Kaye Kessler once joked that “if you live long enough, all good things will fall into your lap.”
Passing away just shy of his 98th birthday in 2021, Kessler certainly lived a long, interesting and adventure-filled life, but the bit about things falling into his lap was simply him being modest. He certainly received many honors and awards during his six decades as a sports journalist, but all were well-deserved, including his induction into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
In the current millennium, Kessler received such notable honors as the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism (2001), the Memorial Golf Tournament’s Journalism Award (2002), and the Colorado Section of the PGA’s Award of Distinction (2000).
And in 2007, Kessler was among 14 journalists to receive a Special Achievement Award from Augusta National for both his longevity and the considerable talent he’d demonstrated in covering the Masters tournament more than 40 times.
Indeed, Kessler saw and reported on an untold amount of golf history since the middle of the 20th century. As of 2020, he had covered 126 men’s major championships: 56 Masters, 38 U.S. Opens, 12 British Opens and 20 PGA Championships. That certainly puts him among a very select group of golf journalists.
He also had the distinction of being a member of two state golf hall of fames, as he was previously inducted in the Ohio Golf Association’s Journalism Hall of Fame.
It was in Columbus, Ohio—where Kessler spent much of his life—that he chronicled the career of one Jack Nicklaus from his pre-teenage years to his heyday as arguably the top player golf has ever seen. During this time, he also squeezed in a two-year stint as president of the Golf Writers Association of America.
Shortly after being named Ohio sportswriter of the year in 1984, Kessler came to Colorado to become the first media- and player-relations director for the PGA Tour’s International at Castle Pines Golf Club. And in the final years of that tournament, which ended its run in 2006, Kessler served officially as international player/media consultant and unofficially as resident historian.
2001 Distinguished Service
The veteran sportswriter was recognized for his many years of service as communications director for the International.