Steve Cook not only has a big heart, he has a healthy heart. How else do you explain him climbing nearly 20,000 feet in the rugged and treacherous Himalayan mountain range a few months ago?
Cook, the director of agronomy at Oakland Hills Country Club, turns 57 in May. There aren’t many 25 year olds who could pull off what Cook did.
“I drug these old bones up there,” Cook says. “I got them there … one way or the other.”
Cook was in Nepal from mid-October to mid-November to climb the famed peak Ama Dablam to raise money for Michigan’s Make a Wish Foundation. Cook’s goal was $2,250, but he blew that mark away and raised $37,000. Cook was the organization’s top fundraiser in Michigan in 2015.
I spoke to Cook recently about his feat, why he did it and what it took physically. When I hung up the phone after our conversation, I was humbled by Cook’s humility. He not only has a big and healthy heart, but a humble one, too.
Not only did Cook literally put his life on the line by doing what he did, I could sense that he was slightly uncomfortable talking about it because he didn’t want to sound like he was bragging. After a few questions to him about the climb and his short and polite answers to them, Cook turned the conversation to me.
“So how are you doing?” he asked me, not wanting the conversation to be about himself.
That’s Cook for you.
He is not only one of the top superintendents in the industry, he is one of the most unpretentious people you will ever meet.
There is something for us all to learn from Steve Cook.