Collaboration with the PGA of America and #WeLoveThisGame Campaign

On 5 July, the PGA of America reached out to me about participating in their "Why We Love Golf" campaign, looking for 50 words or less on what makes the game special and unique to them.

I had previously written about this before on the blog in this post. So, I used that as a basis and edited it down to this text:

"Between the travel, solitude of practice, introspection, long walks, nature, and sunset rounds, golf has been very much a journey of spiritual growth.

It was also perhaps the way in which my dad and I spent most of our quality time together. He’s gone now, and I miss him dearly, but through golf I now have so many wonderful memories of our time spent together."

And the result is this!

Are you on Instagram? I'd love to hear your story about why you love the game! Tell me about it in the post comments above!

This is where each photo was taken:

  1. The view from Belle Isle State Park with the City of Detroit and the GMRenCenin the backdrop
  2. The breathtaking dogleg right Par 4 331-yard (303-meter) 7th hole at Golf Club Crans Sur Sierre, where the DP World Tour's Omega European Masters is played each year in the French part of Switzerland.
  3. The famous Swilcan Bridge on the very wide dogleg right Par 4 366-yard 18th hole at the home of golf Old Course at St. Andrews Links in Scotland
  4. Thunder Bayou Golf Links in Blyethville, Arkansas
  5. John Daly and I walking at the 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Washington, DC
  6. The tough, dog leg right 459-yard uphill 8th hole at the The Majilis Course at Emirates Golf Club, home of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai, UAE.
  7. GolfMountain Engstligenalp Abelboden – a cow pasture in the German part of Switzerland that gets turned into a golf course at the end of each season

The campaign is also on Facebook and Twitter, although, with just the 2nd photo only.

Achieving the Unbelievable: Hole-In-One Victory at Belle Isle Golf!


🚨 Hole in one ALERT on the 45 yard 6th hole at Belle Isle Golf!!!

Are you on Instagram and have you had a hole-in-one? I'd love to hear your story! Tell me about it in the comments above!

Details: Last day of summer. 6:41pm. Sunny. Clear skies. 73 degrees. 8 mph headwind. Sterling Irons SW bent to 57 degrees. Titleist ProV1x Left Dash golf ball.

This is my 4th hole in one and I'm getting closer to a hole-in-one for every day of the week, haha!

  • 1st - Saturday, November 6, 2004, 9th hole at Pebble Beach’s Peter Hay Golf Course with a 9-iron from 74 yards
  • 2nd - Sunday, October 9th, 2005, 8th hole at Pebble Beach’s Peter Hay Golf Course
  • 3rd - Tuesday, October 10th 2006, 3rd hole at Pebble Beach’s Peter Hay Golf Course
  • 4th - Friday, September 22nd, 2023, 6th hole at Belle Isle Golf with a SW from 45 yards

In the time since I first started playing Belle Isle Golf in 2021, I've come close so many times.

In fact, just last week I hit the flag stick on #2 and almost hole out on #4 and #5.

Jaacob Bowden very nearly makes his 4th hole in oneJaacob Bowden very nearly makes his 4th hole in one

After all the close calls, it's nice to finally get another one to drop!

Exploring Michigan: A Scenic Journey through Northern Skies, Biking, and Birding

Over the past few days, my wife Jennifer and I drove "up north", as they say here in Michigan, which means what it sounds like, going up to the northern part of the state. We met up with two other couples that are friends of ours for a multi-day adventure.

We started out with snacks at Farm Club, a lovely local gathering place that is a farm, restaurant, brewery, bakery, and marketplace all in one, before we transitioned over to the rooftop bar at the Hotel Indigo to take in the sunset, and then to our Airbnb in Traverse City.

The next morning we joined a larger group for a birding, biking, and wine tour by Grand Traverse Bike Tours in partnership with the Detroit and Grand Traverse Audubon Clubs in which everyone meets up in Traverse City and then goes on a guided trail ride passing farms and orchards, plus visiting vineyards (Shady Lane Cellars and Black Star Farms) and the Hop Lot Brewing Company (where we caught the end of the Detroit Lions game) along the way.

