for that 🙂



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      Thanks for the comment about Harmon’s drill. I was thinking about your woes when writing this article as we have discussed your chipping challenges in the past. I do feel I am a good chipper, but I like to have some tools in the toolbox just in case things go awry for a few rounds. One poor chipping round does not make me change anything for sure.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How does that go….turn your hat around, move the change from your right pocket to your left….and so on.

    Like every swing problem, our brains get in the way. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced the yips. Not as Harmond descibes them anyway. It’s possible I guess that being left handed but playing right handed I’m just not as prone to let the left hand become stuck or let the right hand take over or whatever the cause is.

    But like most swing problems it’s likely a mental thing. And the poor chipping issue is something I describe as no feel. When standing behind the ball before chipping our brains are calculating. Or they’re supposed to be. It’s supposed to give me club, swing, swing speed, direction, everything. And somedays that process just doesn’t want to work well. We’ll consistently be long or short or worse, we’ll be all over the place. We can work with a consistent error, but when we have to deal with inconsistency, we have no reference to work with. Those are the days I know you speak of. I don’t have fix, but I find on those days that I’m best off just getting the ball on the ground as fast as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      It is a challenge to determine the root cause of yips. It definitely has a mental component and one that I find frustrating. Regardless, I am going to give Harmon’s drill a try to see how it works. I will let you know.

      Cheers Jim


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