Dad's Visitation & Funeral Service

I’m not sure how to start a post like this…so, here goes.

The short story is that my Dad Joe passed away in his sleep last night.

As for the slightly longer version…

Many of you know that since 2006’ish he’s had 3 primary battles with multiple myeloma which, for those that don’t know, is a cancer of plasma cells. Fortunately, over time the health care revolving around myeloma has improved during those years and he’s managed to find his way back to a state of remission each time.

However, each round certainly took its toll on him.

During his healthy adult life, he was 6’4” and generally ranged around 200-210, less in summer and more in winter. Lately, he’d been down in the 150’s and I think even the high 140’s. As you can imagine, that’s skin and bones for someone of that height.

In mid-January, he was working in his shop, went to sit down on the shop stool, slightly missed the stool, didn’t have the muscle any longer to catch himself, fell, and broke his hip. The hip surgery went seemingly well until his blood pressure dropped in rehab. After a few weeks of ups and downs in intensive care trying to locate the source of the sepsis (when the body basically attacks itself trying to deal with an infection) and dealing with a laundry list of various problems/complications, he took a turn and the doctor’s recommended transitioning him to the comfort of hospice this past week, where he stayed for about 4 days until finally passing Sunday evening during his sleep at 9:38 pm.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic-related hospital protocols, in the past few weeks my brother Aaron and I were fortunately both able to get some quality phone/visit time with him, along with my mom, plus his two brothers and two sisters.

Today has been a rough day all-around for the family with sorting out logistics amidst low sleep and dealing with our own individual emotions, but my supportive wife Jen has kindly put together the included flyer with details about the visitation and funeral, for those that are interested in going or sending regards.

The photo in the flyer is from 2013. Dad was several months out recovering from his 2nd bout with myeloma. He managed to recover strongly enough to fly out to Bandon Dunes in Oregon and watch me compete in the Speedgolf World Championships. Of course, I wanted to play well for him and tried too hard during the 1st round, but then he helped me relax for the 2nd round and I subsequently managed to tie the championship record for golf score. He was always there for me like that with my sports.

If you’ve got any photos of my Dad that you’d like us to share during the services, please send them to me and I’ll try to make sure they get included.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and words. I always try to respond to everyone that reaches out to me, but if I’m slow or don’t get to it right away, hopefully you’ll understand.

Joe Bowden's Visitation & Funeral Service Information

Helicopter Tour of Detroit

My wife Jennifer Giroux's birthday is on August 30th and our wedding anniversary is on September 1st. So, to celebrate, we decided to do the 1 Hour Metro Detroit Tour using Max Flight Helicopter Services.

I had previously been on a couple helicopter rides before in St. Louis and Tennessee (if I recall correctly). However, this was Jen's first ride.

  • We took off from Gross Ile around 11:30am, rode up the Detroit River, saw the Ford Dearborn Truck Factory, Rouge Steel plant, and River Rouge industrial areas.
  • We circled around our neighborhood of Hubbard Richard next to the Ambassador Bridge (Bridge to Canada), Michigan Central Station, and St. Anne's Church.
  • We did a lap around Downtown Detroit seeing Ford Field, Comerica Park, Motor City Casino, Little Caesar's Arena, and the Renaissance Center.
  • We flew over Belle Isle State Park, headed out to Grosse Pointe and Lake St. Clair, and then came back down inland a bit through Mid-Town and saw things like the old Packard Plant, Henry Ford Hospital, Fisher and Chrysler Buildings, etc...before landing again back down in Gross Ile.

We ended up in the air about 56 minutes, which we could've extended to an hour with a few more minutes of flying at the end around Gross Ile. However, I was nursing a little hangover and we decided to cut our ride off a little bit early.

Our pilot was very cool, made us feel comfortable, and was very knowledgeable about the area.

In our particular helicopter, a Robinson R-44 helicopter that costs around $600,000 to buy, there was room for 3 passengers plus the pilot.

It's a fun thing to do if you are interested!

Highly recommended!

The Stadium Club at Detroit Athletic Club

What a lovely view of Comerica Park from The Stadium Club at the top of Detroit Athletic Club.

The view of Comerica Park at the Stadium Club on top of Detroit Athletic Club

There was quite a crowd there in anticipation of Miguel Cabrera hitting his 500th career home run. He was 0-4, but did hit one to the warning track in the 9th inning.

What I Love About Playing Golf

There are so many things I love about playing the game of golf.

I love the nature. I grew up outside of St. Louis in small town Barnhart, Missouri on 33 acres of mostly wooded land. My Dad was a high school math teacher and my Mom taught middle school math, science, and art. We had a bunch of farm animals and our closest neighbors were over a quarter mile away, so my brother and I spent a lot of time by ourselves in nature growing up. Playing golf and seeing all the various animals on the course brings me back to those childhood memories.

I love the practice. When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do was practice sports. I would come home from school and one of the first things I’d do would be to go shoot free throws on the court my Dad built us. Or in the summer, I’d pitch buckets of baseballs from a homemade mound over a wooden home plate into a tarp draped over a chicken wire backstop with cedar posts. Today I still get that same type of satisfaction hitting tennis balls against a ball machine or in golf with hitting driving range balls or working on my short game. There’s something about practice that really grabs me and makes me lose track of time.

I love the solitude. I’m an introvert by nature and I recharge when I’m by myself. This serves me well in golf and also feeds into my love of practice because in order to be really good, you have to spend time alone just working on your game. So, when I practice alone, not only am I recharging my batteries, I’m also building skills as a player.

That being said, I do still like being around people. In fact, one of the other things I love about professional sports is the vibe of the crowd. I was fortunate enough to be in left field when Mark McGuire hit his then record 70th home run. Every single pitch, the entire stadium would light up with camera flashes and there was this anticipation in the air that exploded when that ball cleared the fence. I love the electricity of that atmosphere and respond to it when I’m in it as a player. Some of my best moments in sports and golf have come when the cameras are on and crowds are there watching. Golf gives me a chance to be around people and in that atmosphere, yet still be thriving by myself and doing my own thing.

