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    Mayo Clinic Minute: Are the yips just nerves or something more?

Almost every golfer has experienced it. You're lined up on the green for that perfect putt, when an easy tap-in shot is foiled by a mysterious twitch. Golfers refer to it as "the yips." And researchers at Mayo Clinic believe they've found a neurological cause to explain some instances.

Jason Howland has more in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Drive for show. Putt for dough. But when lining up that winning shot, it can be a golfer's greatest fear: a sudden case of the yips.

"The yips is a description given by people who golf of a twitch, or a jerk or involuntary movement when usually putting," says Dr. Charles Adler, a Mayo Clinic neurologist.

In many cases, the yips is thought to be psychological. A golfer under pressure experiencing performance anxiety is usually par for the course. But there are others that likely have a neurologic problem.

"We call it 'dystonia' or 'tremor.' It's an involuntary movement disorder," says Dr. Adler. "So only when performing a golf movement, such as moving the putter, does the involuntary movement come out."

Dr. Adler is teeing up the topic as lead author of a Mayo Clinic study on the yips, which could offer athletes improved treatment options.

"It's our belief that treatment is going to be different for people who have a neurologic cause and a nonneurologic cause."

Dr. Adler says more research is needed with the hope of finding specific treatment options to overcome the yips. And that would be a hole in one for every golfer on the green.