PGA of America

Cary Cozby, Golf Operations

PGA Professional Cary Cozby always knew he wanted to be in golf. Growing up working with his father, 1985 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Jerry Cozby, Cary knew all about the golf business – and he knew how hard he’d have to work to be ready for his dream job.

“I had the chance to go to work for Dave Bryan at Southern Hills Country Club as an assistant early in my career, and immediately I thought it was the ultimate club – I call it the New York Yankees of golf,” Cozby says of the club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “When I left to become PGA Head Professional at Wichita (Kansas) Country Club, I wanted to be ready if I ever had the opportunity to come back.”

Cozby decided the best way to be ready for that opportunity – or any other – was to dedicate himself to making himself and his staff at Wichita the best they could be. He sought out mentorship from PGA Professionals like Cameron Doan and Tim Fleming, and became well-versed in budgeting and teaching. He also joined the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) to add merchandising to his skill set – and won the 2002 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for private facilities while at Wichita Country Club.

“I wanted to wear all the hats I could possibly wear to make our members proud to wear the logo at Wichita, and give them a consistently excellent experience every day,” Cozby says. “I went to Section and national meetings, went to education seminars, found the best ideas from inside and outside of golf and made them work at Wichita.”

After winning the South Central PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award three times at Wichita and becoming CEO of the club, Cozby was ready when Southern Hills called in 2014. He accepted his dream job as PGA Director of Golf at the storied club, and was named PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2016 – making the Cozbys the first father- son pair to have earned the honor.

Even now, Cozby continues his lifelong learning. He’s overseeing a renovation at Southern Hills that will close the course down from August through next May, adding a performance center and a new short game practice area to help members play better golf.

“I want to keep getting better at all parts of the business – I’m working on being better at coaching my staff and getting the most out of people,” Cozby says. “I tell my guys to treat each day like they’re interviewing for their job so they can be ready for the next thing, and I still feel like I’m interviewing for my job every day.”

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