Museum Honored At Sports Heritage Awards Ceremony November 4, 2012 By USGA

The USGA's Susan Wasser (left) poses with Saleem Choudhry of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after accepting one of the two IHSA awards given to the USGA Museum.

The USGA Museum recently earned two 2012 Communication Awards from the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) in the categories of Educational Programming Materials and Video-Short Presentation.

The 16-page Newspapers In Education supplement, “American Champions and Barrier Breakers,” which was distributed to more than 45,000 students in classrooms across New York and New Jersey this past spring, won an “ISHY,” as the association’s awards are called, in the category of Educational Programming Materials. The NIE supplement celebrates the lives, athletic achievements and legacies of African-American athletes Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson, with the goal of teaching students how the game of golf builds character and leadership traits both on and off the course.

Robinson, Louis and Gibson not only excelled in their primary sports – baseball, boxing and tennis, respectively – but had a profound effect in golf as well, helping to make the game more accessible to minorities across the country. The Museum developed an exhibit, also named “American Champions and Barrier Breakers,” that opened in February 2012 and will remain on display in Far Hills, N.J., through 2013.

The television trailer for the USGA’s documentary, 1962 U.S. Open: Jack’s First Major, won in the Video-Short Presentation category. The documentary celebrates Jack Nicklaus’ first major championship victory – a playoff win over Arnold Palmer at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, just 35 miles from The King’s hometown of Latrobe, Pa. The win marked the professional arrival of one of golf’s greatest champions.

The USGA collaborated with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Greenburg in the making of the documentary, which premiered on NBC immediately before live final-round coverage of the 2012 U.S. Open. The trailer and documentary have since been shown on the NBC family of networks, including Golf Channel, and have also been broadcast in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Spain to more than 1.7 million viewers.

“The documentary is an important first step in reaching a global audience and evolving the concept of what a museum can be in the 21st century,” said Robert Williams, the Museum’s director. “Jack’s First Major is the culmination of a decade of planning to find better ways to share the compelling stories of the USGA beyond our four walls. It is certainly an honor to be recognized by our peers with an ISHY for this work.”

Award winners were presented trophies on Oct. 25 during the Evening of Champions dinner at the group’s annual conference, which was hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I.

“The diverse ISHA member institutions consistently communicate with their sport heritage community and the annual awards offer a friendly competition that supports excellence among peers,” ISHA Awards Committee Chairperson Paula Homan said. “The 2012 Communication Award winners earn an ISHY trophy and the opportunity to leverage that win into some well-deserved attention within their market.”

Other 2012 ISHY winners were:

  • Kentucky Derby Museum for its Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook and its mixed media campaign promoting the event It’s My Derby
  • College Baseball Hall of Fame for its induction program College Baseball Night of Champions 2012
  • Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum for its 2012 Induction Gala program
  • Melbourne (Australia) Cricket Club for The Yorker: Journal of the Melbourne Cricket Library, which provides in-depth articles from the archives, featuring original historic materials
  • St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for its Busch Stadium tours rack card and Cardinals Academic Program (CAP) rack card, folder and handouts
  • The Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum for The Arab Games Exhibition, Official publication of the Arab Games Exhibition
  • British Golf Museum for the complete redesign of its website