Last Update :3/3/2024

Coble Honored by USGA


LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 5, 2024) – The USGA has announced the recipients of its Annual Awards, honoring three individuals for their significant contributions for the good of the game in the areas of volunteerism, turfgrass advancement and golf literature.

E. Lee Coble, of Richmond, Va., is the recipient of this year’s Joe Dey Award for his decades-long service to golf and for fostering a more inclusive game. Bob Farren, director of golf course management at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, is the Green Section Award honoree for serving as a leader in sustainable golf course maintenance practices. “Serving Herself: The Life and Times of Althea Gibson,” by Ashley Brown, Ph.D., has been selected as the winner of the USGA’s Herbert Warren Wind Award.

“This year we celebrate barrier-breakers, innovators and individuals who have witnessed – and overcome – great challenges in their respective fields of the game,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “We recognize the incredible accomplishments of Lee, Bob and Ashley and are thrilled to have them as our Annual Award honorees this year.”

The USGA will recognize the recipients at its Annual Awards Dinner in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, March 2, during the organization’s Annual Meeting.

Joe Dey Award – E. Lee Coble

Lee Coble’s lifelong love of golf has led to decades of service to the game, sharing his knowledge, his time and his boundless energy to community golf initiatives. His volunteer resume includes serving as the 34th president of the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA) as well as mentorship and fundraising for numerous junior programs while advocating for accessibility for everyone, including Hook A Kid on Golf, The First Tee of Richmond and Chesterfield County, and the VSGA Foundation’s Robins Junior Programs at Independence Golf Club.

A longstanding USGA Committee member, Coble’s entry into the game came as an 11-year-old, caddieing at a nine-hole, racially segregated course in rural Mebane, N.C. That’s where he grew his desire to play and perseverance to overcome obstacles – values that would guide him on his lifelong journey from being denied a spot on his high school golf team to becoming the first African American to lead the VSGA. Coble currently serves as the head golf coach at Virginia Union University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Richmond, Va., a commitment driven by his desire to grow the game and be a positive force for the next generation.

Presented annually by the USGA since 1996, the award is named for Joseph C. Dey Jr., the USGA’s executive director from 1934-1968, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975 and devoted his life in service to the game.

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