Suzy Evans, J.D., Ph.D

It’s that time of year again! Summer is here and there’s no better place to find great summer reading ideas than the Herbert Warren Wind Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to golf literature. 

Named in honor of the famed American golf writer, it encourages outstanding research and writing about golf and seeks to grow public interest in the game. Established in 1987, it’s the top literary prize awarded by the USGA. Recipients include:

Kevin Robbins, Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf, which tells the story of the late golf coach and instructor who, in 1992, with Bud Shrake, penned the classic Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime, considered by many to be the quintessential golf advice and instruction book.

Kevin Cook, Tommy’s Honor. The son of a weaver and maid, Tom Morris went from apprentice golf-ball maker to the Grand Old Man of St. Andrews, the home of golf. Along the way, he won the Open Championship four times and had a son, known as Young Tom, who famously broke all his father’s records yet died in his twenties at the height of his fame and only a few months after his wife died in childbirth. Beyond telling a tragic story of supreme athletic accomplishment, Cook shows how golf, though claimed early on by the aristocracy, had its roots in the working classes.

James Finegan, Where Golf Is Great. Every golfer “who’s worth his favorite putter knows where golf is great: Scotland, birthplace of the game and still its most important shrine, from the splendor of St. Andrews to the regal resort at Gleneagles, and Ireland, where the links like Ballybunion and Royal County Down are of unsurpassed beauty and challenge. 

Whether golfers make the pilgrimage or arm-chair it, Where Golf Is Great has been called “the most entertaining, informative, and exhaustive book on these epic destinations. Written by the bard of Scottish and Irish golf, it combines the most authoritative information with beautiful prose and stunning photographs—an unsurpassed celebration of the places where golf is, indeed, great.”

John Strege, When War Played Through: Golf During the Great Depression.  World War II transformed the American home front, and golf was no exception. Augusta National “became a farm to ease food shortages. Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were drafted, and Bobby Jones enlisted. Rubber rationing forced pros and amateurs alike to play with well-worn golf balls—and created a black market for new ones. The 1942 U.S. Open was canceled, replaced by the Hale American Open, whose winner, Ben Hogan, was awarded $1,000 in war bonds while golfers across the country raised millions of dollars for the war effort.” Other recipients include James Dodson’s Ben Hogan: An American Life; Mark Frost’s The Greatest Game Ever Played;  Stephen Lowe’s Sir Walter and Mr. Jones; David Owen’s The Making of the Masters; and Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s Golf’s Magnificent Challenge.

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