Ted Gambordella has come up with an interesting idea: The US Amateur Golf Hall of Fame. Membership is based in part on a point system in which 50 points is required for membership. The points are awarded as follows:
40 points – National Amateur Championships, PGA Wins as amateur
25 points – State Amateur Championships, Champions Tour Wins
20 points – City Amateur Championships
10 points – Club Championship Wins (Jr, adult and senior), for Coaching and winning a National Collegiate Championship. Being a member of a National Collegiate Championship Team
10 points – Golf Patents, Course Development, Course Design, Significant non golf scoring related achievements
8 points – Individual Tournament Wins, Coaching a State Championship team (high school or College), or being a team member.
5 points – Hole in One, Club scoring record, for each 2 years of conducting a charity tournament
5 points – each 5 years of Coaching a golf team (high school, Jr. High, College, Individual competitive Club Team)
5 points – for each 10 years of being an active golfer
There’s also a Lifetime Achievement category for those who made contributions to promotion of the sport, and whose inductees are chosen by the Board of Directors.
The point system is interesting, but I think it needs a lot of work.
For example: winning three city amateur championships would get you into the Hall. Five club championship wins also would do it. There are, however, a lot of very small cities and clubs out there, so you could have a lot of people getting in on those tickets.
On the other hand, winning a PGA Tour event wouldn’t get you in. Winning a PGA Tour event as an amateur is a staggering achievement that should warrant immediate induction. Heck, even making the cut ought to get you in. Ditto a Champions Tour win (do they even allow amateurs on the Champions Tour—I don’t know). Or winning the National Amateur. And there’s no mention of the LPGA.
I’m also not sure I like the bias against non-playing achievements. There are quite a few amateurs out there who have dedicated large portions of their lives to the sport. They volunteer as scorers and hosts at amateur championships. They serve on the handicap boards of their clubs. Ten points for a “significant non golf scoring related achievement” just isn’t enough in my mind. An Amateur Hall of Fame in my mind would have a lot of local organizers and promoters of the sport.
Five points for a hole in one? Five for being an active golfer for a decade? I’m not sure what the rationale is there.
Then there’s the question of what constitutes an “Amateur.” In my mind, coaches are not amateurs. They are paid for their efforts. And yet, you could get in the Amateur Golf Hall of Fame for coaching a couple of decades and winning national and state titles. Similarly, if you develop golf courses, aren’t you a professional? Would Ping golf’s Karsten Solheim, who held so many golf patents, be eligible? I’m sure he had more than five patents, for which he would exceed the 50 point minimum.
As it is, I think I’d give myself 30 points. I get five for being an active golfer for ten years (I won’t count the years in which I was a dilettante); five for coaching a golf team; ten for holes in one and ten for a significant non-scoring golf related achievement (running GolfBlogger). I guess I should start looking for a small town to win a championship in.
I don’t want this to seem like an unreasonable criticism of the project. It’s only two months old and has plenty of time to work through its growing pains. And I’m sure that fine tuning the point system is on the list. They’re also still filling up their Board of Directors, and working out their charity connections. In my mind, a Hall of Fame has to be a non-profit, or it’s simply one of those “Who’s Who In (Business, Nursing, Teaching, etc.)” scams.
Keep an eye on this one.