For possibly the only time ever in my life, Tiger Woods and my good self have something in common. No, its not our love of a red golf shirt, nor is it a love of Van Halen. It would appear that I’ve got the chipping yips like Tiger!
We’ve all sat in front of the TV watching Tiger on his last couple of outings, no doubt in utter disbelief in what we’ve been watching.
Yup, Tiger’s chipping yips have been with him for his last few rounds. It’s so bad, he’s temporarily removed himself from the tour. I have nothing but sympathy for him. And his chipping yips.
Over the past week or so, I’ve not been able to play or practice much. In fact, I’ve had pretty much no time to practice at all. Work is massively getting in the way right now. But, that is kinda the point of the challenge. Most of us have weeks where just can’t get any practice in, that’s just how it goes.
I played last weekend in the second of our knockout rounds in the winter league at The Manor. I’d managed to play 9 holes on the Saturday, but that was more to have another run out with my new Nike Vapor Driver. Thankfully, it felt as good as the first time I’d tried it, and my shots off the tee were for the most part good.
So, to the winter league knock out. Well, firstly I should say that thankfully, my partner Andy brought his A game. Sadly, I didn’t! I played pretty well off the tee, and with my irons, but if I had anything that didn’t reach the green, I was in trouble!
It was really strange. The minute I got my wedge in my hands around the green, I just had zero confidence. Before the shot, in my head I had almost told my self I was going to either a) quit on it and leave it really short (maybe not even hitting the green!), or b) thin it straight across the green. I managed both of these several times!
Coming off the 16th, we were 2 down with 2 left to play. It wasn’t looking good. We’d had so many chances to win the match too.
After a great drive, I had about 120 to the pin. The next few shots went like this – hit it short, thinned it across the green, chipped short, 2 putted. Thankfully, Andy won the hole!
I knew I had to par the 18th to take it back down the 1st. I did exactly that!
After the first two holes, we were still all square. On the 3rd (short Par 4), I hit a good 3 wood meaning Andy could have a go at the green off the tee. He absolutely smashed one, which dropped about 20ft from the pin. The pressure was massively on them now. Andy almost dropped it for 2, but settled for a birdie. That won us the match.
I knew before playing again, I’d need to give this short game some serious tlc.
Unfortunately, that never happened. The weather was bad, work was chaotic at best and on top of all that, I got man flu… again! So, no practice happened. I did practice my chipping a little in the house, but gave up pretty quickly have nearly put my ball through the glass cupboard door.
So, Saturday came and before I’d even got out of the car I was nervous about my chipping.
I was right to be. It was a total horror show, starting with a 6 at the 1st. I actually thought I’d steadied the ship as after the 1st, I went bogey, par. Then on the Par 3 4th, left myself with this birdie putt.
Managed a bogey on the 5th after finding the worst greenside bunker on the golf course! But then on the 6th I crumbled, much the same as I had done the week before. From just short of the green, I was awful. That confirmed that I’ve got the chipping yips like Tiger … still!
I never recovered after that. I think it’s the worst I’ve played in the last year. My handicap is currently 16, and as you know the aim of the challenge is to be Cat 1. My short game was more like someone who played off a handicap of 28. I think my biggest problem is club selection. For some reason, I always try to my 56 wedge. I know this is the wrong shot for the most part. I need to get a chip and run shot in my bag!
If you’ve ever had it the chipping yips, it’s the most horrible feeling. When you get the club in your hand, you just have the fear. Total fear. I can’t even imagine how Tiger must have felt if he had that kind of fear as well as the eyes of the golfing world on you. I only had to worry about Mick and David sniggering at me!
This was my card for the back 9.
I finished with 23 stableford points, 8 points on the back 7 (two holes are still closed). On the tee at the 17th, I actually only had 5 points, but a par on the 18th made it slightly more respectable.
I walked off the golf course a very unhappy bunny, and was straight on the phone to Ryan at JWhitaker Golf. I’m hoping to see him early this week to try and help my get rid of my chipping yips.
This week, I’m heading for a round at St Annes Old Links and I’ve got the Semi-Final of the Winter League knock out, so I need to make sure I make some good progress.