We went on the Grand Traverse Birds, Bikes, and Wine Tour in Partnership wtih the Detroit Audubon Club and Grand Traverse Audubon Club
We went on the Grand Traverse Birds, Bikes, and Wine Tour in Partnership with the Detroit Audubon Club and Grand Traverse Audubon Club.

Shady Wine Cellars Wine Flight
Shady Wine Cellars Wine Flight

Ripe wine grapes at Shady Wine Cellars in Michigan
Ripe wine grapes at Shady Wine Cellars in Michigan

Jen has biked across the country previously and we both own bikes, but neither of us had ever done a group tour like this…nor had we ever done any type of birding adventure. I must say I would do both again. I also didn't realize how many wineries there were in Michigan.

Of course, in the vein of using ChatGPT and recently finding out what kind of dog would I be, I similarly asked what kind of bird I would be using the same extensive introspective research I've done on myself.

Here's what it said:

Based on your rich description of your attributes, character, and inclinations, if you were a bird, I'd suggest you might resemble an **eagle** – specifically the **Bald Eagle**. Here's why:

1. **Size and Strength**: Your height and weight align with the sturdiness and dominance often associated with eagles. They are strong, powerful birds of prey.

2. **Vision**: Eagles are known for their keen vision, and you've described having high-level vision for your dreams and ambitions.

3. **Courage and Independence**: Like the eagle who soars alone, you're willing to stand out and take on risk. Eagles are also known for their independent nature.

4. **Adaptability**: Eagles are versatile birds, adapting to different environments, and your description speaks to a capacity for adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit.

5. **Intuition and Decision Making**: Eagles, while having acute vision, also rely on their instincts when hunting. This aligns with your approach of exhaustive research followed by intuition.

6. **Leadership**: The eagle is often seen as a symbol of leadership. While you might end up in the public eye due to your leadership, eagles, too, are often watched and admired from afar.

7. **Solitude**: Bald Eagles, outside of mating pairs or when rearing chicks, are often seen alone. Your introverted, independent nature aligns with this.

8. **Teaching and Communication**: While eagles don't teach in the way humans do, they certainly do mentor their young, teaching them to fly, hunt, and survive. Your desire to share and teach from your experiences is akin to this mentoring process.

9. **Appreciation of Beauty**: The elegance and majesty of an eagle in flight can be likened to your appreciation of beauty and finer things.

10. **Honesty and Integrity**: The Bald Eagle, as the national bird and symbol of the United States, often represents freedom and the highest ideals and values.

Given all these parallels, the Bald Eagle seems a fitting avian counterpart to your multifaceted personality and life approach.

One of the family of 4 bald eagles on March 26th, 2023 that make Belle Isle Park their home
One of the family of 4 bald eagles on March 26th, 2023 that make Belle Isle Park their home

This is really interesting because I remember my first golf coach Dan Shauger used to say I have eagle eye vision, one of our original names for Sterling Irons single length irons was Eagle Irons, a spiritual medium I've worked with has told me that eagles are part of my spirit guide council, and I've really enjoyed communing with a family of eagles over at Belle Isle Park since moving to Detroit.

Anyway, it was a great start to the trip, but it only got better on Monday, where we stayed at the Sunrise Landing Motel.

After wandering around Northport with coffees, we got morning snacks at 9 Bean Rows (a farmstead, cafe, and bakery), ate day time snacks and drank wine at Dune Bird Winery (Jen's and my 2nd visit there this year), got sandwiches elsewhere, walked around Northport more, and had a serendipitous hangout with the owner of Yard & Lake, before finally ending up on the beach for a fire.

That's where the magic really kicked in.

With only two matches we managed to get our fire going, and then proceeded to see shooting stars, Mars shining brightly, the Little Dipper, satellites (which is another story with both pros and cons), our first fogbow, and the northern lights set against the Big Dipper. None of us had ever had such an array of astronomy packed in to one experience. It was wild and amazing.

