Peter Cowan – PGA Professional

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“My father would fill my golf bag with rocks to slow down my backswing.”

Peter-Cowan

Peter Cowan

Head PGA Golf Professional
North Fork Country Club (Est. 1912)
Cutchogue, Long Island, New York

Peter Cowan, a native of Dublin, Ireland, started out in the hospitality business…working for 6 years as a head chef at respected restaurants in Dublin and New York City. But he eventually gave up a promising culinary career to follow his passion for the game of golf, which he had played since he was old enough to carry a bag.

Peter paid his dues as an assistant pro at classic clubs, including Brooklawn (Est. 1895) and The Creek (Est. 1925). For the past 21 years, he has served as head golf professional at North Fork, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious clubs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known Peter for 30 years; since the day he nearly set my house on fire in Connecticut. He’s my first guest on Golf Yeah, not only because he exemplifies someone whose passion for golf drove him to change careers, but also because he’s fun to talk to…as you will see.

Show Highlights:

  • The backstory on Peter and his father’s dream that he become a golf pro
  • Why Peter’s father loaded his golf bag with rocks
  • How and why Peter started out as a chef rather then a golf pro
  • What sad event caused Peter’s career path to take a sharp dogleg left
  • Overview of what it takes to earn a PGA card
  • The different types of golf clubs and arrangements with their pro
  • The toughest part of being a head golf pro
  • Biggest mistakes Peter sees golfers making with their swings
  • Peter’s simple swing thought
  • Smartest and dumbest thing Peter has done in his career
  • The differences between golf in Ireland and the USA
  • What golf equipment Peter uses and why
  • Peter’s sole source of personal inspiration
  • How Peter and Gordon met, and why Peter nearly burned down Gordon’s house

Notable Quotes:

On learning to play the game:   “I grew up playing golf in Ireland, since I was 5 or 6 years old.”

On why he loves the game:   “I love the overall understanding of the game of golf; not just playing the game.”

On building your career:   “To get a shot at a position as a golf pro, you have to work at differentiating yourself from other people.“

On hitting the ball:   “Before you swing a golf club, your posture has to be correct.”

Resources:

Golf Yeah Interview Out-takes

Peter Cowan Website

1 Comment

  1. Diana DeLucia on 12/01/2018 at 2:26 AM

    Peter,

    It’s been a while since I saw you last in Morocco.
    I came across your interview here on LinkedIn. I never knew you were a chef in NYC, I believe you kept that a secret!

    Diana DeLucia
    Editor, Golf Kitchen Magazine

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