The Golf Writers Association of America looks inward for most of the awards it gives out every year – mostly writing awards, befitting its nationwide membership, which is writers writing mostly about golf.
But the GWAA looks farther afield when it presents the Charles Bartlett Award, out there in the world of players good enough at golf to do it for money. It’s not, however, a most-cash-wins award. Other organizations keep track of that.
To be considered for the Bartlett Award, named for the former Chicago Tribune writer who served as the first secretary of the GWAA, there needs to be something else going on. Cristie Kerr, ladies and gentlemen, has got it going on.
I might even think the GWAA, because it’s golf writers, probably appreciated most that Kerr is a winemaker. Her label, Curvature Wines, gets reviewed, glowingly, in the highbrow wine press … that most golf writers never read.
It could be the GWAA was swayed in awarding Kerr the 2016 Charles Bartlett Award by the fact that 100 percent of her winery’s profits go to the fight against breast cancer. Or that she’s made a concurrent career directly devoted to the medical and social causes around breast cancer research, prevention and treatment.
I think that must be it. Works for me.
For the record, Kerr, 38, is a surefire Hall of Famer, with 18 LPGA victories, including two majors, and more than $17 million in earnings. She’s won at least one tournament every year but three since 2005, including last year when she won twice. She’s 5-foot-3, hits the ball a ton, and stands tall enough among her peers that even a bunch of golf writers could hardly help but take notice.
Previous winners of the Bartlett Award include Arnie, Jack, Tiger, Ernie, Tom and Greg … and the women, who unfortunately don’t have the one-name-only recognizability: Val Skinner, Betsy King, Lorena Ochoa and the 2015 recipient, Morgan Pressel. Add Cristie, no last name needed, and that’s a pretty good list.