Background: In late 2002, Jaacob Bowden was successfully working in the mid-west corporate world as a 26-year-old computer engineer. Feeling disenchanted with his work, Jaacob quit his job, took his savings, and moved out to California to pursue a golf career, despite only being an average length hitting 14-handicap golfer. As luck would have it, he was taken under the wing of Dan Shauger and Guinness World Record Long Driver Mike Austin. Only 5 months later, Jaacob won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised drive of 381-yards beating out over 160 competitors including the current 2008 RE/MAX World Long Drive Senior Division Champion, Dan Boever. Jaacob went on to hit a venue record 421-yard drive to win a World Championship Qualifier, make multiple cuts in professional tour events around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s, and finish 5th in the Speedgolf World Championships.
Casey / Q:
Jaacob, it was a pretty risky move you made giving up your stability to pursue a sport while you were only an average amateur player. Why did you make that decision and what made you think that you would have a chance of making it as a professional?
Jaacob / A:
I have always had aspirations – a dream if you will – to be a professional athlete. But at that point in my life I figured it was pretty well too late for that dream to come true. However, I was growing disenchanted with my work and was looking for a change. So I made myself a list of things to do or to pursue in life. One of those things was to attend every major sports event at least once – one Super Bowl, one World Series, one NBA Finals, etc. When I flew to Atlanta for work, the 2002 PGA Championship happened to be in town at the Atlanta Athletic Club, and I decided to go. While walking around on the tournament course, I suddenly felt a jolt of energy and sense of being alive that I hadn’t felt for a long time. Something told me that I had what…
Read the rest of what Casey has to say in the September 2014 Monthly Handicap Improver here: