Bob Jones Award Winners
Presented annually since 1955, the USGA's highest
honor is given in recognition of distinguished
sportsmanship in golf. The award seeks to recognize a
person who emulates Bob Jones' spirit, his personal
qualities and his attitude toward the game and its
players. The following provides a snapshot of all the
recipients of the prestigious award.
1955 (Francis Ouimet):
Upset U.S. Open playoff win over English stalwarts Harry
Vardon and Ted Ray in 1913 at The Country Club was historic
moment for American golf. Ouimet went on to win a pair of
U.S. Amateur titles, compete on eight Walker Cup teams and
serve as an ambassador for amateur golf.
1956 (William C. Campbell):
Received award eight years before winning the U.S. Amateur,
but Campbell proved more than just a great champion. The
15-time West Virginia state champion is the only person to
ever serve as USGA president and captain of The
1957 (Babe Didrikson Zaharias):
A pioneer and champion for women's sports, Didrikson
arguably was one of the greatest all-around athletes of any
generation, competing in track and field, basketball and
golf. She won two gold medals and one silver medal on the
track at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Fourteen years later,
she won the U.S. Women's Amateur. She later would win
three U.S. Women's Open titles, the latter coming in
1954 after being diagnosed with colon cancer a year
1958 (Margaret Curtis):
Along with sister Harriot, Curtis combined to win four U.S.
Women's Amateur titles. However, their legacy is
carried on through the Curtis Cup, a biennial competition
between female amateur teams from the USA and Great Britain
and Ireland. While an informal competition was held in
1905, it was the push by the Curtis sisters through the
donating of a trophy in 1927 that eventually brought about
an official team event between the two sides.
1959 (Findlay S. Douglas):
The winner of the 1898 U.S. Amateur later went on to serve
as USGA president from 1929-30, making him the first USGA
champion to hold the highest post on the Executive
1960 (Charles Evans Jr.):
The first player to win the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in
the same year (1916). He wound up competing in a record 50
U.S. Amateurs; the Western Golf Association named its
caddie scholarship program in his honor.
1961 (Joseph Carr):
The first non-American to earn this distinguished honor, he
competed in a record 11 Walker Cups for Great Britain and
Ireland from 1947 to 1967. The Irishman won the British
Amateur three times (1953, 58 and '60) and twice was
low amateur at the British Open.
1962 (Horton Smith):
Won the inaugural Masters Tournament in 1934. Also won the
same title two years later. He also represented the USA
five times in the Ryder Cup.
1963 (Patty Berg):
The Minneapolis native became the third female recipient of
the award. She was a founding member of the LPGA and won
the inaugural U.S. Women's Open in 1946, the only time
the championship was waged at match play. Among her 29
amateur titles was the 1938 U.S. Women's Amateur.
1964 (Charles Coe):
One of the leading amateur players from the late 1940s to
the early '60s, Coe won the 1958 U.S. Amateur and then
lost in the '59 final to a young, up-and-comer named
Jack Nicklaus. He also competed in six Walker Cups,
including the 1959 Match as a playing captain.
1965 (Glenna Collett Vare):
Arguably one of the great female amateur players of
all-time, Vare won a record six U.S. Women's Amateur
titles and was the runner-up on two other occasions. Her
legacy lives through the Vare Trophy, which is annually
given to the LPGA Tour player with the best stroke average,
and the Glenna Collett Vare Trophy, which is given each
summer to the winner of the U.S. Girls' Junior.
1966 (Gary Player):
One of the premier international players of his era, Player
won the 1965 U.S. Open title at Bellerive C.C. in St. Louis
and then donated his winnings to the USGA so the
Association could start a junior golf foundation. Today the
USGA, through its Foundation, hands out millions of dollars
in grants to grass-roots junior golf programs and programs
for individuals with disabilities.
1967 (Richard Tufts):
The grandson of the Pinehurst Resort founder, Tufts
transcended golf at his burgeoning North Carolina facility
by adding courses and bringing in major competitions such
as the 1936 PGA Championship, 1951 Ryder Cup and 1962 U.S.
Amateur. A longtime proponent of amateur golf, Tufts was
responsible for the North and South Amateur becoming a
major event on the amateur circuit. He also rose to the
presidency of the USGA in 1956-57.
