World Golf Hall of Fame

Coordinates: 29°59′28″N 81°28′13″W / 29.99111°N 81.47028°W / 29.99111; -81.47028
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World Golf Hall of Fame
and Museum
Hall of Fame building at World Golf Village
EstablishedSeptember 1974 (September 1974)
(past location: May 19, 1998)
LocationPinehurst, North Carolina
TypeProfessional sports hall of fame
Visitors350,000/year (2009)

The World Golf Hall of Fame was, until recently, located at World Golf Village between Jacksonville, Florida and St. Augustine, Florida, in the United States. It is unusual amongst sports halls of fame in that a single site honored both men and women. It is supported by a consortium of 26 golf organizations from all over the world.[1] It is moving back to Pinehurst, North Carolina, with the new campus opening in 2024.

The Hall of Fame Museum Building was designed by the specialist museum architecture firm E. Verner Johnson and Associates of Boston. They also produced the museum master plan that established the size, mission and qualities of the museum and the surrounding facilities and site.

The Hall of Fame Museum features a permanent exhibition and a rolling program of temporary exhibitions. Designed by museum design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the Hall of Fame and exhibition area contains exhibits on the game's history, heritage, and techniques; major players and organizations; golf course design, equipment, and dress.[2]


The World Golf Hall of Fame is located in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and was originally privately operated by Diamondhead Corp., then owners of the Pinehurst Resort. It opened in September 1974 with an initial class of 13 members.[3] Initially it was a local project, but the PGA of America took over management in 1983 and acquired full ownership in 1986.

Two other halls of fame have been merged into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The PGA of America established one in 1940, which was merged into the Pinehurst Hall in the 1980s. The Hall of Fame of Women's Golf was established by the LPGA in 1951, with four charter members: Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs, and Babe Zaharias. It was inactive for some years, but in 1967 it moved into its first physical premises, which were in Augusta, Georgia and was renamed the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. In 1998 it merged into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

In 1994 the global golf industry established a non-profit making body called the World Golf Foundation to promote the sport, with the creation of an enhanced Hall of Fame as one of its main objectives. Construction at the new site in St. Johns County, Florida began in 1996 and the new facility opened on May 19, 1998, and closed in September, 2023.

The new USGA Pinehurst Golf House, now housing the hall of fame is scheduled to open in 2024.[4]

Membership categories[edit]

In October 2013, the Hall announced that it was reviewing its selection process and that there would be no induction ceremony in 2014.[5][6] A new process was announced in March 2014.

Starting in 2014, members were inducted into the Hall of Fame in one of four categories: Male Competitor, Female Competitor, Veterans, and Lifetime Achievement categories. Elections are held every other year with induction ceremonies in odd number years beginning in 2015. The process has changed from that used from 1996 to 2013. The minimum qualifications for male and female competitors are: minimum of 40 years old, or five years removed from "active competition" and 15 or more wins on "approved tours" or two "major wins". The veterans category is primarily for those golfers whose careers ended before 1980 and includes both amateurs and professionals. The lifetime achievement category remains from the old system.[7]

The Hall again revised the criteria in 2020 and now recognize two categories: Competitor and Contributor.

A 30-member nominating sub-committee composed of Hall of Fame members, World Golf Foundation Board organizations and members of the media will choose from among the eligible candidates and nominate a total of 10 individuals (four male competitors, four female competitors, and two contributors).[8] A separate 20-member selection committee will then vote on all four ballots.[9] Election to the Hall of Fame will require 75% of the vote and each year's election class is limited to two from each ballot and five total.[7][10]

In 2016, the Hall announced that the age requirement would be raised to 50 from 40 years old.[11] In 2020, the age went from 50 to 45.[12]

Qualification details[edit]



Categories from 1996 to 2013[edit]

From 1996 to 2013, members were inducted into the Hall of Fame in one of five categories: PGA Tour/Champions Tour, LPGA Tour, International, Lifetime Achievement, and Veterans.

PGA Tour/Champions Tour ballot[edit]

Current and former PGA Tour and Champions Tour players were eligible for this ballot if they met the following requirements (beginning with 1996 election):

  • PGA Tour
  • Champions Tour
    • Champions Tour member for five years
    • 20 wins between PGA Tour and Champions Tour or five wins in the majors (regular or senior) or Players Championship

Election requirements:

Years % of returned ballots needed for election
1996–2000 75%
2001–2003 65%
2004–2013 65%, in the event that no candidate receives 65%, the
nominee receiving the most votes with at least 50% is elected

Voters voted for up to 30% of the players on the ballot. If a player was named on less than 5% of the ballots for two consecutive years, they were dropped from the ballot. Players not elected could remain on the ballot indefinitely[13] (prior to 2007 the limit was 10 years, from 2007 to 2009 the limit was 15 years).[14]

LPGA point system[edit]

LPGA Tour golfers were eligible through a point system. Since 1999, LPGA members automatically qualified for World Golf Hall of Fame membership when they meet these three criteria:

  1. Must be/have been an "active" LPGA Tour member for 10 years.
  2. Must have won/been awarded at least one of the following – an LPGA major championship, the Vare Trophy or Player of the Year honors; and
  3. Must have accumulated a total of 27 points, which are awarded as follows – one point for each LPGA official tournament win, two points for each LPGA major tournament win and one point for each Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honor earned.

Before 1999, players had to win 30 tournaments, including two majors; 35 tournaments with one major; or 40 tournaments in all to automatically qualify. At one time, players had to win two different majors to qualify with 30 wins, but this was changed earlier in the 1990s.

This point system is still used for selection to the LPGA Hall of Fame.[15] However, in March 2022, the ten-year requirement was scrapped, and a point for winning an Olympic gold medal was added to the criteria.[16]

International ballot[edit]

Men and women golfers not fully eligible for PGA/Champions Tour ballot or the LPGA Tour point system were eligible for the International ballot if they met the following requirements[17] (beginning with the 1996 election):

Election requirements: same as PGA Tour ballot.

Lifetime Achievement category[edit]

There was also a "lifetime achievement" category through which anyone who had made a major contribution to the organization or promotion of the sport may be selected, for example, Bob Hope. These members were chosen by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors. Most played golf, in some cases with some competitive success, but it was not their play alone which won them a place in the Hall of Fame.

Veteran's category[edit]

The last category was created to honor professional or amateur players whose career concluded at least 30 years ago. These members were also chosen by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors.


New members are inducted each year on the Monday before The Players Championship[18] (previous to 2010 in October or November), and by May 2013 there were 146 members. Beginning in 2010, the ballots are due in July with the results announced later in the year. New entrants in the Lifetime Achievement and Veteran's categories are announced at irregular intervals. For example, Frank Chirkinian was elected in the Lifetime Achievement category in an emergency election in February 2011, with the vote presumably held because he was then terminally ill with lung cancer;[19] when it became clear he would not live to attend his induction, he videotaped his acceptance speech in late February, less than two weeks before his death.[20]


Unless stated otherwise these men were inducted mainly for their on-course success. The exceptions mostly correspond with the lifetime achievement category, but not quite. For example, Charlie Sifford was notable as a player but was inducted for lifetime achievement.


The first five women on this list were grandfathered in 1998 from the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf, which was founded in 1951, via the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame, which was inaugurated in 1967. The list shows the years when they were originally inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf. Unless stated otherwise the women on the list were inducted primarily for their on-course achievements. Players marked with an (f) denotes they were elected twice -- once individually, and once collectively for the 2024 nominations announced on March 8, 2023 for the 13 LPGA founders.


  1. ^ This specifically refers to events recognized as majors by the U.S. LPGA. The three richest women's tours each recognize a different set of majors, although the U.S. LPGA set is by far the most significant on a global scale. See women's major golf championships for a fuller discussion.
  2. ^ The Women's British Open was first recognized as a U.S. LPGA major in 2001.


