The induction of Davis Love and Ian Woosnam raised the question from some: who is World Golf Hall Of Fame worthy?
Jaime Diaz of Golf World praises the hall for its new criteria and opening the door to worthy players based on the way the game has changed.
There is no doubt the WGHOF has set minimum victory requirement that is lower than what had unofficially been imposed. But it had to. While 15 lifetime victories seemed like a pittance when the game’s giants—several with more than 60 victories and in some cases double-digit majors—were being inducted, it’s also become clear that winning 15 times in the post-1975 era is a greater achievement than it would have been before, much like a .280 lifetime batting average is now more worthy of a spot in Cooperstown.
Recognizing the greatness in players who were stalwarts but didn’t win as much as the very best helps one understand the immense challenge of the game. Lowering standards increases appreciation, and keeps up the supply of candidates. It’s all good.
The hall continues to struggle with people who made contributions to the game in areas other than competitively. Tom Weiskopf was hugely influential as a television commentator and architect. And we know architects have struggled to gain respect from the hall, with people who made great contributions having not been recognized while Robert Trent Jones, whose positive impact becomes less understandable by the year, is in.
Also disconcerting is the even more backroom, old boys vibe to the selection process that only has two media members and decides who is HOF worthy in secrecy. Other sports HOF's succeed in part because the public knows who is eligible and even debates the merits of candidates.