Golfing articles Archives

National Golfer Magazine article from Bowngolf.

My article for the National Golfer magazine about the WGC Matchplay event in Tucson Arizona , in which Hunter Mahan won.£930,000!

Hunter and his coach

Hunter and his coach Sean Foley
  Sean checking things out!
THE World No 1 ranking is up for grabs again this year. After this year’s first WGC event it looks like we are going to have an exciting season.
The Accenture World Matchplay event brought together the top 64 players in the official world rankings and they competed for $8,500,000. The winner, Hunter Mahan, took home a cool $1,400,000! Also, valuable FedEx Cup, Ryder Cup points and of course those extra world ranking points were all on offer.
It’s a massive week for these players and just behind the Majors in importance.
The Dove Mountain course designed by Jack Nicklaus is very testing. It measures a lengthy 7,800 yards off the back tees. The course sits at 2,600ft above sea level so the ball does go about 10 per cent further than normal, a little bit of help towards that massive distance.
All the talk in the build-up of the event was about the defending champion and then World No 1 Luke Donald. Could he win again?
My observations of Luke on the practice ground were that he was working hard on adjustments to his swing and this event had come too early to see him play well this week. He was so consistent last season and I feel he is thinking that to win a Major this year he has to make some changes in his swing. This is a surprise to many people as he had such an incredible year last season, winning both money titles and player of the year and many other awards.
On the range Fernando Gonzalez-Castano was working hard and his coach told me what a big match he had coming with Tiger Woods. What a close match that turned out to be, the European player had several chances to win, but in the end Tiger squeezed through.
Tiger looked good on the range and Sean Foley was there looking on and working his way through his famous stable of players, Woods, Rose, and Mahan.
He chatted to them and filmed a few swings and then showed the players, it was more of a tune-up than anything else.
Tiger is hitting the ball much better, it’s not quite there yet and the putter which has always been so reliable is letting him down, he was on the practice green with Steve Stricker and asked his advice, I watched him putting and he was missing putts right and left, but I am sure he will win once his technique and confidence return. Maybe the Masters in April seems about right!
Lee Westwood was hitting the ball so well, he was looking very confident and he knew he was playing really well. It’s just if the putter works well enough for Lee, but I think he will have a really good year, maybe a Major?
McIlroy and Westwood was the match we wanted to see and Lee was up early on but credit to McIlroy he came storming back from three down, holing putts, it was a great match.
Rory is bringing much more consistency to his game. Although he was not on top form tee to green, his short game looks much sharper and can score better when not quite on his A game. I think it’s a big year for Rory coming up.
A big surprise was the play of Sang Moon Bae. To many he is an unknown, but has had great success on the Asian tour. He has a great swing is very hard working and is climbing the world rankings. Look out for him this year.
Matt Kuchar again was looking very consistent; it was a surprise how he lost to birdie machine Mahan, losing 6&5 in the quarterfinal.
Mark Wilson was a surprise as well, but he is steady and a good putter. He reminds me of a Luke Donald-type player – not the longest but consistent and a fighter.
So we come to Hunter Mahan, everything came together for him this week, he had a new putter which worked amazingly well all week, he does get on putting streaks and can make a lot of birdies.
He was confident with his swing and he has got much more feel into his short game, he did look too mechanical in the past.
He has made swing changes under the guidance of Foley for the last three years and know those changes are becoming much more natural and he can just play and has much more confidence in his whole game.
So we come full circle, who is going to get to number one and more importantly will they be there at the end of the year?
It is obvious that there is no golfer at the moment that will dominate as Tiger has done in the past. Tiger has gone backwards and is building up his game, he is getting more competitive no doubt, but will he reach the highs of the past? I do not think so.
Donald had a career year last year and if he wins a Major this year he has achieved his dream, but I don’t think he will be World No 1 come Christmas.
Martin Kaymer has a good chance, but the hot favourite is McIlroy.
What a talent – the length he hits the ball for his size is incredible, his putting is getting better, if he gets more consistency, which is certainly coming, he has all the qualities to stay at the top of the mountain as World No 1. And he is European!
• David Bown is a PGA AA professional.
   Youtube channel –  bowngolf

A week in the Life of a Tour player?

