‘Sufficiently embarrassed’: Chipping yips afflict Golf Channel analyst live on air

johnson wagner stands in front of green at PGA Championship and succumbs to the yips

During a segment of Golf Channel's Live From at the PGA Championship, Johnson Wagner encountered an embarrassing case of the yips.

Golf Channel

The addition of Johnson Wagner to the NBC/Golf Channel team has been a breath of fresh air for the network’s broadcast. Not only does the three-time Tour winner provide excellent analysis sourced from his playing days, he’s also become a Golf Twitter celebrity in the process.

If there’s a dramatic or controversial moment during play, Golf Channel producers have taken to sending Wagner out to recreate the scene after the fact. Not sure where a ball crossed the penalty line? Wagner will go out and throw balls at the bank to see where they bound. Curious how a star got a favorable drop from the trees? Wagner will thrash through the shrubbery to find out. In an era of rapid innovation in golf broadcasting, Wagner’s segments have become a fan favorite.

After Round 1 of the PGA Championship, Wagner was sent to perform his usual shtick.

Xander Schauffele fired the round of the day with a bogey-free 62 and Golf Channel producers were eager to highlight his round during their “Live From” broadcast following play. Schauffele nearly drove the green of the short par-4 4th hole before hitting a nippy pitch to tap-in range for an easy birdie. Naturally, Wagner was sent to find the exact spot the 18-hole leader had played from to recreate the shot.

“Thought we’d have a little fun, hit this shot,” Wagner said. “Selfishly, I wish he’d hit it in the first cut over here, or the rough or a bunker. I’ve got a little bit of chipping yips going on from tight fairways.”

It turns out he wasn’t kidding. On his first attempt, Wagner caught too much of the Zoysia turf and advanced the ball just a few yards in front of him. With his second shot, he sent the ball screaming across the green.

“Well, you’ve just seen why I have the chipping yips,” Wagner said. “I’ve got a chunk and I’ve got a skull.”

Wagner’s colleagues back on the “Live From” set could hardly contain their amusement with the situation. As Wagner attempted to continue talking through the Schauffele shot, there were plenty of giggles coming from the set.

Credit to Wagner, he kept his composure and continued his segment without skipping a beat. Then, he tried to hit yet another pitch onto the green.

“My hands are shaking,” Wagner said.

You can guess what happened next.

“Alright, I’m done,” he said. “Y’all have a great show. I’ve sufficiently embarrassed myself.”

Those who’ve experienced this yips can surely sympathize with Wagner’s plight. And for those who haven’t … just pray that the ailment never afflicts you.

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.

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