1968 (Robert B. Dickson):
Dickson held off Marvin "Vinnie" Giles to win the
1967 U.S. Amateur by a stroke on the West Course at The
Broadmoor. A year earlier, he posted a 3-0 record for the
USA Walker Cup team at Royal St. George's in Sandwich,
1969 (Gerald Micklem):
One of England's most revered golf figures, Micklem won
a British Amateur championship, two English Amateur titles
and was a member of four Great Britain and Ireland Walker
Cup squads. He also served as captain of The R&A.
1970 (Robert de Vicenzo):
Probably is best known for signing an incorrect scorecard
at the 1968 Masters that gave the title to Bob Goalby. But
the Argentinean also won the 1967 British Open and later
the inaugural U.S. Senior Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in
1971 (Arnold Palmer):
Perhaps the most charismatic player the game has ever seen,
Palmer transcended the sport into the television era with
his swashbuckling, go-for-broke style of play and his
benevolence toward the fans. Palmer won the 1954 U.S.
Amateur and the 1960 U.S. Open and later became the
chairman of the USGA's Members Program. The new Museum
at the USGA's headquarters will be named the Arnold
Palmer Center for Golf History.
1972 (Michael Bonnallack):
One of England's most decorated amateur players,
Bonallack won the British Amateur five times. He also
represented Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup
nine times. Following his golf career, he turned his
attention to golf administration, becoming secretary of The
R&A (1984-99) and captain of The R&A in 2000. A
World Golf Hall of Fame inductee in 2000, Bonallack
received an Order of the British Empire honor in 1971 and
was knighted in 1998. Today, top amateurs from Asia and
Europe play for the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy every two
1973 (Gene Littler):
One of the first breed of college golfers to enjoy success
on the PGA Tour. The San Diego native won the 1953 U.S.
Amateur and competed on the USA Walker Cup team that same
year. He was runner-up at the 1954 U.S. Open, and seven
years later, he won the Open for his only major title.
1974 (Byron Nelson):
One of the true gentlemen of the sport, Nelson grew from
humble surroundings in Texas to become a great champion,
winning the 1939 U.S. Open in a playoff. In 1945, he won a
record 11 consecutive tournaments and 18 overall. Long
after he retired, the USGA named its mechanical golf-ball
tester "Iron Byron" after his fluid swing.
1975 (Jack Nicklaus):
Arguably the game's greatest champion with 18
professional majors and two U.S. Amateurs to his credit. He
is one of four individuals to have won the U.S. Open four
times, joining Willie Anderson, Ben Hogan and Bob Jones.
Nicklaus also became a world-class golf course architect
with many of his layouts landing among the top 100 in the
U.S. and world.
1976 (Ben Hogan):
Known for being one of the game's hardest workers,
Hogan, like Nelson, rose from humble Texas surroundings to
win nine majors, including four U.S. Opens. He recovered
from a near-fatal auto accident in 1948 to win the 1950
U.S. Open at Merion in a playoff. Hogan's fondness for
the USGA is illustrated with the Association establishing a
special Hogan Room inside the Museum at Golf House that
features memorabilia from his playing days.
1977 (Joseph Dey Jr.):
Is the only person to serve as Executive Director of the
USGA (1934-68) and Commissioner of the PGA Tour (1969-74).
In 1996, the USGA established the Joe Dey Award given to an
individual's meritorious service to the game of golf as
a volunteer. In 1975, he served as captain of The
1978 (Bing Crosby and Bob Hope):
Became the first non-golfers to win this prestigious honor
because of their tireless support and love of the game.
Crosby and Hope both had PGA Tour events named in their
honor. Crosby's son, Nathaniel, would win the 1981 U.S.
Amateur at The Olympic Club.
1979 (Tom Kite):
One of the PGA Tour's steadiest players, the Texan
would finally win his one and only major title at the 1992
U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, negotiating the gusty winds and
challenging conditions in the final round for a two-stroke
victory. In 1970, he was the runner-up to Lanny Wadkins at
the U.S. Amateur by a single stroke.
