Richard “Dick” Howell Coop, one of the first sports psychologists to work with PGA Tour pros and who helped some of the biggest names in the sport, died on Dec. 29 after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 81.
“Dr. C,” as he was affectionately called, served as a professor of educational psychology at the University of North Carolina School of Education for 30 years until retiring in 1999. He was the author of several golf books, the first of which was titled The New Golf Mind in 1978 with Gary Wiren, and he went on to write numerous articles and books on the mental aspects of golf, including Mind Over Golf with Bill Fields in 1993.
“Dr. Coop helped me relax and let my swing take over,” Stewart wrote in the foreword to the latter book. “He encouraged me to develop a consistent pre-shot routine and use it whether it’s my first swing on Thursday morning or the last one on Sunday afternoon, when the pressure of competition is at its greatest.”
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