Dr. John Wagner, formerly of Seattle who now lives in Goodyear, Ariz., has received the Ike Grainger Award from the United States Golf Association for 2021.
Each year, the USGA presents this award to those individuals who have served the association as a volunteer for 25 years. These dedicated men and women tirelessly give back to the game through a variety of roles.
Dr. Wagner, who retired and moved to Arizona in 2020, was a longtime volunteer and advocate for golf in the state of Washington. He was a director for the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and Washington Golf for 18 years, including serving a 3-year term as president of WA Golf (1996-1998).
He has been a passionate volunteer for the Western Golf Associations Evans Scholarship Program helping the program grow exponentially in the Pacific Northwest. He was chairman of the Evans Scholarship Committee for over 20 years and instrumental in the founding of their annual fundraiser, the Evans Cup in 1992.
While a member of Sand Point Country Club in Seattle, Dr. John Wagner chose to get more involved in golf and became a PNGA representative. This led him directly to the Evans Scholars Program.
For nearly three decades, he tirelessly promoted this caddie scholarship made popular by Chick Evans, one of America’s earliest and greatest amateur golfers.
Wagner, a Seattle dentist, took over Washington’s Evans program and greatly increased club involvement. He scheduled more meetings and appointed club directors who were highly persuasive in bringing in donations. He enlisted Gary Ausman, the faculty head for the University of Washington’s international studies department, to assist on the academic side.
Jim Allison, another dentist, led the effort in 1992 to establish the Evans Cup, which rotates annually through eight private clubs and generates most of the scholarship’s regional financial backing.
After all of his years of Evans scholarship leadership, Wagner stepped down in early 2020 when he moved to Arizona to live out his retirement.
About Isaac B. “Ike” Grainger
Mr. Grainger was a past-president of the United States Golf Association, and was chairman of the USGA committee that in 1951 negotiated the first uniform code of rules with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland. He was a chairman of the USGA Rules Committee and vice chairman of the Augusta National Rules Committee. He also served as president of the Metropolitan Golf Association and the United States Seniors’ Golf Association. In 1995 (the USGA centennial year), the USGA created the Ike Grainger Award to recognize people who have volunteered for the USGA for 25 years.