1980 (Charles Yates):
The Atlanta native is a former British Amateur champion who
learned his golf from the legendary Bob Jones at East Lake
Golf Club and competed in the inaugural Masters. He
competed on two USA Walker Cup teams and for years ran the
amateur dinner at the Masters. His grandson, Danny Yates,
would win the 1992 U.S. Mid-Amateur and captain two Walker
1981 (JoAnne Carner):
Affectionately named "Big Mama" by her peers on
the LPGA Tour, Carner enjoyed a fruitful amateur career
before joining the LPGA Tour. She became the first player
to win the U.S. Girls' Junior (1956) and U.S.
Women's Amateur (1958) titles in consecutive years. She
eventually won five U.S. Women's Amateurs before
garnering two U.S. Women's Open titles, giving her a
total of eight USGA championships, the most by any female
1982 (William J. Patton):
In 1954, Patton placed third at the Masters, the highest
finish by any amateur making his inaugural appearance at
the tournament. He later would compete in five Walker Cups
for the USA, posting an 11-3 overall record.
1983 (Maureen Ruttle Garrett):
Served as president of the Ladies Golf Union from 1982-84.
She won the French Amateur championship in 1946 and was the
non-playing captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis
Cup team in 1960.
1984 (R. Jay Sigel):
Enjoyed a remarkable amateur career, winning the U.S.
Amateur in 1982 and '83, and the U.S. Mid-Amateur in
1983, '85 and '87 before turning pro at the age of
50 to compete on the Champions Tour. Sigel is one of six
players in history to win two USGA championships in the
same year. He also competed on a USA-record nine Walker Cup
teams, from 1977 through 1993.
1985 (Fuzzy Zoeller):
One of the game's most charismatic characters, Zoeller
won the 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot in a playoff over
Greg Norman. He is one of a handful of golfers to have won
the Masters in his first appearance (1979).
1986 (Jess Sweetser):
In 1926, he became the first American-born golfer to win
the British Amateur. Four years earlier, he defeated Bob
Jones in the semifinals and Chick Evans in the final to win
the U.S. Amateur title at the age of 20. A member of the
inaugural 1922 USA Walker Cup team, Sweetser competed in
six Walker Cups and later served as captain in 1967 and
1987 (Tom Watson):
In 1982, he won his only U.S. Open title in dramatic style,
holing out a pitch shot from deep rough on the 71st hole at
Pebble Beach. His heroics allowed him to edge Jack Nicklaus
by two strokes. Watson also registered five British Open
and two Masters victories during his brilliant Hall of Fame
1988 (Isaac B. Grainger):
He served as USGA president from 1954-55 and now has an
award named in his honor. The Grainger Award is given to
those volunteers who have served the USGA for 25 years.
1989 (Chi Chi Rodriguez):
Known best for his on-course theatrics, Rodriguez was the
first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the World Golf Hall
of Fame. He has given countless amounts of time and dollars
to charity work for kids in both Puerto Rico and the
1990 (Peggy Kirk Bell):
A legendary instructor who was one of the founding members
of the LPGA and a strong advocate for women's golf. A
member of the 1950 USA Curtis Cup team, Bell and her
husband later purchased the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf
Club in Southern Pines, N.C., which has thrice hosted the
U.S. Women's Open.
1991 (Ben Crenshaw):
Considered to have one of the best putting strokes in golf,
Crenshaw twice won the Masters after a brilliant college
career at the University of Texas, where he won three NCAA
individual titles. He also has joined forces with Bill
Coore to form a golf-design business and the two have
designed many top-100 courses.
1992 (Gene Sarazen):
He is one of five golfers to have won all four of
golf's professional majors in his career (U.S. Open,
Masters, British Open and PGA Championship). He worked his
way up from being a caddie to a world-class player who won
39 PGA Tour titles. He also is credited for creating the
modern sand wedge, an implement he first used at the 1932
1993 (P.J. Boatwright Jr.):
A longtime USGA Rules expert, Boatwright served as the
Association's Executive Director from 1969-80. In his
honor, the USGA established the P.J. Boatwright Internship
Program, where individuals interested in golf careers can
work at state/regional golf associations or other golf
organizations to gain valuable experience.
