Owen Dawson is the Director of Golf Instruction at the Country Club of Maryland in Towson, Md
*Notable teachers who have helped shape my teaching methods:
Jason Gus, Andrew Rice, Cheryl Anderson, John Dunagan, Bernie Najar, EA Tischler, Mike Bender, Bill Davis, Jim Suttie, Rick Smith Golf Academies, Jack Lumpkin, Mike Shannon, Gail Petersen, Wayne DeFrancesco, Tom Patri, Mike Adams
I'm fortunate enough to make a nice living doing what I enjoy. It's a very challenging profession which requires a never ending quest to learn how individuals move in the golf swing, their physical limitations and how individuals process information.
When I had my first lesson with Owen a few years ago, I had a very unreliable ‘scoop” swing that was producing weak contact and poor results. Owen took a look at my swing and asked how much I’d be willing to change. I summoned up my courage and told him he could do anything he wanted to my swing; that’s why I was there. Owen then proceeded to make some pretty radical changes, which I did not pick up quickly. It was many steps back before I started taking steps forward. I had a lot of bad-swing muscle memory that was tough for me to overcome. It took me over a year to feel comfortable with the new swing. I stuck with it because I had faith in Owen and because I had seen the progress that other pupils of Owen had made. My swing is now pretty reliable and solid, and Owen has shown me a path for continuing improvement. Owen promises me that the tough part is over, and now the improvement will be incremental. I am more excited about my golf swing and golf game than I’ve ever been. Owen is a outstanding instructor with incredible devotion to teaching. He is one of the best teachers I've ever encountered in any context - sports or academic.
I started taking lessons from Owen in order to learn proper swing mechanics. Mine was a homegrown swing; I thought professional instruction would lead to more satisfying golf. In Owen, you get that and much, much more. He uses the latest technology to record lessons with both video and commentary that are maintained on a server for easy access anytime. His analytical evaluation of posture and swing is enlightening. For execution, Owen uses drills that form the building blocks for a complete swing; add his invaluable swing thoughts and he reduces the time from concept to application so that you can take your new swing to the course sooner. I can't say enough; the process is as much fun as the result -- I've already recommended him to my friends.
I have seen a few PGA instructors prior to seeing Owen but none have been as helpful. I am a left handed golfer and after receiving lessons from right handed instructors every statement always ended with "just reverse it for a lefty". Not Owen, on my first lesson he walked over to my golf bag grabbed a club and hit the shot he wanted me to replicate. He grips my club and then instructs. That was a first for me but it proved to me Owen is different and approaches teaching from his students perspective. After several weeks, I found that my range practice was not translating to the course execution. After discussing with Owen he immediately grabbed a cart and off we went darting in and out of folks on the course to play some holes. Once again he impressed me as most instructors would have given a pep talk but not Owen he showed me my lessons can be executed and it built my confidence. He accomplished confidence building that day without ever mentioning it. Owen is not about using templates to help his students. Everyone is an individual and he wants you to work within your swing. My arch nemesis is my driver and a huge slice. After using flightsscope to analyze my driver he did not try to reconstruct my swing. He reckoned that would take sometime and he wanted to let me start using my club with some confidence. He simply changed my grip and told me this would be uncomfortable to get use to, but if I could, I would keep my ball more playable off the tee. I am proud to say I am now using my driver without hesitancy. When I miss it, is a playable shot with almost 30-50 yards further than my best slice. I cannot wait to see what he recommends next. For those who like objective data my handicap has dropped almost 10 in last 6 weeks. My enjoyment of the game has increased so much, not something I thought would be brought about by taking golf lessons. It was because of Owen. So if you want to change your love for this game, take the first step and see Owen, I guarantee you won't regret it!"
"After receiving a set of 4 lessons from Owen, my game has changed dramatically. I went to Owen as a 9 handicap and had three main goals/targets. First, I wanted to improve my overall ball striking. Second, I wanted to correct my slice with my driver and my fade with my irons. Lastly, I just wanted to be more consistent in all facets of my game from tee to green. Nine months later and after many hours on the range and course, I am now a 5 handicap and trending down. Some of the things I thought I was doing right, Owen was able to pinpoint and correct right away. It was the basics such as grip, posture, and ball position. This was an easy fix and although it felt uncomfortable at first, I slowly worked them all into my routine. Owen was also able to clearly articulate why I was slicing my driver and fading my irons. I just needed to get on plane and he gave me multiple drills to work on at the range. Watching my swing on video and being able to compare it to some of the top professionals was also very helpful. On a video screen, Owen was able to show me where my swing was a little off, from take away to at the top of the back swing to ball impact. He was able to compare my swing from lesson to lesson and it was amazing how much improvement I had made in just a few short months. Once I knew what I was doing wrong and had drills to fix it, I began to hit the ball with a lot more consistency. One of the first things Owen said to me was that by the end of my lessons, I would be able to draw the ball. I was a bit skeptical because I had always hit the ball left to right (slice/fade). Fast forward three months and yes, Owen was right in that I am now able to hit the right to left shot. If he can fix me, he can fix anybody! I can't begin to express how happy I have been with Owen and his lessons. I can now hit a 4 and 5 iron with consistency when this was not even possible prior to my lessons. I am confident in my game from tee to green and recently just shot my low round of my career, 71, at the Country Club of Maryland. Owen is a great teacher and his passion for teaching is very clear. He loves what he does and to me, that was very important because he truly wanted me to get better. I highly recommend getting lessons from Owen if you want to take your game to the next level.”