Steven Cook, CGCS, MG, named director of agronomy at Medinah

By |  February 22, 2018 0 Comments

Steve Cook (second from right) representing the Wee One Foundation along with Chad Ball, Paul Bastron and Luke Cella at the 2013 Golf Industry Show.

One chapter ends and another begins in the storybook career of Steven M. Cook, CGCS, MG. Cook confirmed for Golfdom today that he has resigned his position as director of agronomy at Oakland Hills CC, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and accepted the same position at Medinah (Ill.) CC.

Cook had just completed his 20th year working at Oakland Hills, where he hosted a Ryder Cup, a PGA Championship and two U.S. Amateurs in his time at the club. He said it was tough leaving Oakland Hills, but Illinois is home.

“It’s nice to get closer to home. I started my career there a while back so it’s like going home for me,” Cook says. “I grew up in Illinois, my parents are still in Illinois, it’ll be nice to be closer to them, to family and friends. They’re in the Quad Cities, but I’ve got friends, college buddies, in Chicago.”

Cook says he is looking forward to not only a new challenge at Medinah, but also a bigger challenge.

“It’s a new challenge, a bigger challenge, a more difficult challenge… there’s the BMW (Championship),” Cook says. “I like what’s going on at Medinah right now. It fit, it’s a good opportunity for me.”

Cook says it will be a “few weeks” before he makes the move. He resigned yesterday and details were still being worked out. Cook says it will be difficult to pack up his office on his last day.

“I’ve been here 20 years, my home is in Michigan,” Cook says. “I’ve got a lot of members here who I wouldn’t consider employers, but I consider friends. I’ll keep in touch with them.”

Cook, one of the few professionals in the industry to be both a Certified Golf Course Superintendent and a Master Greenkeeper, has had an impressive career. Prior to his time at Oakland Hills, Cook worked as superintendent at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa (1992-1997) and as the superintendent at Golf de Joyenval in France (1990-1992). The University of Illinois grad has multiple marquee events on his résumé, including the 2008 PGA Championship and the 2004 Ryder Cup.

“Two U.S. Amateurs, a Ryder Cup, a PGA, a bunch of construction… my whole life is here at the club,” Cook says about all the memories he has at Oakland Hills. “But every chapter comes to a close and every story has an ending. This chapter of my career is finished and the next chapter starts, so it’s exciting.”

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