Kathy Gook knew it was time to come home.
Quesnel born-and-raised, Gook is regarded as one of the best golf instructors in the world. She’s been consistently named as one of the 50 best teachers by the LPGA in the last six years, including in 2021.
She was also named by Golf Digest as one of the best international teachers, and was named as a top instructor for children.
With the Quesnel Golf Course falling under new ownership, Gook will be bringing those world-class skills back to Quesnel.
“Being able to come back home and not commute back and forth to Kamloops was a very attractive idea, so I took the plunge,” she said.
“This ownership group is great, they’re so community-minded, they’ve done so much for the community, I could never say no to them.”
After leaving Quesnel a few years ago, Gook has split her time between Kamloops and Arizona.
Gook got her start in golf late in her life, only picking the game up seriously when she was 23. While she was able to compete in the European and Asian tours, she would find teaching others as her true passion.
“I always knew I was going to be a teacher, and I just hadn’t figured out how that could be,” she said.
Gook would join the LPGA’s teaching program, and hasn’t looked back. She credits her success as learning from a wide variety of sources, including sports psychologists.
“(I) was always so curious, why can’t I just get that final little bit, and I knew it was related to that personal sport psychology,” she said.
“Mainly your beliefs on whether or not you can do it.”
Gook said she wanted to ensure the Quesnel Golf Course is a great place where every level of golfer is welcomed.
“I want it to be a welcoming place, whether you’re five years old, or whether you’re 90 years old,” she said.
“I love this game, and if people want to learn the game, then I want to facilitate that and get them out.”
Gook is planning on bringing in a program called Operation 36. The program aims to get golfers to shoot a score of 36 on a nine hole course from 25 yards away. After they accomplish a 36 from 25 yards away, students try from 50 yards and so on.
“(It gets) people working on that short game, gaining your confidence, creating beliefs that you can go out there and shoot 36,” Gook said.
“We get people playing out right away, versus new golfers standing on the driving range hitting balls.”
For Gook, a chance to come home and work for local owners, and help the next generation of Quesnel golfers reach the next level was too good to pass up.
“Everybody’s excited about local ownership, taking pride again in the course, which is an important part,” she said.
“If you can get community buy in, that’s even more special.”
Do you know someone in the Quesnel area who is worthy of being called a Hometown Hero? Send your suggestions to email@example.com to give that recognition.
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org