The ballots have been tallied, the selections made and the World Golf Hall of Fame is officially wheeling down the road to the 2008 induction ceremony. The process of welcoming each member of the class of inductees is a detailed one, starting in January of each year when PGA TOUR and International ballots are distributed to the Hall’s voting body, through April when ballots are due and individuals in the Lifetime Achievement and Veterans categories are selected. Finally, by summer each year, the Hall is ready to announce the individuals who will make up that year’s class … and the ride has officially begun.
In May, the Hall made its first announcement at THE PLAYERS Championship. Pete Dye, one of the most influential golf course architects of the modern era, was selected in the Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement category. Dye has more than 120 courses to his credit, many of which have hosted numerous PGA TOUR and LPGA events, major championships, a Ryder Cup and a Solheim Cup. Dye’s work includes such famed courses as THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass; Harbour Town Golf Links, a design with Jack Nicklaus; Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.; PGA West at LaQuinta in Palm Springs, Calif.; Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.; and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, SC.
At the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course, the Hall announced three additional members to join Dye as part of the 2008 Class: Denny Shute, Herbert Warren Wind and Craig Wood.
Shute began as an amateur golfer in West Virginia before returning to his native Ohio to win the Ohio Amateur in 1927 and Ohio Opens from 1929-31. Shute’s professional career included 15 PGA TOUR victories, including three majors: the 1933 Open Championship and 1936 and 1937 PGA Championships. He was also a member of three U.S. Ryder Cup teams.
Wind wrote for The New Yorker from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1960 until his retirement in 1990. In the interim, Wind wrote for Sports Illustrated and is well known for terming the phrase “Amen Corner” when writing about the 11th, 12th and 13th holes at Augusta National Golf Club. He also wrote several golf books.
Wood, elected on the PGA TOUR Ballot, earned 21 PGA TOUR titles, including the 1941 Masters Tournament as well as the 1941 U.S. Open, making him the first person to capture the first two major championships in a year. He also was a member of three Ryder Cup teams: 1931, 1933 and 1935. In 1948 Wood’s home city of Lake Placid, N.Y. honored him by renaming the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club to Craig Wood Golf Course.
Announced at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open at Interlachen, Carol Semple Thompson will join the aforementioned inductees as a Hall of Fame member. Thompson boasts victories in 99 USGA Championships and seven national competitions, including the 1973 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, four U.S. Senior Women’s Championships and two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships. A recipient of the 2005 PGA First Lady of Golf Award, Thompson also received the Bob Jones Award in 2003.
Shute, Wind, and Wood will be honored posthumously at the 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 10 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. Dye and Thompson also will be honored, as well as additional inductees who will be named at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in July.
For more information about visiting the World Golf Hall of Fame and the 2008 Induction Ceremony, visit www.wgv.com.