American Society of Golf Course Architects

ASGCA Donald Ross Award recipient Dodson wins second USGA Book Award

In recognition of its high standard of achievement in golf literature, “American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and the Modern Age of Golf,” written by James Dodson, has earned the United States Golf Association’s Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for 2012.

Dodson received the 2011 ASCGA Donald Ross Award. That award, ASGCA's highest honor, is presented annually to an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the profession of golf course architecture. Dodson had previously won the USGA award in 2004 for “Ben Hogan: An American Life.”

“Snead, Nelson and Hogan set the standard for professional golf for three decades and were instrumental in defining the modern professional game,” said Robert Williams, director of the USGA Museum. “James Dodson did a masterful job not only telling the story of these three men, but also bringing an entire era of golf into sharper focus. This book is an impressive accomplishment that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.”

Interviews with friends, family and fellow competitors helped Dodson paint a picture of determined athletes – all remarkably born in the same year, 1912 – who would revitalize a struggling game in Depression-era America.

Through Dodson’s expert storytelling, the reader experiences the dominance of Snead, Nelson and Hogan from the late 1930s through the 1950s. The passion, skill and competitiveness displayed by these giants of the game helped to forever change the public perception of golf and to plant it firmly in the mainstream of American life.

“This is a story about three extraordinary men, who were very different, but each helped put golf on the front pages of newspapers in America,” said Dodson. “Hogan, Nelson and Snead were the founding fathers of the modern game.”

Writer-in-residence for The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines, N.C., Dodson also edits three arts and culture magazines published by The Pilot: PineStraw, Salt and O.Henry. Dodson, who spent two decades as a contributing editor and columnist for Golf Magazine.

In addition to “American Triumvirate” and “Ben Hogan,” Dodson has written four other golf-themed books: “Final Rounds,” “The Dewsweepers,” “A Golfer’s Life” and “A Son of the Game.”

Dodson joins Phil Pilley (1989 and 2003) as the only two-time winners of the award.