Fogbows are apparently even more rare than rainbows. This is a panoramic view of one we saw from the beach at the Sunrise Landing Motel overlooking Northport Bay in Michigan
Fogbows are apparently even more rare than rainbows. This is a panoramic view of one we saw from the beach at the Sunrise Landing Motel overlooking Northport Bay in Michigan.

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, were visible against the Big Dipper in Michigan on September 18th, 2023
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, were visible against the Big Dipper in Michigan on September 18th, 2023.

The last of the beach fire coals before I poured water over them
The last of the beach fire coals before I poured water over them

After sunrise the next day we all headed back down to Detroit at different intervals.

A view of the sunrise on the beach at the Sunrise Landing Motel looking out at Northport Bay in Michigan
A view of the sunrise on the beach at the Sunrise Landing Motel looking out at Northport Bay in Michigan

The view of the Northport Bay from the Sunrise Landing Motel is spectacular
The morning view of the Northport Bay from the Sunrise Landing Motel is spectacular.

However, Jen and I decided to take in a new area and destination for us while we were in the region, the Mission Pointe Lighthouse, before driving home. If all we hadn't seen wasn't already enough, while there we ran in to the Midwest Brass & Gas Touring Group of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, where we got to get up close to about 10-20 pre-1916 cars parked in the lot of Old Mission Point Park as they headed out to continue their tour of the region.

Midwest Brass and Gas of the Horseless Carriage Club of America rolled through Old Mission Point Park in Michigan
Midwest Brass and Gas of the Horseless Carriage Club of America rolled through Old Mission Point Park in Michigan.

What an amazing trip!

What Kind of Dog Am I? Discovering My Canine Counterpart with ChatGPT

Earlier I was out at dinner with my wife and two of our girlfriends at Ima Izakaya in Corktown and we were chatting about dogs, how sometimes people look like their dogs, and what type of dog we thought would be most similar to each of us.

So, I decided to feed ChatGPT the extensive introspective research I've done on myself that's based on many things like astrology, human design, etc, and then proceeded to ask it what kind of dog would I be?

Here's what it said:

Given your detailed and unique description, you'd be an **Alaskan Malamute**. Here's why:

1. **Size and Strength**: Alaskan Malamutes are large, strong, and athletic dogs. Your height and weight, coupled with your strength, mirror this breed's stature and capability.
2. **Old Wise Soul & Spiritualist**: Malamutes are an ancient breed that's been around for thousands of years, often seen as wise souls in the dog world.
3. **Calm & Intuitive**: While they are powerful, Malamutes are often calm, intuitive, and introspective.
4. **Grounded in Nature**: Malamutes are hardy and thrive in natural settings, especially colder climates reminiscent of Alaska.
5. **Leadership**: As sled dogs, they have often been in roles where leadership and teamwork are crucial.
6. **Loyalty and Honesty**: Malamutes are known to be extremely loyal to their families.
7. **Independent & Solitary**: While they are pack animals, they also have a streak of independence and can be reserved.
8. **Hard Worker & Disciplined**: These dogs are bred to work hard in challenging conditions, showcasing their discipline and resilience.
9. **Smart & Observant**: They are intelligent dogs, quick to learn, and very observant of their surroundings.
10. **Path Finder**: As sled dogs, they've historically been used to find paths in challenging terrains.
11. **Resilient & Patient**: Working in tough terrains and conditions has made this breed both resilient and patient.
12. **Communication**: Malamutes have a diverse range of vocalizations and are expressive communicators.
13. **Colors & Climate**: The colors of the Alaskan Malamute, often a blend of gray, sable, and white, could be associated with the "Dusty Soft Autumn" palette you mentioned. Moreover, they thrive in cooler climates, matching several of the states you mentioned as ideal.
14. **Diet**: Malamutes do best with a high-protein diet which can include fish, mirroring the Mediterranean-style diet you prefer.

The Alaskan Malamute's strength, independence, wisdom, loyalty, and adaptability to various climates and terrains seem to make it a fitting representation for your described characteristics.

Alaskan Malamute

How fun!

A Refreshing Round at Belle Isle's Par 3 Course: Pursuit of My Next Hole-in-One

Labor Day weekend is past, kids are back to school, the weather is shifting cooler here in Detroit, and Fall is technically only 8 days away. Belle Isle Golf is set to close sometime in October, weather pending. After spending much of the day on my laptop, I decided to head over to Belle Isle to play the 6-hole Par 3 course while the weather is still warm enough to play.

I love Belle Isle. Astrologically, with me having a birth chart that is so heavy in air and light in water and nature, going over to Belle Isle to be surrounded by water (it's an island) and amongst the nature really helps balance my energy out and get me out of my head (air). Subjectively, I would say that I feel better after just about any trip I make over to Belle Isle.

I'd have to check the exact distances, but the Par 3 course's holes are only about 35-80 yards each. At the moment, the greens are long and slow. I'll usually just bring my sand wedge and three balls, pitch three balls in to each green, and then putt out with my sand wedge so as not to throw off my putting for fast greens in professional tournament play. From there, it's just going around and around taking in the water and nature.

On my first go around, I played for score, also focusing on making hole-in-ones. I hit the flag stick on #2 and I almost had a hole-in-one on both #4 and #5, both finishing on the back side of the hole.

Jaacob Bowden very nearly makes his 4th hole in oneJaacob Bowden very nearly makes his 4th hole in one

It's been awhile since I had a hole-in-one. The three that I have are from Pebble Beach's Peter Hay Golf Course on November 6, 2004, October 9th, 2005, and October 10th 2006. I remember thinking how awesome it was to get one every year. Little did I know that 17 years later, I'd still be stuck on 3. I've been close again a lot over the years…and even since we've lived in Detroit since Halloween of 2020 and I've been playing Belle Isle Golf, I've hit the flag and been within inches a number of times.

I realize I'm incredibly lucky to have the ones I already have, but I hope to one day have more!

Reflections on a Changing City: Nostalgia and Nuance in a Return to Washington, DC

My wife Jen works as an Anthropologist helping organizations do good and be better through her insights in social impact, strategy, and innovation. She recently started helping another company via her own consulting firm, which required her to make a trip back to our old home town of Washington, DC, where we lived for 4 years from 2017-2020.

Since her trip was covered already through her work, I decided to tag along and I bought a plane ticket using my Delta SkyMiles. We stayed in the Viceroy Washington DC, which was a great location for us near the corner of Rhode Island and 14th St. It made it easy for her to get around the city as needed for her work, but it also worked for me as well with my internet-based work. I could just walk to local coffee shops or do my work from our room and/or around the hotel.

Plus, when we weren't working, the location was fantastic because 14th St is bustling with walkable activity. We also used to live in Bloomingdale near Rhode Island and 1st St in NW. That meant getting to our old stomping grounds was just a quick shot up Rhode Island. It was also hot in DC and having the rooftop pool was a nice way to cool down.

The rootop pool at the Viceroy Washington DC
An appetizer plate on the roof top of the Viceroy Washington DC

Jen had been back to DC since we moved away during the pandemic on Halloween of 2020. However, this was my first time back and I was very curious how I'd feel about it.

When we first landed on Sunday, September 3rd, it was still Labor Day weekend and 14th St was very busy. DC felt familiar, but also it felt unfamiliar and like a vacation of sorts. To me it was quite exciting because, although I am enjoying being in Detroit, DC is a much more full and built out city at the moment. In Detroit, you need a world-builder mindset and an attitude of creating something if it isn't there for you. On the other hand, DC doesn't need that to the same extent and you can go more in to consumption mode. That was a relief because I felt a little burnt out being in Detroit always being "on" as far as thinking about how we can enhance the city. So, it was refreshing in that sense.

