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Golf Australia Express : Issue 34
yet few would argue the merit of having such a hall. After all, honouring pioneers and legends of the game is a crucial part of encouraging the younger generation to pick up a hybrid and swing it. People follow people—icons, celebrity and the like, so creating a museum to remember golf’s greats can only be a good thing. but like most selection systems, this one has flaws. And critics. (Although the former correlates the latter). ThE maIn crITIcISm of the world Golf hall of fame selection is aimed at its apparent uS- bias. It’s probably a fair criticism. come the end of Monday’s induction in florida, of the 108 men in the hall-of-fame 67 are American. Interesting to note two of those include former uS Presidents Dwight eisenhower and George bush Sr. They both received Lifetime Achievement awards— eisenhower in 2010 for popularising and growing the game during his presidency, and bush in 2011 for, well we’re still not quite sure. Two other hall-of-famers under the same category are uS entertainers bob hope and bing crosby. world golf? Really? And while The hof claims to be supported by a consortium of 26 golf organisations from around the world, in reality 18 of those are uS-based and eight even have ‘America’ or ‘united States’ in their organisation’s title. The flipside of the argument seems to be ‘why shouldn’t it be that way?’. After all, the concept for a hall of fame for golfers was first conceived and rolled out privately in the uS in 1974 by Diamondhead corp—then owners of the famous Pinehurst Resort. The PGA of America took over management of the hall in 1983 and then full ownership in 1986, with a goal to expand on its inclusions. And of course the PGA Tour remains the strongest men’s tour in the world, so why shouldn’t it have a heavier allocation of world Golf hall of fame points than, say, the european Tour? The problem with that line of thinking is it forever assumes the PGA Tour as the most elite. Then again, perhaps that’s the idea. So long as the best golfers in the world are forced to play in the uS in order to achieve lifelong goals and just recognition of golfing achievements, the PGA Tour will remain strong. And so the perpetual cycle continues. yet only a year or so ago we saw the rise of european players up the world rankings, dominating the top 10 and eighteen of the 26 golf organisations supporting The hof are us-based—eight even have 'us' or 'america' in their title. covEr story tHE