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Golf Australia Express : Issue 34
LIkehOTDOGS, halls of fame started in Germany and really took off in a big way when the Americans got hold of them. In the past 50 years or so, they have developed their pitch to the public, becoming celebrations of a chosen field in a manner reminiscent of theme parks. The world Golf hall of fame is housed at the world Golf Village, in florida. The village was built in the 1990s to house the 2km wall of names, and there’s something about it that reeks. There’s nothing ‘worldly’ in the golf hall of fame. halls of fame are businesses: in order to keep ticking over they need a constant trickle of achievement and a keen eye on the tourists they seek to attract. People come to see a monument, and in order to measure who should be included they need rules. And it’s in the fine print that I can’t help but feel golf’s hall of fame becomes a bit seedy. To get on the ballot (various people in the know vote) is an honour which is well and truly centred around the PGA of America. And when you have a look at where the TheRe’s moRe To The WoRlD Golf hall of fame ThaN Names oN a Wall, WRITes WIll hoNe. THe worLdLy HaLL? with Will Hone IN HoNING PGA players come from you will notice an overwhelmingly American list, which might explain why more than 60 per cent of the names on the hall’s wall are American. now I have no problem with Americans, or with their golf. but I am suspicious of an organisation that purports to represent the world when it is primarily concerned with one country alone. Sure, there’s an international ballot to ensure some international players get a gong, but that does not seem to have done much to even the scales. Instead, it reveals a desperate need to prove that they, The Americans, are the best in the world. even at golf. while the various associations of the world have given this hall their blessing, I don’t buy it. I’d love to see a truly international hall of fame—a monument to the greats of the game the world over. Maybe the list wouldn’t change much—I’m sure Greg norman would get a place alongside Seve ballesteros—and I’m entirely confident there would be a host of Americans there as well. but I suspect they might be joined by more europeans on the flagstones, more Asians and Africans and it might even be housed somewhere with historical significance to the game. Or maybe the Scots don’t care for that kind of razzamatazz. oTg It reveals a desperate need to prove that they, the americans, are the best in the world. even at golf. Tell us YouR ThouGhTs