The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum welcomes the class of 2012 British broadcasting giant Peter Alliss, American sportswriting legend Dan Jenkins, European star Sandy Lyle, four-time major winner Phil Mickelson and three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Hollis Stacy, on Monday, May 7th in St. Augustine, Florida. The ceremony will immortalize the inductees and celebrate their membership to being given “Golf’s Highest Honor.”
I’m honestly quite disappointed I didn’t make today’s festivities (along with this evening’s Induction Ceremony at the World Golf Hall of Game & Museum, but I miscalculated my transportation plans (left late last night and drove from Charlotte and stopped for layover in Georgia before heading down to the Jacksonville area), so unfortunately, I couldn’t make it. I was actually looking forward to it, but oh well, there’s always next year.
Here’s a part on Phil’s:
Speaking of Phil, this has been a widely-discussed topic leading up to the induction ceremony, which the 4-time major champ stressed last week at Quail Hollow Club.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Mickelson said in his pre-tournament presser at the Wells Fargo Championship. “And I think golf is unique in that the players are elongating their careers more so than any other sport. I think it should probably be looked to move back to 50 [the age minimum] because the Hall of Fame is an opportunity to reflect on your career.
“And I’m still in the stage where I’m looking forward at my career, looking ahead to other opportunities and other tournaments. I would like it to be more a reflection, but it’s still a great honor.”
Mickelson is only 41, with many years of competition left and the potential for capturing multiple wins and majors. When people think of the Hall of Fame, it’s to commemorate the career of players after they’ve retired. Phil nearly won the Masters last month. It seems strange that if he captures another Green Jacket that he’ll already have been inducted into the WGHOF.
“I feel like these next five years could be the best of my career,” he said. “I’m still looking forward to what these next five years bring, if not further.
“What I am looking at, as opposed to reflecting on accomplishments, I reflect on what the game has meant to me. It’s meant so much to me in my personal life, not just what it’s done as an occupation, but the people I’ve met throughout the game, the place it’s taken me, just the opportunities the game has provided me.”
I’m in full agreement with Phil that the age minimum should be changed. He’s going to accomplish much more in his life — both on and off the course — that they’ll have to update his exhibit case regularly!
Plus, it’d make much more sense if we were having a Fred Couples love-fest this week.
Here’s a list of notable items in the cases and lockers of the class of 2012 members:
An ABC broadcasters jacket and other memorabilia from his more than 50 years as a broadcaster at the BBC, ABC Sports and ESPN
The bag he used as a player for Great Britain & Ireland in the 1957 Ryder Cup
Rare photos from his adventures on the course with the likes of Sean Connery, Jack Lemmon and Seve Ballesteros
The typewriter he used as a staff member of Sports Illustrated in the 1970s
A personal letter from fellow Hall of Fame member Ben Hogan
Press badges dating back to the 1960s from the more than 200 major championships he has covered in his career
The kilt he wore after becoming the first Briton to win the Masters in 1988
The 7-iron he used to hit his famous shot from the bunker on the 18th hole of that Masters, along with the putter he used to sink the final putt
His bag and trophy as part of the victorious 1985 European Ryder Cup side
The 6-iron he used to hit his legendary shot from behind the trees on No. 13 during his victory at the 2010 Masters
The gold helmet trophy from the 1991 Northern Telecom Open, when he competed as an amateur and earned his first PGA TOUR win
Trophies from each of his three Masters victories, the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2007 PLAYERS Championship
The medals she received after winning the U.S. Women’s Open in 1977, ‘78 and ‘84
Metalwoods and wedges she used to earn the U.S. Women’s Open titles
A proclamation from her native city of Savannah, Ga., celebrating her outstanding achievements
Here are mini-bios on the inductees:
Alliss, known as “The Voice of Golf,” began his commentating career with the BBC in 1961 at The Open Championship won by Arnold Palmer at Royal Birkdale. In 2011, he broadcast his 50th consecutive Open Championship.
Son of Percy Alliss, one of the finest players of his generation, Alliss turned professional when still only 15. He won 23 tournaments worldwide during the 1950s and ’60s, including three British PGA Championships. He was selected for every Great Britain Ryder Cup team except one from 1953 to 1969. He has also been associated with the design of more than 50 courses and is a respected author of more than 20 golf books.
Jenkins is regarded as one of America’s greatest sportswriters. His chronicles of Texas golf in the 1950s, specifically of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, are legendary. When Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were starring in the 1960s and ’70s, Jenkins was at Sports Illustrated, reporting on their exploits with award-winning stories. Jenkins, the author of several best-selling sports books, started working for Golf Digest in 1985 and still maintains a regular column.
Jenkins won the 1995 PGA Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the PGA of America and has been inducted into the Texas Sports and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Halls of Fame. He has won a record nine first-place awards in the Golf Writers Association of America’s annual writing contest. Â
In all, Lyle has won 29 tournaments worldwide, including 18 on The European Tour and three other PGA TOUR titles. His victory at the 1985 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s made him the first British winner since Tony Jacklin in 1969. He broke new ground at the 1987 PLAYERS Championship, defeating Jeff Sluman in a playoff to become its first international champion.
Lyle made history again at the 1988 Masters, making birdie on the 18th hole to become Augusta National’s first British winner. He was a member of five European Ryder Cup teams, including the winning sides in 1985 and 1987.
Stacy’s career was defined by her successes in USGA events. She charged onto the golf scene by winning U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship titles from 1969-71 and remains the only player ever to win that event three consecutive times. As a professional, she won U.S. Women’s Open championships in 1977, 1978 and 1984. Stacy added another major title in 1983, when she won the Peter Jackson Classic (later named the du Maurier Classic).
During her 26-year LPGA career, Stacy rang up 18 victories. In one stretch from 1977 to 1983, she registered 82 top-10 finishes.
Mickelson’s career is highlighted by his four major championship titles: the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters; and the 2005 PGA Championship. He has 36 additional PGA TOUR wins, including the 2007 PLAYERS Championship and the 2009 TOUR Championship, as well as three international victories.
Known as “Lefty” by his legions of fans, Mickelson has competed for the United States on eight Ryder Cup teams and nine Presidents Cup sides. Mickelson is the only player, for either team, to participate in every Presidents Cup since the event’s inception in 1994.
Other recommended reading:
The tape-delayed coverage of the ceremony will air on Golf Channel at 10pm ET.
(AP Photo/Eric Kayne)