Tip From the Archives
You shank, top, or hit the ball thin because you jerk the club or the clubhead is taking an upswing instead of a downward blow.
One of the most common causes of the yips is anxiety from anticipating how you will contact the ball. Instead of focusing on preventing the yips, you need to think about a specific aspect of your swing. The key is to relax your arms and concentrate on something else; such as keeping your weight onto your forward leg, maintaining clubhead angle for proper loft, keeping your hands ahead of the ball or limiting your wrist movements.
Place most of your weight onto your forward foot with the ball towards the back of your stance. Preset the loft of the clubface and make sure that the angle is the same when you finish the swing. Allow your hands to lead the clubhead throughout the shot. Avoid trying to scoop the ball by sliding the clubface under it; instead, you need a downward blow and limit wrist movements. Another great way to fix the yips is to change the sensation you get in your hands at contact. Try hitting marshmallows, this will change the way you feel the impact and will relax your arms with a little humor. Then practice hitting foam or wiffle balls before returning to using your golf balls.