Marion! Tiger! Trying To Get Excited About The WGHOF Ceremony...
...and failing. Blame Tim Finchem.
The World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony will induct Tiger Woods, Marion Hollins, Susie Maxwell Berning and Tim Finchem at the Global Home, a.k.a. PGA Tour headquarters.
The ceremony should be a joyous affair. A chance to celebrate fascinating, singular contributors to the sport. And in many ways it should be when we see past inductees return and we enjoy (hopefully) well-produced pieces about the Class of 2022. Throw in some emotions, Feherty quips, a few tears and it’ll come off fine for the tiny audience watching Golf Channel starting at 7 p.m. ET.
As someone who really loved the Hall and the excuse it provided to look back at historic figures in golf, I could not be less enthused about the ceremony. Nor am I feeling like a one-man army on that front. World events are grim. But at least Marion Hollins is finally happening. What a nice triumph for those who spent years making the case, including Pasatiempo’s Bob Beck and the late, great Jim Langley.
Maybe it’s how embarrassing it is they aren’t hosting this at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine. The Hall’s home that’ll be abandoned when the lease is up in 2023. Jay Monahan could not hide that fact very well when asked in is pre-Players presser Tuesday.
Lovers of golf history: please get to the St. Augustine facility before it becomes an Amazon warehouse.
Why is it embarrassing if the World Golf Village isn’t working? Happens all the time.
Maybe because the guy who pushed to put the Hall in a remote condo development also happens to be getting inducted this year. How truly bizarre for Finchem to going in the Hall he envisioned and billed to developers as another Robert Trent Jones Trail with IMAX, outlet malls and a PGA Tour store about to become a hipster church.
I shutter to think how much the World Golf Foundation and PGA Tour have pumped into making Finchem’s vision seem sustainable. The trajectory of the Hall looks like most things under his watch. Thankfully, the courses they built turned okay, the development is well done and seems like a really nice place to live. PGA Tour Entertainment is making use of the place for the time being. But few visitors stop through for the exhibits. Worse, current golfers and top players don’t seem to care that much about the Hall as a general concept. At least not enough to show up at the ceremonies.
For the incredible 2015 event inside St Andrews’ historic Younger Hall, every effort was made to make it easy for players to attend. Arnold Palmer and Peter Thomson made the journey when they probably shouldn’t have at that stage of their lives. But it’s who they were and why they’re legends. Other top players already in town for The Open? So many passed, including Tiger opting to not see his buddy Mark O’Meara go in.
On my way out of the university reception that evening, there was one Hall member enjoying a beer with another major chump…champ at the Dunvegan. They had passed on the ceremony as evidenced by their jeans. Oh I have photos.