What do Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover & Zach Johnson have in common?

Quick Question for you.

What do Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover & Zach Johnson have
in common?

The answer is Dr Morris Pickens.

He was responsible for getting their mind games in shape prior to winning a Major Championship!

Infact he has provided sports psychology consulting for many PGA, LPGA, Nationwide, and Champions Tour players over the years.

Thus I am sure you will agree there is MUCH to be learnt from someone who has taught 3 major champions.

It was therefore a honour recently to hear Dr Morris Pickens speak during an interview for Golf Inside Circle.

The following golden nugget of advice really got me thinking about how I personally spend my time at the driving range and how it isn’t helping my scoring.

Like me you may only get a couple of hours in the week to practice – if that!

If we are not careful, we can end up down the range hitting shots with our driver and picking other clubs at random to hit.

Dr Morris Pickens points out that this approach simply won’t help my scoring.

He draws my attention to this one important fact.

“If you look at how the game is played this doesn’t constitute enough of the actual scoring on the golf course.

Basically when you look at it, most players only hit about 20% of all their shots, whether they are a 30 handicap or whether they are a tour player, with a 9 iron to a 3 wood off the ground.

80% off your shots hit are going to be either hit off the tee, so that would be your driver or 3 wood, with your wedges or with your putter.

So you have to understand those 5 clubs are different from the other 9 clubs

Those are you scoring clubs, namely your driver, your wedges
and putter.

So the other 9 clubs are kind of “advance the ball without hurting
yourself” clubs.

So if you consider you have 2 nights a week to practice, your time
is better spent working one hour on your driver and wedges.

And the other hour spent on your chipping and putting.

This way you are more likely to get better in the scoring areas.

Take for a second the concept of “scorecard golf”:

Nobody ever plays “scorecard golf” but if you look at your game like this it will help explain the principle of working in the scoring areas even further.


There are 36 putts in a round, so that’s 36 shots.

Then there are 14 tee balls, so that makes a total of 50 shots.

Then there are 4 par 5s where you can’t reach in 2 or either you go for them in 2 and you miss the green. So let’s just say you have 4 wedges into par 5s in one form or fashion.

That’s 54 shots

Then you miss 6 greens and have to chip, so that’s 6 more shots.

So that’s 60 shots in total.

And you still haven’t hit any irons out of the fairway yet!

So what you have to realise is that they you have already hit 60 shots out of however many you are going to take, say 70, 80 or 90 shots and you still haven’t hit any irons yet.

So when you start to understand this, you can really make progress in terms of how you approach practice and where you need to spend time and how you can improve your scoring.”

Tell me this.

Do you ever have the tendency to get on the range and think to yourself a thought like this.

“I just can’t hit that 3 iron (or say another mid to long iron), I need to throw in some practice there.”

I do and Dr Morris Pickens agrees saying:

“This is a natural inclination because you have more irons in your bag and you might feel you should be better at these.

But in actual reality you will never get the return on that investment!

Imagine spending hours and hours trying to improve your accuracy with
a 5 or 7 iron from say 50 feet on average to 30 to 25 feet.

You will do much better spending your time on your putting making
sure you can 2 putt the 50 footer and occasionally make that 30 or
25 footer.

That’s going to give you a much better return, instead of trying to
improve your 5 iron because quite simply you don’t hit it enough
to make that big a difference.”

That’s stellar advice and really something to take on board.

If you would like to hear more from this interview please head over to this page where you can receive a free CD copy and album.

Additonally I highly recommend Dr Morris Pickens’ new book:

“Learn To Win”

You can grab a copy here.

Good luck and play well.

4 Responses to “What do Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover & Zach Johnson have in common?”

  1. Daniel says:

    Hi Andy,

    I don’t normally ever write to people who send out promotional material. However this article is out of the top drawer.

    I showed it to my Pro and he agrees. In fact my Pro wants me to play a round using JUST one club. Probably in my case a five wood, as I hit it better than anything in my bag.

    I Practiced putting with it. Guess what, I can get it really close, it’s much easier to putt with than I thought. So I will try the one rounder, and follow the advise in your article. He said to me you will be amazed at what you score. You won’t be that many off your normal score.

    In fact it looks to me as a 16 H/Cap hacker, you really need less than half the clubs that we all carry ?

    Keep up the good work.



  2. Beryl says:

    This is such a good way of looking at things, Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. alan says:

    So correct, actually, when hyou look at those 36 putts, you can easily see where to spend your time. Tracking # of putts, and working on speed will drop anyone’s score….try it.

  4. Larry Quah says:

    Absolutely correct, Andy. Thanks once again for sharing and have a blessed and great Christmas!

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