Buddy Phillips, the head professional at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow from 1972 to 2012, passed away Friday, Aug. 21 at his home. He was 85. His son Tracy Phillips posted the news on his Facebook page.
Phillips was known for his dedication to his members, to the game and to Cedar Ridge, which he and superintendent Mike Wooten worked tirelessly to make into one of the state’s finest courses and clubs.
He also had a flair for colorful clothes and for marketing, both clothes and golf equipment. He ran one of the more successful pro shops in the state and called himself a “walking mannequin. If I went out to play a round with a member, I was going to sell something, a shirt, some slacks, a hat . . . just off of what I was wearing.”
An old-style pro, Phillips didn’t play that much during his working days but and he and wife Doris produced one of the better players in the nation in son Tracy, now himself a longtime teacher and professional who still gives some lessons at Cedar Ridge. Their eldest child is daughter Kathy.
Phillips was born in West Virginia but grew up in Jal, New Mexico, where he was an all-sport athlete. He and long-time friend and fellow retired professional Jerry Cozby both were trained by demanding professional Harvey Loudermilk, Phillips at Jal Country Club and Cozby later at Oak Hill Country Club in San Antonio.
A complete obituary and reaction from his fellow professionals and members will be published. Please enjoy the story from the Aug.-Sept. issue of 2012 reflecting on his career.
“Buddy taught me how to be a professional and how to be a better person,” said Wooten, who started at Cedar Ridge in October of 1986. “He stood up for me and was always loyal. He stood up for me with the members even when he probably shouldn’t have, but that was his job and he always did. I always appreciated that. You don’t get that at every club.
“Buddy had a genuine concern for the course and wanted it to be the best no matter the circumstances. I’m very sorry to hear that he is gone.”
We invite you to share your memories of Phillips in the comments section.