Cook to Coach USA Arnold Palmer Cup Team
LAS VEGAS – Coastal Georgia Head Coach Mike Cook has been selected to coach the United States Arnold Palmer Cup team at Formby Golf Club in Formby, England. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 24-26.
“This is truly an honor being selected as the coach for the U.S. team for this year’s Arnold Palmer Cup.” said Cook. “To try and guide ten of the greatest collegiate players from the United States through matches against Europe is a huge privilege. It will be future PGA TOUR players against one another. I’m looking forward to the challenge this June at Formby Golf Club in England. I’m sure the United States will be ready.”
Cook joined the Coastal Georgia athletics staff in 2010 to become the head coach for the new men’s and women’s golf teams. Prior to the 2013-14 school year, he was named the school’s director of golf. In this role, he oversees both the men’s and women’s progams while serving as the men’s head coach.
Cook led Coastal Georgia to back-to-back NAIA national championships and received the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips both seasons. During that span the Mariners won 13 tournaments and finished no worse than third in 20 events.
In the 2013-14 season, Cook guided the Coastal Georgia men to the NAIA national championship, which was the first national crown in the history of the school. He received the Dave Williams Award after having earlier been named the Southern States Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. The Mariners won five times during the season.
In 2014-15, the Mariners won a second consecutive NAIA national title. He also led the team to eight wins in 10 total tournaments while producing five all-conference players and four PING All-America selections. Cook again received the Dave Williams Award.
The Mariners were ranked fourth in the country after the recent fall season. They were ranked No. 1 in the Bushnell/Golfweek NAIA preseason poll. Coastal Georgia won the NAIA Men’s Golf Fall Preview in October at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., and finished top four in each of their four fall events.
Cook, a longtime teaching instructor at the renowned Sea Island Golf Club, led both Coastal Georgia teams to instant success in their inaugural seasons. Both squads won their respective championships in the Georgia College Athletic Association and advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship tournaments, where the Coastal Georgia men finished fourth and the women took sixth. Cook was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year for Region 17 after the 2011 season.
In the 2011-12 season, the Coastal Georgia men won two tournaments under Cook’s guidance and finished ranked fifth in the nation by golfstat.com, but weren’t eligible for postseason play as a new NAIA member. The Mariner women finished ranked 18th and also won their first tournament as a program during the spring season.
In 2012-13, the Mariner men finished no worse than fourth in nine events with two victories. They finished ranked 16th in the NAIA. The Coastal Georgia women finished top-5 in all nine events with two wins and two seconds including the runner-up finish at the SSAC tournament. They were ranked 19th in the final NAIA poll.
In all, Cook has led the Coastal Georgia men to 18 tournament wins in five years while Mariners players have won 14 individual championships.
Cook started with Sea Island as a teaching instructor in 1991. He was selected among the top 15 teachers in Georgia by Golf Digest and has been named teacher of the year by the Georgia PGA East Chapter three times.
For several years, Cook has had the responsibility of overseeing Sea Island’s junior golf program, and in 2007, the Georgia PGA named him Junior Golf Leader.
Cook has worked with players of all ages and skill-levels, including top junior, collegiate and professional players.
Cook is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Bulldogs golf team. He helped Georgia to the SEC championship as a senior during the 1982-83 season and was named PING Third-Team All-America and first-team All-SEC that year.
He played professionally from 1983-86 and was a member of the South African PGA Tour in 1984.
Cook won the Georgia PGA championship in 1998 at Sea Island and won the Georgia PGA Assistant Professionals championship in 1992 in Peachtree City.
He is married to wife Lori and they have a son Michael and daughter Madelyn.
The United States leads the Arnold Palmer Cup series 10-8-1.