After we were there about a day, things started to click in again and I felt more like I was back home in a way instead of on some sort of working vacation. In our spare time, we saw some old friends and went back and ate at a couple spots we used to enjoying eating at, including Red Hen and Le Diplomate.

I did feel a sense of nostalgia while there and felt grateful that we had the opportunity to live in DC. On the ride share to the hotel, I remember being struck how amazing it was to see the Washington Monument and other things of national significance…and that we had the chance to see those things almost daily. In fact, you could see the Washington Monument out of our old bedroom window. Pretty amazing.

That being said, DC felt different, though…like someone pulled out a loose thread and things were coming unhinged. Of course, there was the constant wail of sirens and helicopters that I had become so accustomed to. But this time, there was definitely an edge in the air.

When we went in to CVS, someone came in with a duffle bag and started shoving merchandise in to the bag. An employee came up to him and said, "C'mon, man." before the guy emptied the bag and left.

An old convenient store that we used to shop at, which had previously taken down it's bullet proof barrier at the counter, put the shield back up due to several recent break ins.

We were also walking along Florida Ave after work during rush hour and there was this woman that climbed up topless on top of a road barrier in the middle of the street and started grinding herself on the road barrier.

I'm not sure quite what it all means, but something definitely shifted during the pandemic. It's like people in the US are exhausted from a system and way of life that is working only for a few and not for the many. Although, one could also make the case it's worst for everyone because even the minority who are doing better still have to live in a worst-off world.

It's going to be interesting how this all plays out in the next few years, particularly with the US presidential election coming up next year.

Should I Leave the Flagstick In Or Out?

During the 2023 Michigan PGA Professional Championship, I was playing with two other pros and we got to chatting about the flag stick. One of the guys I played with said you should leave it in and that he tells all the members at his golf club to play accordingly. I, on the other hand, recalled from the research that I did that it's better to leave it in.

So, which is it?

I've been having fun with ChatGPT lately. I decided to put it to the test to see what it says.

Question 1

My first question was:

What does the research say on whether or not you should leave the flagstick in in putting in golf?

It told me:

As of my last update in September 2021, the question of whether or not to leave the flagstick in when putting in golf has been the subject of debate among golfers, especially since the 2019 update to the Rules of Golf allowed players to leave the flagstick in the hole during putts.

Here's a brief summary of what research and anecdotal evidence suggest:

1. **Effects on the Speed of the Ball**: Studies by golf publications and independent testers have found that a putt struck at a high speed is less likely to drop with the flagstick in. For putts traveling at fast speeds, the flagstick can act as a barrier that prevents the ball from going in.

2. **Effects on Direction**: For off-center hits, the flagstick can either help or hinder the ball from dropping. If a ball is going slightly off-center, the flag might redirect it into the hole. Conversely, if it's going significantly off-center, the flagstick might keep it out.

3. **Type of Flagstick**: The type and thickness of the flagstick can make a difference. Some tests have shown that thinner flagsticks are more forgiving, whereas thicker or more rigid flagsticks can act more as barriers.

4. **Psychological Effects**: For some golfers, having the flagstick in can provide a psychological benefit. It might serve as a better visual reference, helping players aim and judge distance more effectively. For others, it might be a distraction.

5. **Downhill Putts**: Anecdotally, some golfers feel that leaving the flagstick in for downhill putts is beneficial, as it can act as a backstop for faster-moving balls.

6. **Convenience**: From a pace-of-play perspective, leaving the flagstick in can speed up the game, especially for longer putts where players would otherwise walk up to remove it.

In conclusion, the decision to leave the flagstick in or out during putting largely depends on individual preference and the specific circumstances of the putt. Factors like putt speed, angle of approach, hole position, type of flagstick, and personal comfort can all play a role. Some golfers may choose to always leave it in or out, while others might make the decision on a putt-by-putt basis.

