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LPGA Hall Approves Changes

The members of the Tournament Division of the LPGA have revised the selection criteria for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame to ensure the dominant players from each era are honored. Long recognized as the most difficult Hall of Fame in which to gain entry,

Selected LPGA Hall of Fame point standings

Wins Majors PotY Vare Points
Beth Daniel 31 1 3 3 39
Amy Alcott 24 5 1 35
Annika Sörenstam 14 2 3 3 24
Marilynn Smith 19 2 23
Hollis Stacy 14 4 22
17 2 21
Laura Davies 13 3 1 20
Juli Inkster 14 3 20
Jan Stephenson 13 3 19
Ayako Okamoto 17 17
Dottie Pepper 13 1 1 1 17
Sally Little 13 2 17
Janes Geddes 9 2 13
Liselotte Neumann 11 1 13
Colleen Walker 8 1 1 11
Meg Mallon 7 2 11
Chris Johnson 8 1 10
Karrie Webb 9 1 10
Kelly Robbins 8 1 10
Rosie Jones 9 9
Tammie Green/TD> 6 1 8
Brandie Burton 3 2 7
Donna Andrews 5 1 7
Michelle McGann 7 7
Se Ri Pak 2 2 6
the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame still bases entrance on a player's accomplishments.

The LPGA Tour Hall of Fame criteria now feature several fundamental requirements and a point system for selecting current players, as well as a mechanism to induct players retired from the Tour. The new induction qualifications were approved by the LPGA Tournament Division membership through a vote conducted between Jan. 12 and Feb. 5, 1999. Based on the new requirements for current players, both Amy Alcott and Beth Daniel have fulfilled the requirements for induction.

"The goal of the Hall of Fame is to honor those players that dominated women's golf during their era," said Jim Ritts, commissioner of the LPGA. "As the Tour has grown in stature and the depth of talent expanded, the existing criteria precluded some of the Tour's greatest players from gaining recognition. The hallmark of the newly approved criteria is that the Hall of Fame will remain performance-based, and yet it is an attainable achievement for the elite players of today. "

"Amy and Beh have both made an indelible mark on the Tour, and it is appropriate that they be the first to enter the Hall via the new guidelines," said Ritts. "To give each their due, Amy will be inducted this year, with Beth formally inducted next year."

The LPGA Tour Hall of Fame is a part of the World Golf Hall of Fame, established last year at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. As a result, Alcott will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on March 22, 1999, along with Severiano Ballesteros (international ballot) and Lloyd Mangrum (PGA Tour ballot).

The LPGA Tour Hall of Fame now has two avenues of selection. The first set of criteria applies for players currently active (an active player in 1998 and forward) and is not retroactive. The second is a mechanism for recognizing players who are no longer playing on Tour but were dominant in their era and had a lasting impact on women's professional golf. The system for a past player to become inducted in the Hall of Fame involves a combination of a Veterans Committee and basic criteria, along with a vote of the Tournament Division membership.

"As one of the first inductees into the LPGA Hall of Fame, I am pleased to welcome Amy and Beth to the Hall," said Louise Suggs, an LPGA founder and charter member. "I salute the efforts of the Hall of Fame Committee and the LPGA Tour players for the criteria changes. They have retained the integrity of the Hall, yet made this pinnacle of achievement reachable by the LPGA's outstanding players."

New criteria for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame

Current Players

The criteria below apply only to LPGA members active from 1998 and forward. An LPGA Tour member who was active prior to 1994 and has since been inactive (i.e. retired) for more than five (5) years would be eligible for the veterans category.

