Jacob Cook is a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky, and is about to start his professional golf career. Jacob consistently improved at Kentucky, and had a scoring average of 71.77 his last year. He played in the 2021 US Amateur, and qualified for US Open Sectionals in 2021 and 2022.
We asked Jacob to tell us about when he was in his worst mental place during a tournament. For him, it was the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational in 2018. He shot 85 and 86 the first two rounds and was begging his coaches to let him WD, because he could not keep the golf ball on the planet. He played the final round knowing he would struggle and shot 85. When he plays bad, he does get bummed, but his faith in Christ reminds him that there is much more to life than golf. Specifically, what helped him in college was being friends with other athletes and realizing that (i) they were all going through it together, and (ii) that his identity was rooted in more than his golfing capability.
When planning for courses, he uses DECADE and (pursuant to Scott Fawcett’s advice) has modified the Driver Decision Flowchart to fit his driver dispersion. If he is going to bomb driver on a hole, there needs to be at least 75 yards between penalty areas. This is very important for junior golfers to understand. Most junior golfers think that they can hit driver in almost situation (or alternatively, they will play too conservatively). It is important for golfers (junior golfers especially) to learn what their dispersion is, then play accordingly.
For more information, listen to the episode https://rss.com/podcasts/thetournamentcode/