PGA of Ontario Profile: Cory Southon
Cory Southon named country’s top assistant professional by PGA of Ontario and PGA of Canada

As PGA of Canada Master Professional Henry Brunton entered the classroom at Humber College in the spring of 2010 to give a lecture to 40-plus Professional Golf Management program students Cory Southon sat up straight at his desk.

The Lakehead University political science graduate had landed at Humber on the advice of Joey Pavone, who is now the Head Professional at Turnberry Golf Club in Brampton, but Southon was still looking for some direction when it came to a career path within the golf industry.

Cory started playing golf as a seven-year-old when his grandfather first took him to Chappels Golf Course Thunder Bay’s municipal layout to hit some balls and collect them again in a shag bag. While hockey remained his passion as a youngster, golf inched closer to Southon’s heart and by the time he made it to Lakehead he was a member of the university’s inaugural golf team.

“I had seen Henry, a Top-100 Golf Teacher on Golf Channel, but hadn’t met him in person until that day,” says Southon who received the Moe Norman Award as Canada’s top assistant golf professional for 2015 in January at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando from the PGA of Canada. “He talked about coaching and teaching and current trends especially with junior golf and the light turned on for me. My parents were both teachers and growing up I saw how much they enjoyed working with youngsters, so it sounded like a natural fit. The one thing that Henry told the class that stuck with me was, “don’t chase two rabbits or they will both get away.” What he meant by that is that we needed to decide on a career path and focus on that. If we wanted to work in a golf shop, then do that; if we wanted to be social media experts, do that; if we wanted to play and compete, then do that; but for me coaching was my calling.”

Brunton told the class that he needed an aspiring young professional to work and learn from him at Eagles Nest Golf Club that summer and that he’d hire one of them if they sent in their resumes. Southon went home that afternoon, did some further research about Henry Brunton Golf on-line and sent in a resume and detailed letter explaining why he was the perfect candidate for the job. “I don’t know how many resumes he received, mine may have been the only one, but I got a call the following week when I was visiting my sister in Montreal and he asked me to come in for an interview,” Southon adds

Fast forward five years and Southon has now been recognized for all his hard work and dedication to growing the game as the PGA of Ontario’s Candidate for Membership of the Year for 2015. He received additional good news in February from the associations, that he has met all the requirements and is now a Class “A” member of the PGA of Ontario and Canada.

“Six years ago, I moved to Toronto from Thunder Bay with a desire a coach and develop junior golfers in Canada. With the assistance of Henry Brunton and his staff I’m now living that dream each and every day,” Southon says. “To be recognized as the Candidate for Membership of the Year for 2015 in Canada, let alone Ontario is a huge honour for me and one of the proudest achievements of my life. I really look forward to helping other young boys and girls having their dreams come true.”

As a coach at Henry Brunton Golf and a junior golf specialist, Southon looks after numerous programs impacting hundreds of golfers at Eagles Nest and Bathurst Glen golf courses. Here’s a sample of what 2015 looked like:
  • Head coach for the Everest Academy Golf Program
  • Head coach for Henry Brunton’s New Competitive Golfer Program - ages 8-13
  • Coach for Henry Brunton’s Strive For Excellence program - ages 13-18
  • Program coordinator/coach for the Henry Brunton Junior Golf Camps for kids aged 6-14.  In 2015 they had 350 kids participate at Bathurst Glen over nine weeks and introduced hundreds of beginner golfers to the sport
  • Planned and executed a Players Camp for 12 New Competitive golfers at Eagles Nest Golf Club 
  • Conducted 75 fittings for juniors at the Titleist National Fitting Center
  • Planned and executed a March break training camp for 28 athletes at PGA Village in Florida
  • Oversee administration, scheduling, marketing & accounting duties at Henry Brunton Golf
“I believe that this great game develops people of strong character and helps build skills that transfer with them throughout their lives. Through golf we learn patience, respect, honesty, integrity and many other character traits that will help everyone live more productive lives.  This is a message I am constantly delivering whenever I’m teaching junior golfers or their parents, speaking with other PGA professionals or trying to get a new golfer involved in the sport,” Southon says.

As for Brunton, he knows he made the right choice when he asked Southon to join his team. “Cory is an outstanding individual and top class professional. He is without question deserving of this prestigious honour.  He has been an integral member of our coaching staff for the past five years.  He is popular and has the respect of his fellow coaches, junior golfers and their parents. Cory has a deep passion for promoting golf to children and helping them learn the game. He is an industry leader in the area of junior golf and has a bright future ahead.”

Story by Brent Long – PGA of Ontario contributor

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