In recognition of its high standard of achievement in golf literature, “Miracle At Merion: The Inspiring Story of Ben Hogan’s Amazing Comeback and Victory in the 1950 U.S. Open,” written by David Barrett, has been named the recipient of the USGA’s 2010 Herbert Warren Wind Book Award.
“Ben Hogan was a great champion throughout his career, but his remarkable victory at the 1950 U.S. Open just 16 months after a devastating car crash is one of the most inspirational stories in all of sports history,” said Rand Jerris, managing director of the USGA Museum. “David Barrett’s detailed portrait of the strength, courage and resilience of Hogan as he endured a grueling test of both mental and physical stamina is a wonderful addition to the lore of the 1950 U.S. Open.”
Barrett’s connection with Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., started during his days as a collegiate golfer at Haverford College, across the street from Merion. A former editor at Golf Magazine, his interest in Hogan’s comeback and victory in the 1950 U.S. Open was rekindled when the magazine ran an excerpt of Curt Sampson’s biography, “Hogan.”
“The comeback was the iconic Hogan event,” said Barrett. “It epitomizes his overall determination to be a great golfer. He overcame a troubled background, his father’s suicide, and then you can parallel that with overcoming injuries from the crash.”
“Miracle at Merion” is also a celebration of Merion Golf Club, which has hosted more USGA national championships than any other venue, and will again play host to the U.S. Open in 2013.
“The Hogan story is a big part of the book, but I also enjoyed writing about the overall feeling of one particular championship,” said Barrett. “It was interesting researching the stories of all the other players and bringing to light some of the forgotten players in an era that preceded big money and television. After all the research and with my connection to Merion, I almost had the feeling that I was there at the 1950 U.S. Open. I can picture the place and I’ve covered other Opens before so it made it very real for me.”
Barrett will be presented the award on April 6 in Augusta, Ga., at the Golf Writers Association of America’s annual awards dinner during the week of the Masters Tournament.
“It is an honor considering who the award is named after and all the past recipients,” said Barrett. “It’s a great honor and I’m humbled.”
The Herbert Warren Wind Book Award was established in 1987. The award recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to golf literature while attempting to broaden the public’s interest in, and knowledge of, the game of golf. Wind, who died in 2005, was the famed writer for The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated who coined the phrase “Amen Corner” at Augusta National. He is the only writer to win the USGA’s Bob Jones Award, the Association’s highest honor.
The USGA is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. To be eligible, a book must be an original full-length work about golf and published in the calendar year. For more information, contact Nancy Stulack, the USGA Museum’s librarian, at (908) 234-2300, ext. 1107 or .