1994 (Lewis Oehmig):
In 1985, Oehmig became the USGA's oldest champion when
he won the Senior Amateur at the age of 69 years, 4 months,
a feat that was later surpassed by Marlene Stewart Streit
(69 years, 6 months) in 2003. Oehmig won three Senior
Amateurs and was the runner-up on three other
1995 (Herbert Warren Wind):
While he didn't win any championships on the course,
Wind was a world champion at covering and writing about the
game. He remains the only writer to win the Bob Jones Award
and is credited for coining the phrase "Amen
Corner" while covering the Masters in 1958.
1996 (Betsy Rawls):
Rawls joined the LPGA Tour in 1951 and won 55 tournaments,
including eight majors, half of which were U.S. Women's
Open triumphs. Today, the American Junior Golf Association
has a tournament named in her honor (McDonald's Betsy
Rawls Girls Championship).
1997 (Fred Brand Jr.):
Brand's dedication to golf administration spanned the
better part of six decades. He was president of the Western
Pennsylvania Golf Association and later served 11 years on
the USGA Executive Committee. He also was a longtime member
of the PGA National Advisory Board.
1998 (Nancy Lopez):
Much like Arnold Palmer transcended golf for the PGA Tour,
Lopez did the same for the LPGA Tour. A two-time U.S.
Girls' Junior champion, Lopez was women's golf most
visible competitor in the 1980s and 1990s. A four-time
Player of the Year, Lopez was inducted into the Hall of
Fame when she was 30.
1999 (Edgar Updegraff):
A three-time USA Walker Cupper, Updegraff also won the 1981
Senior Amateur title for his only USGA championship.
2000 (Barbara McIntire):
McIntire enjoyed a highly decorated amateur career that saw
her win the 1959 and '64 U.S. Women's Amateur and
represent the USA on six Curtis Cup teams. McIntire also
twice served as captain in 1976 and 1998.
2001 (Thomas Cousins):
The Atlanta resident is credited for revitalizing East Lake
Golf Club and turning what was a crime-infested area into a
place where young African-Americans can caddie and learn
the game. Cousins hired Rees Jones to renovate and
re-design East Lake, which was the home club of Bob
2002 (Judy Rankin):
Rankin enjoyed a successful professional career, winning 26
events on the LPGA Tour before becoming a highly respected
network golf announcer for ABC/ESPN. At 14, Rankin was the
Missouri Women's Amateur champion, and a year later she
finished as low amateur at the 1960 U.S. Women's
2003 (Carol Semple Thompson):
Considered by some to be the queen of women's amateur
golf, the soft-spoken Thompson has won seven USGA titles,
including the 1973 Women's Amateur. She has competed in
a record 12 Curtis Cups for the USA. In the summer of 2008,
she will captain the USA squad for a second time.
2004 (Jackie Burke Jr.):
He won 16 PGA Tour events during his career, including the
1956 Masters and PGA Championship before founding Champions
Golf Club in Houston with good friend and major champion
Jimmy Demaret. Champions hosted the 1969 U.S. Open and 1993
U.S. Amateur. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in
2005 (Nick Price):
A world-class player, Price won three major championships,
including consecutive PGA Championships in 1992 and
'93. The Zimbabwe native is known for being one of the
amenable guys on the PGA Tour and is a member of the World
Golf Hall of Fame.
2006 (Jay Haas):
A nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, Haas now enjoys success
on the 50-and-over Champions Tour. A former Walker Cupper,
Haas was a member of the NCAA champion Wake Forest team
that has been called one of the greatest ever and featured
1972 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Bob Byman and future
two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange.
2007 (Louise Suggs):
Suggs was one of the founders of the LPGA after enjoying a
highly decorated amateur career in Georgia, which included
playing on the 1948 USA Curtis Cup team. During her pro
career, Suggs won the 1949 and '52 U.S. Women's
2008 (George H.W. Bush):
The 41st President of the United States comes from golf
pedigree, as his maternal grandfather Herbert Walker and
his father Prescott Bush both were USGA presidents. The
Walker Cup is named after Herbert Walker, who donated the
trophy for the biennial team competition between male
amateur golfers from the USA and their counterparts from
Great Britain and Ireland. Bush also has been an advocate
for The First Tee program whose largest contributor is the