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.

Golf Fest 2023 And A Day with JTA Realtors at Chandler Park Golf Course

It was great to be asked back for Golf Fest 2023 as part of the JTA Realtors team!

Jaacob Bowden and the JTA Realtors team at Golf Fest 2023, Chandler Park Golf Course

With it being partly cloudy, 81 degrees, and approximately 9 mph winds, the weather made for a fantastic day out at Chandler Park Golf Course, and included:

  • Eating from food trucks
  • Playing golf
  • Enjoying happy hour with signature cocktails inspired by Grey Ghost, Basan, and Second Best with sounds by DJ Blab Golf
  • Having a strolling BBQ dinner featuring grill masters Jermond Booze, Davante Burnely, and Fried Chicken & Caviar

A Big Thank You To The Sponsors

Thanks so much to the sponsors who generously supported the event benefitting Detroit Achievement Academy and Detroit Prep. Without their contributions, the event would not have been possible. It was privilege to partake with each one of you.

About Detroit Achievement Academy & Detroit Prep

"Detroit Achievement Academy and Detroit Prep are free public charter schools serving 700 kindergarten - eighth grade students, and exist to holistically support the education and development of students who have the determination, drive, and skills to shape their own path of high achievement with the ultimate goal of creating civically engaged, joyful citizens who are ready to change the world. 

Our school buildings are integral in living out our mission to serve thousands of Detroit students, but are an enormous investment. We believe that a joyful, student-centered space in which to learn and play should not be a privilege associated with socioeconomic status or zip code. We also believe that being responsible neighbors is also really important. We have a longstanding goal to be intentionally enmeshed with the neighborhood and to serve as active sites for our community to gather. Detroit Prep’s building was sitting empty for ten years before we brought it back to life. Detroit Achievement Academy’s building will have a state-of-the-art gymnasium and performance space that will be used by community groups, recreation leagues, and city organizations like Detroit PAL. We are not just schools in neighborhoods; we seek to be assets who add stabilization and value to our neighborhoods."

For more information about Golf Fest 2023, visit the visit the official page.

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INVESTMENT: Starting at $20,000/day

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Jennifer Giroux
+1 833 988 3951


Enjoying a Corporate Golf Outing at Arcadia Bluffs with Dom Group

With the tee sheet fully booked at Arcadia Bluffs - Bluff Course until October, was fortunate to have a great corporate outing with Dom Group today. The views are wonderful and this part of Lake Michigan looks like the ocean.

Stunning view of Lake Michigan from Arcadia Bluffs golf course

Stunning view of Lake Michigan from Arcadia Bluffs golf course.

Jaacob Bowden tees off on #10 at Arcadia Bluffs - Bluffs Course towards Lake Michigan

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INVESTMENT: Starting at $20,000/day

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Jennifer Giroux
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T-35th at the Midwest Golf & Turf Pro-Am Presented By VGM Financial

Had a great time and finished T-35th at the Midwest Golf & Turf Pro-Am presented by VGM Financial at The Fortress Golf Course in Frankenmuth, Michigan with my amateur parter Steve Thom.

Finished T-35th at the Midwest Golf Turf Pro-Am Presented by VGM Financial at the Fortress Golf Club in Frankenmuth, Michigan

Thanks to Kyle Martin and The Fortress for hosting, Paul Wiltsie at Midwest Golf & Turf for sponsoring, Aaron Meyer of VGM Financial for being the presenting sponsor, and Justin Phillips at the Michigan PGA for putting on a great event.

Interested in booking celebrity professional golfer Jaacob Bowden for a golf outing?

Join Jaacob for an experience to remember!

INVESTMENT: Starting at $20,000/day

TRAVELS FROM: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Jennifer Giroux
+1 833 988 3951


Reviving Detroit's Legacy: The Journey to Reclaim the 'City of Trees' Nickname

Many people know Detroit as the "Motor City", but Detroit was also once referred to as the "City of Trees" because of the city's extensive boulevard system and the many trees that once lined its streets and parks.

This nickname and its reputation can be traced back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

In the late 1800s, Detroit began a significant boulevard construction effort. Under the leadership of people like Mayor Hazen S. Pingree, the city undertook extensive efforts to beautify the streets and add green spaces. Pingree, who served as mayor from 1890 to 1897, was also known for his tree-planting initiatives. He believed that trees could enhance the city's beauty and improve public health. As a result, thousands of trees were planted throughout Detroit during his tenure.

