FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association today announced that Michael Cumberpatch, of Annapolis, Md., a tireless contributor to the game on local and national levels for 20 years, will be the recipient of the 2014 Joe Dey Award.
The USGA has presented the Joe Dey Award annually since 1996 in recognition of an individual’s meritorious service to the game as a volunteer. The award is named for Joseph C. Dey Jr., who served as the USGA’s executive director for 35 years, from 1934 to 1969, before serving as the first commissioner of the PGA Tour.
“To be honored like this is pretty special, and to be honest I was floored when I heard the news,” said Cumberpatch. “It has been a lot of fun over the years to work alongside all the volunteers throughout the USGA who do so much for the game of golf. They are just really good, solid people and to be associated with them and be part of so many great championships has meant a lot to me.”
Cumberpatch has been affiliated with the USGA since 1993, when he joined the Association’s Regional Affairs Committee. Over the ensuing years he has worked at 20 USGA championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Mid-Amateur and Men’s State Team Championships. Since 1999, he has also served as the official-in-charge of U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying for the Washington, D.C., region.
“The impact of Mike’s volunteerism extends well beyond the exemplary service he has provided to the USGA,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “He is truly devoted to the game, and has used golf as a vehicle to help people in his community and all over the country. He personifies all of the attributes that Joe Dey Award winners are known for.”
Cumberpatch is a past president of the Middle Atlantic Golf Association, where he earned recognition for his efforts to bring together neighboring golf associations and for instilling a sense of community with USGA committee members in the region. The Middle Atlantic PGA Section presented him with the David Wortman Citizen of the Year Award in 2009.
Beyond his dedication to the USGA and regional golf activities, Cumberpatch has provided extraordinary volunteer service to other organizations, including the U.S. Armed Forces. He has overseen the collection and distribution of golf equipment to active military forces serving overseas and to troops who have recently returned home. In 2009 alone, he joined members of the Maryland State Golf Association and the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club in procuring three tons of golf supplies – including 50,000 golf balls and 250 clubs – and delivering them to the 82nd Airborne Division based at Ft. Bragg, N.C., for distribution to soldiers serving overseas.
“I cannot say enough about the character, effort and overall devotion to duty that Michael Cumberpatch displays,” said 2002 Joe Dey Award winner Clyde Luther. “I have known literally hundreds of golf volunteers and I have never been associated with a more devoted and sincere individual than Mike.”
Cumberpatch will receive the Joe Dey Award on Feb. 8, 2014, at the USGA’s Annual Meeting and Service Awards at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C. The newly created Service Awards dinner consolidates the presentation of many of the USGA’s most significant honors into a single, inspiring event, highlighting the people and organizations whose selfless dedication and outstanding accomplishments have made an important impact on the USGA and its mission to serve the game. In addition to the Joe Dey Award, the Ike Grainger Award, USGA Green Section Award and Herbert Warren Wind Book Award will be presented at the dinner. The presentation of the USGA’s most distinguished honor, the Bob Jones Award, will be delivered at a public ceremony during the week of the 2014 U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst.
“Golf has always been very fortunate to have the involvement and support of so many dedicated people who want to give back to the game, to their communities and to important causes,” added Davis. “Volunteer leadership is a powerful force that helps advance our mission to serve the game of golf, and celebrating the contributions of all our award winners at one time is going to make for a very special evening.”
Michael Cumberpatch began playing golf at a young age, and was team captain and MVP of the American University golf team in 1976. He competed in both the British Amateur and Western Amateur championships in 1978 and in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and Canadian Amateur Championship in 1984. He is a five-time club champion at the Sherwood Forest Golf Club in Annapolis, Md., and a four-time club champion at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club, where he has also served multiple terms as president of the men’s association.
Cumberpatch and his wife, Lynn, live in the Annapolis area with their two children. He currently works as a substitute middle-school teacher in the Anne Arundel County, Md., school system.