Somax Performance Institute Director Named Among Top Golf Innovators for Yips Discovery

Revolutionary analysis of golf yips showing cause is physical, not mental, earned him 5th spot of top 9 innovators

Tiburon, CA (PRWEB) October 18, 2012

Somax Performance Institute (web, the world leader in analyzing and improving golf swing mechanics, is proud to announce that Director Bob Prichard has been named by Private Clubs magazine as #5 of the top 9 innovators in golf for his discovery that the golf yips are caused by fighting centrifugal force with the driver and are not really a mental problem as previously thought.

The article can be seen at

"I was interested to see why many of the great ball strikers like Snead, Hogan, and Trevino found their careers ended by the yips," says Bob Prichard. "I wondered if there was some commonality in their swings that might give us a clue to the origins of this terrible disorder where the muscles of the forearms spasm during putting or swinging the club, forcing the golfer to mishit the ball. Many hours of careful frame-by-frame measurement of their swing mechanics over several months showed me that the only thing they had in common was that they fought centrifugal force with their driver."

Adapting to Centrifugal Force

During the downswing, the driver is traveling around 100 mph and is pulling away from the golfer with 100 lbs of force, the same amount of force we experience on our arms when we try to lift a 100 lb sack of cement, only for a much briefer time. Most golfers wisely adapt by allowing this centrifugal force to straighten their arms and club into a straight line.

But as the arms and club straighten prior to impact, the distance from the shoulders to the club head increases about 7 inches compared to the distance at address. This forces the golfer to stand up during the downswing in order to make contact with the ball. Because they can't see how many degrees they need to stand up, golfers have to hit thousands of golf balls to 'groove' their swing—and even then mishit the ball at the most critical moment.

Snead, Hogan and Trevino determined they could make better ball contact by not allowing their arms and club to straighten, effectively returning their hands and club to the exact same position at impact as they were at address.

Restraining The Driver Causes the Yips

While this adaptation was successful, and is unfortunately taught to many golfers today, it required tremendous forearm muscle contraction and grip pressure in order to resist 100 lbs of centrifugal force. These successful golfers used their technique not only while playing, but also while hitting thousands of golf balls at the range. By over-using their small forearm muscles to fight 100 lbs of centrifugal force, they tore many of the tens of thousands of tiny muscle fibers that make up each forearm muscle. As these fibers repaired, they became bigger and stronger.

Unfortunately microfibers, a mild type of scar tissue, also formed in the connective tissue between their muscles as part of the healing process. These microfibers not only did not go away after the muscles repaired, they actually increased over time, making the forearms stiffer with age.

In addition to physically binding adjacent connective tissue membranes together, microfibers also bind tension into place. When these famous golfers tried gripping their putter very lightly, their stiff, tense forearm muscles went into spasm, forcing them to 'yip' their putts.

"The gradual accumulation of tension and microfibers in the forearms" says Prichard, "is the main reason golfers get the yips. By releasing these microfibers, our golfers have greatly improved their putting. They report that they have a much softer grip on their putter, have a better feel of the putter face, and can more reliably strike the ball with the center of the putter face."

The Third Way

"There is a third, more successful and safer way of dealing with centrifugal force during the downswing, one which we teach our golfers," says Prichard. "By having our golfers extend their hands until their arms and club are in a straight line at address, they can allow centrifugal force extend their arms and hands, safe in the knowledge that their hands and club will be in the exact same position at impact as they were at address—but without the need to over-exert grip pressure. The result is that many of our golfers improve their percentage of fairways hit from 50-60% to 90% and more. In addition, they reduce their chances of ever getting the yips."

by Bob Prichard
About Somax Performance Institute

Since 1970, the Somax Performance Institute has helped athletes of all ages improve their performance by improving their efficiency. Its 17 Olympic athletes have won 44 Gold Medals and have set 11 World Records. Their pro golfers have won the US Open as a rookie, improved their putting from #113 to #1, quadrupled their tour income and increased their longest drive from 295 to 400. Tennis players have added 20 mph and more to their ground strokes and serve. Their baseball players have increased their salary from $500,000 to $1.75 million after increasing their bases stolen, increased their long ball from 400 to 480, increased their velocity and strikes thrown, and reduced their 40-yard time from 4.9 to 4.27 seconds.


Bob Prichard
Somax Performance Institute
Email bprichard(at)somaxsports(dot)com
Tel. +1-415-435-9880