When the doctor told Ernie Els he was suffering from The Yips, the gentle giant almost fell off his chair. His life, has he knew it, was gone.
The diagnosis may have been shocking to Els and those closest to him, but for many insiders in the game, it wasn’t a surprise at all. Els has been battling symptoms of The Yips for the past year, missing several crucial short putts like this one at the South African Open. The latest mishap came during the first round of the Masters yesterday.
The Former Masters champion had previously seemed hopeful that he’d found a remedy for The Yips.
“I’m really looking forward to playing golf properly this year. I’m tired of being uncomfortable on those little putts. I want to give this cross handed method a real go,” he remarked after his shocking miss earlier in the year. It’s saddening to see the demons are still wreaking havoc for the big easy.
What Is The Yips?
The Yips is a nervous condition where athletes experience catastrophic inability to perform at their chosen skill. In golf, it specifically affects three distances: 3, 4, and 2 feet. According to experts, the chances of a player experiencing The Yips increases on fast downhill, breaking putts. Tournament play also increases the chances of The Yips coming out.
Els – like fellow suffers of The Yips – will experience a faster average heart rate on short putts and a higher Electromyography (EMG), causing twitcyness.