Connect with us

19th Hole

Charles Howell III candidly discusses his struggles to win on the PGA Tour



Charles Howell III turned pro in 2000. Now 38, he’s won just twice on the PGA Tour and has never finished inside the top 10 in a major championship. You can bet this frustrates Howell more than it does any of his critics or detractors.

In many people’s minds, Howell has underachieved. A Haskins Award winner at Oklahoma State, individual NCAA Champion in 2000, prodigiously gifted with the golf club and able to generate massive amounts of clubhead speed, Howell was the 2001 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. A winner at the Michelob Championship in 2002, he’s only won once since.

During his Gear Dive podcast, Johnny Wunder asked Howell about this, in a roundabout way, and he was refreshingly candid and remarkably insightful in his response.

Johnny said he thought Howell would have 15-20 wins at this point in his career, then asked, “Looking back, are there any adjustments…to your game, or how you approached your game that you would change?”

Howell replied

“I would have thought at this point in time that I would have had more wins as well. A thing I’ve struggled with is when I’ve gotten in contention to win a golf tournament, be it through 36 holes or 54 holes…I at times struggle with trying too hard to win, where it means a little bit too much at times. I wish I had the ability to play as if it didn’t matter or let the golf just be what it is and let the wins come when they may.”

“That’s one thing…as of late…I’ve played better golf because I have a better understanding of the variance of the game. I have a better understanding that no amount of work or practice…is going to guarantee success. Now, it may set the odds in your favor, but there’s still going to be variance out there. You’re going to have the odd shots here or there that aren’t good and the odd results that aren’t good. I’ve become a lot better at accepting that. I wish I would have been that way more when I was young. It’s not that I wasn’t told that, it’s just that I didn’t truly understand it…”

“I’ve always been a guy that practices a lot and does all that I can do to try to get better, and maybe at times I’ve overworked myself…I also at times maybe gone too far down the road on bad swing ideas, as opposed to abandoning them sooner. I’d go down ‘em until…the ship sank, if you will…But listen, we all live and learn.”

CH3’s honesty is remarkable, really, in the world of professional sports. He didn’t have to admit to struggling to seal the deal or stubborn commitment to swing changes that aren’t working, but his frankness only serves to make us root for him even harder.

You can listen to Johnny’s full talk with Charles Howell III here.

Your Reaction?
  • 156
  • LEGIT15
  • WOW4
  • LOL2
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK3



  1. david

    Jun 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Charles I’ve always rooted for you cause you seem like a good guy, (except when you were in a playoff with Weir, since I’m Canadian) but I don’t understand how after all these years you didn’t overcome this mental component lacking in your game?

  2. Walt Pendleton

    Jun 1, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I’m of the mind set that anyone that can play the game of scoring like Charles can and has a proven record of playing consistently i.e. Joe Durant, then it really comes down to putting well Nside10 feet. John Wooden said, “Practice like you play Charlie and you’ll play like you Practice!” I can help you the next time you’re home here in Augusta to see the folks! My contact info and info on my putting methodology can be found @ Lets Do This buddy! Mr. Walt @ Jones Creek Golf Club in Evans

  3. Jimmy Coco Pop

    Jun 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Who is Charles Howell III? Does play on the PGA Tour?

  4. Timothy Brennan

    Jun 1, 2018 at 1:34 am

    I’m sure he sleeps ok at night. All the bills are paid.

  5. Wiger Toods

    May 31, 2018 at 8:58 pm


  6. TexasSnowman

    May 31, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    From what I’ve observed, CH III has always been very open, and yes a true class act. I think he is a born-again Christian – very grounded and secure in his life and soul; regardless of what happens on the golf course — even though he is totally a golf nut. I always pull for him when he does get into contention.

  7. Joe D

    May 31, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    He’s earned more than $1m each year as a pro, sometimes more than $2m. He might be disappointed but at the end of the day, not a bad way to make a living!

  8. David Bateman

    May 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Not like his career has been a failure… hes top 30 on the all time money list I believe.

  9. Bob

    May 31, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    He is really a class act, hope he wins soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

19th Hole

Lexi Thompson violates Rules of Golf at Indy Women in Tech Championship



During the third round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson unknowingly ran afoul of the Rules of Golf.

