VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – In celebration of the individuals and organizations that give back to the game, the United States Golf Association presented its annual Service Awards during a dinner on Saturday, February 8 at the Carolina Hotel in the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.
The newly created Service Awards dinner consolidated the presentation of many of the USGA’s most significant honors into a single event. The two-hour program interspersed award presentations, powerful videos and personal testimonials that delighted the more than 500 attendees representing a cross-section of the golf community.
“This was the inaugural Service Awards in this format, and I can’t think of a better way to honor those who give back to the game,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA president. “We are proud to bring the golf community together to celebrate the great work of each of our Service Award winners. Their selfless dedication and contributions have made a significant impact on the USGA and our mission to serve the game.”
Serving as emcee for the evening was Tim Rosaforte, Golf World senior writer and Golf Channel/NBC commentator.
“It was a pleasure to host this special evening and be among some longtime friends from across the golf industry,” said Rosaforte. “I appreciate the invitation from the USGA and think they did a great job in revising the format of their service award presentations.”
The following awards were presented during the evening’s program:
Green Section Award
Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service to the game of golf through his or her work with turfgrass, including research, maintenance and other areas that positively impact the arena upon which golf is played.
The 2014 recipient of this award is Dr. Peter Dernoeden, of Milton, Del., a nationally recognized turfgrass researcher and educator and professor emeritus of plant science and landscape architecture at the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Over the course of an extensive career, he led the design and management of turfgrass research programs focusing on weed and disease control, integrated pest management and sustainable fescue species. In 1999, he was responsible for the discovery of a new pathogen and disease that affects creeping bentgrass. His work is widely recognized as having contributed significantly to the quality of turf on golf courses both regionally and nationally.
Herbert Warren Wind Award
Established in 1987, the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to golf literature while attempting to broaden the public’s interest in, and knowledge of, the game of golf. Wind, who died in 2005, was the famed writer for The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated who coined the phrase “Amen Corner” at Augusta National. He is the only writer to win the USGA’s Bob Jones Award, the Association’s highest honor.
Author Jeff Silverman’s “Merion: The Championship Story” is the 2013 recipient of the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. This extensively researched and carefully crafted book explores every aspect of one of the most respected and beloved clubs in the game. Merion’s successful hosting of the 2013 U.S. Open, 32 years after it last hosted the championship, was the final chapter in Silverman’s work. The club has hosted more USGA championships (18) than any other, making it a rich subject for a work of this magnitude.
Ike Grainger Awards
Established in 1995 as part of the USGA’s Centennial Celebration, the Ike Grainger Award recognizes those volunteers who reach 25 years of service to the Association. Grainger served on the USGA Executive Committee and rose to become president from 1954-55.
This year the award recognized 18 individuals for their distinguished service to the Association:
Dr. Joseph Beditz, Jupiter, Fla.; Bob Jones Award Committee
Donnie Bowers, Wilmington, N.C.; Regional Affairs Committee
Steven M. Brinton, Salt Lake City, Utah; Mid-Amateur Championship Committee
Nancy Chaffee, Warren, R.I.; Regional Affairs Committee
David Chalmers, Bryan, Texas; Green Section Committee
James Cissell, Cincinnati, Ohio; Public Links Championship Committee
J. Richard Dosek, Advance, N.C.; Regional Affairs Committee
Michael Hughes, Daniel Island, S.C.; Regional Associations Committee
Pasquale “Pat” LaRocca, Phoenix, Ariz.; Regional Affairs Committee
Adele Lebow, Royersford, Pa.; Regional Affairs Committee
Cathy Mant, McDonough, Ga.; Girls' Junior Championship Committee
George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa.; Mid-Amateur Championship Committee
Louis Miller, Louisville, Ky.; Green Section Committee
John Nakamura, Sacramento, Calif.; Public Links & Regional Affairs Committees
Matt Pekarek, Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Regional Affairs Committee
Randal Reed, Gaithersburg, Md.; Regional Associations Committee
Douglas Smith, San Antonio, Texas; Mid-Amateur Championship Committee
Richard Woulfe, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Mid-Amateur Championship Committee
Joe Dey Award
Presented annually since 1996, the USGA's Joe Dey Award recognizes an individual's meritorious service to the game as a volunteer. The award is named after the late Joseph C. Dey Jr., who served as USGA executive director for 35 years, from 1934-69, and was later the first commissioner of the PGA Tour.
Michael Cumberpatch, of Annapolis, Md., a tireless contributor to the game on local and national levels for 20 years, received the 2014 Joe Dey Award. Affiliated with the USGA since 1993, when he joined the Association’s Regional Affairs Committee, 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. He currently serves as the official-in-charge of U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying for the Washington, D.C., region.
Beyond his dedication to the USGA and regional golf activities, Cumberpatch has provided extraordinary volunteer service to other organizations, including the Special Olympics and the U.S. Armed Forces. He 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.
The 2015 USGA Annual Meeting will take place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, N.Y.