Honoring her more than three decades of service as a volunteer, the United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Jayne Watson, of Town and Country, Mo., as the recipient of the 2017 Joe Dey Award.
The USGA has presented the Joe Dey Award annually since 1996 in recognition of an individual’s meritorious service to the game as a volunteer. It is named for Joseph C. Dey Jr., who served as the USGA’s executive director from 1934 to 1969, before serving as the first commissioner of the PGA Tour.
Watson first became involved with the USGA in 1987 and was an early expert in the USGA Course Rating System™, the USGA Slope Rating System™ and the USGA Handicap System™. Her course rating knowledge earned her a place on the first USGA Course Rating Committee and she has rated hundreds of courses in Missouri and Illinois.
“When I got the call telling me I was chosen for the Joe Dey Award, I thought it was a return call about a Course Rating question from a few days prior. I went on and on before the caller explained why they were calling and it took a minute for me to process it,” said Watson. “I was in shock, and still am. This award means a lot to me and it is very gratifying that the USGA recognizes my efforts in this way.”
A stalwart in the St. Louis amateur golf scene, Watson has rated courses for both the Missouri Women’s Golf Association (MWGA) and Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association (MAGA) since the inception of each in 1992. She served two terms as president of the MWGA and is one of only six honorary lifetime members of the association. The MAGA Women’s Amateur Championship trophy is named the Jayne M. Watson Trophy in her honor.
Through her work with the MWGA, MAGA and St. Louis Women’s District Golf Association, she has helped raise money to support college scholarships for female golfers in the area. On a national level, she has served many functions to help conduct USGA championships and USGA championship qualifiers, and currently serves on the USGA Senior Women’s Championship Committee.
“Jayne has devoted an incredible amount of time and energy as an advocate for golf both nationally and in her native St. Louis community,” said Diana M. Murphy, USGA president. “She has inspired everyone who has had the pleasure of working with her in St. Louis and on various USGA committees over three decades of service. Her enthusiasm and determination in furthering the game’s best interests makes her an ideal recipient of the 2017 Joe Dey Award.”
Watson will receive the Joe Dey Award at the USGA’s Annual Meeting and Service Awards in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4. The Service Awards Dinner honors the people whose selfless dedication and outstanding accomplishments have made an important contribution to the USGA and its mission to serve the game. In addition to the Joe Dey Award, the Ike Grainger Award, the USGA Green Section Award and the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award will be presented at the Service Awards Dinner.