A recent Mayo Clinic study on yips, a condition that has baffled golfers and scientists for decades, will be a featured presentation on March 16, 9:45 a.m., at the upcoming World Scientific Congress of Golf. The Congress tees off March 12-16 at the Embassy Suites and Stonecreek Golf Club, 4415 East Paradise Village Parkway, Phoenix.
The yips, affecting a significant number of already anxious golfers during putting or chipping, may be a physical movement disorder and not only the result of undue pressure to perform at the crucial moment of a stroke. In fact, in some cases the affliction can be likened to writers’ or musicians’ cramps, according to Charles H. Adler, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist and researcher at Mayo Clinic. His latest research on the yips was recently published in the journal Movement Disorders.
Dr. Adler and his colleagues at Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University suggest that in a subset of golfers, involuntary muscle contractions are to blame, resulting in “golfer’s cramp.” The annoying condition (sometimes described as “twitches” or “jerks”) that can ruin an otherwise successful round of golf was often thought to be psychological. Dr. Adler said that the overall effect of this study is to try to identify golfers who have a neurologic rather than a psychological cause to their yips.
Held every four years, the World Scientific Congress of Golf began in 1990 at St. Andrews, Scotland. For more information on the Congress visit golfscience.org.
Below is a link to a YouTube video with Dr. Adler where he describes the study findings.