The son of a plantation owner, John Cochran was born in 1912 in Cedartown, Georgia. He took an interest in golf at an early age and led his high school golf team to two consecutive southern prep titles as the captain of the Darlington Preparatory School for Boys. By the time he was 25 he was playing regularly on the professional golf circuit with players like Sam Snead and Byron Nelson. In 1939 Cochran won the Mississippi Open Championship and the following year he won the Southeast PGA Championship. By that time Cochran had established a reputation as one of the region’s finest players.
Following World War II, Cochran qualified to play in the national PGA Championship and won several regional professional titles. In 1953 he moved from the south to become golf professional at Denver Country Club. Two years later he was hired away by Columbine Country Club to be its first ever golf professional and public relations director. Throughout his long career as a golf professional Cochran became well known for his teaching ability. John developed the “hip shift” technique, which in 1946 was considered revolutionary. Cochran was also president of Golf Club Operations, Inc., which built, among others, Boulder Country Club and Fox Acres Country Club in Red Feathers Lakes, Colo.
John Cochran, who died in 1985, will always be remembered as a great player, outstanding teacher and an excellent course architect and builder.