WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME
Hall Of Fame Golf Instructor Inductee Criteria
BY The “Golf Fiend”
Did you know that there are 4 ways for a golf instructor to reach the upper stratosphere of honor, recognition, and respect by being inducted into a Golf Hall Of Fame? Yes, fortunate enough prospective members may be recognized either by the World Golf Hall of Fame, The PGA Professional Hall of Fame, the World Golf Teachers Hall Of Fame, and either local or statewide Golf Hall of Fames.
- WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME – The most famous and prestigious of all the Golf Hall of Fames located at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., is known to contain strict guidelines to be considered an inductee. All candidates must be evaluated by a Selection Commission which is comprised of 16 individuals. Induction will only be considered if the candidate is approved by 75% of the Selection Commission, which is also co-chaired by fame members and golfing world legends Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Annika Sorenstam.
Being the most honorable HOF and naturally the blue print for all other Golf Hall Of Fames, at 155 members the World Golf Hall of Fame is surely the ultimate recognition for golf’s elite.
Induction into the Hall includes rotating exhibits of each member presenting golf artifacts related to them, i.e. equipment, personal belongings, autographed memorabilia, rare unseen photos, etc.
Another attraction at the Hall would be the members’ locker room where visitors feel as if they are in a posh clubhouse showcasing members’ clubs and personal items they actually kept in their lockers at their home courses throughout the years.
Lastly, members are adorned on the Wall Of Fame, which is an 88-foot wall with each member’s face etched on a bronze plaque, surely, a very honorable way to be enshrined in bronze with every other golf legend known to man all together on the same wall for the whole golf world to see and admire.
- PGA OF AMERICA HALL OF FAME – The PGA of America is an organization of more than 28,000 PGA golf professionals with a rich history within the golfing world established in 1916, whose mission is to promote the teachings and standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
Aspiring golf instructors may elect to become a member of the PGA by pursuing PGA professional status. To achieve this, one has to first apply to the PGM apprentice program and attend a series of classes and seminars which includes three levels of education relating to the golf industry. After each level there is an exam which the applicant must pass to graduate to the next level in their journey. According to PGA.org, prospective apprentices have 8 years to complete the process upon having to take the final qualification of the Player Ability Test in addition to required work experience credits. After completion of all this, one is then ready to call themselves a PGA Professional.
A second option to become a PGA Professional is to attend a PGA Golf Management program at one of the 18 accredited universities nationwide. Some available campuses include big name schools such as Clemson, Penn State, and UNLV. This 4.5 to 5-year program includes curriculum aimed at preparing students for careers in golf course management, golf course maintenance, golf instruction, golf retail sales, golf equipment manufacturing, golf course architecture, and a plethora of other positions in the golf job market.
Upon graduation, the student will hold a Bachelors Degree and be eligible to take the PAT Players Ability Test and hold their place as a member of the PGA Professionals network.
Apparently, it takes a lot of dedication, foresight, and love for the game of golf to become a PGA Professional. These experts of our beloved sport are true ambassadors of golf by sharing their knowledge with tour pros and amateurs.
So how does the PGA of America Hall of Fame fit into all of this? Out of the thousands upon thousands of PGA members who have come and gone through the PGA program, only a select few exhibit the skills and expertise to shine through and claim their spot in golfing history to become an inductee in the PGA HOF. Currently, their are 157 members in the HOF which includes legendary golf instructors such as Michael Hebron, Harvey Penick, and Craig Harmon to name a few.
So what criteria and requirements entails the inclusion of a PGA Professional to be included in the HOF? Every two years, individuals are nominated by their peers within the PGA organization and in turn a separate nomination committee reviews nominations to ensure prospective Nominees are qualified to be candidates for consideration of the PGA Hall of Fame committee.
According to the HOF nomination form, the Hall of Fame committee will elect an individual as follows; “A PGA Golf Professional who, through their career as a PGA Member, service to the Association, and/or their record as a player in PGA Golf Professional events has had significant and enduring impacts upon the PGA of America, their fellow PGA Members, and the game of golf.” The nomination form also highlights requirements to be assessed by the Hall of Fame committee as follows;
- The entire career of the PGA Member shall be considered to include a minimum of 25 years of PGA Membership;
- The performance, service, and impact made upon the Association, PGA Members and industry through contributions and efforts to elevate the image of the PGA of America and its members;
- The impact made on fellow PGA Members, the Association, and industry in the effort to uphold the PGA of America values of education, mentoring, player development, teaching, and playing;
- Consideration to the values of integrity, honesty, sportsmanship, and character.