Jaacob Bowden hits his tee shot on a Par 3 during British Open qualifying in England

I love the inner reflection. For me, golf is a very spiritual journey. I’ve worked with a mental coach for many years and I really enjoy shining the light inward and pulling apart the fears that come up in varying degrees for all of us as humans, whether that be a fear of success, a fear of failure, wanting to be liked or loved, being vulnerable in front of others, and more.

Jaacob Bowden watches the sunset in Jacksonville, Florida

I love the travel. Who knows where my life would have been had I not answered that call at the PGA Championship to leave my corporate job and pursue a golf career. But because I took that leap of faith, golf has since taken me around the world, from North America, to Europe, to Africa, to the Middle East, to Asia, and to Australia.

Jaacob Bowden plays the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai

I love the sunsets. I’ll play at any time of day, but my favorite time to play is late in the day and at dusk followed by taking in the sunset. I remember when I was in Alaska for a US Open Qualifier one May, dusk lasted what seemed like forever and you can play until after midnight if you want.

What do you love about playing the game?

How I Got In To Golf

The First Swings with Dad

My dad first introduced me to golf around high school.

He started by taking my brother Aaron and I to a local 9-hole golf course in House Springs, Missouri, a course which no longer exists, and we would play a few times a year with Dad's old persimmon clubs he got when he was in college.

After I started to take a greater interest, he then got me a box set from Wal-Mart and I played my junior year on our high school team.

On a good day, I’d break 50 for 9 holes. I remember in one of my first junior tournaments, I shot 118…a very nervous 70 on the front nine followed by a much calmer 48 on the back nine.

Mike Austin and the Guinness Book of World Records

Once I had a sense of golf, one particular thing that stood out to me when I used to read the Guinness Book of World Records for fun as a teenager was Mike Austin's 515-yard drive, which I'll circle back to at the end of this post.

An older Mike Austin holds a fairway wood

But briefly, Mike Austin, is the guy who at 64 years old in 1974 hit a Guinness World Record 515-yard drive during the US National Senior Open in Las Vegas.

To give you some perspective, the average amateur golfer hits drives in the 214 yards/drive range.

It was difficult for me to fathom how anyone could hit a ball like that at any age, particularly with 1970's golf equipment technology - an old steel shafted persimmon wood driver and balata ball.

The Bucket List and the 2001 PGA Championship

After college, I started working as a computer engineer in 1998. By that time, I had become a 14-handicap golfer (basically, an average amateur golfer) and had broken 80 once on the Walker Golf Course at Clemson University.

The Walker Course at Clemson University

But I knew the corporate world wasn’t going to be for me for the long term, so, in my spare time I started checking off things on my bucket list.

One of those things was to go to every major sports event at least once – for example, one Super Bowl, one NBA Finals, the tennis Grand Slams (which I’ve now been lucky enough to do), etc. One week when I was 25, I happened to be working in Atlanta training technicians on our proprietary software and the last day of training for the week on Friday got cancelled. With the extra time I then had, I bought myself a ticket to the 2001 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, the one David Toms won with the hole-in-one on the Par 3 15th hole.

Jaacob Bowden at the 2001 PGA Championship

If you’ve ever been to a major tour event, you know that the holes are roped off. Once the players pass, the marshals open the ropes and let the crowds pass across the hole. As it worked out, I was the only person at one of these crossings. As I got to the middle of the fairway, I had the view of a player being inside the ropes looking out at the galleries. At that moment, I felt like the sky got brighter, a veil was lifted, I felt warmer, and I first got the inspiration to pursue a career as a professional golfer.

Meeting Dan Shauger and Mike Austin

It took me about a year after that to muster up the strength and courage to quit the stability of my computer engineering job, but I finally did.

Unfortunately, the culture at my computer engineering got pretty bad due to the company getting sold and restructured multiple times. That ended up being a positive, though, because it helped give me the courage to make the leap.

I also had gotten to a place mentally where I didn't want to turn 40 and wonder if I could've made it had I only tried. Plus, unlike many other sports where players start retiring around 30, I figured with golf I would have time to get good. In fact, if one is healthy and motivated, one can be a competitive tournament golfer almost to "normal" retirement age.

At 27, I sold everything I owned, packed up what remained into my car, drove out west from Kansas City to California feeling an aliveness like never before, lived in a sleeping bag in a dirty garage for a year, and got up about every day and, literally through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, got myself good enough to turn pro and cash my first check 6 months later when I won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive.

Jaacob Bowden wins the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive

This progress was in part due to a serendipitous meeting I had when I first moved to California. About a month after I had moved out to Los Angeles, I was on the driving range on a really windy day. There was one other guy behind me practicing as well. All of a sudden, a huge gust of Santa Ana wind came up and I stumbled back into the space where he was hitting. I would have crashed into him if it not for the wind blowing him backwards as well. It got us chatting and we remarked on our dedication to practicing in such adverse weather.

That guy, the late Dan Shauger, had just retired from building movie and TV sets in Hollywood, was teaching golf in his retirement and was there that day at the course contemplating getting a membership so he could take a crack at the Senior Tour. He ended up being inspired by what I was doing, bought himself a membership so we could practice together, and he also offered to start teaching me pro bono. As it turns out, he was also great friends with an old pro named…you guessed it, Mike Austin.

Here I was, just starting my golf career, and I was getting to meet the very same Mike Austin that stood out to me all those years ago as I kid when I would read the Guinness Book of World Records.

Sometimes I wonder if those moments I remember vividly as a kid were a foreshadowing of destiny to come. Maybe it was just chance. I’m not sure. But it still amazes me how those dots somehow connected in such a surreal way.

