Dave Kindred's career has included stints at the Louisville Courier-Journal, The Washington Post, The National, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Sporting News and Golf Digest.
Dave Kindred is the sports writer in the room you don't notice. He's got kind of a short, tall, heavy, thin, bald, hirsute look about him. In an earlier day, he'd be wearing a felt brim hat and a dark suit with wingtips and holding a newspaper under his arm. Unlike so many in the modern crowd, he doesn't call attention to himself. You won't find him shouting rude opinions on a cable sports show. He's a listener, not a shouter, which is what makes him such a good writer.
Frankly it's gratifying to see that the PGA of America had the observational skills and good sense to recognize him with its Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award, but talent as pure as Dave's should be inescapable. For 40 years he's followed the arc of sports, golf in particular, chronicling heroic achievement and simple human interest with the same artful expression. He's been a columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, The Washington Post, The National, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Sporting News and Golf Digest. More journalist than sports writer, if you get my drift, Kindred takes his craft with a seriousness and respect. He's written a shelf full of books, including his next one, Morning Miracle: Inside the Washington Post (to be released this summer).
Golf Digest Executive Editor Mike O'Malley has an ear for good writing and the telling anecdote, plus an amazing recollection of authors at their best. When he heard that Dave was to be honored at the Masters, golfdigest.com's John Marvel immediately went to O'Malley, who reached back and threw together a portfolio of Kindredisms that have appeared mostly in Golf Digest over the last couple of decades. Here's one cellmate's homage to another. -- Jerry Tarde
Dave has always excelled when mayhem meets golf. In fact, one of his first-place GWAA awards was for a column on the killing of Augusta National's chef. His stories -- all with golf as a theme -- have been on everything from mob hits, plane crashes and war-time rescues to fires, tsunamis and stick-ups. It was always about getting a good story, as in this item that Dave wrote for the National Sports Journalism Center about breaking into the business:
At my first job, the scissors necessary to cut up wire copy were tethered to the desk with a chain. I asked, "Is that so we don't lose them?"
"Chain's so you can't stab the guy across the desk," a geezer said. "Happened."
In time, whenever an unusual story came up at Golf Digest, someone would suggest, "Sounds like a Kindred column." Dave was in on the joke and sent the following e-mail years ago:
A couple of last words, especially because Dave's piece above referenced Mother Teresa. On their golf trip around the world, one of the stops for Kindred and Tom Callahan was Royal Nepal Golf Club. Callahan speaks for his friend after a visit to Mother Teresa's infirmary:
"Standing in the dark, low-ceilinged ward, we would have felt like unconscionable intruders if the shrinking people in the beds had not pressed their palms together, bowed and smiled so generously.
"We tiptoed through the ward back out into the light of a courtyard, where the ambulatory followed, carrying unusual horns, drums and stringed instruments. Sitting cross-legged under the eaves, they played us a concert as slow and sweet as honey sifting through a comb. Fortunately, sportswriters don't cry.
"As we departed, Dave crammed all of the money we had on us into the slot of a collection box. 'It's either $8,000 or 16 cents,' he said. 'I'm not sure.' "