Dr. Mo Pickens is a sports performance psychologist who has helped his players win a combined 29 PGA Tour victories, 300 amateur wins, and 2 NCAA Championships. Dr. Pickens received his Ph.D. in sport psychology from the University of Virginia in 1995, and went on to author multiple books including, “The Winning Way in Golf and Life.” Currently, Dr. Mo resides in Sea Island, Georgia and works full time as a performance psychologist.
Dr. Mo had many cool insights, but one of them that we had not really heard before was playing different tees throughout the course of a round. The rationale is that when you play your home course consistently, you learn the correct strategy easily and never have to make any decisions. By moving up tees, you have to think through your process. Furthermore, if you play the same tees you know what score you should shoot and can play down to that level.
Dr. Mo started working with Zach Johnson and helped make a few cool changes. First, he helped him organize his pre-shot routine. Zach had a habit of telling the wind to his caddy while walking into his shot, which meant that his caddy had to respond and Zach would still be planning out the shot while over the ball. Dr. Mo pointed that out and helped him make sure he took care of that prior. Second, before the 2007 Masters, Dr. Mo helped Zach develop a framework for whether he was going to go for a par 5 in two at Augusta. Zach never went for it because he never had the right lie/distance in that framework, and he went on to win.
For more information, listen to the episode here https://rss.com/podcasts/thetournamentcode/