The Yips: Methods to Identify Golfers with a Dystonic Etiology/Golfer's Cramp

Charles H. Adler, M'Hamed Temkit, Debra Crews, Troy McDaniel, Jennifer Tucker, Joseph G. Hentz, Christian Marquardt, Dale Abraham, John N. Caviness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine whether quantitative methods could separate golfers with a possible dystonic cause of the "yips" from those that appear to be nondystonic. Methods Twenty-seven golfers completed 10 two-handed and 10 right hand-only putts. Surface EMG assessed forearm muscle co-contraction and motion detectors monitored wrist and putter movements. Based on a videotape review, golfers were grouped into those with yips of dystonic etiology, those with the yips nondystonic, and those with no yips. Results On video review of two-handed putting, five golfers had yips that appeared to be dystonic, nine had yips that did not appear to be dystonic, and 13 had no yips. During two-handed putting co-occurrence of a yipped putt and wrist flexor/extensor and/or pronator/supinator co-contraction was significantly more frequent in those with dystonic yips. The dystonic group had no increase in the number of yipped putts or yips with co-contraction when putting right hand only, whereas the nondystonic group had significantly more yipped putts and more yipped putts with co-contraction with right hand only. Conclusions Quantitative methods were identified that appear to identify golfers with a dystonic etiology for the yips. It is not just the frequency of yips nor just specific motion patterns alone, rather it is also a combination of yips with co-occurring co-contraction when putting with two hands, and then right hand only, that distinguished this possible etiology. Despite being a small study, identifying a dystonic pattern, even in a nonpressure indoor setting, may aid in assessment and possible monitoring of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2230
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • EMG
  • YIPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'The Yips: Methods to Identify Golfers with a Dystonic Etiology/Golfer's Cramp'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this