Strege's "When War Played Through " Wins USGA 2005 Book Award
March 9, 2006
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Far Hills, N.J. - John Strege's "When War Played Through: Golf During World War II" has been named the recipient of the 2005 United States Golf Association International Book Award.
"When War Played Through " chronicles the impact the war had on the golf community while showing how the golf establishment responded to the war effort. Strege's account highlights exhibition matches, golfers who served in combat, fundraisers, the Hale America National Open Golf Tournament and golf played in "Prisoner-of-War" camps.
"I am truly honored to receive this award. It humbles me a bit," said Strege. "It is important to remember the people who made the sacrifices and I just wrote about it."
Presented by the USGA Museum and Archives committee, the International Book Award is the top literary prize awarded by the Association. Established in 1987, the Award recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to golf literature while attempting to broaden the public's interest and knowledge of the game of golf.
Unlike other topics, the subject of golf during World War II had received minimal attention from writers, scholars and historians. It was an unexplored topic that presented challenges in research and uncovering primary sources.
"Doing research on this project was difficult. People are not around anymore," said Strege. "Golf was not at the forefront of coverage during World War II. I had to dig into it. I consulted magazines from the era and did some Internet research. I also consulted the USGA archives."
During the course of his research, Strege discovered many interesting stories, including meeting individuals who built golf courses in POW camps.
"They did that mostly to not go insane," said Strege.
Mostly, Strege was impressed by the overall war effort from the golf community. In addition to exhibition matches, many clubs turned over parts of their grounds for victory gardens and fundraisers.
"When War Played Through" was published by Gotham Books, a division of Penguin Group, of New York. It was selected from more than 40 submissions by a distinguished panel of three judges: Craig Ammerman of the USGA Executive Committee and Museum Committee; Richard Donovan, a member of the USGA Museum Committee and golf historian; and Dr. Bill Mallon, former PGA Tour player and sports historian.
Since 1997, Strege has been a senior writer for Golf World and a contributor to Golf Digest . Prior to that, he was a sports writer for the Orange County Register for 19 years and covered Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the Olympic Games, boxing and golf. In addition to When War Played Through , Strege is the author of three golf books including "Tiger: A Biography of Tiger Woods" (1997), "Tournament Week: Inside the Ropes and Behind the Scene on the PGA Tour" (2000), and "Tiptoeing Through Hell: Playing the U.S. Open on Golf's Most Treacherous Courses" (2002), which was previously nominated for the USGA Book Award. A graduate of California State University at Fullerton, Strege lives in Fallbrook, Calif., with his wife and daughter.
Previous USGA Book Award winners include: Al Barkow, "Gettin' to the Dance Floor" (1987), Phil Pilley, "Golfing Art" (1989); Robert Trent Jones Sr. with Larry Dennis "Golf's Magnificent Challenge" (1990); Bobby Burnet, "The St. Andrew's Opens" (1991); Rhonda Glenn, "The Illustrated History of Women's Golf" (1992); Davis Love III, "Every Shot I Take" (1997); Lawrence Donegan, "Maybe It Should Have Been a Three-Iron" (1998); David Owen, "The Making of the Masters" (1999); Stephen Lowe, "Sir Walter and Mr. Jones" (2000); Bradley S. Klein, "Discovering Donald Ross: The Architect and His Golf Courses" (2001); Mark Frost, "The Greatest Game Ever Played" (2002); Phil Pilley, "Heather and Heaven: Walton Heath Golf Club 1903-2003" (2003); James Dodson, "Ben Hogan: An American Life" (2004). No award was presented in 1988 or from 1993-96.
The USGA is currently accepting submissions for the 2006 USGA International Book Award. To be eligible for the 2006 Award, a book must be an original full-length work about golf, written in English, and published in 2006. For more information on the USGA International Book Award, contact Doug Stark, USGA Librarian at (908) 234-2300 or email@example.com.