My Best Sports

As a continuation of improving my life balance, I thought I'd write a post about my best sports.

Last year I thought about joining some type of recreational sports league again for the first time in probably 15 years. Playing sports and games pretty well were always something I enjoyed.

In fact, I would say playing sports are my greatest passion…but only certain types of sports, as you'll soon read.

In my 20s, I would work my computer engineering job during the day and then play a different sport almost every night of the week. I'd have a baseball league one night, play tennis another time, do a basketball league the next evening, etc. It was a lot of fun and I had kind of robbed myself of those days since starting my golf career at 27.

I started to think about bringing rec sports back in to my life again…and I also contemplated what my body was best suited for.

I'm 6'2" and typically weigh 205-230. I have 8-inch long hands and 12.5 EEE feet, and, proportionate to my body height I have a normal wingspan, a long torso, and shorter legs. I have and build strength easily (which makes sense because based on DNA testing I know I have genetic muscle composition commonly found in elite power athletes) and I prefer more shorter explosive types of things cardiovascularly (think sprints vs middle or distance running).

I also have quick hands and good hand eye coordination…and as part of my athleticism, I have really good spatial aptitude. Some day, I will design a hedge maze.

After extensive analysis, I found my avatar profile is basically the typical MLB baseball player. In fact, baseball was my first love and, even though I was cut from my baseball team as a sophomore in high school, I was lucky enough to go on and have a tryout with the Minnesota Twins at the old Metronome in Minneapolis. I'm probably past the days of having baseball be a career, although it could be fun to pick it up again as a hobby.

My body profile is also very close to an NHL defenseman. Hockey was never my thing, though. Although interestingly, my brother is perfectly suited for it, and I'm not surprised he played for Washington University. We are similarly built but he has longer arms than I do, which make him perfect for poking pucks out from the smaller forwards.

I'm also built like an NFL kicker. I think I could've been great at it but my parents thought football was too dangerous and I wasn't allowed to play in high school. I don't have any regrets about that though because I now realize I'm not one for contact sports. Even though the kicker might be the safest position on the field, getting tackled by someone that outweighs me by 100 pounds would've happened at some point and I'm sure I wouldn't like it.

Basketball was probably my 2nd love after baseball as a teenager and in my 20s. I had dreams of playing in the NBA and I was lucky enough to play a bit of NAIA Division II in college. I had a nice vertical leap that was above average for an NBA player, but I wasn't tall enough to do anything other than play point guard in the NBA, which wasn't really my bag. Basketball is also pretty dangerous. I partially tore my ACL in one knee from incidental contact when I was 17, I twisted and probably sprained an ankle from landing on someone's foot, I had tons of jammed fingers, and when I was 29 I got a concussion from someone intentionally elbowing me in the back of the head during a league game. Plus, as I realized in last summer's recreational league, basketball is just too rough for my liking. Playing in that league last summer actually gave me permission to let go of basketball as a passion/hobby/interest.

Powerlifting could make a lot of sense for me going forward. I've never really trained for it, but because of my body type and how quickly I build strength, I'm sure I could do well at it on a world level if I trained consistently for a couple years.

Table tennis could be a fun hobby with my hand quickness and hand-eye coordination. I even took a lesson with a ranked table tennis player last May.

My wife and I bought some very basic tennis racquets from Dick's Sporting Goods last year, which was really fun for me to pick up again. I went on to play in a singles league and got 2nd in my league (I believe out of 20 players). From an avatar standpoint, it would help if I had a wider swing span like my brother, but 6'2" is still long enough.

Unfortunately, while practicing for my league last summer, I got a little bit of tennis elbow from hitting too many serves one day and not stopping when I should've. That simple mistake took me 8 months to recover from and many acupuncture sessions. I've since also learned that my basic racquet had characteristics that contributed to the tennis elbow. So, once I learned that, I got a new custom built one that's geared towards elbow/arm safety and control…and it arrived today! It's a Prince Phantom 93P, 18x20, 4 5/8 grip, and 55 string tension. I'm looking forward to the courts reopening around DC and the spring league starting up again.

Regular golf makes a lot of sense too, particularly since I love nature/outdoors, the spirituality, the practice, the solitude, the sound of the galleries, and the part-time travel so much. Realizing this actually made me appreciate golf much more again. For a long time, I think I was putting too much pressure on myself to perform and make money at it, and it was taking some of the fun out of it…as well as hurting my performance. Going forward, I just need to relax a bit and remember to have fun and that I actually do really like playing, regardless of outcomes.

I haven't tried the World Long Drive Championships since 2007. I had left the sport because it seemed so much about ego. Regular golf suited my personality better in that sense. However, my body is built well for it, so perhaps I could take up training again and maybe bring something different to the sport.

Although I finished 5th at the Speedgolf World Championships and shot the championship record for golf score, I'm not sure I'll ever do speedgolf again. The golf part was fun and doing a casual 3-mile/5K, in which I can still have a conversation while I jog, is fine, but I don't like race-level mid or long distance running. It's torture, haha!

Speaking of running, there's track and field. I did long jump and triple jump junior year in high school. Now that I'm over 40, I'm eligible for the Master's Division in USATF events. Although I'm built for javelin, I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a place to learn and train for that…and I don't know if long jump and triple jump interest me again. But doing the 100m intrigues me. It requires strength and explosiveness and it's over before you know it. Plus, I think doing a weekly sprint could have good health benefits.

So, using some of this stay-at-home order and making some time for all this contemplation has been a definite positive. Coming out of COVID-19, I think I'm going to focus more energy in these areas, whether they be for career, fun, hobbies, recreation, etc.

  • Golf - The vision here is to play tournaments full time on the PGA TOUR. I think a load of 16 tournaments will suite me well. Want to to along for the ride with me? Learn about becoming a financial partner here.
  • Long Drive - I think I might give long drive a go again…but even if I decide not to compete, the extra speed, power, and distance will only help my golf game.
  • Track - 100m - I'm curious to know how well I could do at the USATF Championships in my age group. I've already joined a track club here in DC to start sprinting once a week when the tracks are open again.
  • Powerlifting - Powerlifting training doesn't take much time, I like lifting weighs, and it's only 3 lifts. The squat and deadlift will help with my golf and long drive…and also with coming out of the blocks in track. I'm built great for it, strength is a gift, and participating is a way for me to use and share that gift. So, why not train for a couple years and see where it takes me?
  • Tennis - Tennis is a lot of fun for me. I think playing/practicing once a week would be cool and I bet I could get pretty good. Regardless, simply the fun is enough reason to do it.

Eventually, I may join a baseball or table tennis league too…but for now the above 5 sports will keep me plenty busy!

And since this is about life balance too, I want to leave room for other things in my life as well!

Wheel of Life and Life Balance

One of the things I've been working on during the stay-at-home orders for the local DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area is taking some time to think about how my life can be more balanced.

It's previously come up through life coaching sessions and chatting with friends…and I instinctively knew my life was a little out of balance. For years I've focused on my career and professional life and I've long yearned for a break or sabbatical of some sorts. But really, I think I was just burning too much of the candle in the career category at the expense of other things in life.

So, in drawing out this wheel of life (Thanks, Laisa!) and looking over things, one tweak my wife Jen and I have decided to make is get rid of digital news and subscribe to our local Sunday paper. For us, living in Washington, that means the Washington Post. It's been about 3 weeks now and:

  • It's nice to have greater variety and headlines that have less click bait.
  • What we read is what everyone is reading and what we see isn't curated based on what we've clicked online.
  • The stories have had more time for fact-checking.
  • I've taken up doing the sudoku puzzles and it's been fun to check out the Comics section, something I haven't done since high school.
  • We feel less drained and overall it's been great.

Jen also repotted some plants and we got some Sonos speakers, both to improve our home environment.

Another thing we decided to do, in the contribution area of the wheel, was to pick six reputable charities (for example, those that put >75% of their money back in to the actual programs, like these) that we would feel great about supporting on a monthly auto-pay basis.

Personally, I'm not one to volunteer my time. It's just not me. That being said, I do like the idea of funneling money…and giving back and helping out in that way.

I ended up picking the following charities, in no particular order.

First of all, I wanted to go for a few medical related ones. I've had close family and people I know be personally affected by ALS, breast cancer, and myeloma. Thus, I started with the ALS Association, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Next, nature and our environment is something that is really important to me…and I really love parks. This lead me to the National Parks Foundation and The Conservation Fund.

Last, for my 6th one I decided to not opt for an actual charity, but rather make a difference in my community by contributing to and joining a political party, the Green Party.

Historically, I've always been an independent because both Republican and Democratic politicians as a collective haven't really served the American people as well as they could. And it isn't helpful that it's only those two parties that have all the power. I think we'd do much better with, say, five equally powerful parties that better covers the spectrum of society. Having only two in primary control, like we do now, makes things too oppositional, something which the 24-hour "news" cycle feeds on to manufacture and exacerbate controversy for their profit.

People typically think of the Green Party as being about the environment which, of course, it is. Addressing climate change, getting off fossil fuels, switching to renewable energy, and otherwise taking care of our planet are all important in my mind.

But as I looked in to them, their Four Pillars, and Ten Key Values, I realized they stood for much more than the environment and they really go for a lot of things that I think need to happen.

Stuff I believe, like:

  • Aside from being a peace advocate, I think we spend WAY too much on military and endless wars. In fact, it might be our downfall. There's been studies in to the rise and fall of previous empires that show that overextending on military spending is one cause for such downfalls.
  • Elections need to be publicly financed.
  • Gerrymandering needs to be eliminated.
  • Lobbying needs to be classified as bribery and made illegal.
  • We've gotten so far away from the days of the 1960s in which one income could provide for a family of four. Establishing a living wage based on your region (Example: your county) and tying that annually to inflation seems to make sense.
  • The middle class has dwindled in recent decades and a disproportionate amount of wealth has flowed from the lower and middle class to the extremely wealthy. An extreme wealth tax seems like a great idea…as does going back more in the direction of higher taxes on the mega wealthy.
  • Similarly, there is no reason anyone in the US should be bankrupted for medical reasons, something that almost happened to me when I was 29. Last I looked, the US ranked 37th in health care systems in the world. We need to adopt health care systems similar to that of other first world nations.
  • Our infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports, etc) needs to be repaired, updated, and modernized.
  • For-profit prisons have got to go.
  • Marijuana needs to be legalized.
  • And much more…

In any case, it's been nice to put a make some tweaks to our lives to better bring about life balance.

2020 Census

National Cherry Blossom Festival

The Only Prescription You Need Is More Cowbell

24 Holes At Golf & Country Club Zurich

24 holes at Golf & Country Club Zurich & a made eagle putt by Steve Thom is a nice way to wrap up this whirlwind golf trip.

Thanks André Bossert, the course reno is looking great! Good luck at the Swiss Seniors Open!

18 Holes at Golfclub Interlaken-Unterseen

Navigation legitimately taking us in circles, a fun golf outing of around 20 people, 3 bags of my Sterling Irons single length irons being played, shots being taken when birdies made, & a quick photo break on the Brienzersee at Hotel Chalet du Lac before heading back to base camp!

Jaacob Bowden at Golf Club Interlaken Unterseen in Interlaken, Switzerland

18 Holes at Schloss Langenstein - Der Country Club

143 mph ride on the German autobahn, 18 holes with friends in good weather, topped off with schnitzel! A fine day!

