February 07, 2018

President George Herbert Walker Bush to receive ASGCA Donald Ross Award

41st U.S. President has continued family’s golf legacy and championed competition
at all levels in U.S. and internationally

BROOKFIELD, Wis. – George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States (1989-1993), has been chosen as the 2018 recipient of the ASGCA Donald Ross Award. This award, given annually since 1976, is presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to the game of golf and the profession of golf course architecture. It will be presented to Bush in April as part of the 2018 ASGCA Annual Meeting in Houston.


“President Bush exemplifies the highest traditions of golf, from displaying the values of good sportsmanship to respecting pace of play, and everything in between,” said ASGCA President John Sanford. “ASGCA is proud to add President Bush to the list of distinguished Donald Ross Award recipients.”


The Bush family relationship with golf goes back generations. His maternal grandfather, George Walker, served as United States Golf Association president. Today, the Walker Cup bears his name.


A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Bush has actively supported numerous national and international golf events, including the Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup, Walker Cup and Houston Open.


“Golf clears the mind,” he told Sports Illustrated in a 1991 interview. “I don’t concentrate too much out here. I’m in it for the competition, the camaraderie.”


As for pace of play, that same SI article noted: “When staffers ask whether (the President) broke 90, they’re talking minutes, not strokes. Sure enough, on the morning Bush left for an economic summit in London, he raced around a full 18 in an hour and 25 minutes. ‘My all-time record.’”


The Donald Ross Award is presented by the ASGCA Awards Committee, co-chaired by ASGCA Past Presidents Steve Smyers, ASGCA, and Rees Jones, ASGCA Fellow (the 2013 Donald Ross Award recipient). For more information on ASGCA, visit, call (262) 786-5960 or e-mail


Past Donald Ross Award Recipients

2017    Alice Dye, ASGCA Fellow, golf course architect

2016    Michael Bamberger, golf writer

2015    Bradley S. Klein, golf writer

2014    Maj. Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor Foundation

2013    Rees Jones, ASGCA, golf course architect

2012    Bill Kubly, golf course builder

2011    James Dodson, golf writer/editor

2010    Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner

2009    Ron Dodson, sustainable golf advocate
2008    George Peper, golf writer

2007    Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, golf course architect

2006    Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer, PGA of America

2005    John Singleton, irrigation pioneer

2004    Thomas Cousins, philanthropist, urban golf developer         

2003    Bill Campbell, president, USGA, captain, Royal & Ancient Golf Club

2002    Byron Nelson, professional golfer

2001    Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA, professional golfer, golf course architect

2000    Jaime Ortiz-Patino, owner and president, Valderrama Golf Club

1999    Arnold Palmer, professional golfer

1998    Judy Bell, president, USGA

1997    Gene Sarazen, professional golfer

1996    Ron Whitten, golf writer

1995    Pete Dye, ASGCA, golf course architect

1994    James R. Watson, agronomist

1993    Brent Wadsworth, golf course builder

1992    Paul Fullmer, ASGCA executive secretary

1991    Michael Bonallack, secretary, Royal & Ancient Golf Club

1990    John Zoller, executive director, Northern California Golf Association

1989    Dick Taylor, editor, “Golf World” magazine

1988    Frank Hannigan, executive director, USGA

1987    Charles Price, writer, “Golf World” magazine

1986    Deane Beman, commissioner, PGA Tour

1985    Peter Dobereiner, “London Observer” columnist, author

1984    Dinah Shore, sponsor of women’s golf tournaments

1983    Al Radko, director, USGA Green Section

1982    Geoffrey Cornish, ASGCA, golf course architect, historian

1981    James Rhodes, governor of Ohio

1980    Gerald Micklem, captain, Royal & Ancient

1979    Joe Dey, executive director, USGA

1978    Herb and Joe Graffis, founders, National Golf Foundation

1977    Herbert Warren Wind, “The New Yorker” columnist, author

1976    Robert Trent Jones, ASGCA, ASGCA founding member

ASGCA Background


Founded in 1946 by Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones and 12 other leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling and comprise many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.


For more information about ASGCA, including a current list of members, log on to the ASGCA website at or call (262) 786-5960.


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