2018 Writing Contest Results


HOUSTON (February 28, 2018) – It was a diverse year in golf with new faces, new places, emotional wins and, as always, looks back at the game’s past.

The winning stories in the 2018 GWAA Writing Contest reflected all of the above as we honored, among others, stories on the making of Erin Hills, Augusta National’s new Chairman and Stacy Lewis’ emotional win for hurricane-devastated Houston.

Golf Digest led the way with three first-place finishes, including Jaime Diaz’ look at Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley, which took top honors in Non-Daily News. The win by Diaz, who also finished second in Daily News and had three honorable mentions, was the 10th of his career and ties him for first on the all-time win list with Golf Digest’s Dan Jenkins.

Digest’s Jerry Tarde won his fifth first-place with his Non-Daily Column entry – “Sandy Tatum: He never surrendered” – while Max Adler won his second GWAA first-place in Daily Columns with “The best part of Masters week could be the one thing that’s missing.”

Sports Illustrated/Golf had two wins. Michael Bamberger won his sixth career first-place with his Daily Feature win – “The Other Arnold: Palmer’s daughter reflects on the chasm between the brand and the man.” Bamberger also earned second-place finishes in both Daily Columns and Non-Daily Columns and two honorable mentions. Sean Zak picked up his first GWAA win in Non-Daily Features with “We were watching greatness: An oral history of the 1997 Masters.’’

Gary D’Amato’s seven-part series in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel – The Making of Erin Hills – won in Special Projects and Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols won Daily News with Stacy Lewis Earns Emotional Win for Houston.”  It was the fourth career win for both D’Amato and Nichols.

All winners will be honored April 4 at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 46th Annual Awards Dinner presented by the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA. The event is held at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta, Ga.


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

There were 423 entries in the 2018 contest

DAILY COLUMNS – 1, Max Adler, ‘The best part of Masters week could be the one thing that’s missing’, ;   2,  Michael Bamberger, Rules changes disappoint,; 3, Jason Sobel, I want the U.S. Open back,

Honorable mention – Ron Borges, Life handcuffs Woods, Boston Herald; Bob Oliver, Stop the insanity of rules call-ins, The Golf Insiders; Geoff Shackelford, Inside story of Spieth’s bogey,

DAILY FEATURES – 1, Michael Bamberger, ‘The Other Arnold: Palmer’s daughter reflects on the chasm between the brand and the man’,; 2, Randall Mell, Secret war, forbidden love,; 3, Helen Ross, How Michael Jordan became a golfer,

Honorable mention — Rex Hoggard, Woodland’s toughest year,; Ian O’Connor, The improbable rise of DJ,; Garry Smits, Day rises to No. 1, Florida Times-Union; Jason Sobel, Tiger and his famous Scotty,

DAILY NEWS – 1, Beth Ann Nichols, ‘Stacy Lewis Earns Emotional Win for Houston’’,,; 2, Jaime Diaz, Payne, a man with a plan,; 3, Dave Kindred, Sergio had to do it the hard way,
Honorable mention — Alan Bastable, US on cusp of President’s Cup win,; Rex Hoggard, Spieth silences doubters,; Alan Shipnuck, They look like America,; Jason Sobel, Leishman’s harrowing journey,

NON-DAILY COLUMNS – 1,Jerry Tarde, “Sandy Tatum: He never surrendered”, Golf Digest; 2, Michael Bamberger, Ernie and Sam, Golf Magazine; 3, Ken Van Vechten, So, are we better golfers?, FORE Magazine.
Honorable mention – 1, Tom Callahan, Confessions of an enabler, Golf Digest; Tom Coyne, The push and the pull, The Golfer’s Journal; Jerry Tarde, Forgive us our press passes, Golf Digest.

NON-DAILY FEATURES – 1, Sean Zak, “We were watching greatness: An oral history of the 1997 Masters”, Sports Illustrated2, Gary Van Sickle, William McGirt isn’t supposed to be here, Memorial Tournament Magazine; 3, Josh Sens, Collision course, Sports Illustrated.
Honorable mention — Michael Bamberger, The last man who grew up at The National, Sports Illustrated; Jaime Diaz, The new Sergio, Golf Digest; Alan Shipnuck, Donald Trump, Golfer-in-Chief, Sports Illustrated; Guy Yocom, Hello Mickey Wright, Golf Digest.

NON-DAILY NEWS – 1, Jaime Diaz, “Fred Ridley takes the lead at Augusta” ;Golf Digest 2, Alan Shipnuck, Viva Sergio!, Sports Illustrated; 3. Alan Shipnuck, Koepka outmuscles Erin Hills, Sports Illustrated.
Honorable mention — Michael Bamberger, Trump, the new First Golfer, Sports Illustrated,;  Jaime Diaz, Players date may change, Golf Digest; Beth Ann Nichols, Lewis win, donation highlight 2017, Golfweek.
SPECIAL PROJECTS – 1, Gary D’Amato, “The Making of Erin Hills”, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; ; 2, Guy Cipriano, When the creek rises, Golf Course Industry; 3, Al Tays and Matt Adams, Best equipment innovations,
 Honorable mention — Jaime Diaz, Ron Whitten, Guy Yocom, Ron Sirak, Jerry Tarde, Donald Trump, Golfer-in-Chief, Golf Digest; Mike McAllister, The man who inspired an army,;  Ryan Lavner, Rex Hoggard, Mercer Baggs, Will Gray, The class of 2011,