I know it all seems great travelling the world, playing in exotic warm locations, and if you are good enough earning a living at it , and for a very special few a vast amount of money to be made! But take a look at the last tournament the flagship event on the European Tour, wow did things go wrong there! Firstly Sergio Garcia makes a very stupid comment about his great pal Tiger Woods, this was at the players awards dinner just before the event, then every player and his dog is asked to give an opinion on what was said. Then European Tour head George O’Grady makes a statement and gets that all wrong on Sky tv, and has to issue a apology. The weather is rubbish, its winter out there! I was there at Wentworth filming the players for my video channel, and it was cold, dull and windy, no fun at all, I can tell you! This year the BMW PGA had all of the triumphant Ryder Cup team playing at Wentworth, it was going to be a classic! Sorry No it wasn’t, the lead up to the event was marred by poor comments from people that should no better, ok the weather was totally out of anyones control, but I was at the course all day on the Monday & Tuesday , the official practice days, and I never saw Rose, McDowell, McIlroy, Donald, Westwood, Poulter, on the golf course at all!! Where were they? Its strange that McDowell, McIlroy, Donald, Poulter all missed the cut, and what should have been a fantastic tournament never materialised. I know McDowell won the week before, so he is forgiven, Westwood also put up a good showing, but the so called top players who were expected to fight for the win, all missed the cut! It was left to the lower ranked players to put on a show, and Marc Warren, and Simon Khan and Matteo Manassero certainly provided great entertainment during the last few holes, and of course the brilliant golf played by Khan and Manassero during their play off was enthralling to watch. So it was of to Walton Heath for some players to try and get one of the ten places up for grabs out of a field of around a hundred to qualify for the US Open at Merion this year. The weather was cold and very very windy, the greens fast, balls were being blown around, as Walton Heath is Six hundred feet above sea level, heather awaited any stray shots, players were nearly getting on par fours in one and then playing a 30 yd chip and watching the ball roll and roll straight over the green, and then dropping a shot! The wind must have been blowing around twenty miles per hour. Players started  teeing  off at 6.40 am in two balls. I saw the winner Simon Khan, yes he was there playing another two rounds and playing great golf for a seven under par total to win the event. Paul Casey had a poor start with a 74 but shot a fantastic 64 in the second round to qualify. So its not all glamour out on the European Tour, the competition is intense, the pressure never ending, and its all about the score and not making stupid comments! What surprises are in store for us next week? Please can we have a summer?   Enjoy your golf!

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor contact 07973746872 To view my website. Youtube channel David Bown PGA


So HOW do YOU develop a better golf game?

To learn and improve should be your goal, if you are not learning and working on improving you will probably  be gradually getting worse!

So learn and improve but how?

You will not be able to do this on your own, how many of the best Tour players in the world have no coach?

They all have either a coach who works with them consistently, or a coach who really knows their swing and they see them for check ups periodically.

Tianlang Guan the 14 year old wonder kid who made the cut at the Masters, what an incredible performance that was, is going to work with Tigers coach Sean Foley very soon! He certainly believes he can improve!

You can always improve!

So you need a structured plan, an overview of things you want to improve.

How do you practice and work on your desired plan?

For example say you are going to improve your grip, how do you do it?

How much intensity do you need to really own your grip, your set up, get your alignment, improve your golf swing?

A lot, but make sure the time YOU can put in is not wasted going down blind alleys, listening to bad advice.

Get your club, a eight iron is fine, place your left hand on the club, I cannot in this post show you how to hold the club, I need to see your grip, but I will advise you on your approach and how to practice.

Once you have your hand placed on the club how you need it to be, look at how your hand lays on the grip, feel it, look at it, feel the contact points on your hand, close your eyes, increase your awareness between your hands and the club.

Place your right hand on the grip, mould it onto the left, check that is on the club the way you desire, look at your hands, feel the way the grip lays in the hands, feel the pressure points, close your eyes, sense it, feel it.

You need your grip to be moulded correctly and feel the club is a natural attachment  to your hands.

Hands need to be Educated

Your hands as Homer Kelley said in his book The Golfing Machine, are the command post, they give you feedback of the club face, but only if you have educated hands, hands that are sensitive and understand how to work during the swing.

The great Henry Cotton was another who preached about the brain and hand to club face connection, this is an area of the game that has been in the shadows of late, its more popular at the moment to talk about hips, lag, biomechanics etc.

But how many top golfers have uneducated hands, and no feel of the club face throughout the swing? None of them!

I think you will agree they all really can feel what their hands are doing and where they need to go, throughout the golf swing.

This is what you really need as well, its your only contact with the golf club, you need to be aware, so your hands in time will feel more comfortable, they will be stable, strong, sensitive to movement,  they will be able to give you accurate feedback and will give you a feel of the club face that you have never experienced before!

They will be trained, not two hands doing their own thing, trying to hit the ball!

To improve in anything you need good information, you also need better awareness, heightened senses, better visualisation, better feel,  better planning, more focus!

Wise Words

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

I see golfers doing exactly that on the driving range!


Happy golfing,



David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor



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