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World Golf Hall of Fame to Evaluate Induction Criteria, Attendance & Timing
Just a week after the 2013 induction ceremony at the World Golf Hall of Fame, the powers-that-be who oversee the facility in St. Augustine, Fla., are considering a review of several areas.
For one thing, the 2013 ceremony - in which Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Ken Venturi, Ken Schofield and Willie Park Jr. were inducted - suffered from a lack of attendance by previous inductees. Only eight Hall of Fame members - all women - were introduced during the event.
"Getting players to come back has always been a bit of a challenge over the years," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Tuesday. "It does raise a question in my mind about whether this is the best time of the year to do it."
The timing - the annual gala has been held in May and also in late fall - and venue - it's been held indoors and out, are among the considerations. Regardless, something's not working.
Also under review is whether players should be inducted in the prime of their careers. Currently, the minimum age is 40. Phil Mickelson was inducted at age 41 a year ago and he's won since then, and Ernie Els -inducted in 2011 - won the British Open last year.
Finchem isn't sure why age 40 is the standard. "I don't really remember why," he said. "It seemed to be the thing to at that point in time for whatever we were looking at." Finchem also noted the minimum-age requirement "(is) currently under discussion."
Another consideration is the facility's "world" designation; right now, PGA Tour players and international players each have their own ballots.
Finchem and others plan to take a look at all of the issues in the near future. "I think it's timely to take a look at everything we're doing and take a fresh look," he said. "We haven't done that in several years."