Coach Camp 2016

I am so excited to get the word out about this coaching event! For professional coaches and teachers only, Coach Camp 2016 will take place at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, South Carolina on February 22 and 23, 2016. This will be two days of industry leading coaching information designed to positively enhance the course of your career.

The event is being sponsored by True Spec Golf, an innovative custom club-fitting operation that all golf coaches should know about and SwingCatalyst, the premier balance plate and 3D motion plate company in the game today.

Each presenter will be given an opportunity to discuss a topic of their choosing and there will be "panel" style discussions on wedges, driving, how to grow your business and even a lesson where each featured coach will share their thoughts on improving the same golfer. Something different and interesting!

Dinner on the 22nd is going to be special as Dr. Morris Pickens will share a few of his experiences being with Zach Johnson at the Open Championship at St. Andrews earlier this year.

Please be aware that this event is only open to 55 participants. For full details or if you'd like to register go to

If you have any questions or would like to discuss sponsorship details please contact us HERE

I'm so looking forward to it and I sincerely hope you can attend!

What Makes You Golf Happy?

What type of shot do you need to hit to be happy? Or even satisfied? Many golfers, as they strive to improve correctly set their standards high. However, these high standards will eventually corrupt their mental approach as they can only be satisfied with a perfect shot followed by a perfect outcome. They only accept perfection! Not a recipe for cultivating a positive attitude.

Having read about Hunter Mahan's change in attitude over the past few months that culminated in his victory yesterday over world number two Rory McIlroy at the WGC Accenture Match Play, I thought today would be an opportune time to share an approach I recently learned from Dr. Morris Pickens.

During the course of a round, any shot you play can only have one of four outcomes: a good shot with a good result; a good shot with a poor result; a poor shot with a good result; or a poor shot with a poor result. Four possible combinations! How many of these four cause a negative reaction from you?

The above chart illustrates the four possible combinations.  We can all deal with quadrant 1 and we should be upset with quadrant 4, but how do you respond to quadrants 2 and 3?  When playing golf we all prepare and work toward good shots and good results, yet we know that will never always be the case.  In fact, there has never been a round of golf played where every shot and result has been good.  We will always encounter adversity at some point and need to be accepting of certain results that are less than perfect.  A perfectionist only accepts one option - that quickly leads to frustration and one unhappy and disgruntled golfer.

I am not advocating that as golfers we should never get upset - quadrant 4 will take care of that.  I do believe however, that with a better understanding of the big picture, we must learn to accept less than stellar shots that work out (quadrant 3) and good shots that don't (quadrant 2) as part of the game that we play.  When you can do that you are growing and improving, as a golfer.

An Interview with Dr. Mo

Morris Pickens, or Dr. Mo as he is most often called, has quietly become the "guru" of golf-focused sports psychologists.  When you look at him or spend time with him he is just a regular guy from Orangeburg, S.C., who loves college football almost more than golf.  What you wouldn't realize is that Dr. Mo is one win away from completing the mind coach Grand Slam - his students have won the Masters, the US Open and the Open Championship in recent years and with the young stable of players he is currently advising the PGA Championship could be added sooner rather than later. He currently works with Nick Watney, Lucas Glover, Zach Johnson, Kyle Stanley, Jonathan Byrd, Stewart Cink, Will McGirt and Justin Leonard.

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with Dr. Mo on a golf trip and asked him a few questions about his philosophy and what he works on with the various tour players....

What's the best advice you could give the average golfer?

Practice the game how it is played. There are scoring clubs and there are advancing clubs (irons). The scoring clubs are the driver, the wedges and the putter - focus on getting better with those when you practice.

Would you say something different to a young, aspiring golfer?

I would always encourage them to key in on the scoring clubs, but do this in more of a competitive environment. Have closest to the hole and up and down contests or see who can hit the straightest drive on the course. Basically, find players who are good and challenge them with the scoring clubs.

What are the biggest mistakes you see golfers make?

Golfers very often rely too heavily on technique or lessons. They seem to think that the "right swing" or a golf guru will turn their game around instead of realizing that working hard on the important aspects of getting the ball in the hole is what will really make a difference to their game.

You are big on scoring. How do you get your players to practice, and ultimately get better, with the scoring clubs?

I like to have them play a few games that isolate the scoring clubs. My favorite is a game called Drive and Five: You play seven holes - so play a nine and skip the par threes. You hit two tee shots off each tee box, pick them up and then advance closer to the green where you finish out one ball from anywhere between 40 and 120 yards and another from somewhere around the green. Par is five for each hole and you keep track of how many shots it takes you to get the two balls into the hole. The catch is that you add one stroke for each ball that finds the rough off the tee and two strokes for each ball that finishes in a hazard, bunker or trees. A tee shot in the fairway adds nothing to your score. Par is 35 strokes and that's really hard to do. Zach Johnson once scored 30 - that's really amazing! This game really illustrates how you're doing with the scoring clubs and takes just over an hour to do.

I also like Wedge Worst Ball: Here par is three you go on the course and play two balls into each green from anywhere between 60 - 90 yards out. You select the shot that's furthest from the hole and play out from there, but make sure you select the worst putt too. It's almost like a scramble in reverse - if you have a four footer you need to make it twice!

How much time do these top golfers dedicate to their putting each week?

In the off season I would say 4-5 hours a week and during the season it's more like two hours per week. That doesn't include pre round warm ups or post round practice sessions.

When Zach Johnson won the Masters in 2007 legend has it that he planned to lay up on all the par fives for the week. Was that really the case?

No. We had devised a checklist that he had to go through before attempting to hit any par five in two that week. The points on the check list were as follows: He had to have less than a 3 iron to reach the green; he had to have a good lie; he had to have a level stance and the pin had to be in an accessible location. On Sunday he had 209 yards into the 13th green with 190 to carry the water which would be a comfortable 4 iron for Zach. The shot had a hanging lie which meant it did not meet the required criteria so he layed up and made birdie with his scoring clubs.

This is fantastic information that I know we can all benefit from. I have been around sports psychologists before and I found it interesting how Dr. Mo seemed to help golfers with a game plan - he provides them with a formula for practice and play that points them in the direction of improved performance and lower scores. If you would like to look Dr. Mo up check out his website. He has also written a very helpful book series Learn to Win....check it out too.

Anyone up for a game of Drive and Five before dinner?