Wednesday, February 7, 2018

President George Herbert Walker Bush to Receive ASGCA Donald Ross Award

41st U.S. President has continued family’s golf legacy and championed competition at all levels in U.S. and internationally

(BROOKFIELD, Wis.) – George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States (1989-1993), has been chosen as the 2018 recipient of the ASGCA Donald Ross Award. This award, given annually since 1976, is presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to the game of golf and the profession of golf course architecture. It will be presented to Bush in April as part of the 2018 ASGCA Annual Meeting in Houston.

“President Bush exemplifies the highest traditions of golf, from displaying the values of good sportsmanship to respecting pace of play, and everything in between,” said ASGCA President John Sanford. “ASGCA is proud to add President Bush to the list of distinguished Donald Ross Award recipients.”

The Bush family relationship with golf goes back generations. His maternal grandfather, George Walker, served as United States Golf Association president. Today, the Walker Cup bears his name.

A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Bush has actively supported numerous national and international golf events, including the Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup, Walker Cup and Houston Open.

“Golf clears the mind,” he told Sports Illustrated in a 1991 interview. “I don’t concentrate too much out here. I’m in it for the competition, the camaraderie.”

As for pace of play, that same SI article noted: “When staffers ask whether (the President) broke 90, they’re talking minutes, not strokes. Sure enough, on the morning Bush left for an economic summit in London, he raced around a full 18 in an hour and 25 minutes. ‘My all-time record.’”

The Donald Ross Award is presented by the ASGCA Awards Committee, co-chaired by ASGCA Past Presidents Steve Smyers, ASGCA, and Rees Jones, ASGCA Fellow (the 2013 Donald Ross Award recipient). For more information on ASGCA, visit, call (262) 786-5960 or e-mail

Past Donald Ross Award Recipients
2017    Alice Dye, ASGCA Fellow, golf course architect
2016    Michael Bamberger, golf writer
2015    Bradley S. Klein, golf writer
2014    Maj. Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor Foundation
2013    Rees Jones, ASGCA, golf course architect
2012    Bill Kubly, golf course builder
2011    James Dodson, golf writer/editor
2010    Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner
2009    Ron Dodson, sustainable golf advocate
2008    George Peper, golf writer
2007    Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, golf course architect
2006    Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer, PGA of America
2005    John Singleton, irrigation pioneer
2004    Thomas Cousins, philanthropist, urban golf developer    
2003    Bill Campbell, president, USGA, captain, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
2002    Byron Nelson, professional golfer
2001    Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA, professional golfer, golf course architect
2000    Jaime Ortiz-Patino, owner and president, Valderrama Golf Club
1999    Arnold Palmer, professional golfer
1998    Judy Bell, president, USGA
1997    Gene Sarazen, professional golfer
1996    Ron Whitten, golf writer
1995    Pete Dye, ASGCA, golf course architect
1994    James R. Watson, agronomist
1993    Brent Wadsworth, golf course builder
1992    Paul Fullmer, ASGCA executive secretary
1991    Michael Bonallack, secretary, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
1990    John Zoller, executive director, Northern California Golf Association
1989    Dick Taylor, editor, “Golf World” magazine
1988    Frank Hannigan, executive director, USGA
1987    Charles Price, writer, “Golf World” magazine
1986    Deane Beman, commissioner, PGA Tour
1985    Peter Dobereiner, “London Observer” columnist, author
1984    Dinah Shore, sponsor of women’s golf tournaments
1983    Al Radko, director, USGA Green Section
1982    Geoffrey Cornish, ASGCA, golf course architect, historian
1981    James Rhodes, governor of Ohio
1980    Gerald Micklem, captain, Royal & Ancient
1979    Joe Dey, executive director, USGA
1978    Herb and Joe Graffis, founders, National Golf Foundation
1977    Herbert Warren Wind, “The New Yorker” columnist, author
1976    Robert Trent Jones, ASGCA, ASGCA founding member

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