Longtime Golf Writer Kaye Kessler, Who Covered 56 Masters Tournaments, Dies at 98 – Sports Illustrated

December 13, 2021 by No Comments

Kaye Kessler

Golf Writers Association of America

On Saturday longtime golf writer Kaye Kessler died at age 98, 11 days before what would’ve been his 99th birthday. Early in his career, Kessler covered Jack Nicklaus as a junior golfer and went on to befriend the Golden Bear. Kessler went on to cover 56 Masters Tournaments and chronicle countless prominent golf figures and legendary moments. Morning Read contributor Gary Van Sickle wrote a piece on Kessler during the 2017 Memorial Tournament for Morningread.com. We’ve republished that story here.

DUBLIN, Ohio—Jack Nicklaus isn’t playing golf this week but in a weird way, the Memorial Tournament becomes more about him with each passing year. He’ll hate that sentence, of course, because he wants the Memorial to be about the great golf played and the eventual champion, not about him.

Arnold Palmer has come and gone, though, and time’s stark reality makes us cherish our remaining national treasures more than ever. Nicklaus is one of those.

So is Kaye Kessler. His life’s course was irreparably altered in 1950 when Scioto Country Club hired a new golf professional, Jack Grout, and Kessler was sent over to write a story about him for his paper, the Columbus Citizen. The paper’s photographer needed a photo so Grout posed with a posse of Scioto junior golfers. One was a 10-year-old named Nicklaus.

Kessler enjoyed covering Ohio State football with his pal, Coach Woody Hayes, and Ohio State basketball with his best friend, Coach Fred Taylor. He had no idea the Nicklaus kid was about to turn him into his personal biographer through the process of winning 18 major championships. Jack’s exploits, plus Kessler’s writing and reporting skills, made Kessler one of the era’s most important golf writers.

Once Nicklaus beat Arnold Palmer to win the U.S. Open at Oakmont, the newspaper finally assigned Kessler to start going to the big tournaments to write about Grout’s best student. “I went to the Masters in 1963,” Kessler said, “and I haven’t missed one since.”

That’s 55 Masters if you’re …….

Source: https://www.si.com/golf/news/longtime-golf-writer-kaye-kessler-who-covered-56-masters-tournaments-dies-at-98


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *