PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – 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.
A 19-year PGA Member, Cozby boasts an award-winning résumé in golf, having spent nearly two decades earning the respect of his peers and those who have served alongside him. 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. Cozby’s career is clearly defined by his leadership and mentoring excellence. In fact, Cozby’s investment in many of his assistants has helped produce a stable of PGA head professionals across the country. As well, his commitment to teaching and training PGA Golf Management University program interns, who represent the next generation of PGA Professionals, is widely regarded by his peers. With the award, Cozby follows in the footsteps of his mentor and father, Jerry Cozby, the 1985 PGA Golf Professional of the Year. They are the first-ever, father-son combination to win the award.
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.
In addition to instructing a strong lineup of successful professional golfers over the years from Tom Lehman (when he played on the Web.com Tour), Mark Brooks and Briny Baird to Betsy King, Michele McGann and Rosie Jones, some of Adams’ other notable students include Presidents Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Adams has also taught many celebrities and athletes, such as Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas, Keanu Reeves, Glenn Frey, Neil Diamond, Jim Palmer, Whitey Ford and Mike Schmidt, among others. A PGA Master Professional, Adams is a 2016 World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame inductee, the 2013-2015 New Jersey PGA Section Teacher of the Year and 2001 South Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year. He has trained and mentored 21 GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teachers, including former PGA Teachers of the Year Mike McGetrick and Mike Bender. During the winter, he also teaches at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida.
“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.”
Cozby and Adams lead a contingent of 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section (see list below) that comprises the 2016 PGA of America National Awards class, which will be presented on Wed., Nov. 9, in conjunction with the 100th PGA Annual Meeting in New York City.
The 12 recipients of the 2016 PGA of America National Awards includes:
• PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Cary Cozby, Southern Hills C.C.—Tulsa, Oklahoma
• PGA Teacher of the Year: Mike Adams, Hamilton Farm G.C.—Gladstone, New Jersey
• PGA Youth Player Development Award: Dennis Johnsen, Pine Meadow G.C.—Mundelein, Illinois
• Bill Strausbaugh Award: Joe Tesori, The Pompey Club—Pompey, New York
• Horton Smith Award: Bryan Jones, Black Oak G.C.—Long Valley, New Jersey
• PGA Player Development Award: Mary Hafeman, Deercreek C.C. –Jacksonville, Florida and Missing Links G.C. – Mequon, Wisconsin
• Patriot Award: Stephen Greiner, Links to Freedom —Springfield, Virginia
• Deacon Palmer Award: William “Bill” Flynn*, Windham C.C.—Windham, New Hampshire
• Herb Graffis Award: Northern Texas PGA Section
• PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities: Mark Thush, Desert Mountain Club – Scottsdale, Arizona
• PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facilities: Matt Brown, Highlands G.C. – Gearhart, Oregon
• PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facilities: Kelly O’Donnell, Wolfdancer G.C.– Lost Pines, Texas
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