Dennis Walters is the recipient of the 2018 USGA Bob Jones Award, the national golf association has recently announced.
Every year, the Bob Jones Award recognizes an exceptional individual who embodies the personal character, spirit and respect for golf exhibited by the legendary Bob Jones.
An inspiring story
Walters, the inspirational golfer who is known for his “never-say-quit” attitude, remained paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 24 from a golf cart accident. Today, his mission is to teach golf and life lessons to an international audience. It is this grit and strength that has earned him the 2018 Bob Jones Award—the USGA’s highest honor.
Walter had reached the final stage of the PGA TOUR’s qualifiers when the accident changed his life. Determined to keep playing the game he loved, he started hitting shots from his wheelchair and developed his own way to play.
Over the past 50 years, Dennis Walters has made over 3,000 motivational appearances and traveled three million miles, using his story and personal experience to inspire others to never let go of their dreams.
Possible under ‘almost impossible odds’
Bob Jones Award recipient Walters said he started this journey as “a mechanism to cope with what I considered to be a hopeless situation”.
“I never knew what I could accomplish with my show or how many people it would reach. I made up my mind and was determined to do whatever I could to still make golf my career and a part of my everyday life.
“What I didn’t know was how it would extend past the golf community to show others what is possible under almost impossible odds.”
The Bob Jones Award will be presented during a ceremony on June 13; it is set to be one of the highlights of the U.S. Open Championship week in Southampton, New York.
Mike Davis, executive director and CEO of the USGA, said: “Dennis Walters exemplifies the values, dedication and passion for golf that all true champions of the game possess.
“He inspires all of us with his belief that anyone can play the game, delivering life lessons through golf, and showing that anything is possible in both life and golf if you’re willing to work hard enough.”