Preferred lies–AKA lift, clean, and place–were in effect at soggy Brickyard Crossing. Thompson hit her drive at the par-5 10th hole wide right. It settled in the sixth fairway. Believing she was allowed to lift and clean any ball in the fairway, Thompson began to do so.

The rule, of course, only applies to balls that settle in one’s own fairway. Fortunately for Thompson, an official saw what was happening and stepped in to administer a penalty.

“Thankfully, Marty [the official] intervened before she hit her next shot,” Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill reported. “Otherwise, she would have been hitting from the wrong spot, and it would have been a two-shot penalty. So, in a sense, it saved her a shot.”

The LPGA issued this statement.

“While playing the third round of the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson incurred a one-stroke penalty for breach of the preferred lies local Rule (Appendix IA Part 3b Course Conditions).”

“The Committee adopted the preferred lies local Rule due to the turf conditions of the golf course after receiving over an inch of rain. The LPGA, under the local Rule, restricts the player from preferring her lie when her ball lies in a closely-mown area of a hole other than the one being played.”

“During the play of hole #10, Thompson’s tee shot came to rest in the fairway of hole #6. As Thompson’s ball lay on the fairway of hole #6, she was not entitled to prefer her lie.”

“She preferred her lie in breach of the local Rule but prior to playing her stroke from a wrong place (Rule 20-7), she was questioned by a Rules official regarding her actions. As she had not played her stroke from the preferred spot, she did not receive the general penalty of two-strokes under the local Rule. However, she did incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 for lifting her ball at rest without authority.”

Your Reaction?
  • 15
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW18
  • LOL6
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP1
  • OB3
  • SHANK40

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ caddie, paid a heckler $25 to leave at the WGC-Bridgestone



While Steve Williams would likely have taken a different route, Tiger Woods’ current caddie admitted to bribing a fan to leave his boss alone.

LaCava called into ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and told a tale of paying of a heckler at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

LaCava said the man heckled Woods throughout his final round at the Bridgestone, and on the 14th hole, LaCava interceded, telling the man to check out action elsewhere on the course. Interestingly/absurdly, the man said he would be happy to, provided LaCava reimburse him for his ticket.

Here’s the full transcript c/o ESPN.

Mike Golic: “Did you have any issues with the people at Bellerive?”

Joe LaCava: “Not at all, and you hit it right on the head, 99 percent of the guys and women are behind Tiger, pushing for Tiger. They want to see good golf in general they’re not anti-the-other-guys, but they’re certainly rooting for Tiger more so than the other guys. But, funny you guys ask that question. The week before in Akron, I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing my guy on the 14th hole at Akron the last day outside the ropes, roughening him up pretty good. And I said, hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s pulling for Tiger. You don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but you don’t to be yelling at my guy, screaming negative stuff like that. And I said at the end of the day, if you affect him, his performance, it effects my bottomline. So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy, and I say why don’t you just leave. And he says well if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today I’ll leave. And I said here you go, here’s $25.”

Mike: “Did he leave?”

Joe: “So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the 14th fairway toward the green. I say look pal $25 is $25 you gotta head the other way. So he starts to head the other way, he goes 20 yards down the line, then he calls me a certain other, a swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way and I’m going face to face with this guy. And all the sudden Tiger’s looking for a yardage, and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line. So some cop has to come in, push this guy outta the way, and take him outta the tournament.

Mike: “So what did Tiger say when you came back to give him the yardage?”

Joe: “Well that’s a great question. We were so far to the right of the trees, and he was on his third shot believe it or not, we were still 150 yards away from the green, and he didn’t really know what happened. He heard the commotion, he heard the guy yelling at him, so we talked about it after the fact, but he didn’t really know how it developed. And he says I was wondering what happened, and he goes normally it wouldn’t that long to get a yardage. I said well a little incident down the road. He didn’t have a problem with it, and actually I gotta standing ovation for kicking the guy outta there.

Security probably should have happened sooner when LaCava was $25 richer.

Your Reaction?
  • 301
  • LEGIT27
  • WOW18
  • LOL13
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP4
  • OB3
  • SHANK20

Continue Reading

19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur



16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW3
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB2
  • SHANK56

Continue Reading

19th Hole