USGA Committee Member Dr. Bob Hooper To Receive Joe Dey Award
October 17, 2005
Far Hills, N.J. - Dr. Bob Hooper of , one of the original members of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Committee, has been chosen to receive the USGA Joe Dey Award.
|Dr. Bob Hooper, left, greets player In-Bee Park at the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur. (USGA Photo Archives)
Given since 1996, the Joe Dey Award recognizes an individual's meritorious service to the game of golf as a volunteer. Hooper will receive the award at the USGA's Annual Meeting Feb. 4 in . The award is named in honor of the late Joe Dey, who served as USGA executive director for 35 years, from 1934 to 1969, and was later commissioner of the Tour.
"Mr. Dey was a good friend and to be associated with an award that has his name attached to it is beyond comprehension," said Hooper. "It's just truly humbling to have my name associated with his. It's just amazing."
The 72-year-old Hooper was overwhelmed when informed by USGA Executive Committee member James Hyler at the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur that he was receiving the award.
"It was a very emotional time for me," said Hooper. "Over the years, I received about a dozen letters from Joe and he always offered fantastically sage advice."
Hooper's interest in the Rules of Golf came about after losing the ( ) Country Club men's club championship because he didn't know a Rule that would have won him the title. That led Hooper to attend USGA workshops on the game's Rules and his success caught the attention of officials within the organization.
A retired dentist, he worked the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1981 and then the 1982 U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. He has worked as a Rules official at every Open since. He has also done 22 Senior Opens, along with a number of U.S. Amateurs, including the 2005 championship at Merion Golf Club in In all, Hooper has worked 83 USGA championships as a Rules official.
In 2002, Hooper and his wife, Carolyn, also a longtime USGA volunteer, were involved in a unique situation with the USGA. Bob officiated the morning 18 of the 36-hole U.S. Mid-Amateur final at The Stanwich Club in , while that same day Carolyn officiated the final of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur at Eugene ( ) Country Club.
Carolyn joined the USGA as a volunteer in 1989 as a member of the newly formed Women's Regional Affairs Committee. She served on the Women's Mid-Amateur Committee from 1992-97 before being asked to join the USGA Women's Committee in 1998, a capacity she still holds. This year, Carolyn and Bob each worked as Rules officials at the U.S. Mid-Amateur at The Honors Course in
"She has consistently scored higher on the [USGA Rules] tests than me," said Bob Hooper with a laugh. "I'll have friends call and tell me that they've had a ruling problem, and they'll ask if Carolyn is available."
Hooper has watched the U.S. Mid-Amateur grow since its birth 24 years ago. The first event at Bellerive Country Club in drew 1,638 entries and had 150 competitors at the championship proper. Today, the Mid-Amateur routinely receives more than 4,000 entries and comprises a field of 264 contestants, making it the second-largest USGA championship behind the U.S. Amateur's 312 competitors.
"I remember back at Cherry Hills [in 1983] when we couldn't have any walking [Rules] officials until the semifinals because it was just me and Frank Parr," said Hooper. "We've come a long way since then."
Previous winners of the Joe Dey Award include: Charles Eckstein (1996); John Staver (1997); Joe King (1998); Frank Anglim (1999); Jack Emich (2000); Bill Dickey (2001); Clyde Luther (2002); John Hanna (2003); Adele Lebow (2004); and Pearl Carey (2005).