The World of Golf Hall of Fame has taken flack for its selections—and non-selections—in the past, but you’d be hard pressed to find something wrong with the 2017 Class.
Davis Love III, Ian Woosnam, Meg Mallon, Henry Longhurst and Lorena Ochoa are all set to be inducted next September.
Love III is the most popular amongst American fans, especially coming off the U.S. Ryder Cup victory this year, but his playing accomplishments (1997 PGA Champion, 1992 and 2003 The Players Champion and 34 other professional wins) earned his induction on their own merit.
Ian Woosnam, the spritely Welshman, won the Masters in 1991, but that’s only the beginning of his world-conquering achievements. Woosnam’s game traveled very well, netting him 28 European Tour wins, 2 PGA Tour wins, and many more career victories, in locations including South Korea, Russia, Zambia, Hong Kong among others.
Lorena Ochoa is a living legend, having dominated the LPGA Tour throughout her somewhat truncated, but still extraordinary career. She held the World Number 1 ranking for 158 consecutive weeks (an LPGA record) up until her surprising 2010 retirement at the age 28. She netted two major championships and 25 other LPGA Tour titles, and most importantly, inspired a generation of Mexican golfers, both male and female.
Meg Mallon won four majors in her 23-year LPGA career and had a total of 20 professional wins in all. Her breakthrough, 4-win, 2-major year in 1991 propelled her toward her illustrious career. She would collect 9 more LPGA Tour wins before claiming her next major, the 2000 du Maurier Classic. She also just fell short of matching Annika Sorenstam’s 59-stroke round record, shooting a 60 in the second round of the 2003 Welch’s/Fry’s Championship.
Henry Longhurst is the only non-player to be inducted in the 2017 class. Longhurst was a longtime golf writer and commentator, long before the days of every-shot television coverage. His position at the 16th hole of the Masters set him up for many legendary calls, including Jack Nicklaus’ epic 40-foot birdie putt en route to victory in 1975. He held his post at London’s Sunday Times for 40 years, welcoming golf to the sporting age. Unfortunately, Longhurst passed away in 1978, and will be the lone inductee to be welcomed to the Hall posthumously.
The official induction will take place in New York City on September 26, 2017, the same week as the Presidents Cup.