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Yips 😱

Lucas Glover's nightmare-fuel putting stroke yip, explained

January 19, 2023
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It's sort of amazing that all of us are utterly in love with a game that is so incredibly, unreasonably difficult. The PGA Tour is full of the best players in the world, and yet every now and again, they still hit the occasional shank, or top, or yip the odd putt.

Just ask Lucas Glover.

During his first round at The American Express, Glover was standing over a routine par putt when this happened...

At first I wondered if this was some new and interesting technique, but turns out it wasn't. He had two other short putts that were caught on camera during his opening round, and each had perfectly normal backstrokes.

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Nope, this was a good old fashioned yip. How did it happen? Without delving into the recesses of Glover's mind, there are a few things that stand out.

First, you can watch in the video above a pronounced pause between his forward press and the start of his stroke. He's almost frozen over the ball, but the nervous energy and tension keeps building nonetheless.

That's why, when he does manage to get his stroke going, the movement is so short and jerky. The smaller muscles in his wrists and hands seize up, and his wrists "spasm," as the Mayo Clinic describes in its article about the yips.

But don't worry, this horror story has a happy ending. Glover yipped the putt into the hole, and finished strong with a three-under 69.