Behind the Greens: Chris Cooke
It’s no secret that the key to the winning formula of KCGC 2.0. is not only the uninterrupted mountain views, but the people. From the team we employ to everyone (golfers and non-golfers) that ‘make the time’ to play a round or hang out at the course, it’s the KCGC family that makes this place truly special!
If you’ve had the opportunity to #PlaytheK, chances are you’ve likely run into our Assistant Golf Professional, Chris Cooke, in one way or another. From greeting guests and ensuring everyone is set up properly for their tee times to knowing all of the products we sell inside-and-out, Chris is your go-to-guy.
“Working at KCGC has always been my dream, and I could not be more excited to have played a part in KCGC 2.0.’s first season. From setting up the golf shop to organizing the staff, this season was a blank slate and it’s been an amazing experience. I’ve met some incredible people and learned so much. I already can’t wait for the 2019 season!”
For us, it’s important for you to get to know the expert team behind KCGC 2.0. So, we caught up with Chris in-between Greens to ask him a few questions and learn more about him, both on and off the course.
What is your role at KCGC?
CC: I am the Assistant Golf Professional and Manager of the Golf shop, working under the one-and-only Bob Paley, who is an incredible mentor. It’s my job to make sure everyone is set up for success, and that starts off with greeting everyone and making sure our guests feel comfortable as they arrive. I teach clinics out on the driving range, organize our starters and ambassadors, ensure everyone is keeping the pace, and get everyone out on the course as timely as possible. Essentially, I always want our guests to feel that personal touch on the course. We are a family and we want our guests to feel that from start to finish.
What are you most excited for, looking ahead to next season?
CC: Probably knowing that we will be starting off the 2019 season next with a full 36. Seeing everyone back at this course this year was magical. Everyone has a story and a memory that provided a touchpoint between them and the course from previous years. Everyone has had a huge smile on their face and are so excited to jump onto the course – it was amazing to witness and be a part of that.
Pictured above: Chris, his Dad, and Grandpa #PlayingtheK in 2001
What’s your background – what led you to work here at this course amidst the Rockies?
CC: I was born and raised in Canmore and essentially grew up on the golf course. My dad worked at the Canmore Golf and Country Club, so I started playing young. I played junior and eventually got a golf scholarship to go to the University of Arkansas and played at courses around North America. When I graduated I knew I had to come back to Canada, I love it here. I worked under my dad for a bit, but KCGC was always on my radar. So, when the position came up I jumped on it and haven’t looked back since!
What do you love most about the Kananaskis Region?
CC: It’s just you and the wildlife – it’s about as tranquil as it gets. From riding at Boundary Ranch to hiking to snowboarding to swimming in the many lakes, there is always something to do within a close-knit community. Plus, the fact that we have established a 36-hole world-class golf course, essentially in the middle of a mountain park is amazing.