In the early 1900s, the city's broad avenues and streets were lined with trees, and its numerous parks were lush with greenery, earning it the "City of Trees" nickname.

Contributing Factors of Detroit's Tree Loss

However, between 1950 and 1980, its estimated that around 500,000 trees were lost due to a variety of factors that included:

  • Dutch Elm Disease: In the mid-20th century, Dutch Elm Disease, a devastating tree disease, hit North America. This disease ravaged American elm trees, which were commonly used in urban landscapes across many U.S. cities, including Detroit. The disease led to the removal of thousands of trees in the city.

  • Urban Development: The expansion and development of the city also meant that many trees were removed to make way for roads (Ex. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956), buildings, and other infrastructure. This is a typical story for many cities undergoing rapid growth and industrialization.

  • Economic Decline and Population Loss: The latter half of the 20th century was marked by significant economic decline in Detroit, especially with the evolution of the auto industry. This shift led to population loss, abandoned properties, and reduced maintenance. Overgrown and dead trees were often not cared for, and some fell or were removed due to safety concerns.

  • Lack of Replanting Efforts: A combination of dwindling city finances and other pressing priorities meant that tree replanting was not always a focus for the city.

In the early 2000s to mid 2010s, even more trees were lost due to the Emerald Ash Borer.

Decade Population Notes
1701 Around 100 Detroit founded
1800 1,650
1810 2,211
1820 1,422
1830 2,222
1840 9,102
1850 21,019
1860 45,619
1870 79,577
1880 116,340
1890 205,877
1900 285,704 Ford Motor Company founded in 1903
1910 465,766
1920 993,678
1930 1,568,662
1940 1,623,452
1950 1,849,568 Dutch elm disease and, all in 1956, Ford moved Admin HQ to Dearborn, the last Detroit Streets Railway streetcar was shut down and many tracks were eventually paved over, and the Federal Aid High Act passed which lead to the federal interstate system beginning to be built through Detroit
1960 1,670,144 Dutch elm disease, federal interstate system built through Detroit
1970 1,514,063 Dutch elm disease, federal interstate system built through Detroit
1980 1,203,368 Greening of Detroit founded in 1989
1990 1,027,974
2000 951,270 Emerald Ash Borer disease detected in 2002
2010 713,777 Emerald Ash Borer disease
2020 639,115

Reforesting the City

In recent years, however, there have been concerted efforts to reforest and rejuvenate Detroit's urban canopy. Several organizations and community groups like Greening of Detroit (founded in 1989) have engaged in tree planting events, aiming to restore the value of trees in the city.

Benefits of Trees

Benefits of trees can include:

  • Improving air quality
  • Regulating temperature by providing shade
  • Reducing energy costs for buildings & homes
  • Absorbing CO2 from the air
  • Breaking rainfall to improve stormwater drainage
  • Making cities quieter
  • Providing habitat for wildlife
  • Improving mental health
  • Encouraging being outdoors
  • Promoting social interaction
  • Increasing safety
  • Boosting community morale
  • Increasing property values
  • Buffering wind

Getting Involved in Our Neighborhood

My wife and I decided to help.

About a year ago, we went for an evening walk and jotted down on a spreadsheet on one of our smart phones the precise location for every city berm (the grassy area between the road and sidewalk) spot where we thought a tree should go, which totaled about 200 trees in the immediate blocks surrounding our home. We attempted to submit our list to be included as part of the city's "10,000 Up!" tree planting program, but were unsuccessful in being added to their planting list.

But as luck would have it, we got invited by our friends Rich and Janessa to The Greening of Detroit's Sip and Taste on August 22nd, 2022 and found out that Greening was looking for spots to plant in Southwest Detroit, but didn't know where to plant…and serendipitously, we were able to provide them with what they needed, they subsequently put our neighborhood on the Spring 2023 planting list, and we managed to get 130 new trees planted along our streets on March 23rd and 25th thanks to the assistance of various Greening staff like Jenna Johnson and Christina Ridella along with many volunteers.

As the trees bloomed and the leaves came in during spring, our neighborhood felt transformed!

It was such a success that Greening invited us to speak on behalf of our community during their Greening Bus Tour on June 21st, 2023, which I was happy to do since Jen was out of town.
Jaacob Bowden and his wife Jennifer Giroux were champions in helping to organize the planting of 130 new trees in Hubbard Richard
Looking Ahead

We still have a number of spots to plant. We're planning on marking those spots later this summer with Greening and, hopefully, our neighborhood will then be added to their Spring 2024 planting schedule, at which point we would conceivably have 100% berm infill in Hubbard Richard.


