Jacob Drives Himself As Hard As He Drives a Golf Ball

Jacob Cook

• School: Franklin County High
• Grade: 11
• Sports: Golf
• Academics: Homeschooled through fifth grade, Jacob has been a virtual straight-A student since sixth grade. He currently has a 3.9 grade-point average in advanced classes and is a member of the Student Council.
• Parents: Marsha & Dwayne

Franklin County High’s Jacob Cook is such a dedicated student and golfer, his parents feel that their only role is making sure their 17-year-old son gets enough sleep.

“He is driven, focused and determined,” his father Dwayne said. “He is adamant about doing things the right way and doing them on time.”

And it all comes from Jacob.

“He is self-driven,” Dwayne said. “When he entered a free-throw shooting contest when he was 12, he wanted to shoot free throws every day.”

The practice paid off. In the Elks Club national contest, Jacob won at the local, state and regional level and advanced to the national tournament in Springfield, Mass., where he placed fourth.

That same dedication has paid off in the classroom. Homeschooled through the fifth grade, he was a straight-A student in middle school. A junior now, he has a 3.9 GPA in advanced classes.

He was student of the month as a freshman, and is a member of the Student Council and Beta Club.

His dedication and attention to detail also fuel his golf game. He started when he was 5 and won his first tournament as an 11-year-old.

He attended middle school because he wanted to play high school sports – which he did as a sixth-grader, making the Franklin County varsity.

A year later, he led the team in scoring and has played at No. 1 since the eighth grade.

As a freshman, he won his first high school tournament – the same year he recorded three holes-in-one.

He also set the school scoring record with a 73.9 average. He broke his own record as a sophomore, with a 71.9 stroke average, made a school record 62 birdies (the previous record was 41) and qualified for the State tournament.

This year, he already has won three tournaments and has a 71.8 scoring average.

A year ago, he won the Golfweek Junior Tournament in Lexington and qualified for the Callaway Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines golf course in San Diego, site of Tiger Woods’ last major victory.

“Getting to play on that course where Tiger, that was a big deal,” Jacob said.

Like Tiger in his prime, Jacob feels that he has an edge on the opposition.

“I have an advantage mentally because I can get rid of bad shots quickly,” he said. “I don’t worry about my score, and I like to play one shot at a time.”

Most golfers spend a lifetime trying to master the mental side of the game. No wonder Franklin County Coach James Myers calls him a “coach’s dream.”

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