The clubhouse at Schloss Langenstein Der Country Club in Germany

18 Holes at Kingshill Golf Club

Already played 18 holes today at the British Open qualifier…but 18 more? Sure, why not!

18 Holes at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Great weather on the course today with Steve Thom and nearly my 4th career hole-in-one.

Steve Thom tries to decide how he's going to play out of a bunker at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Almost a hole in one at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club!

Never been to a golf club where knee high socks were required with shorts!

Jaacob Bowden pushes two Sterling Irons bags towards his ball in the rough at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

18 Hole at Prince's Golf Club

A few highlights of the fun round with Steve Thom at Prince's Golf Club…shorter swings keeping the ball under the wind, great bunker shots, etc.

Mine that was plugged in the wall of the bunker face we didn’t even think would come out, much less clear the lip and get close!

Par For 18 Holes At GolfClub Breitenloo

Slept about 45 minutes on the plane and went from baggage claim straight to the first tee but managed to still shoot par at Golfclub Breitenloo!

Jaacob Bowden watches his tee shot at GolfClub Breitenloo in Zurich, Switzerland

Two Sterling Irons golf bags over look a hole at Golf Club Breitenloo in Zurich, Switzerland

List of Golf Courses I've Played

***LAST UPDATED March 22nd, 2023***

Over Christmas, my Dad and I got to wondering what golf courses we've played.

I'm probably forgetting some, but here are the ones I can think of that I've played.

