Golfing Magazine Online -
Know Your Pro: Mahlon Dow of Mattawang Golf Club
John Torsiello
By John Torsiello
Published on 08/10/2010

Know Your Pro: Mahlon Dow of Mattawang Golf Club

MAHLON DOW of Mattawang GolfClub

Age: 52
Course/Facility: The Mattawang Golf Club in Belle Mead, N.J. (since 1994)
Family: Wife-Diane and three sons-Dustin, Tanner and Jaret
Handicap: 0
Best round and where: 63 at Middletown Country Club (formerly Langhorne C.C.), Middletown, Pa.

Know you got into golf: I got into golf following my father to the course when I was nine years old. I would walk along and hit balls occasionally and eventually ended up playing more and more holes. I loved sports and played baseball, football, hockey, basketball and lacrosse in my youth, but I was fortunate that my dad realized golf was something I was good at and could play and work at my whole life.

Positions/jobs before your current position/course: I was Assistant Professional at Hopewell Valley Golf Club in Hopewell, N.J. and at Trenton Country Club in Trenton, N.J., and Head Professional at Oak Hill Golf Club in Milford, N.J. and Rancocas Golf Club in Willingboro, N.J.

How you arrived at your current position/course: I had just left American Golf and Rancocas Golf Club in late 1993 when the current owners of Mattawang Golf Club purchased what was formally known as Pike Brook. I had always enjoyed playing Pike Brook and thought the course had the potential to be one of the finest golf courses open to the public in the state of New Jersey. The course has the character of the older clubs in the Northeast that is seldom seen in public golf. I was really excited to be part of the transition to becoming a semi-private club. It was a great experience because I was a part of every aspect, from the rebuilding of the clubhouse to marketing to redesigning some holes and hazards and everything else that came up in decision making.

What you like most about your job and why: I have always enjoyed being around golfers and enjoyed teaching the game to a new generation. Our club is unique in that our golfers consist of many senior golfers and a very large group of aspiring junior golfers, and many local high school and collegiate golfers. Many members of our golf staff over the years have come out of our Junior Program and that is a very rewarding aspect of the job.

What makes your course/facility special, favorite thing about your course/facility: My most favorite aspect of our club is that the layout is very traditional and the course puts a premium on accurate shot making throughout the round. The fairways are narrow and the greens are very small and well bunkered. I think this is something that is missing in many of the more recently designed clubs. As a result, the importance of accuracy is missing in many good young players games. I have always enjoyed studying the mental side of golf, and I think a course like Mattawang requires a lot more thinking and planning then modern courses.

Best golf tip you can give or ever got: Be yourself on the golf course. Develop a swing that fits your body type and personality. Too many golfers get overwhelmed trying to perfect their golf swings, and over analyze each shot or ball flight.

Parting shots: I do not think there is one perfect swing method or perfect swing model. I grew up watching the greatest shot makers in the history of the game and all of these greats had their own individual swings (Trevino, Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson, Floyd, Player) All of these greats played the game to their individual strengths and managed their rounds in a manner that I do not see currently in tournament golf.