Continuing with the hall of fame theme we established in the previous blog here, there is a more positive note to report, that being that Inbee Park will be eligible for the LPGA Hall of Fame after her 10th start next year, which should come before her 28th birthday.
Park reached the point standard required for hall of fame induction on the weekend at the CME Group Tour Championship, the third-youngest player in history to do so. She’s also required to play 10 years on tour, which she will do in 2016.
With 10 career wins, including three in Canada and her first major championship this year, you have to think that 18-year-old Lydia Ko, who just won Player of the Year, is well on her way in about eight years time and the same honour may well be bestowed upon Canadian Brooke Henderson, also 18, one day.
Of course, it’s premature to be predicting that far ahead for Henderson, who just earned her LPGA membership in August after winning her first tour event in Portland, but certainly, the possibility of induction into that hall of fame exists. Let’s see what happens.
The more immediate possibility for Henderson is induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame after an outstanding amateur career that rocketed her to No. 1 in world rankings before she turned pro nearly a year ago.
Already with a victory in her collection, Henderson goes into her first full season on tour in 2016 and while this is admittedly mere speculation, it isn’t fantasy that she could win a couple again next season, which would pull her even in tour wins with people already in the Canadian hall.
It could possibly be more, or even a major championship considering she tied for fifth twice in the majors this season.
If that happened, she would at that point be a slam dunk to get into the Canadian hall of fame, but at 19 or 20? We’re into new territory with the success Henderson has enjoyed at such a young age and will continue to have going forward.
To a certain extent, this applies to Nick Taylor, another Canadian who made it to the top of the world men’s amateur rankings and earned his PGA Tour victory last year. If Taylor was to win a couple in 2016, he, too, would be a legitimate candidate for the hall at the age of 28.
Henderson supplies the most shocking possibility and while you may shake your head and roll your eyes at the thought of anybody nominating someone so young, they would have a legitimate case under the realistic scenario describe above.
In other words, the selection committee will soon need to nip that possibility in the bud with a “Brooke rule,” if you will, that is designed to prevent any conceivable controversy that may arise out of the excellence she has exhibited so early in her career.
The likely solution is a minimum age for induction into the hall. Should Henderson be as successful as we think she will be, we’ll soon be able to tell if she’s a slam dunk, if she isn’t already.
I’ve never been a big fan of such parameters. Back in 2009, there was a lot of controversy over Mike Weir being nominated to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame at the age of 38.
Weir was destined for the hall six years earlier when he raised his arms in victory at the Masters. Add in his other career achievements and his off-course efforts to promote the game and he was a sure thing.
The argument against his induction at the time was that Weir still had some good golf left in him as his 40s approached and it was a valid point. Unfortunately, injuries and other factors got in the way and we’ll see what happens when he returns from time off to spend with his family.
I saw it differently. First of all, Weir had no doubt established himself as a hall of famer at that point and even if he did do something spectacular, his record as a member isn’t indelible and can be changed at any time. Personally, I think it’s cool to see a hall of famer still playing well.
The difference between Weir and Henderson is that he had a portion of his career left and Henderson, even if she won two or three next year, would still have pretty much her entire career in front of her and what a career it could be, the way it’s going.
If we waited until she was, say, 30 years old, she could still be a member of the hall at a young age, but have a record for the ages at that point if a minimum age is imposed.
In one sense, it seems like it would be punishing her for success, but on the other, it needs to be done in the case of a teenager.
In a system in which nominations are welcomed from the public, the parameters of hall of fame induction need to be made official.
Goodbye old friend pic.twitter.com/mpkH5PkOMw
— David Hearn (@HearnDavid) November 22, 2015
With the ban on anchored putting coming in at the beginning of 2016, David Hearn will have to return to a more traditional style and had an emotional goodbye with an old friend in the tweet above … Speaking of Hearn, he has joined forces with Rockway Vineyards Golf Wine Dine of St. Catherines, Ont., in a partnership and will see that property and Hearn develop a special win collection under the David Hearn Foundation label, with a portion of proceeds going back to the foundation. Rockway’s home course will also host the David Hearn Junior Open Oct. 1-2 next year … Marijuana could soon be legalized in Canada, so how quickly should golf operations be moving to establish policies on its use on their properties. That was the question in last week’s GNN Poll that indicated 48 per cent of respondents felt the industry should just wait until it happens, while 26 per cent believed golf operations should be working on it now. Another 26 per cent felt marijuana use would not become an issue in golf, even if it is legalized … This week’s GNN Poll indicates that the new Liberal government has yet to win the confidence of the Canadian golf industry. The poll asks if the economy/business environment for the golf industry and other businesses will improve under the new government, compared to the previous Conservative government. As of this writing, 49 per cent said no, 34 per cent said there will be no difference than under the previous Conservative government, while 17 per cent thought there would be an improvement. There’ still time to vote on the GNN home page.