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Golf: So Who’s Pete Cowen?

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Pete Cowen on his five major champions (he's added a sixth with Gary Woodland), a prank with a lion and a tragedy that haunts him,” writes Guy Yocom who headlines his article, “Pete Cowen: The Best Teacher No One Knows”

Unknown. Really?

Perhaps it’s because Guy is a guy from the other side of the pond and Pete coaches out of a place called Rotherham in South Yorkshire which with all due respect doesn’t ring as the sort of place to find a great golf academy.
In defence of Guy’s, “No one knows” statement it took me years to ‘discover’ Pete’s teachings. Some years back an old friend in the UK sent me a Christmas card which gleefully advised me he’d invested in Pete’s teaching dvds and they had transformed his game.

How about Hogan?

My unawareness of Pete’s teachings was a conviction that teachers in the USA knew best and since “Ben Hogan's Five Lessons the Modern Fundamentals of Golf” was the bible how could a Brit know better?

When asked, “Is Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf still relevant?
Pete Cowen replies, “No. I've read it hundreds of times, and it's increasingly clear that what Hogan thought he did in the swing isn't what he did at all. It's a smart book, and I can absolutely see how he arrived at his beliefs, but that doesn't make it a good how-to manual. Coaches who know what to look for can derive value from it, but average students, no. It will only confuse them.”

As for sweet swinging Sam Snead
When asked about the best swing of all time, Pete replies, “Sam Snead. I played 36 holes with Sam at a tournament in Kenya in 1980. He shot 69-69. I actually led him after those rounds, and I still have the note he wrote for me: "To a wonderful player, Pete Cowen. Regards, Sam Snead." Sam in his prime had this incredible hyper-mobility that was unique in that he was strong enough to control it. He was 68 when I played with him and still carried a 1-iron. It wasn't there just for show—he could drill it. There was the wonderful rhythm, of course, but it also was amazing mechanically. Even with the length and power of his swing, Sam never suffered a serious injury from playing golf that I'm aware of. That alone says a lot.”

Link to Guy Yocom

Quote of the Day
“If it were up to me, each putt would count only half a stroke.” - Pete Cowen sounding like Mr Hogan


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