Bob Jones award winner Dennis Walters offers inspirational story

Dennis Walters, trick-shot artist, demonstrates during the 2008 U.S. Open Championship Junior Day at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif. on Sunday, June 8, 2008. (Copyright USGA/John Mummert) USGA

Bob Jones award winner Dennis Walters offers inspirational story

Golf

Bob Jones award winner Dennis Walters offers inspirational story

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. –  Dennis Walters of Jupiter, Fla., was named as the 2018 winner of the Bob Jones Award Monday by the USGA.

Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.

Waters was paralyzed from below the waist in a golf-cart crash at age 24 in 1971. Since then, Walters embarked on a personal mission to teach golf and life lessons to a worldwide audience. He has inspired fans through talks and trick-shot shows since 1977.

“Dennis Walters exemplifies the values, dedication and passion for golf that all true champions of the game possess,” said Mike Davis, executive director/CEO of the USGA. “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.”

The award ceremony will take place Wednesday evening of U.S. Open week at Sebonack Golf Club, in close proximity to historic Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, site of the 118th U.S. Open Championship. Among the featured speakers for the invitation-only event will be Jack Nicklaus, eight-time USGA champion, 1975 Bob Jones Award winner, and one of Walters’ longtime supporters and friends.

DWalters started hitting golf shots from his wheelchair. A friend created a mounted swivel seat on the passenger side of a golf cart that allowed him to get back on the course again. Walters showed that it was possible to play golf even if one has a severe disability.

In the last five decades, Walters has traveled more than 3 million miles and has made more than 3,000 appearances to energize and motivate audiences in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

“I have been on tour for 41 years, just not the tour I imagined,” Walters said. “I started this path for myself 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.”

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