1.     Canberra International Golf Centre – Pitch & Putt
2.     Capital Public Golf Course
3.     Federal Golf Club
4.     BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas
5.     Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort
6.     Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort         
Czech Republic
7.     Nova Amerika Golf & Country Club
8.     Dubai Creek Golf & Yachy Club
9.     Emirates Golf Club – Faldo
10.  Emirates Golf Club – Majilis
11.  Jumeirah Golf Estates – Earth Course
12.  Kingshill Golf Club
13.  Pleasington Golf Club
14.  Prince’s Golf Club
15.  Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
16.  Sandy Lodge Golf Club
17.  Wildernesse Golf Club
18.  Woburn Golf Club – one of the three courses
19.  Golf Maison Blanche
20.  GC Hofgut Scheibenhardt
21.  Schloss Langenstein – Der Country Club
22.  Golf Brianza Country Club
23.  Golf Club Le Rovedine
24.  Golf Club Villa D’este
25.  Le Robinie Golf & Resort
26.  Karen Country Club
27.  Pacifico Course at the Four Seasons Golf Punta Mita
28.  Amelkis
29.  Palm Golf Club Marrakech
30.  Palmeraie Resorts
31.  Ryads Al Maaden Medina & Golf Resort
32.  Samanah Golf Club
33.  Lisbon Sports Club
34.  Praie D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort
35.  Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort
36.  West Cliffs Golf Course
37.  Rosa Private Golf Club
38.  Cluny Activities – 9-hole golf
39.  Dundonald Links
40.  Kinghorn Golf Club
41.  Old Course at St. Andrews
42.  Aguilon Golf
43.  El Valle Golf
44.  Las Colinas Golf & Country Club
45.  Roda Golf
46.  Saurines De La Torre Golf
47.  Dolder Golf Club Zurich
48.  Golf & Country Club Bonmont
49.  Golf & Country Club Hittnau-Zurich
50.  Golf & Country Club Zurich
51.  Golf Club Alveneu Bad
52.  Golf Club Bad Ragaz
53.  Golf Club Cran-Sur-Sierre – The Jack Nicklaus Course
54.  Golf Club Cran-Sur-Sierre – The Severiano Ballesteros Course
55.  Golf Club Kussnacht Am RIgi
56.  Golf Club Lugano
57.  Golfclub Breitenloo
58.  Golfclub Interlaken - Unterseen
59.  Golf De Bonmont
60.  GolfMountain Engstligenalp Abelboden
61.  Golf Fricktal
62.  Golf Kyburg
63.  Golf Park Otelfingen – 18 hole
64.  Golf Park Otelfingen – 6 hole
65.  Golf Park Otelfingen – Par 3
66.  Golfplatz Rheinfelden
67.  Golf Sempachersee – Woodside
68.  Golfpark Thalwil – Par 3
69.  Golfclub Breitenloo
70.  Golfclubs Gams-Werdenberg
71.  Golfclub Unterengstringen
72.  Winterberg Golf Club
73.  Lykia Links
74.  The Montgomerie Max Royal Golf Club
75.  Sueno Golf Club – Dunes
76.  Sueno Golf Club - Pines
United States
77.  Alabama – RTJ Golf Trail at Grand National – Lake Course
78.  Alabama – RTJ Golf Trail at Ross Bridge
79.  Alaska – Settlers Bay Golf Course
80.  Arizona – Adobe Dam Family Golf Center
81.  Arizona – Anthem Golf & Country Club
82.  Arizona - Cave Creek Golf Course
83.  Arizona – San Pedro Golf Course
84.  Arizona – Southern Ridge Golf Course
85.  Arizona – TPC Scottsdale – Champions Course
86.  Arkansas – Thunder Bayou Golf Links (Hooters Tour)
87.  California – Bayonet
88.  California – Brookside Golf Club – CW Koiner Course
89.  California – Cascades Golf Club (closed)
90.  California – Coyote Creek Golf Club
91.  California – Del Monte Golf Course
92.  California – El Dorado Park Golf Course
93.  California – Empire Ranch Golf Club
94.  California – Goose Creek Golf Club
95.  California – Laguna Seca Golf Ranch
96.  California – Lakes at El Segundo
97.  California – Landmark Golf Club – South Course
98.  California – Landmark Golf Club – North Course
99.  California – Los Robles Greens
100.                 California – Los Serranos Country Club (Chino Hills Golf Course)
101.                 California – Los Verdes Golf Course
102.                 California – Lost Canyons – Sky Course
103.                 California – Lost Canyons – Shadow Course
104.                 California – Mccormick Ranch Golf Club
105.                 California – Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park
106.                 California – Pacific Grove Golf Links
107.                 California – Pebble Beach Golf Links
108.                 California – Peter Hay Golf Course
109.                 California – PGA of Southern California at Oak Valley – The Champions
110.                 California – PGA of Southern California at Oak Valley – The Legends
111.                 California – Poppy Hills Golf Course
112.                 California – Preserve Golf Club
113.                 California – Rancho Canada Golf Club – East
114.                 California – Rancho Canada Golf Club – West
115.                 California – Rancho Park Golf Course
116.                 California – Rancho Solano Golf Course
117.                 California – Recreation Park 9 Golf Course
118.                 California – Recreation Park 18 Golf Course
119.                 California – Roddy Ranch Golf Club (closed)
120.                 California – Rustic Canyon Golf Course
121.                 California – Shadow Lakes Golf Club
122.                 California – Simi Hills Golf Course
123.                 California – Sinaloa Golf Course
124.                 California – Skylinks at Long Beach Golf Course
125.                 California – Spyglass Hills Golf Course
126.                 California – Sterling Hills Golf Club
127.                 California – Tahquitz Creek – Legend Course
128.                 California – Tahquitz Creek – Resort Course
129.                 California – The Links at Spanish Bay
130.                 California – The Links at Victoria Golf Course
131.                 California – The Palms Golf Club
132.                 California – The Reserve at Spanos Park
133.                 California – Tierra Rejada Golf Club
134.                 California – Torrey Pines Golf Course – North Course
135.                 California – Turkey Creek Golf Club
136.                 California – Wood Ranch Golf Course
137.                 Colorado – Copper Creek Golf Course
138.                 Colorado – Dalton Ranch Golf Club
139.                 Colorado – Hillcrest Golf Club
140.                 Connecticut – Fairview Country Club
141.                 Connecticut – The Course at Yale
142.                 District of Columbia – Langston Golf Course & Driving Range
143.                 Florida – Black Bear Golf Club
144.                 Florida – Blue Monster Golf Course
145.                 Florida – Breakers West County Club Golf – Rees Jones Course
146.                 Florida – Miami Lakes Golf Club
147.                 Florida – Pam Beach Par 3 Golf Course
148.                 Florida – PGA National Resort – The Champion
149.                 Florida – PGA National Resoirt – The Palmer
150.                 Illinois – Annbriar Golf Course
151.                 Illinois – The Glen Club
152.                 Indiana – Morningstar Golf Club
153.                 Indiana – Salt Creek Golf Retreat & Overlook Conference Center
154.                 Indiana – The Fort Golf Course
155.                 Indiana – Turkey Run Golf Courses
156.                 Iowa – Westwood Golf Club
157.                 Kansas – Alvamar Country Club (now The Jayhawk Club)
158.                 Kansas - Falcon Ridge Golf Club
159.                 Kansas - Falcon Valley Golf Course
160.                 Kansas - Ironhorse Golf Club
161.                 Kansas - Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate
162.                 Kansas – Overland Park Golf Course – Sykes/Lady
163.                 Kansas - Smiley’s Golf Course
164.                 Kansas - Tomahawk Hills Golf Course
165.                 Maryland – Blue Mash Golf Club
166.                 Maryland – Baltimore Country Club
167.                 Maryland - Golf Club at South River
168.                 Maryland – Norbeck Country Club
169.                 Maryland – Northwest Golf Course
170.                 Maryland – The GC At South River
171.                 Maryland – The Links at Perry Cabin
172.                 Maryland – University of Maryland Golf Course
173.                 Michigan – Barton Hills Country Club
174.                 Michigan – Boyne Golf - The Highlands – Arthur Hills
175.                 Michigan – Boyne Golf – The Highlands – The Heather
176.                 Michigan – Cherry Creek Golf Course
177.                 Michigan – Dearborn Country Club
178.                 Michigan – Detroit Golf Club – North Course
179.                 Michigan – Detroit Golf Club – South Course
180.                 Michigan – Devil’s Ridge Golf Club
181.                 Michigan – Forest Lake Country Club
182.                 Michigan – Golden Hawk Golf Course & Banquets
183.                 Michigan – Greystone Golf Club & Banquet Center
184.                 Michigan – Heather Hills Golf Club
185.                 Michigan – Indianwood Golf & Country Club – Old Course
186.                 Michigan – Indianwood Golf & Country Club – New Course
187.                 Michigan – Lyon Oaks Golf Course
188.                 Michigan – Mulberry Hills Golf Club
189.                 Michigan – Oxford Hills
190.                 Michigan – Plum Hollow Country Club
191.                 Michigan – Prestwick Village Golf Club
192.                 Michigan – Rammler Golf Club
193.                 Michigan – Rattle Run Golf Course
194.                 Michigan – Sheperd’s Hollow Golf Club
195.                 Michigan – Sycamore Hills Golf Club
196.                 Michigan – The Orchards Golf Club
197.                 Michigan – TPC Michigan
198.                 Michigan – Travis Pointe Country Club
199.                 Mississippi – Dancing Rabbit Golf Club
200.                 Missouri – Bent Creek Golf Course
201.                 Missouri – Cajun Golf Course (closed)
202.                 Missouri - Cottonwood
203.                 Missouri – Crystal Highlands Golf Course
204.                 Missouri – Forest Park Golf Course
205.                 Missouri – Joachim Golf Club
206.                 Missouri – House Springs – 9-hole (closed) – My first golf course!
207.                 Missouri – Midway Golf Complex
208.                 Missouri – Missouri Bluffs Golf Club
209.                 Missouri – Pevely Farms Golf Club
210.                 Missouri – Pomme Creek Golf Course & Range
211.                 Missouri – Raintree Country Club
212.                 Missouri – Riverside Golf Club
213.                 Missouri – Ste Genevieve Golf Club
214.                 Missouri – The Highlands Golf & Tennis
215.                 Missouri – Tower Tee Golf
216.                 Missouri – Union Hills Golf Course
217.                 Nevada – Boulder Creek Golf Course
218.                 Nevada – Boulder City Golf Course
219.                 Nevada – D’Andrea Golf Club (closed)
220.                 Nevada – Desert Rose (Now Club at Sunrise)
221.                 Nevada – Eagle Valley Golf Course
222.                 Nevada – Falcon Ridge Golf Course
223.                 Nevada – Lakeridge Golf Course
224.                 New Jersey – Atlantic City Country Club
225.                 New Jersey - Ballyowen Golf Club
226.                 New Mexico – Black Mesa Golf Club
227.                 New Mexico – Cochiti Golf Club
228.                 New Mexico – Tawa Golf Club
229.                 New Mexico – The Club at Las Campanas – Sunrise Course
230.                 New York – Bethpage State Park Golf Course – Black
231.                 New York – Bethpage State Park Golf Course – Blue
232.                 New York – Bethpage State Park Golf Course – Red
233.                 New York – Country Club of Purchase
234.                 New York - Eisenhower Park Red Course
235.                 New York – Elmwood Country Club
236.                 New York – Forest Park Golf Course
237.                 New York – Harbor Links Golf Course
238.                 New York – Marine Park Golf Course
239.                 New York – Mosholu Golf Course
240.                 New York – North Hills Country Club
241.                 New York – Sands Point Golf Club
242.                 New York – Trump Golf Links Ferry Point
243.                 North Carolina – Currituck Golf Club
244.                 Ohio – Beechwood Golf Course – Woodland Course
245.                 Ohio – River Bend Golf Club (closed)
246.                 Ohio – Zoar Golf Club
247.                 Oregon – Bandon Dunes
248.                 Oregon – Old Macdonald
249.                 Texas – Golf Club of Houston
250.                 Texas – TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas
251.                 Virginia – Augustine Golf Club
252.                 Virginia – Ballyhack Golf Club
253.                 Virginia – Belle Haven Country Club
254.                 Virginia – The Cannon Club
255.                 Virginia – Dominion Valley Country Club
256.                 Virginia – Golden Eagle Golf Club
257.                 Virginia – Golden Horseshoe Golf Club – Gold Course
258.                 Virginia – Farmington Country Club
259.                 Virginia – Foundry Golf Club
260.                 Virginia – The Federal Club
261.                 Virginia – Independence Golf Club
262.                 Virginia - Kanawha
263.                 Virginia – Spring Creek Golf Club
264.                 Virginia – Trump National Golf Club
265.                 Virginia – Westfields Golf Club
266.                 West Virginia – Locust Hill Golf Club
Other Possible Courses / Can’t Verify Or Uncertain Of Names
267.                 Arrowhead
268.                 Camelback GC
269.                 Colorado – Highest Elevation Course
270.                 Germany – Bad Bellingen
271.                 Hawaii – Course Played on Honeymoon
272.                 Italy – Golf Rydercup with Markus Rath
273.                 Las Colinas
274.                 Michigan – Wedding Course
275.                 South Carolina - Myrtle Beach #1
276.                 South Carolina - Myrtle Beach #2
277.                 South Carolina - Myrtle Beach #3
278.                 South Carolina - Myrtle Beach #4
279.                 Orange Tree AZ

