As Seen on CBS Sports Network: John Cook Joins “The Charlie Rymer Golf Show”

In Season 1, Episode 6 of “The Charlie Rymer Golf Show” on CBS Sports Network,  PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions veteran John Cook joins Charlie’s podcast segment to discuss, among other things, how golfers can prepare themselves for their next round with a simple exercise to lengthen their spine.

Charlie Rymer:

Welcome in to the Charlie Rymer Podcast. We talk about golf, life, and pretty much anything else that we get to. Today, I’m thrilled to be joined by John Cook. John has 11 wins on the PGA TOUR, 10 on the PGA TOUR Champions, one of the nicest guys that you’ll ever meet. And he’s my good buddy and that’s the most important part. Cookie, I appreciate you taking out some time to … So Cookie, what’s going on with PGA TOUR Champions? In particular with Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk coming out, and they are absolutely on fire. Looks like they’re going to win everything in sight. Is it that easy?

John Cook:

Oh, man. Charlie, it is not that easy. The talent is incredible. I mean, through the whole tour you’ve got, I mean, hundreds and hundreds of wins throughout the PGA TOUR career. So to have Jim Furyk come out, win his first two events. And have Phil come out, win his first two events. It’s only been done one other time in the history of the PGA TOUR Champions, and that was Bruce Fleischer. So to have them come out, yeah, it’s kind of an anomaly, but it’s great to have them out there and supporting the PGA TOUR Champions. Charlie, you’ve been out there. You know the vibe out there.

Charlie Rymer:

I understand that. You’re on the north side of 60 now. Obviously, you’re in great shape. You work a lot on the telecast out on PGA TOUR Champions, but you still get around the golf course really well too. For our folks that are watching and listening, what’s maybe a couple of keys that you’ve had since turning 50 to stay flexible, to stay fit, to continue to play excellent golf?

John Cook:

That’s just it, Charlie. When I turned 50, I could feel my body wasn’t quite right. And if I was going to be an impact or play well on a PGA TOUR Champions, I knew I had to get in better health. My body needed to be stronger. So I got to work with a doctor out in Newport Beach, Dr. Tim Brown, in his system. We started working on mobility and flexibility, because we’ve spent all of our time hunched over, and getting smaller and shorter. So when I learned how to do that and got onto that program, I could just feel my body start to lengthen out just a little bit.

Charlie Rymer:

Yeah. As you described that, I’m sort of trying to correct my posture here in my chair. I’m going to sit up a little straighter.

John Cook:

We spent all our lives hunched over like that.

Charlie Rymer:

Yeah.

John Cook:

So, we want to go the other way.

Charlie Rymer:

But can you give me maybe one example? When you say you’re working on lengthening the spine, and maybe just one example of how you go about doing that.

John Cook:

You can get on that big exercise ball, and just lay on your back, and you put the ball kind of between your shoulder blades. And just move around, and just let your shoulders kind of hang off, and feel pretty much like those shoulders are just lengthening.

Charlie Rymer:

Opening up the shoulders. Yeah.

John Cook:

Exactly. You got to get opened up.

Charlie Rymer:

But I worry about that exercise ball. Last time I tried to get on one of those, I popped it. So, that’s not a good sign. But the thing I want to close with, there’s something that happened to me as I was sneaking up on 50 with the putting. You think about, “Oh, you got to lose distance.” You worry about flexibility. Is the ball striking going to go? I could sort of figure out how to hit it. But putting, to me, at some point after sneaking up on 50 or just turning 50 … What is the approach that you’ve used towards putting as you’ve gotten a little bit older?

John Cook:

Yeah. That’s interesting. Charlie. I’ve always thought of myself as … Not a streaky putter. I was a good putter. I made an absolute adjustment, going, “Okay, I need to put another wedge in the bag. I need to have a hybrid in the bag. And you know what? I need to hit the ball a little bit closer to the hole, and kind of change my approach to the whole game.” You’ve got to shoot 4 or 5 under par every single day. You got to shoot 12 to 15 to 18 under par for three days to win these golf tournaments. So I had to be better getting the ball closer to the hole, but also taking advantage of those opportunities.

So I worked really, really hard on those 10-foot-and-in type of putts, and I really tried to train my eyes again to feed that information. Let that golf hole feed that information to me. Instead of trying to worry so much about a stroke, or worry so much about mechanics or what type of putter I was using, I really started to focus on that hole again. Whether it was speed, direction, I would really focus in on that hole, and when I got my eyes back to the hole. It’s kind of called the run-and-shoot.

Charlie Rymer:

Yeah.

John Cook:

So, I played basketball. It’s just like shooting a basket. You let that rim and let that net give you that information on where you are, and how hard, and what kind of shots you want to play. Well, same thing in putting. I let those eyes go back, and I freed up my stroke. And when I was doing that, I putted my best.

Charlie Rymer:

The way I’m reading it, and again, going back to why you’ve had such a long career, you didn’t change who you are. You didn’t necessarily change the technique. You just sort of adjusted your game plan and changed your approach a little bit.

John Cook:

A hundred percent.

Charlie Rymer:

Yeah.

John Cook:

A hundred percent.

Charlie Rymer:

That’s the case in golf as we get a little bit older, and that’s the case in life as we get a little bit older.

John Cook:

Yes. Simplify.

Charlie Rymer:

When you get to be our age, yeah, you got to simplify, and get down to the basics-

John Cook:

Simplify.

Charlie Rymer:

… and do what’s important, and let the other stuff be a distraction to somebody else. John Cook, you’re a great champion. You’re a great friend. I appreciate you spending time with us here today!