Golf Course Industry editor-in-chief Guy Cipriano is among the top golf writers in the country. Again.
Cipriano landed his second award in three years from the Golf Writers Association of America, this time for his May 2020 cover story, “Driving Through,” about a five-day drive home across the country during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The story highlighted the importance of golf courses then and always, and provided snapshots of a handful of courses and superintendents well off the beaten path.
The story was recognized with a tie for second in the non-daily features category, tied with a story published in Golf Digest and edged only by a feature published in The Golfer’s Journal.
“Yes, I played golf on the drive home. Plenty of it,” Cipriano wrote in his award-winning story. “Sometimes I felt guilty about it. But I only played alone. I only played 9 holes at each stop. I thoroughly washed my hands immediately after debit-card transactions. I only took a cart once and that was to squeeze a third nine into a dreary drive through Missouri. I never touched a flagstick or course accessories.
“I discovered Cerbat Cliffs and Hidden Cove Golf Course in Arizona; Bill and Payne Stewart Golf Course, Oak Meadow Country Club and Pevely Farms Golf Club in Missouri; and Hartley Hills Country Club in Indiana. Each course offered a sense of place and serenity, two things missing from many lives as COVID-19 curves escalated.”
Cipriano, a member of the GWAA, was previously honored with a second-place award in the special projects category in the 2018 contest for his three-part series about the flooding and subsequent rebuilding of The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier.
Trade publications are almost never recognized by the contest’s judges. Cipriano’s two awards are the only such honors for trade publications in recent memory, according to those judges.
2021 GWAA WRITING CONTEST RESULTS
The following is a full list of winners, including honorable mention. There were 360 total entries in the 2021 contest.
NEWS STORIES: 1, Joel Beall, “Yale Is Back From the Dead,” GolfDigest.com; 2, John Feinstein, “Love’s Home Up In Flames,” GolfDigest.com; 3, Ryan Lavner, “SMU’s Enloe Steps Down,” GolfChannel.com. Honorable mention, Dylan Dethier, “How Golf Was Last Sport Standing,” Golf.com; Bill Fields, “Pete Dye Passes Away,” PGATour.com; Ryan Lavner, “Coronavirus Shuts Down Golf,” GolfChannel.com; Jason Sobel, “Masters Gets Postponed,” actionnetwork.com.
GAME STORIES: 1, Joel Beall, “DeChambeau Proves Revolution is Real,” Golf Digest; 2, Bill Fields, “Johnson Takes Command,” Masters.com; 3, Hank Gola, “DeChambeau Tames Winged Foot,” NY Daily News. Honorable mention, Jeff Babineau, “Hatton is a Brit With Grit,” MorningRead.com; Dylan Dethier, “Olsen’s Unforgettable Finish,” Golf.com; Ryan Lavner, “The Bryson Revolution Begins,” GolfChannel.com.
DAILY COLUMNS: 1, Ian O’Connor, “On the death of a brother, Tiger's epic Masters and the Bonding Power of Sports,” espn.com; 2, Shane Ryan, “The Bryson Effect, Ready or Not,” GolfDigest.com; 3, Jason Sobel, “Kobe and Tiger Forever,” actionnetwork.com. Honorable mention, Ron Green, Jr., “Another Step on a Long Road,” GlobalGolfPost.com; Shane Ryan, “Golf in 2020 is in Evolution,” GolfDigest.com; Dave Seanor, “Saudis Guilty of SportsWashing,” MorningRead.com.
DAILY FEATURES: 1, Josh Sens, “Did This Texas Pro Really Make 51 Aces?” Golf.com; 2. (TIE) Dylan Dethier, “The Man Reborn at Amen Corner,” Golf.com; Michael Williams, “Insensitivity, Empathy and Redemption,” TheUndefeated.com. Honorable mention, Joel Beall, “From Potato Fields to Pinehurst,” GolfDigest.com; Joel Beall, “Curious Case of Metacomet G.C.” GolfDigest.com; Ryan Lavner, “Im’s Brotherly Bond,” GolfChannel.com
NON-DAILY COLUMNS: 1, Jerry Tarde, “The Last Accolades for a Good Man,” Golf Digest, August; 2 (TIE) Michael Bamberger, “My Mother and Golf,” Golf Magazine; Jeff Silverman, “The Scavenger Society,” The Golfer’s Journal; Gary Van Sickle, “I Hit It Too Darn Far,” AZ Golf Insider. Honorable mention, Derek Duncan, “Roughly Speaking,” Golf Digest; Bill Fields, “The Long and Longer of It,” The Met Golfer.
NON-DAILY FEATURES: 1, Tom Coyne, “The Lucky Ones,” The Golfer’s Journal; 2, (TIE) Guy Cipriano, “Driving Through,” Golf Course Industry; Oliver Horowitz, “A Wild Trip to Nepal,” Golf Digest. Honorable mention, Adam Schupak, “Watson Uses Cutting to Cope,” Golfweek; Alan Shipnuck, “Mike Strantz, Artist,” Golf Magazine; Gary Van Sickle, “Nick Price and the Great Adventure,” Memorial Tournament Magazine.
SPECIAL PROJECTS: 1, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger, “The Masters That Never Was,” Golf.com; 2, Michael Bamberger, Dylan Dethier, Luke Kerr-Dineen, Alan Shipnuck, Jonathan Wall, Sean Zak, “Will DeChambeau Transform Golf,” Golf.com; 3, Tony Dear, “Build It And They Might Come,” Bellinghamgolfer.com. Honorable mention -- Steve Eubanks and Ron Green, Jr., “New World Order,” GlobalGolfPost.com; Rex Hoggard and Ryan Lavner, “Portrait of an Empty Augusta