Story and Photos provided by Mike Dowd
It’s 4:30 am when he hits the button, putting the burrs in motion that grind the beans, unleashing the aromatic evidence of freshly brewed coffee.
Sitting down at the kitchen table to begin another 90-minute session of writing, re-writing, proofing, or editing his upcoming fourth book before heading to the course may not be the way most golf professional’s begin their day, but as Mike Dowd punches away at the keys on his MacBook, he is keenly aware of the fact that he’s not like most golf professionals.
Most golf professionals are a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, needing to be proficient in not just playing and teaching the game, but coaching, merchandising, purchasing, management, marketing, tournament administration, public speaking, group travel coordination, and a myriad of other things on a daily basis that fall well outside the scope of what the stereotype portrays.
As the Head Golf Professional at Oakdale Golf & Country Club for the past 18 years, Turlock Resident Mike Dowd does all that and more. And in the past half-dozen years he has added author to that already long list.
As a professional, Mike is a highly respected voice in Northern California, having served three separate three-year terms on the Professional Golfers’ Association Board of Directors, chairing the Communications, Public Relations, and Growth of the Game Committees during that period.
He’s been nominated for the Horton Smith Award as Teacher of the Year and Merchandiser of the Year. He was also the 2013 recipient of the PGA’s Bill Strausbaugh Award, which recognizes those instrumental in mentoring their colleagues on the path to PGA Membership.
Mike is active as well, having been a former member of and chair of the department of Parks & Recreation and Community Services Commission. He is a current member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock, as well as a Director on the Turlock Community Theatre Board.
Becoming An Author
Mike began writing over two decades ago, with articles here and there in golf industry trade publications.
In 2011, he started Tip of the Week, a column covering the mental side of golf and how to get more enjoyment from the game. Soon after, he had impressed readers asking if he actually wrote the pieces himself, and if so, saying he ought to get to work writing a book.
And so he did, and in 2014 he published his first, Lessons from The Golf Guru, Wit, Wisdom, Mind-Tricks, and Mysticism for Golf and Life.
In 2015, Mike began writing for the blog sites Golficity.com, and GolfWRX.com (the second largest golf website in the world), and then followed up his first book with a second installment in the Golf Guru Series, another instructional book, with a handful of short stories mixed in that was sub-titled Secrets, Strategies, and Stories for Golf and Life.
Buoyed by the positive feedback from both books, his highly circulated industry articles, and reader requests to hear the rest of the short stories in his second book, in 2016 Mike began work on his life’s goal of writing a novel.
In 2018 he published Coming Home, the story of a small-town golf prodigy forced to return home and confront the life and people he left behind when his PGA Tour dreams flame out.
“It’s been so rewarding to hear how much people really enjoyed and related to the story,” Mike said when asked about its incredibly positive reviews.
“I had people I didn’t know from around the country telling me how much it spoke to them, or reminded them of something they went through in their own lives.”
Today, Mike is still busy teaching, coaching, and everything else that goes along with the long hours golf professionals spend growing the game they love and making sure those who love playing it get the most out of it.
And when 4:30 rolls around each morning just before heading off to Oakdale Golf & Country Club to do just that, he’s putting the finishing touches on novel No. 2 and looking forward to the upcoming reader’s reaction, hoping he’s more than just a one-hit wonder.
And, more than anything, that people get as much enjoyment out of reading his stories as he does writing them. L
MikeDowdAuthor.com or MikeDowdGolf.com