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The Country Club History Wins USGA Book Award


In recognition of its high standard of achievement in golf literature, "The Story of Golf at The Country Club," an exploration of the Brookline, Mass., club that was one of the co-founders of the United States Golf Association, has been named the recipient of the USGA's 2009 Herbert Warren Wind Book Award.

"The Story of Golf at The Country Club," written by John de St. Jorre, addresses The Country Club's contributions to the development of golf in America, especially the amateur game, and also looks at the way golf has shaped the evolution of the club. The book celebrates the club's pioneering role with the association and the 15 USGA championships the facility has hosted.

"The Country Club occupies a unique place in American golf history as the host of many USGA national championships, including Francis Ouimet's inspirational victory in the 1913 U.S. Open," said Rand Jerris, managing director of the USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History. "In recent years, The Country Club has been associated with the highest levels of professional golf, witnessing the 1988 U.S. Open and 1999 Ryder Cup.

"But the club's lasting legacy to the game will surely be recognized through its dedication and promotion of the amateur game. The beautifully written and elegantly designed club history is, most notably, a worthy celebration of The Country Club's commitment to the highest levels of amateur golf."

The Country Club, which was founded in 1882, will host the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship. That will mark the club's sixth time as host club, tying it with Merion Golf Club for the most times hosting the Amateur.

De St. Jorre's involvement with golf writing began through a collaboration with Anthony Edgeworth on the 1998 book "Legendary Golf Clubs of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland." He then worked with The Country Club on the sequel called "Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East." It was his work on that book that convinced The Country Club to ask him to write "The Story of Golf at The Country Club."

"I believe I may be the first non-golfer to win the award," said de St. Jorre. "As a writer, I like tackling cultures and subjects that I'm not part of. It does give you some measure of objectivity as I have no preconceived notions about what the great courses are, or what the great moments are, or who the great golfers are. I never really thought much about golf."

De St. Jorre will be presented the award on April 8 in Augusta, Ga., at the Golf Writers Association of America's annual awards dinner during the week of the Masters Tournament.

Larry Hasak designed the book, which is illustrated with more than 200 photographs, many of which have not been seen for decades.

The Herbert Warren Wind Book Award was established in 1987. The 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 New Yorker and Sports Illustrated writer 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.

"Herbert Warren Wind is one of my heroes as a writer," said de St. Jorre. "I put a section in the book dedicated to writing about golf, Darwin, Wind and so forth, so this is just marvelous, just wonderful. To be associated with him and to win this award is the greatest possible honor. I'm over the top of the world."

The USGA is currently accepting submissions for the 2010 Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. For more information, contact Nancy Stulack, the USGA Museum's librarian, at 908/234-2300 or nstulack@usga.org.  

To be eligible, a book must be an original full-length work about golf, written in English, and published in the preceding year.

About the USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History

The USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History is home to the world's premier collection of golf artifacts and memorabilia. The greatest champions and greatest moments in American golf history come alive through entertaining and engaging exhibits. Throughout its galleries, the USGA Museum features a world-class collection of more than 50,000 artifacts.

Visitors also have the opportunity to tour the USGA Research and Test Center and play a round on the Pynes Putting Course, a Himalayas-style green that is open annually from early spring through late fall.

The USGA Museum is located in Somerset County, N.J., near the intersection of Interstates 78 and 287. For more information, call 908/234-2300 or visit the Museum Web site at www.usgamuseum.com.