Carrie Rengers

Josh Cook and Golf Channel team for new golf academy (+video)

Longtime Wichita Country Club golf instructor Josh Cook first began seriously considering having his own golf academy at the beginning of last year.

“I started to really give a lot of thought to going out on my own,” he says. “I decided I was ready to make a move to where I could have a larger effect in Wichita.”

Then, he says, the Golf Channel called about its Golf Channel Academy.

“Basically what they’re putting together is a network of the best instructors across the country,” Cook says.

There are 68 selected so far, he says, “and I’ll be one of them.”

“It was kind of the kick I needed to do something special in this area.”

Josh Cook Golf Academy will be co-branded with the Golf Channel Academy and located at Terradyne Country Club, where Cook currently is teaching.

Terradyne co-owner Rob Patton is Cook’s partner in the venture.

Cook will teach youth and adults, who won’t have to be Terradyne members in order to have monthly memberships to his academy.

Patton and Cook bought a house lot in the Villages at Terradyne and will have a building with about 3,000 square feet upstairs for students to hit golf balls into nets off of mats. They can also open garage doors to hit from the inside out. There will be video equipment and Doppler radar to help students track the flight of their golf balls.

There also will be a large basement area for students to practice their short games.

Cook says he and Patton will break ground for the academy in May, and it should be ready this fall.

“We’re looking at a location in western Kansas and maybe one other location in Kansas later on.”

Cook, an Augusta native, says, “Growing up, I had always wished that I had access to good instruction.”

Also, he says he’s always wanted the ability to play year round.

“I’m going to be filling both of those voids for the community.”

Cook played golf at Kansas State University and graduated with a degree in kinesiology.

He was a head instructor for Hank Haney Golf in Dallas from 2001 to 2003 and assistant golf professional at Wichita Country Club from 2003 to 2007. He was then director of golf instruction there from 2007 until this year.

Golf Digest ranked him the No. 1 instructor in Kansas this year, and Cook has been named the South Central Section PGA teacher of the year five times.

Cook says what he can do to help golfers depends on their levels of play and what their goals are.

He says they might need better techniques or practice planning.

“Or just access to being able to practice year round so their game can stay sharp and improve.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers