John Walter covered golf at The Detroit News for 45 years and no one in the history of sports journalism took more notes or was more diligent about getting the subject’s name spelled correctly than John.
He was the ninth president of the Golf Writers Association of America and regularly covered the major championships. He was instrumental in forming The Detroit News Hole-in-One Contest in the late 1930s and the event later was named for him.
In a history of the Women’s Michigan Golf Association he was given great credit for covering women’s tournaments and a particular favorite was Dorothy Higbie who played on the United States team in the first Curtis Cup matches. Mrs. Higbie, who is in the third Michigan Golf Hall of Fame class and is the first woman in the Hall, won the Michigan Women’s Amateur five times.
Walter also championed northern Michigan golf, especially the Men’s Amateur in Charlevoix and had a home in Traverse City which he called “The Heart of Nature’s Playground.” He was friends with another Traverse resident Walter Hagen and was a pallbearer at the Haig’s funeral. John was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 1988, the first non-player honored.