"Chuck Cook helped me raise my game to a new level, and Im sure he can do the same for you."
PGA Tour Professional
Bob Estes - PGA Tour Professional
Omar Uresti - PGA Tour Professional
Silvia Cavallieri - 1997 U.S Amateur Champion
Tom Kite / PGA Tour Professional:
When I was a kid growing up in Texas, my first teacher was Harvey Penick. He gave me an understanding of golf that allowed me to improve for most of my career. However, when I went on the PGA Tour in 1973, I found that I needed to make some adjustments in my swing. This was to better handle the different types of courses and weather conditions that I encountered on tour. It was about this time that I first met Chuck Cook, and by the mid-1980s I was working with him almost full time. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to write this introduction for BALANCE: Your Key to Winning Golf.
Chuck has long been one of the most inquisitive of the better teachers. He has talked to most of the top players and probably all of the top teachers in the game. This has given him a true understanding of cause and effect in the golf swing. I recall once when I was getting some help from Mr. Penick, Chuck just happened to be around watching the lesson. When Mr. Penick had finished making his suggestions, Chuck approached him and asked how he knew exactly what to suggest. Mr. Penick told him that when he had been Chucks age, he was not as sure either. It takes years to become one of the best teachers, just as it takes years to become one of the top players. Chuck has now done his homework.
There can be no better example of this than the fact that Chuck has worked with three recent U.S. Open champions, Payne Stewart, Corey Pavin and myself. The interesting thing is that although the wins are similar, the styles and swings are about as different as they can be. Right now, with all the method teachers around, how can one teacher works with three so vastly different players and have success? The secret lies in the fact that Chuck truly understands cause and effect. Chuck is not a stickler for making every swing look alike. He is a stickler for the fact that if a student wants to hit a certain type of shot, then certain things must happen. This is why Corey, Payne and I all feel so comfortable working with Chuck. He only helps us do what we want to do.
What does this mean to the average golfer? It means that Chuck can work with the students natural abilities to help produce the optimum performance. Too often, golfers come away from their lessons more confused and frustrated than they were before the instruction. This does not happen with Chuck in control. He does not overteach-he simplifies. He does not demand-he suggests changes. He gets results. His students all improve! Pay close attention to BALANCE: Your Key to Winning Golf, and you will improve, too.
Corey Pavin / PGA Tour Professional:
I started working with Chuck Cook during the 1995 Tournament Players Championship. I knew that both Tom Kite and Payne Stewart had won U.S. Opens while working with Chuck, and I wanted to raise my game another notch, too. At that time, I was considered the best player to never have won a major, and while that label didnt bother me, I knew I was capable of winning a major championship.
Chuck worked with me on developing a draw for more distance. I could always maneuver the ball both ways, but I was never as comfortable drawing the ball. I use a drill in which I close my stance, aiming 40 yards to the right of where I want the ball to finish, and hitting against my left side. In this way, Chuck helped me balance out, so to speak, my ball flight.
In the first 14 months that I worked with Chuck, I won three tournaments - one was the U.S. Open and one had a million-dollar first prize. My PGA Tour statistics improved dramatically in both distance and accuracy - I rose 26 spots in hitting greens in regulation, and I gained an average of six yards in driving distance. Both were very positive improvements.
You probably saw the 4-wood shot I hit to the 72nd green at Shinnecock Hills to clinch the 1995 U.S. Open. And you probably noticed that the shot turned from right to left. That shot was a result of confidence. Chuck and I had done a lot of work earlier that week and in the weeks leading up the Open. I was simply on my game at Shinnecock, able to hit the shots that were called for-high, low, left-to-right and right-to-left. My game was in perfect balance. Under pressure, I had the confidence to hit the 4-wood shot. It was a tremendous feeling.
Needless to say, I think Chuck Cook is an excellent teacher. To me, the single most important attribute of a great teacher, after he has acquired a sound knowledge of the swing, is the ability to communicate in a number of different ways to accomplish the same goal. Chuck can express his thoughts in 10 different ways. Every student needs to be communicated to in a diferent style, and Chuck has that unique capability.
Chuck Cook helped me raise my game to a new level, and Im sure he can do the same for you.
Payne Stewart / PGA Tour Professional:
Anyone who has ever picked up a club and attempted to strike a golf ball has an appreciation for the complexity of the activity. The relative importance of greater strength or stature seen in most athletic competition is replaced by the more critical need for timing and control. Nevertheless, mastering the mechanical aspects of the game is only the beginning of competitive golf. The highest level of play, like any art form, is a blending of the science of the game with the uniquely personal contribution of the golfer.
Being committed to the melding of the uniquely personal with the technical is the hallmark of a great golf coach. It is this quality that makes Chuck Cook one of the best coaches in professional golf today. Not content with simply forcing his players into one specific style. Chuck he takes each person as an individual with an eye for capitalizing on his or her strengths. This principle of his instruction is perhaps best illustrated by considering the three U.S. Open Champions with whom he has worked. Each of us employs a decidedly different swing. Rather than have us change and conform to some elusive ideal, Chuck recognizes the artistry in our individual techniques and works to develop it.
My association with Chuck has been both professional and personal. When you work with someone for as long as I have with Chuck, it is hard to distinguish between the lessons concerning golf and the more general lessons about life. Together we have shared a lot of golf and life. I would not trade the times we have shared on or off the golf course for anything in the world.