2017 Writing Contest Results


HOUSTON (February 22, 2017) – We said good-bye one of the greatest ever to play the game last fall and then we honored him with some of the best writing of the year.

Yes, stories on Arnold Palmer dominated the entries in the 2017 GWAA Writing Contest and three of the winning stories were on The King.

Golf Digest’s Tom Callahan,’s Ian O’Connor and Golf World’s John Strege all put Palmer’s iconic career and impact in perspective to win three of the seven categories. Callahan won his ninth career first-place with “The King for Eternity” in Non-Daily Features while Strege won for the first time with his Daily News story “Palmer, Golf Royalty, Dies at 87.’’ O’Connor won his sixth first-place with his Daily Column, “The force that drove Arnold Palmer.”

Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle also won for the ninth time in his career with a Special Project  — “Spieth’s Magic Moments.” Michaux and Callahan are now tied with Jaime Diaz and Alan Shipnuck for second on the all-time win list, one behind Dan Jenkins.

Ron Whitten’s Non-Daily Column “Oakmont: Gorilla in the Mist” was the third win this year for Golf Digest Companies and his career-third win. He also finished second in Special Projects. Jeff Ritter of won Daily Features for his story “Golf, life in Rio”, while Golfweek’s Adam Schupak won Non-Daily News with “Sunday Shocker.”

O’Connor also took third in Daily Columns and an honorable mention in Daily Features, while Schupak also finished second in Non-Daily Features and had an honorable mention in Non-Daily News.

All winners will be honored April 5 at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 45th Annual Awards Dinner presented by the PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA. The event is held at Savannah Rapids Pavilion.


The following is a full list of the winners, including honorable mentions.

There were 374 entries in the 2017 contest. Links to winning stories provided

DAILY COLUMNS – 1, Ian O’Connor, The force that drove Arnold Palmer,,; 2, Shane Ryan, Rory is right, it’s not his job,; 3, Ian O’Connor, Spieth’s shocking collapse,

Honorable mention: Ron Green Jr., Johnson’s winning cause,; Mike McAllister, Conversation with an Oakmont tree,; Mike Stachura, What I learned on Snapchat,

DAILY NEWS – 1, John Strege, Palmer, golf royalty, dies at 87, Golf World,; 2, Alan Bastable, Reed unleashes inner animal,; 3, Mercer Baggs, Stenson’s epic Open,

Honorable mention: Bill Fields, Johnson delivers validating victory,; Ryan Lavner, DJ shakes major monkey,; Ryan Lavner, Spieth collapses at Masters,

 DAILY FEATURES – 1, Jeff Ritter, Golf, life in Rio,,;  2, Dave Kindred, Reflecting on 50 Masters,; 3, Steve Eubanks, Remembering Augusta’s greatest day,

Honorable mention: Bob Harig, How Jacklin saved Ryder Cup,; Mike McAllister, Els captures the sunshine,; Ian O’Connor, Arnie and Oakmont,

NON-DAILY COLUMNS – 1, Ron Whitten, Oakmont: Gorilla in the mist, Golf Digest,; 2, Ron Sirak, Thanks Arnie, Golf Digest; 3, Bill Fields, The Team in I, Memorial Tournament Magazine.

Honorable mention: Jaime Diaz, Tiger after all the hurt, Golf Digest; David Owen, Trauma of my Oakmont round, Golf Digest; Jerry Tarde, You to him, him to you: Arnie, Golf Digest, November

NON-DAILY NEWS – 1, Adam Schupak, Sunday Shocker, Golfweek,; 2, Ron Sirak, Golden retirements, Golf Digest; 3, Jim McCabe, Rory’s really good stuff, Golfweek.

Honorable mention: Jaime Diaz and John Huggan, What really happened: USGA fiasco, Golf Digest; Jim McCabe, Jimmy Walker, marathon man, Golfweek; Adam Schupak, DJ rules, Golfweek.

 NON-DAILY FEATURES – 1, Tom Callahan, The King for eternity, Golf Digest,; 2, Adam Schupak, An appetite for winning, Golfweek; 3, Jaime Diaz, The Zen of Zinger, Golf Digest.

Honorable mention: Matthew Rudy, How Stenson conquered the yips, Golf Digest; Alan Shipnuck, Curious case of Kevin Na, Sports Illustrated; Alan Shipnuck, What happened to Tiger?, Sports Illustrated.

SPECIAL PROJECTS – 1, Scott Michaux, Spieth’s magic moments, Augusta Chronicle,; 2, Ron Whitten, Inside Hanse’s Olympic selection, Golf Digest; 3, Mercer Baggs, Randall Mell, Rex Hoggard, Ryan Lavner and Will Gray, One time with Tiger,

Honorable mention:  James Dodson, John Hopkins, Mike Purkey, Ron Green Jr., Steve Eubanks, A remarkable life,; Dave Shedloski and John Huggan, How to beat the Ryder Cuppers, Golf Digest;  Bob Carney, Guy Yocom, Keely Levins, Max Adler, Mike Stachura, Peter Finch, Peter Morrice, Stephen Hennessey, Stina Sternberg, The Family, Golf Digest