HOF Age Appropriate- Fuzzy Zoeller
My Yearly HOF Rant
By Kickntrue on 9/13/11
The World Golf Hall of Fame released their ballots for this year's voting- and reminded me that it's time to rant about the stupidness (and meaninglessness) of golf's HOF. New to the ballot this year... Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson. I mean, sure, Furyk just won the FedEx Cup last year and Phil the Masters and sure both are still some of the best players on Tour and both probably hope to have 5 to 10 more good years, but why wouldn't we put them in the Hall now?!

I realize golf is a little different than other sports because the pros play a lot longer than in other sports but it still just feels, well, frankly like a joke that players at the peak of their careers can be given a lifetime achievement award. The rules for being eligible are that you must play 10 years on Tour and be 40 years old. Both rules are stupid. First- the years on Tour rule is quite arbitrary. What if the great golfer matches Tiger's early career tourney for tourney, major for major, but in his 9th pro season breaks his leg during the US Open (which he goes on to win)? He'd have 65 career wins and 8 major victories- but he's not in the HOF. I'm guessing in this case they'd make some sort of exception (or maybe there already is one), but still- proves it's arbitrary. The 40 year old age limit, well, also arbitrary and kind of insulting. I've been told 40 is the new 30, and since I'm sneaking up on 30 I think I can speak to the fact that I AM NOT DONE YET! I hope I have something left to provide this world and if someone told me I was over (and let's be clear that IS what being inducted in any HOF means), I'd be pissed.

All this adds up to the fact that being inducted means nothing to these players. The reason you see NFL inductees cry their eyes out is because it means something. They've had time to reflect on their careers and what they've done, and appreciate the acknowledgement of their achievements. That's why it's special. For Mickelson, I'm not sure HOF would even make his resume.
HOF: "Congrats Phil, you're now in the Hall, with the likes of Vijay Singh!"

Phil: "Really, he's in?"

HOF: "Umm... yeah, he turned 40 a few years ago."

Phil: "Oh, okay. Hey- do I get a jacket or something for this?"

HOF: "Umm... yah. We can do that."

Phil: "Cool. My kid wanted to be Ironic for Halloween."
Also on the ballot this year: Fred Couples, Don January, Davis Love III, Mark O'Meara, Loren Roberts, Dave Stockton, Ken Venturi, Fuzzy Zoeller, Retief Goosen, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam, Darren Clarke and many more.

In fairness, I really should offer a solution since I'm just bashing otherwise, so how about this. You won't believe I thought of this all by myself. Ready?

You can be inducted into the World Golf HOF 5 years after your playing career ends or you graduate to an Old Man's Tour. Simple. Elegant. Meaningful.

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photo by Keith Allison

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
I've always felt HOF's are for retired players. Problem is that many pro golfers don't retire, and since it's the World Golf Hall of Fame and not the PGA Tour Hall of Fame, they need to set some kind of criteria.

I think you're on to something with the 5 years after graduating to a Senior Tour.
falcon50driver says:
I'm sure Phil will be proud to learn that he's probably got 5 or so years left in his creaky old body.
bkuehn1952 says:
I have to agree with you that a player ought to be 50 or inactive for 5 years before entering any golf hall of fame.
mjaber says:
The Women's side really needs an overhaul. I remember reading something about Lorena Ochoa not being eligible, because she didn't play long enough.
[ post comment ]
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