Visiting John Marshall & My Full Swing

Before I flew back to DC from Atlanta, I decided to stay an extra day to see my old friend John Marshall.

Jaacob Bowden and John Marshall pose for a photo

I know John back from my days in long drive and with Mike Austin and Dan Shauger. John played golf in college and is a 5-time World Long Drive Championship Finalist and was the 2005 and 2006 ALDA Super Senior National Champion. Now-a-days he is teaching golf part-time at Steel Canyon Golf Course and is considered one of the best teachers in the state of Georgia.

While we were at the range and lunch and before he dropped me off at the airport, we chatted for hours about golf and life…and John also took a look at my golf swing. I was curious to know his thoughts as a teacher, but also as a former long driver and someone who worked with Mike Austin and Dan Shauger.

One of the problems I've had over the years is that I was a little too concerned with how my swing looked. In talking with my mental coach, I think it in part had to do with me wanting to be liked. Growing up and early in my golf career, like many people, I admired the powerful yet effortless looking swings of guys like Fred Couples or Ernie Els. I also took a lot of influence from golfers like Ben Hogan, Count Yogi, Sam Snead, Mike Austin, and John Daly.

I think subconsciously I had something operating internally that was saying if I can have an optimal and beautiful swing, then I will get attention and people will like me. This plagued me a bit back when I played high school and college basketball too. I had a good vertical leap and sometimes I would rather jump high for the ooh's and aah's versus actually getting the rebound.

Jaacob Bowden dunks a basketball at age 26

I even went so far as to map out a swing blue print on paper, the ideal way in my mind for me to swing.

The problem was that, although I liked how this "ideal" swing looked on video, it was never as consistent as was needed to play what I felt was my best golf. With that swing, I hadn't posted a round in the 60s and I could just as easily shoot in the 70s as the 80s.

However, if I stopped thinking about making it look optimal and instead focused on hitting as consistently as I could and making my dispersion circles tight, I scored much better. All my rounds in the 60s that I recall were with so-called "imperfect" swings.

Last year, I played 9 holes this way in New Mexico at Black Mesa Golf Course from the black tees 7,307 yards…and I recall hitting every fairway and every green, shooting par. And when I played with this swing on the back 9 of the 8,191 Ross Bridge Course on the Robert Trent Jones Trail, I also played well and I remember hitting every fairway there too. I was +1 on the 9 but it translated to a +6 handicap because of the course difficulty…and perhaps even better considering the soft conditions. That's good enough to play the PGA TOUR.

But when I look at this swing on video, I never liked how it looked and I was always averse to it being filmed.


In the backswing, my head drifts away from the target and I raise up. At the top, I'm really laid off, I don't get my lead shoulder down enough, my hands are really flat, and my trail leg doesn't quite straighten. At impact, my lead leg isn't straight enough, my hips don't turn enough, I'm not off my trail foot enough, and I'm holding off my hands and not free-wheeling the club enough. I give up quite a bit of potential power and I could pick apart these swings endlessly.

That being said, more or less I hit it where I want. In fact, I'm not sure I really missed a shot during our range session.

After seeing my shots and watching the corresponding videos, John said he loved my move and wouldn't change a thing. This was good for me to hear.

Between what I've been working on with my mental coach about self-love and John's reinforcement of how I was swinging at the range and the dispersion/consistency results it was producing, I think going forward I just need to quit worrying so much about what others think and embrace my "imperfect" swing and all of the little idiosyncrasies about it.

My scores will thank me…and who knows, perhaps it gets me out on the PGA TOUR.

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Jaacob Bowden Golf Swing Montage

Here are a few clips of me using demonstrating the Mike Austin swing over the years.


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Me Using the Mike Austin Golf Swing


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Mike Austin Golf Swing Montage - Golf's 515-Yard Man


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Dan Shauger's Spin the Meatball Concept


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Mike Austin - Secrets From the Game's Longest Hitter

Videotaped and interviewed for the DVD re-release of "Mike Austin - Secrets from the Game's Longest Hitter".

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Travel & Leisure Golf Magazine Interview

Interviewed by Travel & Leisure Golf Magazine. Be on the lookout for it in the upcoming months.