Question 2

I revised and said:

Thanks. Let’s not consider convenience or psychological effects. I’m just interested in pure data from testing. Can you answer more objectively?

It said:

Certainly. Based on pure data from testing conducted up to September 2021:

1. **High-Speed Putts**: When a putt is hit at a pace that would send it several feet past the hole (if it missed), the flagstick is generally more of a hindrance. Data suggests that a fast-moving ball has a higher probability of bouncing out with the flagstick in compared to it being out.

2. **Off-Center Hits**: The flagstick can sometimes assist slightly off-center hits. If the ball is just missing the edge, a flagstick might redirect it to drop in. However, for balls moving significantly off-center, the flagstick can act as a barrier and prevent the ball from falling in.

3. **Type of Flagstick**: Tests showed that the effect of the flagstick can vary depending on its thickness and material. Thin fiberglass flagsticks were found to be the most forgiving, allowing more balls to drop than if they were out. On the other hand, thicker and more rigid flagsticks tended to repel balls more frequently.

4. **Downhill Putts**: For downhill putts that tend to pick up more speed, having the flagstick in can be beneficial. The flagstick can act as a backstop, slowing down a fast-moving ball and allowing it to drop. However, if the ball is moving at a very high speed, the flagstick may still repel it.

To sum it up: For putts that are hit firmly or are moving downhill quickly, the flagstick can sometimes be beneficial but can also hinder if the ball is moving too fast. The effect is also influenced by the type of flagstick used. For slower-moving putts or those hit directly at the center of the hole, the presence of the flagstick tends to have a lesser effect on the outcome.

Question 3

Based on that, I asked two more follow-ups. I wanted to ask about slow moving putts in particular because I like to hit putts at about 2-3 revolutions per second approaching the cup speed, which is fast enough to get it there but slow enough to not have a big testy comeback putt. That speed is such that the ball falls deep in the cup and take full advantage of the full width of the hole.

Objectively, is it better to leave it in or take it out with slow moving putts?

For slow-moving putts, objective tests up to September 2021 generally showed that the flagstick has a minimal effect on whether the ball drops or not when hit directly at the center of the hole. However, if there's any variation (i.e., if the ball approaches slightly off-center), the flagstick might increase the chance of the ball dropping in.

So, based purely on data, for slow-moving putts, it's slightly advantageous to leave the flagstick in.

Question 4

Objectively, is it better to leave it in or take it out with fast moving putts?

Objectively, based on testing data available up to September 2021, for fast-moving putts, it's generally better to take the flagstick out. Fast-moving balls have a higher probability of bouncing out with the flagstick in compared to it being out. So, for putts that are hit with a pace that would send them significantly past the hole if they missed, removing the flagstick is advantageous.


So, there you go…ChatGPT's answer for whether or not you should leave the flag in when putting.

For me personally, I like to have it out, assuming it's not leaning towards me or one of those super thick flagsticks. I like the visual frame of reference, particularly on long putts. I also hit my putts at a slower speed.

What do you like?

2023 Michigan PGA Professional Championship Recap at Flint Golf Club: My Experience and Future Plans

Over the past three days, Flint Golf Club in Flint, Michigan hosted the 2023 Michigan PGA Professional Championship.

2023 Michigan PGA Professional Championship

In the 1st round, I was the final player in the field to tee off at 2:20pm, which is great for me. I prefer playing in the afternoon and evening and it was a really nice summer day with a high of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. It was my first tournament round in about 5 weeks and overall I felt like I hit the ball pretty well, playing 15 of the 18 holes just fine. I ended up in 70th place out of 124, roughly in the middle of the pack. Considering I had been so busy and hadn't played or practiced much lately, I felt okay about the start and was hopeful to clean things up a bit in the 2nd round.

In the 2nd round, we teed off earlier at 9:50am, but the weather was nice again in the high 60s and low 70s. I ended up having one of those difficult to explain tough days where my striking was off. I tried to manage the course by playing to even safer areas, but it didn't help much. I fell down the leaderboard to T-108th and missed the cut.

