From Another GFAA Win to PGA.com: Unleashing Your Swing Speed Potential

After winning my 3rd straight Golf Fitness Association of America (GFAA) award, I got asked to collaborate on a golf fitness article for PGA.com. I decided to do something centered around swing speed training to help golfers add distance to their full shots, which is statistically a crucial key to lower scores.


Check out the full article here!

The Swing Speed Radar is Back!

Over at SwingManGolf.com, we sold the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar for 11 years from 2009-2019. After approximately a 5 year hiatus, we've decided to reintroduce it to the product lineup.

golf-swing-speed-radar-blue-new

It's a nice price, it's portable, and it's very easy to use with just a single button. Overall, it's a fantastic product to have as part of any swing speed training program.

Get one here!

Winning a 3rd Straight GFAA Award

Today I received an email from Rick Summers, the CEO of the Golf Fitness Association of America (GFAA), informing me that Swing Man Golf and I were selected as an award winner in the Off-Course category.

This was our 3rd straight win!

Jaacob Bowden & Swing Man Golf are 3-time winners of the Golf Fitness Association of America Off-Course Award

Congratulations to all the other winners and thank you to Rick and the staff of the GFAA for the recognition!

If you are at all interested in swing speed training for more distance and power from tee to green on the golf course to lower your handicap potential, check out what we have to offer at Swing Man Golf.

We've been the industry leaders in this category since 2007!

Pros and fitness trainers also have the option of going through our certification program…and PGA of America professionals can earn 7 PDR continuing education points once the assessment is passed.

It's My 48th Birthday!

It's my 48th birthday!

Jaacob Bowden and his wife had dinner at The Highlands in the GMRENCEN for his 48th birthday

Jen and I started out the day with a health maintenance visit to Dr. Salame at Health First Chiropractic Clinic, I had an astrology reading with Evan Nathaniel Grim, we had dinner at The Highlands on the 71st and 72nd floor of the GMRENCEN in downtown Detroit, grabbed an evening drink at Bar Pigalle with a couple friends, and then polished it off with a post bar hang at their house.

It was a fine way to start this next trip around the sun!

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!

GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL

🚨 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.