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Dan Shauger & My Instruction Video

In Los Angeles, California from May 7th to 16th to tape Dan Shauger's instructional video and shoot my own personal instructional video.

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My CBS Interview About Mike Austin in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, California for an interview with ABS about Mike Austin.

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Mike Austin Swing Clinic in St. Louis, Missouri

In St. Louis, Missouri from October 5th to 7th to put on a Mike Austin golf swing clinic.

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Learn the Mike Austin Swing - Video Launch

Learn the Mike Austin Swing with Jaacob Bowden

Launched my new Mike Austin instructional video.

Be sure to check it out here.

A 6-minute preview is below:

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Distance & Accuracy Combined

Jaacob Bowden was a return guest on Golf Smarter Podcasts with Fred Greene on June 5, 2012

Was a guest again on Golf Smarter Podcasts. Have a listen to Episode #336 below!

Show Notes:

"GSfMO#337 Mike Austin over drove a 450 yard hole while in his 60s! Jaacob Bowden lowered his handicap from 14-scratch with his method and now he’d like to share it with you. Austin is gone but Jaacob met and studied his method of keeping the club face square through more of the swing."



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Golf & Country Magazine

Golf-And-Country-Magazine-Jaacob-Bowden

Be sure to check out the 3-page article about me in this month’s Golf & Country Magazine!

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Mike Austin - Austinology - With Mike Dunaway

Mike Austin's Austinology featuring Mike Dunaway  is now available at Swing Man Golf

Swing Man Golf is now offering Mike Austin’s Austinology video series.

To learn more, click here.

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Mike Austin at Studio City

Mike Austin at Studio City is now available at Swing Man Golf

Mike Austin at Studio City has just been released over at Swing Man Golf.

Be sure to check it out!

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Mike Austin - Teaching the Teachers

The Mike Austin - Teaching the Teachers video is now available at Swing Man Golf

In celebration of Mike Austin’s 515-yard drive in September of 1974, Swing Man Golf has now released another video as part of Mike Austin Month…this one is called Mike Austin Teaching the Teachers!

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Mike Austin - Golf is Mental Imagery

Mike Austin's Golf is Mental Imagery is available at Swing Man Golf

Swing Man Golf is now offering Mike Austin’s Golf is Mental Imagery video series.

To learn more, click here.

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18 Strong - Episode 49

Thanks to host Jeff Pelizzaro for having me on his 18 Strong podcast.

Show Notes:

• Jaacob shares his story from growing up in St. Louis, MO to becoming one of the world’s leading experts in gaining swing speed.
• He didn’t start his journey to be a professional until after college and working several years in the corporate world.
• He went from a 14 handicap to a professional golfer in a ridiculous amount of time
• Jaacob talks about his mentors Dan Shauger and Mike Austin and how they changed his golf swing and ultimately his career path
• Jaacob tells us about his long drive competitions and what his training consisted of during that time
• He gives us his 2 biggest keys to gaining speed in your swing
• Jaacob explains how his system at SwingManGolf.com has helped thousands get more clubhead speed in short period and how you can take advantage of it, too

Listen on YouTube below.



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Mighty Mike Austin & the 515 Yard Drive

Catch me in the July/August 2004 issue of Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine in David Hochman's article "Mighty Mike Austin and the 515 Yard Drive"!!!

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Jumping for Distance - Part 2

Mike Austin demonstrates how a one foot jump without leaving the ground can push up the lead shoulder for parametric acceleratio

In Part 1, I wrote about how I think this concept of jumping up with both feet for more power may have come about in part due to misinterpretation of still photography and force plate data, self-propagation, and a possible case of correlation vs causation. I also covered reasoning why these players are often airborne, and that can be from flawed setups that include overly wide stances and/or lead foot positions that are too closed at setup or a re-planted lead foot that ends up too closed during the downswing.

In Part 2, let’s look at what I feel is a better alternative, the one foot jump. To me, it’s safer, it doesn’t complicate ball striking as much, and it can still generate huge amounts of vertical ground force.

Read more at GolfWRX

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