Dick Coop

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Dick Coop

Introduction

Welcome to my view of the world of golf. I am excited that GolfLink.com has provided the facilities for me to communicate with golfers around the world. I have already written two books on the psychology of golf "The New Golf Mind" and "Mind Over Golf" as well as audio tape/workbook series "Golfing Out of Your Mind" but by the time books are written and published, there is often an 18 month lag time before they are in the hands of readers. GolfLink.com will allow both instantaneous as well as interactive opportunities for me to teach golfers about the psychology of learning and playing golf.

I became fascinated with the psychology of sport at an early age because my father coached basketball, football and baseball in a small town in Kentucky. I started attending games at the tender age of four months and spent many long hours watching my father's teams practice and compete. He is an outstanding coach who understood psychology from an intuitive point of view rather than an academic perspective. I played basketball and baseball at the high school level and was a relief pitcher in college. My interest in the psychological aspects of sport was heightened because every time I entered a game as a relief pitcher, there was a crisis situation awaiting me. I essentially studied my own emotional reactions to these stress situations and learned a great deal about stress and tension during competition. In graduate school at Indiana University I roomed with a PGA Teaching Professional who was working on a Ph.D. in Physical Education. I volunteered to tutor him in statistics if he would teach me to play golf. As I learned to play golf, I began to apply all of the content I was learning in my educational psychology courses to the game. At that time, there were no formal programs in sport psychology so I began to put together courses from different perspectives to develop this specialty area of my own.

After graduation, I joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I stated working with the golf team in 1975 and with the other athletic teams in 1983. One of the more interesting athletes who took up the game of golf shortly before his last year in school was a guy named Jordan. I enjoyed several golfing trips to Pinehurst with Michael as he started to get very serious about learning the game.

In 1985, I began working with Ben Crenshaw and other tour players. After that, word of mouth lead to working with a number of other tour players. I have learned something from every player with whom I have worked. Have also been very fortunate to have been associated with a number of outstanding teaching professionals many of who are on the staff of GolfLink.com. In teaching with these true professionals in golf schools or doing seminars with them at PGA sponsored educational activities, I got a wonderful education in the golf swing and how the game should be played.

Over the years, I have learned that great psychology cannot overcome poor physics on the golf course. But, then again, even the great ball strikers need to master the psychology of the game. In my view, there is room for both physics and psychology and GolfLink.com provides us the opportunity to integrate these two essential pieces of this great game of golf.

Best Regards,

Dr. Richard Coop

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