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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.

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  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!

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf



We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.


But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”


We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing




Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.



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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway



In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway


Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.


Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.


Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway


There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.


Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.


As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.


If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.


But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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