Staff and wire reports
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (July 20, 2016) – Cary Cozby, the PGA Director of Golf at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been named the 63rd recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. The highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, Cozby heads the 2016 PGA National Awards class for "qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service" to the PGA and the game of golf.
Cozby’s father Jerry, who served as head professional for 41 years at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, was awarded the same honor in 1985. They are the first father-son team to both win the award.
"This is a pretty special day," Cary Cozby said. "I remember it like it was yesterday, standing in the living room when dad got the call from the PGA and thinking what a big deal that was. It’s really cool to be honored with him for doing something that we both love. And what a great mentor he was to me."
Nick Sidorakis, general manager and chief operating officer at Southern Hills, said the club was thrilled with Cozby’s selection.
"On behalf of the board and membership, weâ€™re extremely proud and honored to have Cary receive this award." Sidorakis said. "The PGA Professional of the Year Award recognizes Caryâ€™s commitment to the profession and recognizes his hard work, leadership skills and prowress in mentoring his current staff and all the professionals who have worked under him. Weâ€™re grateful to have Cary as our Director of Golf here at Southern Hills Country Club and leading our program."
A 19-year PGA Member, Cozby boasts an award-winning rÃ©sumÃ© in golf, including four times being named the South Central Section Professional of the Year, including this spring. The 2002 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for private courses, Cozby also is an accomplished competitive golfer and a 15-time South Central PGA Section award winner Cozbyâ€™s career is clearly defined by his leadership and mentoring excellence.
After the announcement by the PGA of America Wednesday, Cozby was bombarded with texts and emails from friends, much as he was when he was hired at Southern Hills after 15 years as the head professional at Wichita Country Club, where he still has a large group of friends.
"There’s not anything more special than being recognized by your peers," Cozby said. "There were some email strings going last night from some professionals that I really admire. And it was really nice to win the section award this year, because those are the guys you know so well and play in tournaments with and we all work in the same area."
PGA Professional Mike Adams of Hamilton Farm Golf Club, in Gladstone, New Jersey, was named the 2016 PGA Teacher of the Year Award recipient for his "outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach." Recognized annually as one of the finest teachers in the United States, Adams is passionate about "teaching the teacher" and is committed to supporting the career growth of his fellow PGA Professionals. â€¨â€¨
"The PGA of America proudly recognizes our outstanding national awards winners for their unmatched commitment to the game within their communities and across the nation," said PGA President Derek Sprague. "PGA Professionals are driven by their dedication to growing the game of golf. So, when they are recognized for outstanding service and commitment to their profession, and the golf industry, it speaks to their remarkable character traits and unique leadership qualities.
"â€¨â€¨Cozby and Adams lead a contingent of 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section (see list below) that comprises the 2016 PGA of Americaâ€™s national awards class, which will be presented on Wed., Nov. 9, in conjunction with the 100th PGA Annual Meeting in New York City.â€¨â€¨
The 12 recipients of the 2016 PGA of America National Awards includes:â€¨â€¨
â€¢ PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Cary Cozby, Southern Hills C.C. – Tulsa, Oklahomaâ€¨
â€¢ PGA Teacher of the Year: Mike Adams, Hamilton Farm G.C. – Gladstone, New Jerseyâ€¨
â€¢ Youth Player Development Award: Dennis Johnsen, Pine Meadow G.C. – Mundelein, Illinois â€¨
â€¢ Bill Strausbaugh Award: Joe Tesori, The Pompey Club – Pompey, New York
â€¨â€¢ Horton Smith Award: Bryan Jones, Black Oak G.C. – Long Valley, New Jerseyâ€¨
â€¢ Player Development Award: Mary Hafeman, Deercreek C.C. – Jacksonville, Florida & Missing Links G.C. – Mequon, Wisconsinâ€¨
â€¢ Patriot Award: Steve Greiner, Links to Freedom – Springfield, Virginiaâ€¨
â€¢ Deacon Palmer Award: William â€œBillâ€ Flynn*, Windham C.C. – Windham, New Hampshireâ€¨
â€¢ Herb Graffis Award: Northern Texas PGA Sectionâ€¨
â€¢ PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities: Mark Thush, Desert Mountain Club – Scottsdale, Arizonaâ€¨
â€¢ PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facilities: Matt Brown, Highlands G.C. – Gearhart, Oregonâ€¨
â€¢ PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facilities: Kelly E. Oâ€™Donnell, Wolfdancer G.C.- Lost Pines, Texasâ€¨â€¨*Deceasedâ€¨
For more information on the individual award winners, click here.