Ultimately, the Hall of Fame committee shall only induct a maximum of 5 individuals for any one induction class and the PGA Board of Directors are responsible to ratify any selections of the Hall of Fame Committee if needed.
Michael Hebron, PGA of America Hall of Fame inductee class of 2013, is a true advocate of the PGA who exhibits a resume and experience that is exemplary of what it takes to be entered into the HOF.
Some of the accolades and accomplishments which helped Michael in attaining Hall of Fame status include; Golf Magazine Top 50 Instructors List 1991–present, PGA of America Teacher of the Year 1991, National PGA Horton Smith Trophy Recipient 1990, Top 15 Golf Digest’s Teacher’s Choice List 1998–present, Author of See and Feel the Inside Move the Outside, was the first golf instruction book accepted as a PGA Master’s thesis. These awards are just a snapshot of what Michael Hebron has done to contribute to the Golfing community throughout his career. It is safe to conclude that it takes extraordinary hard work to reach the PGA of America Hall of Fame.
To see a collection of artifacts and exhibits dedicated to highlighting the careers of the PGA of America Hall of Fame, one may visit the PGA Museum of Golf established in 2002 at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL.
- WORLD GOLF TEACHERS HALL OF FAME – Founded in 1998 by Golf Magazine to honor Golf Instructors who have created benchmarks and widely accepted standards in teaching and swing philosophies in addition to advancing the mindset of Golf Instruction being a very important facet of the Sport, and comes with the territory of being a successful Golfer whether you are an Amateur or Tour Pro.
This unique Hall of Fame is the only known to exist solely for the purpose of inducting Golf Instructors as opposed to other Golf HOF’s who recognize Players and Honorary Members. Currently, there are 17 members including Tommy Armour, Percy Boomer, Ernest Jones, and Harvey Penick who were the 4 charter inductees in 1998.
According to golf.com, “Criteria for selection include unfailing dedication to students, knowledge shared with the teaching community, demonstrated professionalism and at least 25 years of teaching experience.” It seems no physical address or location exists highlighting the careers of HOF members, but one who has the blessing of being inducted into this HOF surely is very proud to be recognized by such an authoritative publication such as Golf Magazine. The theories and philosophies of Golf’s greatest Teachers will live on and be passed down to younger generations though the World Golf Teachers HOF.
For More Information about Golf Magazine please visit www.golf.com
- LOCAL/STATEWIDE HALL OF FAME’s – An example of this would be my local area, the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame. These type of HOF’s exist to recognize hometown heroes who have made significant contributions in Golf and shaped the Golfing communities within their respective locations. Instructors who affect their local Golf in a positive and meaningful way are considered as prospective inductees.
The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 to bring awareness to local area players, instructors, administrators, and Teams who served the game of Golf in Las Vegas in a positive and meaningful way. The honorary inductee class includes Jerry Belt, Clyde Cobb, Stuart Reid and Charlie Teel.
Every year, a selection committee of 16 people including Las Vegas Golf Course Professionals, Amateur Golf Association leaders, and current HOF members oversee the voting and induction process for qualified prospects. The Induction ceremony takes place yearly at TPC Summerlin during the week of the Shriner’s Hospital For Children Open.
The Physical location of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is located inside the clubhouse adjacent to the Pro Shop of Las Vegas National Golf Club, a course deeply rooted in Las Vegas Golf History.
The exhibit gives members their honorable place in Golf History amongst the hundreds of Local/Statewide Golf HOF’s that exist in this country. This tribute to Las Vegas’ Elite in Golf motivates local Amateur Golfers to research HOF members and how they have impacted the Golfing community they play in and hold so dearly to their hearts.
So now we know there are 4 main ways for a Golf Instructor to be recognized in a Golf Hall of Fame and the criteria that is presented and Governed by each respective HOF in their own unique ways
For more information on the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame please visit http://www.lasvegasgolfhof.com/
By The “Golf Fiend”