The Yips/Slump/Lost Swing

Hi y’all,

Been a while since I posted, busy, albeit soggy summer ( not all golf related).

Up until 3 weeks ago I was playing some of my best rounds ever, certainly better than I’ve played in the past, handicap was dropping, confidence was high.

Then it happened. I lost my swing. It started the evening I played with my league on zero sleep ( I’m a cyclical insomniac). I couldn’t hit anything right. I thought " no biggie, I’m just out of it".

And it snowballed. I reached that dreaded point of feeling like I’ve never held a golf club in my life.
EVERYTHING felt foreign and awkward.

Deep breaths, went back to basics ( posture, grip, ball position, takeaway etc). And it got worse. I was hitting balls sideways. SIDEWAYS.

Finally got a chance to see my instructor. I hit a handful, he says the polite version of WTF, and we had to start all over with technique, repetition, drills.
I have my driver and short game back. Still struggling with my irons. The 3 wood has been banished. For me, the worst of it was the dissonance between knowing I’ve made hundreds of good golf shots, and couldn’t execute anything.

3 years ago I probably would have sold my clubs and walked away, but I’m hanging in there.


That’s quite scary. Almost as if the mind muscle connection has been reset completely. Hopefully it will come back for you fairly ‘easily’ and as confidence returns so will your game.


I feel like I go through this every year…honestly pretty sure I do. I felt like my swing was great earlier this year, drives were much longer and straighter and the irons were coming around. I just needed to get the short game going and I felt like I could break 80 again for the 1st time in over 10 years. Then I had to take a little over a week off because of work and family stuff and when I came back my swing was completely gone. Drives are short and crooked…really crooked. I’m hitting hosel rockets…of course my chipping and putting are now starting to click. I honestly don’t want to play. The scary thing is, my swing doesn’t feel that off, but it just doesn’t work.

I just went back to basics. Hitting balls L-L with feet together. Hitting balls on left foot with right foot back. Lots of slow swings, lots of time with the Orange Whip. I still could do nothing decent at the range, but it all of a sudden it came back on the course. I skipped my super tight home course with tons of OB and went to much wider course with hardly any OB. I was freed up; I swung in control, but I swung hard. Drives were straight and waaay longer. Next few rounds were similar. Of course my putting sucked.

I’ll lose it again, but I’ve been losing my swing completely for the last 6-7 years for some reason. I go back to basics and I find it again. You’ll find it again. Maybe through basics, maybe through skipping some rounds, but it will come back.


Thanks, I was freaking out. I’ll keep swinging in the yard and hitting the range in between league nights. I did find that I had gotten lazy with getting my back to the target and rotating my hips, I was VERY “armsy”…hence the worm burners. The sideways shots were just WTF.


This is an annual ordeal for me, as well. Yep, back to basics, starting from the green out, especially regarding tempo.:man_shrugging:t2:


Good idea to get some range time in, but not too much. Pick a couple things you want to address. Your range time could be over in a couple dozen balls. Keep it focused.

Yeah, sideways shots are always WTF.


I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV, but I wonder if the sleep deprived round somehow messed with your ingrained habits… basically an off day imprinted on you due to the lack of sleep…

Sounds like you are doing the best thing you can do, regardless of the cause… just grind through it.

It’s not the same, but coming back after an injury my swing felt completely foreign… I felt 0 connection to the club… it was 12 months ago, I was mostly recovered 5-6 months ago… I’m still rebuilding… it is a good time to get rid of bad habits though!

I played the best round of my life and still don’t feel like my swing is back.


I don’t think you’re far off the mark with the sleep deprivation thought.

Maddening sport.


Good luck! I know it is frustrating, but it has some advantages… not everything you learned is muscle memory, so you will be back to where you were quicker than you fear, just maybe not as soon as you hope!


It happens to me too. I start hitting shanks and everything I have done in the past to avoid shanks doesn’t work. I end up shooting over 100 as I lose confidence in my game. I fix it by going to the range and deliberately hitting some shanks to get the feel and then swing closer to my body to get that feel and then I am ok to go again. So frustrating and shanks are why I stopped playing back in 95



Golf is hard! (Yes that’s a trite statement but you have to internalize it for yourself.)

Progress in golf, for most mere mortals, is very s-l-oooooooo-w, very incremental and does NOT proceed in a straight forward upward arc … there are going to be dips, valleys, setbacks, whatever you want to call them … before the next forward positive step can be made.

One approach that’s worked for me is to break the problem down into smaller and smaller discreet steps … then work on Step One first til that’s “good”, then move onto Step Two, etc.

Keep up the good work and celebrate the positives while ignoring the negatives!!


I shouldn’t have talked about shanks. Got them bad again today


The Golf Gods are cruel


Last week, I had two (consecutive) rounds where I had a total of three shanks. 🤦🏼 Interestingly, to me at least, they were my first approach (5i-6i) shots of the round. Whatever I was doing pre-round sure as hell wasn’t working.

30 years ago I had a severe case of El Hosels for about a month. I have drills that keep the El Hosels from coming back The biggest weakness in my game is 40yds to 15 yds I fight through the decels, I’m probably not as bad as I portray on here, but I’d like to give myself more 4footers or less than the 10 footers or more I’m constantly trying to overcome. It’s a mental battle/block. But that occasional hole out or that round where it doesn’t happen brings me back every time! I play the game strictly for fun and take alot of pride In having the ability to break 80 consistently and every once in a while threaten to have that under par 9


I’ve stopped going to the range before playing. It’s almost as if I leave all my good swings there…get on the course and ugh


Sometimes is as simple as a quick lesson with the pro or if you can record yourself and look at your grip position at impact and analyze your take away, your hand position at the top of your backswing, shoulder position at the top and downswing to ensure you are shallowing out a bit and then extension through the follow thru. I guarantee you will see where your breakdown is if you record front side and behind. Four swings should suffice. Then find exaggerating drills to fix the flaw. I did that after I got a bad case of El Hosels years ago and found I was turning my hands on the take away instead of bringing everything back in one piece. It was only slight, but 1/4 inch will give you a push or slice, 1/2 inch which is where I was gave me the laterals…:grin:

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I generally don’t go to the range any more either. Partly because I walk almost every round and walking to and from the range is a LOT of extra walking and time. Also because it never seemed to make a difference. I use my Rukknet in the backyard now. I mainly hit balls with feet together, then L-L and finally 3/4 swings searching for tempo. When I get to the course I chip and putt a bit and stay loose with the Orange Whip. That seems to work better for me.

I don’t know about anyone else, but many of my low rounds in the past came right after horrible range sessions that including hitting Sherman Tanks. The awesome ballstriking sessions never resulted in great rounds.


For me, it depends on what my intentions for the range are (before a round).

If I’m trying to work on something immediately before I go play, it doesn’t go well. I have too much mental chatter and just overthink my swing.

But it does help me quite a bit to get warm, work off the jitters, and find my tempo (faster). I’ve noticed that jitters and a poor tempo really affect how well I can hit the ball.