2020 PGA champ Collin Morikawa and longtime coach Rick Sessinghaus officially reunited … and it feels so good

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Reunited and it feels so good.

Like the classic Peaches & Herbs song, Collin Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Championship winner, has resumed working with longtime instructor Rick Sessinghaus again.

“It’s like having your old friend back,” Morikawa said. “There’s a sense of comfort. When you have that and you can take a deep breath and know everything is going to be all right, it’s like, yeah, this is right.”

Morikawa parted ways with his childhood coach of 18 years after the Ryder Cup in September and began working with noted instructor Mark Blackburn, whose students include Max Homa. While Morikawa won the Zozo Championship in October in his first start since working with Blackburn and credits him with imparting useful knowledge on the golf swing, he began to feel as lost as he’s ever felt with his swing.

“It was very frustrating because I knew where my game was at and it wasn’t anywhere near where I needed it to be. Mentally, it was so frustrating to be on the golf course. I was trying to see the one shot that I’ve seen for like eight years and it just wasn’t happening,” he explained.

Morikawa said he needed to go down this path. He mused that golfers are always searching, always trying to get better. But what he discovered was he doesn’t need to search for something new.

“My game fits the type who plays with what you’ve got and you figure it out and you’ve got to be ready by Thursday. That’s something Rick was always good at,” Morikawa said. “No matter how I was playing, I had a shot and something to key on. That mindset was something nice to go back to.”

He gave notice to Blackburn after the Players Championship and struggled mightily at the Valero Texas Open. He reached out to Sessinghaus, and they began talking again on an informal basis.

2024 RBC Heritage
2024 RBC Heritage

Collin Morikawa reacts on the 18th hole after finishing the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 19, 2024 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

“He’s been amazing and he’s one of the best people I know. We started with him just wanting to help me out. We talked a bunch through that stretch of Masters and RBC,” said Morikawa, who finished T-3 at the Masters, ninth at the RBC Heritage and 16th at the Wells Fargo Championship last week. “He reassured me that these are the pieces that have worked and this is what we are going to do.”

Morikawa described it as “a full reset,” something he wasn’t in favor of doing late last year as his trusty fade became a little less reliable.

“In the past it was always working, right, but I got to a point where it wasn’t. Instead of just taking five steps back and starting from a place where we have started before, I wanted to take two steps forward and find something new. Sometimes that works, sometimes it works for a lot of guys. For me, I know that five steps back my game is good enough to compete out here and be in contention. That’s what I need,” Morikawa said.

Sessinghaus won’t be at the PGA Championship this week due to a prior commitment but is planning to catch up with Morikawa at the Memorial ahead of the U.S. Open. Morikawa said he’s got a good handle on his swing at the moment and he also learned an important lesson.

“It’s hard to replace someone you’ve worked with for 18 years,” he said.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek