The Eye Yips

By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

Most instruction focuses on keeping your head still while you putt. The common advice of golf TV commentators suggests you ‘keep your head still and listen for the ball to go in the hole.’

The Problem: It’s not the head that’s the problem – it’s the eyes. Focus on your head, and you may be able to keep it still on the practice green, but when the first pressure putt presents itself, you’ll be right back to your old bobble-headed self.

The Fix: Keep your eyes still. When you move your eyes to follow the ball, you’ll unconsciously move your head and, more importantly, your hands. It’s a form of the “yips” caused by hand-eye coordination, i.e., when your eyes dart, your hands dart.

The Drill: On the practice green, take your normal putting stance, then raise only your head and fix your gaze on an object far away, like a tree. Look with “soft eyes” without staring, and don’t let your eyes dart from one thing to the other. Once your eyes are calm and soft, hit the putt without looking at the ball.  After enough practice in calming down your eye-flit, you can return to looking at the ball when you putt it.

Calm eyes

Calm stroke

If you’d like to study with TJ Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact the College of Golf today.

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