Which ones have you played?

PGA of America Annual Meeting

Attended the PGA of America Annual Meeting in New York City from November 09-11th.

Golf Mountain in Abelboden, Switzerland

Jaacob Bowden plays Golf Mountain in Abelboden, Switzerland

Played golf today at GolfMountain in Abelboden, Switzerland. The course is only open about 6 weeks each year and is accessible only by gondola or helicopter.

Here are some more pictures on my Facebook page.

BlackSeaRama Pro-Am in Bulgaria

Jaacob Bowden tees off during the BlackSeaRama ProAm at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria in 2014

Played in the BlackSeaRama ProAm in Bulgaria on the Black Sea from July 15th-19th.

I over cut my drive here on this intimidating looking tee shot, but fortunately I was safe in the right bunker.

Thracian Cliffs is an amazing and very challenging golf course right on the Black Sea.

In Romania

Jaacob Bowden & Jennifer Giroux in Romania in 2013

In Italy and Romania with my wife from August 30th to September 2nd.

Zurich Open at Breitenloo

Hanging out with some friends at the Zurich Open at Breitenloo Golfclub.

Shaved Head For Dad's Cancer

Jaacob Bowden shaved his head in support of his Dad's successful cancer treatement and recovery

Shaved my head in support of my Dad’s successful cancer treatment and recovery.

100 Quick Golf Tips for Beginners: E-Book on

100 Golf Lesson's That I Learned in My Journey from 14 Handicapper to Professional Golfer by Jaacob Bowden - Top 15!

Gary McCord, Tom Watson, Jim McLean...I'm in some pretty good company here. Be sure to check out my new’s Top 15 on golf e-books!

UPDATE: My “100 Golf Lessons” e-book has since reached #1 on the Best Seller List!

Swiss-American Golf Championships

Hit tee shots for charity and was "The Pro" at the Swiss-American Golf Championships.

Michael Lowe Golf Interview for Universal Golf Magazine

Take a look at Jaacob's featured video and interview with Professional Golfer Michael Lowe in this issue of Universal Golf Magazine.

Universal Golf Magazine & Christoph Gunther

Take a look at my featured video and interview with Professional Golfer Christoph Gunter in the current issue of Universal Golf Magazine.

Universal Golf Magazine Featured Videos

Be sure to check out my two featured videos in this month's issue of Universal Golf Magazine.

