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 http://www.asgca.local or call (262) 786-5960.