PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2016) – PGA Golf Professional of the Year Cary Cozby and PGA Teacher of the Year Mike Adams headlined an impressive contingent of PGA of America National Award recipients who were honored at the 100th PGA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The event was emceed by Golf Channel Host Dave Marr III.
Cozby, the PGA Director of Golf at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the 63rd person to receive the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. The highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, Cozby led 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.
Adams (right) 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.” Having taught golf to four U.S. Presidents, Adams is recognized annually as one of America’s finest teachers. In addition, he is passionate about “teaching the teacher” and is committed to supporting the career growth of his fellow PGA Professionals.
2016 PGA of America National Award Honorees
PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Cary Cozby, Southern Hills C.C.—Tulsa, Oklahoma
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: Steve Greiner, Links to Freedom —Springfield, Virginia
Deacon Palmer Award: William “Bill” Flynn*, Windham C.C.—Windham, New Hampshire
PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Category: Mark Thush, Desert Mountain Club—Scottsdale, Arizona
PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category: Matt Brown, Highlands G.C. — Gearhart, Oregon
PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Category: Kelly O’Donnell, Wolfdancer G.C. — Lost Pines, Texas
Herb Graffis Award: Northern Texas PGA Section**
**The Herb Graffis Award was presented during the PGA Annual Meeting morning session.
“It’s an honor for the PGA of America to recognize these 11 individuals who stand out among tens of thousands of talented and dedicated PGA Professionals,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “We celebrate a group of award winners who have touched our sport in a different way, whether that is teaching, player development, patriotism, business, leadership or fostering youth in the game. The awards recognize the impact that our recipients have had on the national level, and in their local communities. In some cases, it is an impact that transcends the entire spectrum of the game.”
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.
Notable students taught by Adams include Presidents Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as many celebrities and athletes, including Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas, Keanu Reeves, Glenn Frey, Neil Diamond, Jim Palmer, Whitey Ford and Mike Schmidt, among others. In addition, he has instructed 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, Michelle McGann and Rosie Jones. 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 Northern Texas PGA Section will receive the 2016 Herb Graffis Award separately at the PGA Annual Meeting during a morning presentation on Thursday, Nov. 10.
Note: Merchandiser of the Year Award-Public Category Winner Matt Brown Elected Mayor of Gearhart, Oregon. Call Him Mayor Matty! Matt Brown is having quite a week. In addition to receiving his national award Wednesday night, he was elected Mayor of Gearhart, Oregon on Tuesday. Using a “Matty for Mayor” campaign slogan, he won with nearly 80 percent of the vote.