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Q&A With Charles Howell III

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When testing new equipment, what are some of the key performance indicators that you are looking for?
It actually starts with the look of the club. Over the years, I have learned that if a golf club doesn't fit one's eye from the start, it probably never will. Secondly, the feel of the club is very important. Finally, in performance, it's important that I am able to hit multiple shots with the club. With PXG technology, being able to move and adjust the CG location is fun and great to "dial" a club in. I truly believe that any golfer can be fit perfectly into PXG because they have the technology to adjust everything that matters.

How important is feel?
Feel is everything from a golf club perspective as well as even a swing perspective. Feel is subjective to the player, but generally golfers prefer a softer feel. I have never hit a softer feeling iron than the PXG 0311T. A softer feel gives me a better sense of distance control as well as different shots around the green.

What part of your game do you enjoy practicing most?
Throughout the years, I have always enjoyed practicing. I love my time on the range and learning golf swing mechanics. I am a big fan of technology and utilizing it anyway I can to help me play better golf. I use Trackman, K Vest, as well as my iPhone for filming my swing. In short game work, I like to play games. I find that the long game is more science and the short game is more art.

What do you do off the course to improve your game?
Off the course, I love to workout. Growing up just behind the Tiger era, we all learned the importance of gym work to being a better golfer. Throughout the years it's been amazing to see the athletes playing the game of golf. I also enjoy working out to relieve stress and have time to myself.

What is the worst golf tip you were ever given?
The worst tip I was ever given was to keep my arms "in front" of me on the downswing. As I watched more and more videos of the best players of all time, as well as being fortunate enough to talk to and work with awesome instructors, it is clear that the arms must trail the body's rotation on the downswing. It's a great feeling when you get it and it's the best way to hit high draws!

What is the best golf tip you were ever given?
The best tip I was ever given was to play with no regard of the outcome. I fall prey to trying too hard and forcing the issue on the golf course, but when I am able to play like it doesn't matter, it's a lot more fun!

What performance stat do you pay the most attention to?
On the stats side of the game, I pay attention to the strokes gained stats. Mark Broadie and others have done a fantastic job of modernizing stat keeping in golf and I feel that those stats are the most relevant and best screen shot of my game.

Is there a player on tour with whom you maintain a friendly competition?
The tour is extremely competitive. It seems like we are always qualifying for something. Also, everything is public, so it's easy to see exactly where we all stand at any moment. The FedExCup has really energized the latter part of the season and that's when the players really focus and try to turn a season into a great season.

What's your least favorite hazard?
My least favorite hazard is all of them…But as it pertain to rules, the Out of Bounds rule should not be stroke and distance. It should be a stroke penalty and drop where the ball crossed out. We all need more people to play golf and making rules easier and simpler will only help the game of golf!

What is your favorite golf movie of all time?
My favorite golf movie is The Legend of Bagger Vance. I have read the book many times and the movie does a wonderful job. There is more to golf than just the physical and I think Bagger Vance addresses that beautifully.

What's In Charles' Bag?