Hank Haney says he thinks Jordan Spieth has the yips

Bold statement to American broadcaster ESPN from Hank Haney who coached Tiger Woods from 2004-2010. He said, after Jordan Spieth missed the cut in this week’s Sony Open

“He’s got to get his putting figured out. He has to. I think it has spilled over into the rest of the game.

“When I watch him putt he visibly has the yips. There is a tremor in the short putts.His hands were shaking in the Ryder Cup. He has missed more short putts than anyone on tour”.

I think there is a vulnerability in the way Spieth starts his putts as shown in this clip, the way he moves the putter away from the line before he makes the putt, it’s a nervy move.

After missing the cut by one shot – he had rounds of 73,66 – he admitted on Friday ” I put a really bad stroke on a par putt on 6 today. I had been thinking about my stroke on every putt I had hit from yesterday until that hole. I just told myself to point and shoot and stop thinking”.

Spieth, who married fiance Annie Verret on November 24 last year, took time off for a long honeymoon and said “I knew coming in that my game was off and I needed to kind of fine tune. I’m in a good space given what happened”. Spieth’s putting statistics for last season were tied 123rd.

Having seen a professional golfer – Bernhard Langer – play through one of the worst cases of the yips imaginable in the 1980s, it was painful to watch but he survived to go onto huge, and long sustained success. No doubt Jordan Spieth’s mentor, in my opinion the best putter of all time, Ben Crenshaw, will be on hand to help him overcome this.

 

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