Charity Run in Greifenseelauf Half Marathon

Jaacob Bowden & Jennifer Giroux ran for

Ran with “Run for Good” (sponsored by Adidas) for charity in the Greifenseelauf half marathon.

Swiss-American Golf Championships

Jaacob Bowden hits tee shots for charity at the 2009 Swiss American Golf Championships

Hit tee shots for charity at the Swiss-American Golf Championships.

US Airways Magazine

Be sure to check out my article in this month’s issue of US Airways Magazine!!!

Golf Today Magazine

Be sure to check out my article in this month's issue of Golf Today magazine.

We've Moved to Zurich, Switzerland

My wife and I have moved to Zurich, Switzerland.

Course Record at Peter Hay Golf Course

Tied the course record of -6 under par at Peter Hay Golf Course in Pebble Beach, CA.

Moving to Marina Del Rey, California

Moving from Carmel, CA to Venice, CA.

3rd Hole-In-One at Peter Hay Golf Course

Got 3rd ever hole-in-one...on the 3rd hole at Peter Hay Golf Course in Pebble Beach, CA!!!

Course Record at Peter Hay Golf Course

Tied the course record of -5 at Peter Hay Golf Course!

Drove 359-Yard Green & Made Eagle

Drove the 359-yard par-4 8th hole at Rancho Canada West Golf Course and made putt for an eagle!

Shot 68 at Rancho Canada Golf Course

Birdied the last hole and shot 34-34 for a 68 (-3) at Rancho Canada Golf Course (West) beating previous best of 69 (-1)!

Playing Pebble Beach

Was lucky to get on and play Pebble Beach Golf Course today!

-5 for 18 at Peter Hay Golf Course

Shot -5 for 18 holes at Peter Hay Golf Course!

2nd Hole-In-One at Peter Hay Golf Course

Had 2nd hole-in-one ever on #8 at Peter Hay Golf Course!

I'm Engaged

I'm engaged!!! Sweet!!

33-38=71 at Falcon Dunes

Shot 33-38=71 the first time around at Falcon Dunes.

4 Birdies On 9 at Adobe Dam Golf Course

Had 4 birdies on 9 holes at Adobe Dam Golf Course.

Began Teaching at Adobe Dam Family Golf Center

Began teaching golf part-time at Adobe Dam Family Golf Center.

In ER with Concussion From Basketball

Spent 5 hours in the ER due to a concussion and head and neck contusion from a basketball game.

Moving to Phoenix, Arizona

Moving from Carmel, California to Phoenix, Arisona via Los Angeles and Las Vegas from February 17th to 20th.

Turned in Application For The Big Break

Turned in my application for The Big Break.

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

At the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, California from February 7th to 13th.

7 Birdies for 18 Holes at Peter Hay Golf Course

Tied my most birdies in a round with 7 to shoot -4 for 9 holes and -4 for 18 holes (also tied bests) at Peter Hay Golf Course.

Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational

At the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational in Pebble Beach, California from November 16th to 21st. Got to walk with Charles Howell III during a practice round and hit balls with Rocco Mediate.

1st Hole-In-One at Peter Hay Golf Course

Recorded first hole-in-one at the 9th hole of Peter Hay Golf Course, a 9-iron from about 74 yards!!!

7 Birdies & -4 at Peter Hay Golf Course

New personal records today at Peter Hay Golf Course...-4 for 18 holes, -4 for 9 holes, 4 birdies in a row (the last 4 holes), and 7 birdies total!

Now, to do that in a tournament! :-)

-1 at Peter Hay Golf Course

Shot -1 on 9 holes at Peter Hay Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

Moved to Carmel, California

Moved from Simi Valley, California to Carmel, California. My home courses are now the courses on the Monterey Peninsula, one of which is Pebble Beach!!!

Internet Down

Bear with me until October 15th. I've been on the road and my internet connection at home has been down for around a month. :-( So I've been unable to upload any new files to the web server.

Up to 144 mph

Had 45" driver swing speed measured at 144mph! In April I topped at 127mph and in January topped at about 120mph. 150mph is world class in the long drive arena...going to shoot for 160!

Eagle at The Cascades

Eagled the 293-yard par 4 3rd hole at The Cascades by hitting a 3W off the tee to 5ft and making the putt!!!

Rest Days

After working to some extent every day for the last 3 months, I took off April 2nd to 6th to rejuvenate.

New Record - 393 Yard Drive

Once again set a new personal record for longest drive in the fairway.

This one went 393 yards!!!

69 - First Time Under Par

Shot one under par for a 69 (35-34) beating my previous best of 73! First time under par on 9 and 18 holes! Also had a personal best 5 birdies!!!

New Record - 377 Yard Drive

Broke old record for longest drive in the fairway of 358 yards with a new one of 377 yards!

Looks like the new driver is doing the trick!

Documentary Filming Starts Today

The Hollywood production company begins filming the golf documentary today!

I'm Mr. FItness

Pick up a copy of the "Exercise For Men Only - Fit For Life" magazine in newstands across America and see the man they call Mr. Fitness May 2003!!!

New Personal Best 73

Shot a 73 beating my previous best 18 hole score of 74! Shot par(36) for the first time ever on 9 holes!

New Personal Best 74

Shot a 74 beating my previous best 18 hole score of 78!

One Month Training in the Bag

One month of golf training is in the bag!

Runner-Up at Lost Canyons

Took Runner-Up in the Lost Canyons 2-Man Scramble (either gross or net - I forget).

Warm-Up Round

Played a warm-up round today. Will be in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday visiting family. On Monday, will continue easing in to training to begin on Jan 1st.

Lost Canyons - My New Home Course

Found the course I’m calling home for 2003 - Lost Canyons.

Quit My Job

Quit my UNIX Operations Engineering job of nearly 4.5 years in Lenexa, Kansas at SchlumbergerSema to begin the Golf Venture!