Thanks to reader James for Bloomberg's Michael Buteau report on the exciting news that the yips may have a medical cure: Botox.
Well, news might be a stretch. Let's rephrase that: interesting information gleaned from a drug company study. The same drug company that wants to sell their stuff:
The study is the first to include analysis of brainwaves and muscle activity in hands and wrists, Adler said. Researchers monitored 50 golfers, 25 of them yippers and 25 non-yippers.
It was financed by a $193,000 grant from Allergan Inc., of Irvine, California. Botox is Allergan's biggest product, with $1.2 billion in sales last year. The drug is best known for reducing skin wrinkles and also is used to treat muscle cramping in musicians and Parkinson's disease.
The yips, commonly described as an involuntary movement, or jerking, of the putter before striking a golf ball, have long been thought to be caused by anxiety or stress.
``Your brain is sending you a message and your body just kind of backfires,'' said Louise Simpson, 50, of Tempe, Arizona, who took part in the study.
And now the body will send a message that because you don't have those forehead wrinkles anymore, you can make this three footer? Oh, sorry...
If the study shows yips are primarily caused by muscle cramping, Adler said the condition could be treated with small injections of Botox. The drug isn't considered performance- enhancing and isn't banned under golf's new subtance policy, said U.S. PGA Tour Executive Vice President Ty Votaw.
Meanwhile, noted yipper Doug Sanders isn't so sure...
Sanders, 75, who missed the British Open putt, says he knows one proven cure: ``It's called vodka tonic.'' Alternatively, he says, ``Sometimes if you have three or four beers, it really helps a lot.''The movement disorder. Now there's a euphemism for yips!
Alcohol can be a short-lived treatment, Adler says. Yips sufferers can become tolerant of the drink and will eventually need more to get the same effect. Over time, the movement disorder often gets worse, he said.