Renowned Writer, Bob Jones Award Winner Herbert Warren Wind Dies
June 1, 2005
By David Normoyle, USGA
Far Hills, N.J. - Herbert Warren Wind, the only writer to win the USGA's Bob Jones Award, died Monday at age 88.
Chosen by the USGA as the recipient of its highest honor in its centennial year, Wind made his mark not only as one of the game's great chroniclers, but also as a passionate apologist for golf. As a writer, Wind was an anachronism in a modern age. If golf's growing magnetism drew people to their television sets, Wind spoke to their more thoughtful side, constructing elegant, meandering essays in The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated for decades. In a world full of images, Wind's eye for the game and skill with the language made an argument for the subtle nature of the written word.
For nearly 30 years Wind was a volunteer on two key USGA committees dedicated to celebrating the best values of the game: the Bob Jones Award Committee and the Museum and Library Committee. His portrait hangs in the Library of the USGA along with his 14 books, countless essays and articles, and numerous introductions to reproductions of the classic literature of the game.
Wind's legacy remains an annual fixture at the Masters Tournament. He is credited with naming "Amen Corner," which he did in 1958. He was a devoted admirer of Bob Jones, his first golf hero and a tremendous influence on his career as a writer, as well as his reputation as a courtly and well-mannered gentleman.
Though he chronicled the exploits of golf tournaments around the world from the 1940s through the 1980s, Wind was committed to the less well-known aspects of the global game. He explored golf architecture, much of it the British variety, a partiality developed as a graduate student at Cambridge University in the 1930s, where he met the other giant of 20th century golf literature, Bernard Darwin. From Darwin, Wind learned to see in the game what others may have missed and sharpened his ability to share that gift with his readers.
One of Wind's great gifts to golf was his desire to reintroduce his readers to the great literature of the sport. His original contributions stand firmly on their own merit, but it was in his introductions to the writing of Darwin, Wodehouse, or Haultain that he revealed his unapologetic affection for the game. About Arnold Haultain's spirited little book The Mystery of Golf, first published in 1908, Wind wrote, ".Haultain, first of all, had the mentality to probe the enigma more deeply than anyone had ever managed to before, and then had the talent to articulate his findings with a brilliance and clarity that are quite astonishing."
The many fans of Wind's writing could hardly imagine a more appropriate valedictory for this gentle man from Brockton, Mass.
David Normoyle is the USGA's Coordinator of Education and Outreach. Send comments or questions to dnormoyle@usga.