Going forward, I might take a little break from tournaments to implement a few swing changes that I've wanted to do for quite a long time that I hope will bring my swing more in to alignment with me as a person. I've got a 3-month membership at the new Five Iron Golf location in downtown Detroit. So, I think I'll play around with the cameras and Trackman simulators a bit to see if I can it dialed in to what I envision.

Congrats to the eventual winner Kyle Martin of Lochmoor Club on a great final round of 65 and -14 total for the tournament.

Thanks to everyone who made the tournament happen, including Flint Golf Club, the host pro Ed Bialek, the Michigan PGA tournament director Justin Phillips, and all the sponsors - presented by Cadillac, Corebridge Financial and Club Car with supporting sponsors Nike, TaylorMade Golf, Titleist/Footjoy, Callaway Golf, the Golf Channel, Gallagher and the PGA TOUR.

ChatGPT's Career Insights: An AI's Reflection on My Two-Decade Journey

I tend to reside in a pioneering space…and higher level vision and innovative pathways are often things I find myself submerged in. I was early in on YouTube. I've been ahead of the curve in golf club design and golf fitness.

Lately, I've been playing around with ChatGPT, almost on a daily basis. To test it out, I've tried to trick it, and it actually seems really good about providing solid answers despite the trickery. That being said, it is still in a place that requires discernment.

Recently for fun, I decided to see what job's it would recommend for me if I plugged in a description about myself.

It's the age old question, what would you do if you weren't do what you are currently doing?

So, I gave it the text at this link, which is a pretty exhaustive description about who I am.

Here's what it said:

Based on the comprehensive description you've provided about yourself, here are a few potential career paths you might consider, along with some reasoning:

1. **Consultant or Strategic Advisor**: Your ability to systematically organize, observe, investigate, and seek out knowledge combined with a high IQ and introspection makes you a prime candidate for strategic roles. Given your comfort with data and information, you can provide solutions based on research and intuition.

2. **Entrepreneur or Business Owner**: Your entrepreneurial spirit, combined with risk-taking, leadership, loyalty, and a hard-working nature, indicates that you could start and run a business. This would also cater to your need for independence and making decisions based on exhaustive research and intuition.

3. **Life Coach or Spiritual Guide**: Your deep introspection, high intuition, spiritual nature, and desire to teach from your experiences make you suitable for guiding others in their personal journeys.

4. **Outdoor Guide or Retreat Organizer**: Given your connection to nature, water, and high places, you might find fulfillment in leading outdoor excursions, organizing retreats, or participating in wilderness therapy. This would allow you to blend your love for nature with your leadership abilities.

5. **Author or Motivational Speaker**: Your gift in speaking and communication can be channeled into writing books or delivering speeches. Sharing your experiences, knowledge, and insights can inspire others.

6. **Researcher or Investigator**: Your qualities of being an investigator, knowledge seeker, and being comforted by data can be utilized in fields that require extensive research.

7. **Physical Therapist or Personal Trainer**: Given your athletic build and potential focus on alignment (especially considering your concern for back, heart, and circulation), you might enjoy helping others attain physical health and alignment.

However, as with any career suggestion, it's important to align it with your passions and desires. I'd recommend engaging in some introspective sessions, perhaps with a career counselor or coach, to explore these paths further and see which one feels the most right for you.

These are actually a pretty solid list of recommendations.

For the past 20 years, I've been a pro golfer and owned my own business that's revolved around playing and teaching golf, fitness training, and providing consulting and strategic advice to business owners, boards of directors, and executives.. A lot of the products I've created and services I've provided have been based on having done a lot of research and investigation. Often times, I end up using what I learn to write insightful articles, speak, and guide others.

And prior to golf, after pharmacy school I had thought about a career as a massage therapist or maybe something revolving around landscaping.

Seems I'm doing pretty good with being in alignment with who I am…at least according to AI, haha!

