The Dutch Yips Study: Results of a Survey Among Golfers

Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y). 2021 Jul 8:11:27. doi: 10.5334/tohm.636. eCollection 2021.


Background: The yips in golf is currently regarded as a task-specific movement disorder, with variable phenomenology and of unclear etiology. There is some overlap with task-specific dystonia (TSD), which has also been reported in other sports. The objective was to further characterize the yips in terms of its prevalence and related factors.

Methods: Recreational golfers from one of the larger golf clubs in the Netherlands aged 18 years or older, filled in an anonymous, web-based questionnaire with items on demographic, medical and lifestyle factors, specific yips-relevant items, as well as fanaticism, familial presence of yips, obsessive-compulsive traits, and a dystonia questionnaire.

Results: In total, 234 golfers (26%) completed the questionnaire, among whom 52 (22%, 95% CI: 17-28%) reported to suffer from the yips. In comparison to their non-yips counterparts, the yips group was characterized by a larger proportion of men, more current or past smoking, better golf skills, longer history of playing golf, and more familial yips occurrence.

Discussion: Golfer's self-reported yips may be very frequent in a group of responding amateur golfers and associated factors seems to include male gender, current or past smoking, extensive golf experience and skills, and a positive family history of the yips. Further work to better understand the origin and nature of the yips is needed.

Keywords: golf; prevalence; sports; task-specific dystonia; yips.

MeSH terms

  • Dystonia*
  • Dystonic Disorders*
  • Golf*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grants and funding

E. van Wensen: Nassau Golf & TIG Sports sponsored the Dutch Yips Study and he received support for attending the 4th International congress on treatment of dystonia/2nd International conference on Sports Dystonia from Ipsen in 2019. H.J. van der Zaag-Loonen: The author declares that there are no disclosures to report. B.P. van de Warrenburg: receives research support from Radboud university medical centre, ZonMW, Gossweiler foundation, Hersenstichting, and uniQure.