Herb Graffis didn’t miss much when he sat down at his typewriter. He was part of a generation of great golf writers that included Grantland Rice, Bernard Darwin, Ring Lardner, Henry Longhurst, Herbert Warren Wind and Charles Price, yet his greatest contributions to the game came not from what he wrote, but through the conception of his ideas.
Along with his brother, Joe, Graffis founded the Chicago Golfer in 1923, Golfdom in 1927 and then a national monthly, Golfing, in 1933. They founded the National Golf Foundation, the Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Club Managers Association, and published the first U.S. Open program in 1928 at Olympia Fields.
It was Graffis who believed that golf was a business as well as a game. Golfdom, for example, was a magazine with a controlled circulation that was sent to the president, green chairman, professional, greenkeeper and course manager at each club.
Golfing was created, in Graffis’ words, “because the manufacturers couldn’t afford to spend much on ad space in the (Saturday Evening) Post or Colliers, but they wanted to do something that would get in the hands of a select list of golfers.” Golfing was published five times a year and sent out free. The Graffis philosophy was that “the most important guy was the one reading it, not the guy who was being written about.”