Mark Cook knows how to spend a good lunch hour — on a practice range.
He sent a bucket of balls into the air at the Golf Performance Center during one lunch break last week.
"I've been playing since college," said Cook, who attended Tennessee Temple. "Some buddies got together and we started hitting it around. We started at Concord, then began going to Brainerd and Brown Acres. I just got the fever."
Cook plays the same courses where he developed his game. He was a member at WindStone for a while but couldn't find enough time to make it worthwhile. He played about once per week last year.
This year: "Maybe more, like once or twice," he said.
He began like most -- celebrating a tee shot landing in the fairway.
"Getting off the tee was pretty difficult," he said with a laugh. "Then one day I started hitting the ball pretty square, and since then I've been pretty good. If I'm not in the mid-70s, I'm pretty upset."
Cook said he's like Bubba Watson -- but only in that he's self-taught and never has taken a lesson. But watching Watson and the professionals are part of his weekly routine, especially when the major championships are played.
"I don't care if Tiger is in the tournament or not," Cook said. "I try to catch at least the Sunday round. I'll watch anything on the Golf Channel."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...