  1. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame Supporting Organizations". Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
  2. ^ "Ralph Appelbaum Associates Project Description". Archived from the original on June 16, 2007.
  3. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame History". Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
  4. ^ "USGA, World Golf Hall of Fame Collaborate to Showcase Golf's Legendary Figures at Golf House Pinehurst – World Golf". World Golf Hall of Fame. July 20, 2022. Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  5. ^ "Golf Hall to review selection process". ESPN. Associated Press. October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  6. ^ McEwan, Michael (October 8, 2013). "Golf Hall of Fame scrapped for 2014". Bunkered. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "World Golf Hall of Fame announces changes to enshrinement process". PGA Tour. March 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Kahoro, Cyrus (March 7, 2023). "World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Nominees". EssentialGolf.
  9. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame Announces Finalists for 2024 Induction Class". LPGA. February 22, 2023.
  10. ^ "Criteria & Process". World Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame names Selection Commission Co-Chairs for 2017: Jack Nicklaus joins fellow Hall of Fame Member Co-Chairs, age change to induction criteria". PGA Tour. March 30, 2016.
  12. ^ Harig, Bob (January 22, 2020). "Golf Hall of Fame lowers age eligibility requirements for induction". ESPN.
  13. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame Releases Ballots for 2011". PGA Tour. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010.
  14. ^ "About the PGA Tour Ballot". Golf Digest. January 31, 2007. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "LPGA Statement on Changes to World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Selection". LPGA. March 23, 2014.
  16. ^ "LPGA Announces Changes to LPGA Hall of Fame Criteria, Including Inductions of Lorena Ochoa and the LPGA's 13 Founders". LPGA. March 29, 2022.
  17. ^ "About the International Ballot". January 31, 2007. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011.
  18. ^ "Hall of Fame to hold 2011 Ceremony on Monday of Players Championship". PGA Tour. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010.
  19. ^ Dolch, Craig (March 4, 2011). "Chirkinian's impact on televised golf can't be overstated". PGA Tour. Retrieved May 6, 2013. Bringing sounds to golf is just part of the reason why Chirkinian — who is considered "the father of televised golf" — was elected February 9 into the World Golf Hall of Fame on an emergency vote.
  20. ^ Dorman, Larry (March 5, 2011). "At 19th Hole, Recalling an Innovator". The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  21. ^ "Bernhard Langer". World Golf Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012.
  22. ^ "Nelson, Singh inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame". ESPN. Associated Press. October 30, 2006.
  23. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame to induct Mickelson in 2012". PGA Tour. November 11, 2011. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011.
  24. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame to induct Dan Jenkins in 2012". PGA Tour. December 14, 2011. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012.
  25. ^ a b "Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss picked for Hall". ESPN. Associated Press. December 15, 2011.
  26. ^ "Couples to be inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame". PGA Tour. September 19, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  27. ^ "World Golf Hall of Fame adds Venturi to 2013 class". PGA Tour. October 8, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  28. ^ "Willie Park Jr. selected for World Golf Hall of Fame". PGA Tour. November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  29. ^ a b "Montgomerie and Schofield Honoured by Hall of Fame" (Press release). PGA European Tour. December 18, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  30. ^ a b c d McAllister, Mike (October 15, 2014). "Class of 2015 Hall of Famers receive surprise calls". PGA Tour.
  31. ^ Harig, Bob (March 11, 2020). "Tiger Woods to be inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021". ESPN.
  32. ^ "Tim Finchem, former PGA Tour commissioner, elected to World Golf Hall of Fame". ESPN. Associated Press. April 20, 2020.
  33. ^ a b c d e f "Padraig Harrington, LPGA founders join '24 Golf Hall of Fame class". ESPN. Associated Press. March 9, 2023.
  34. ^ "Hollis Stacy selected for Hall of Fame". ESPN. Associated Press. November 18, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  35. ^ "Marion Hollins elected to 2021 class of Golf Hall of Fame". ESPN. Associated Press. April 17, 2020.
  36. ^ "Susie Maxwell Berning elected to World Golf Hall of Fame". ESPN. Associated Press. April 22, 2020.

External links[edit]

29°59′28″N 81°28′13″W / 29.99111°N 81.47028°W / 29.99111; -81.47028