Years ago, legendary golfer Tommy Armor had a bad day putting and regrettably lead him to coin the infamous and notorious word, YIPS. Since then, YIPS have cursed golfers! YIPS will make any golfer tremble and shake when trying to make a short putt. Wikipedia describes YIPS as “losing fine motor skills and psychological focus issue that impact(s). . . muscle memory and decision making of the player. . . .” Truthfully, most golfers will confess that psychological factors dominate and drive the loss of their fine motor control.
Usually, the typical golfer grips the putter in the same way that he grips all of the other clubs in the bag. However, after unfortunately succumbing to the YIPS, many of these ordinary golfers try more unconventional gripping of the putter to change the mechanics of putting. Some of the changes could include the following:
- cross handed gripping
- claw gripping
- reverse position of dominant hand when gripping
- separation of hands while gripping putter
- anchoring the putter with one hand and stroking with other hand
- use a longer putter to make it easier for more upright putting
- use a shorter putter to help the more hunched over golfer
Some violate the cardinal rule of golf, “Keep your eye on the ball.” They may choose to close their eyes or lock their eyes on the hole rather than on the putter and ball during the putt.
Changing the putting setup routine will help some golfers cope with the YIPS anxiety. However, when the golfer addresses the ball, the rubber meets the road! Then, the golfer is confronted with that fearful task of actually aiming and stroking the putt. Somewhere in that moment, about 1.2 seconds, between aiming and stroking the ball, the golfer with YIPS loses their hand motor control and all too frequently misses a “give me” putt. What caused this split second putting nightmare? Why do they lose focus? What causes the golfer to flinch? The answer, could it be a BLACK and WHITE issue?
It has long been known that a monochromatic image does little to help the viewer maintain individual focus. Most of us would agree that a watching black and white TV images do not have the same viewer appeal as watching today’s colored TV images. Currently, almost every golf putter available has either a black or white centerline. Those putters with a white Golf Ball and Traditional White Centerline centerline, offer little visual contrast between the white centerline with a white golf ball. Conversely, the opacity of the black centerline aligned with the white golf ball fails to stimulate the senses.
Think about target shooting. This sport has been dramatically changed by use of a laser gun sight. The laser sight overcomes the limited contrast issue between the black gun tip sight and the black and white target bullseye. The laser pointer projects
Golf Ball and Luminous Centerline a red spot on the target’s bullseye which can stimulate the senses and help hold the shooter’s focus. By holding the focus, it is significantly easier for the shooter to hold the weapon steady and hit the target.
Similarly, the golfer can improve their aiming and centerline contact by concentrating on a contrasting colored spot on the golf ball. AcuAim Golf’s conforming putter, with a luminous centerline, improves aiming and projects an eye-catching halo on the ball. Because the ball is a sphere, the red halo is projected on a point closest to the ball that aligns perfectly with the center of the ball the sweet spot of the putter. Compare the different versions of our putter’s name, AcuAim Golf and AcuAim Golf. In the latter version, notice the red word Aim commands and holds your attention. It is much easier focus your attention on the Aim than the surrounding black lettering on the white paper. Similarly, the red halo that is projected on the golf ball will hold the attention of the golfer. For the golfer with YIPS, the focus on the ball is immediate and integral to better executing the putt.
Tommy Armor had a bad day putting, he lost his confidence and was forevermore anxious about the next putt. He had the infamous YIPS. Aiming uncertainty created anxiety. Anxiety fostered stress. Stress disrupts the stroke tempo. Starting with aim uncertainty, the golfer rapidly losses control of putt process. To disrupt the YIPS sequence and become a confident putter, aiming uncertainty needs to end. AcuAim Golf’s next generation of putters will help derail and end for the golfer the YIPS curse.