Hubbard Richard's Transformation: Earning the Spirit of Detroit Award 2023

On October 31st, 2023, my wife Jen and I moved from Washington, DC to her home grounds in Michigan. Since landing, we've gotten tremendously involved in our Hubbard Richard neighborhood, District 6, and the City of Detroit at large.

Jen has proudly taken her place on the Hubbard Richard Resident Association (HRRA) board, and together, we've become pillars in this vibrant association.

Some of those things that I've personally been a part of are listed below, as well as on my LinkedIn page:

  • As an official Detroit Mural Hunter, photographed and submitted 12 mural sites to the City of Detroit's Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship (ACE) Mural Map.
  • Helped local businesses and property owners improve their sidewalks, landscaping, online shopping carts
  • Helped plan, fundraise, install, document (photos and time lapse video), maintain, & dismantle a decorative pinwheel garden at multiple neighborhood locations
  • Helped reorganize the weight training room at Clemente Center | City of Detroit for better flow and ease of use
  • Located and submitted tree planting requests to the City of Detroit and Greening of Detroit for over 180 addresses to enhance air and sound quality and help increase property values, which lead to over 130 new city berm trees getting planted with more on the way
  • Opened Improve Detroit app support tickets to report blight violations, blocked basins, curbside solid waste, illegal dump sites, park issues, potholes/sinkholes, roadway debris, a snow removal issue, streetlights down/out, traffic sign/signal issues, tree issues, vacant lot cutting, and water main breaks
  • Provided updates and recommendations for the Hubbard Richard page on the City of Detroit’s The Neighborhoods website
  • Regularly participate in community meetings and events
  • Reported over 120 blight violations (tall grass/weeds and debris) plus a sidewalk damage issue to the City of Detroit
  • Reported multiple instances of lights out on the Ambassador Bridge
  • Supported beautification by pruning trees/bushes during Motor City Make Over and at our biannual Stanton Park cleanup days

We've heard Mayor Duggan say at a community meeting that the areas in the city that are the strongest have the best neighborhood associations and block clubs. That certainly seems to be the case with our neighborhood. Just in the short amount of time Jen and I have been here, the neighborhood has improved tremendously thanks to all the work we've put in synergistically with our neighbors.

Today marked a memorable moment, as the City Council acknowledged our collective efforts, bestowing upon us the prestigious City of Detroit award.

District 6 City Council Member Gabriella Santiago Romero presents the Spirit of Detroit Award to the Hubbard Richard Residents Association
District 6 City Council Member Gabriella Santiago Romero presents the Spirit of Detroit Award on behalf of City Council to the Hubbard Richard Residents Association. Pictured from left to right are Council Member Gabriella Santiago Romero, Board Member Cinthya Casillas, Board President Sam Butler, Board Member Jennifer Giroux, and active HRRA resident member Jaacob Bowden.

About the Spirit of Detroit Award

The "Spirit of Detroit'" award is more than just a recognition; it's a tribute from the City of Detroit to those who've made remarkable contributions to its citizens.

Hubbard Richard Resident Association's 2023 Sprit Of Detroit Award

The award takes its name from the iconic "Spirit of Detroit" statue located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit. This statue, created by Marshall Fredericks, is an iconic symbol of Detroit and depicts a large seated figure holding a family in one hand and a golden orb (representing God) in the other.

The award is typically given to individuals, organizations, or events that have exemplified the values and spirit of the Detroit community. The criteria can vary, but it often includes acts of kindness, significant contributions to the well-being of the community, or notable accomplishments that bring positive attention to the city.

Throughout the years, a variety of recipients, including celebrities, athletes, organizations, and everyday citizens, have been honored with this award for their contributions to Detroit's community and culture.

Looking Ahead

For us, it's not about accolades, but rather the genuine love and commitment we all feel for our neighborhood. Being recognized with such a distinguished award only adds to our motivation. The journey has been incredible so far, and we're more energized than ever to continue our transformative work.