The "yips": a focal dystonia of golfers

K D McDaniel, J L Cummings, S Shain
Neurology 1989, 39 (2): 192-5
The "yips" is an involuntary motor disturbance affecting golfers. A 69-item questionnaire was constructed and distributed to 1,050 professional and amateur golfers in an effort to define and characterize this syndrome. Of the male golfers there was a 42% response rate and 28% reported suffering from the yips. The disorder was described most frequently as jerks, tremors, and spasms affecting the preferred arm distally and primarily during putting. When compared with unaffected golfers, afflicted golfers were significantly older and had more cumulative years of golfing. In 24%, activities other than golfing were affected and 25% reported involvement of body regions beyond the arms. These data support the hypothesis that the yips represents a focal dystonia and shares many features with other occupational dystonias.

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