Max Adler - July 5, 2012


Max Adler is a Staff Writer for Golf Digest and his latest article is about a man named Valentino Dixon who is in prison in Attica Correctional Facility and spends his hours drawing golf holes with pencils. Interestingly, Dixon has never hit a golf ball nor has he ever set foot on a golf course.

Valentino Dixon was sentenced to 39 years to life in prison for a murder that he says that he did not commit. He has already served 21 years and the reason that Golf Digest is covering this story is because Dixon draws these golf holes in his 6 x 10 prison cell. In 1991, there was a fight that broke out in Buffalo that escalated from fists to guns. One person was killed was Dixon was arrested and convicted. Another man, LaMarr Scott, has repeatedly confessed to the murder yet he has not been arrested and Dixon has not been released.

A warden noticed that Dixon had a talent for art and the warden decided to bring Dixon a picture of the 12th hole at Augusta National. Dixon said that the beautiful image calmed him and he drew a very impressive version of that famous hole. He has drawn many pictures of golf holes since then and he gets a great deal of peace and satisfaction from working on those images.

Out of the hundreds of prisoners in Attica, there is one person with a subscription to Golf Digest and Dixon was able to get access to the magazines and many of his pictures have come from those issues of the magazine. Because he has never hit a golf ball or even stepped foot on a golf course, the only way he has been able to get an understanding of the game of golf has been through Golf Digest.

He has filed for appeal on three occasions and all of them have been denied. New witnesses have come forward to testify that LaMarr Scott and not Valentino Dixon committed the murder. Scott is also serving a sentence in Attica for an unrelated crime and despite the fact that he is up for parole in a couple of years, he wants to do the right thing and take his punishment for that crime. Despite the fact that Scott is willing to do the right thing in this case, the right thing has still not been done.