This will be so great for our neighborhood and it's my hope that what we're doing can be replicated throughout the entire city in order that Detroit, once again, becomes "The City of Trees".

Stonebridge Cup Experience: A Day on the Course with Jaacob Bowden

Fun to hold the trophy at the Stonebridge Cup today at Sylvan Glen Golf Course in Troy, Michigan!

Jaacob Bowden holds the trophy at the Stonebridge Cup brought to you by Stonebridge Financial

Alas, our team managed a 4th place finish but we did have a lovely day together.

Thanks to Stonebridge Financial Group for hosting the event!

Interested in booking celebrity professional golfer Jaacob Bowden for a golf outing?

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INVESTMENT: Starting at $20,000/day

TRAVELS FROM: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Jennifer Giroux
+1 833 988 3951


5th Guest Appearance on Golf Smarter Podcast

Thanks to host Fred Greene of the Golf Smarter podcast for having me on as a guest for the 5th time!


"Episode 888: Jaacob Bowden of and was convinced that someday he would be a competitive Tour level golfer. He’s now been around the game for 20 years and his quest has brought him to the Speed Golf World Championships, World Long Drive Championships, and becoming an excellent golf instructor. In this episode we discuss his journey and how golfers at any age or skill level can increase their swing speeds which results in greater distance."

Chapter Markers:

0:00 Intro
1:31 First time we met
2:41 Making the PGA TOUR
6:27 Being a starving artist
12:50 Mindset in long drive
17:18 Losing the ego
18:47 Swing speed training
20:16 Benefit of swing speed training
25:04 How to increase swing speed
28:56 Speedgolf
31:26 What clubs do you carry in Speedgolf
34:19 Running on a golf course
38:38 Tour experience
40:47 PGA TOUR experience
43:52 Plans for 20th anniversary
47:55 Swing Man Golf

Listen to Episode 888 here:

Listen to "Speed Swing Training - Without Bulking Up Like Bryson, featuring Jaacob Bowden | #888" on Spreaker.

Watch the episode on YouTube here:

Listen to the other 4 episodes with Jaacob as a guest on Golf Smarter below:





Corporate Golf Outing With Dom Group in Spain

Had a wonderful time in the Murcia region of Spain from March 7th to 16th for 7 days of golf with Dom Group CEO Steve Thom.

Jaacob Bowden putts at Aguilon Golf in Spain during an corporate outing for Dom Group

We played:

- Roda Golf - Friendly off the tee with small challenging green complexes, a nice start for a first course
- Las Colinas Golf & Country Club - A DP World Tour Qualifying Venue, extremely windy when we played
- Aguilon Golf - The driving range was unfinished, club house mediocre, pace of play slow, and course design needing some work…but it had beautiful mountain and sea views and might've been the most pretty course of the trip (see photo above)
- Saurines De La Torre Golf (3 times) - Our favorite course of the outing, will nearly always find your ball in this walkable desert style course, we both finished with our best rounds here with a 6 birdie round for me
- El Valle Golf - The best club house patio views of the trip and we both drove the green on a par 4 on this course (see photo below)

This gets me to roughly 279 golf courses played in my career around the world!

Enjoying two beers on the patio overlooking El Valle Golf in Spain

Interested in booking celebrity professional golfer Jaacob Bowden for a golf outing?

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INVESTMENT: Starting at $20,000/day

TRAVELS FROM: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Jennifer Giroux
+1 833 988 3951


Golf Fitness Association of America - 2022 Award Winner

The Golf Fitness Association of America is now 2 years old and I'm honored to have been selected again as a 2-time award winner in the Off-Course category for my work in golf fitness and swing speed training.

If you're interested in increasing your swing speed, head over to Swing Man Golf and get started with one of our swing speed training programs today!
Swing Man Golf and Jaacob Bowden have been selected as an award winner in the Off-Course catergory by the Golf Fitness Association of America (GFAA)

47th Birthday

It's my 47th birthday. Thanks to everyone who reached out by phone, text, email, social media, etc.

It started out with a lox bagel, cookie, and coffee at James Oliver in Corktown, followed by some errands, a tarot session with Zoe Villegas, a natal chart and human design reading with Michelle Fedrizzi, dinner at Mumma Maria's House in West Village with my wife Jen, and a mini birthday cake at home while watching the season finale of "Welcome to Chippendales".

A fine birthday and great start to 2023!