  • Must be/have been an "active" LPGA member for 10 years
  • Must have won/been awarded at least one of the following: an LPGA major championship, the Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honors;
  • Accumulated a total of 27 Hall of Fame points, which are awarded as follows:
    • 1 point for each LPGA official tournament win
    • 2 points for each LPGA major tournament win
    • 1 point for each Vare Trophy earned
    • 1 point for each Player of the Year honor earned

Veteran Players

A 12-person Veterans Committee will review the accomplishments of retired LPGA players for potential election into the LPGA Hall of Fame. With the benefit of historical perspective, the committee may periodically nominate a player who clearly demonstrated superior-playing ability, dominated the Tour during her playing career and showed commitment to both the Tour and the game of golf.

No more than one player may be nominated each year; however, the committee is not required to annually nominate a member for potential induction.

To be nominated, a candidate must receive at least a two-thrds majority vote by the Veterans Committee. The committee then forwards its nomination to the LPGA Tournament Division membership for approval, which requires a 75 percent majority of the induction ballots completed and submitted by the membership.

For the committee to consider nominating a veteran player, the player should:

  • Have been an "active" member of the LPGA Tour for a minimum of 10 years
  • Have been an inactive or retired member of the LPGA Tour for a minimum of five consecutive years prior to the year of nomination
  • Have won/been awarded at least one of the following:
    • an LPGA major championship, the Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honors
    • Have had an extraordinary career which significantly impacted the growth of the LPGA Tour

Any member nominated by the Veterans Committee must receive at least a 75 percent majority vote of the LPGA Tournament Division membership who responded by ballot.

The 12-person Veterans Committee will be named and in place by the McDonald's LPGA Championship, June 24-27, in Wilmington, Del.

The make-up of the Veterans Committee includes representatives from the LPGA Tour, LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and the golf community:

  • One member of the LPGA Executive Committee
  • One independent member of the LPGA's Board of Directors
  • Two members of the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame: one player who is inactive on the LPGA Tour and one who is currently competing on the LPGA Tour (if an active player is not available, a second inactive member will be selected)
  • One active LPGA Tour player, selected by the LPGA Executive Committee
  • One inactive LPGA Tour player, selected by the LPGA Executive Committee
  • Two representatives from a major golf industry organization other than the LPGA (i.e., United States Golf Association, PGA Tour, etc.), selected by the LPGA Board of Directors
  • One representative from the LPGA Tournament Sponsors Association (TSA), selected by the TSA Board of Directors
  • Three members of the Golf Writers of America Association (GWAA) or media community, selected by the LPGA Board of Directors Development of the criteria

The decision to revamp the entrance criteria for the LPGA Hall of Fame was initiated in 1985. The Board of Directors annually reviewed the Hall of Fame and conducted research during that time. In 1992, the Tour membership again addressed the issue and approved the concept of a veterans category.

The approved criteria were developed through the efforts of the Hall of Fame Committee, headed by Gail Graham. The committee, during the last six years, has canvassed many players, both active and inactive, about the Hall of Fame, along with existing members of the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame, the media and industry leaders. The committee also researched the accomplishments of past and current players to revamp the qualifications.

"Revamping the selection criteria has been in discussion or years," said Graham. "It has taken the LPGA membership six years of evaluation and discussion to create an objective and fair set of qualifications. "

"The membership was committed to retaining a selection procedure that bases entrance on concrete accomplishments," said Graham. "The new criteria properly recognizes career-defining achievements, such as major championship victories, Vare Trophies and Rolex Player of the Year honors. The overwhelming support for the criteria demonstrates we have developed a fair and equitable system."

"When we examined the Tour's makeup, we realized the annual number of events from 1965 to 1995 had grown from 30 to 38," said Mallon, "but the pool of players on Tour during that 30 years had risen from 56 to 210. That was a 266 percent increase in players with only a 78 percent increase in the number of events. That is what really brought home why the criteria were no longer viable for today's Tour."

Currently, 14 women belong to the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame: Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Sandra Haynie, Carol Mann, JoAnne Carner, Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Patty Sheehan and Betsy King. The late Dinah Shore was inducted as an honorary member in 1994.

The LPGA Hall of Fame, which is now housed in the World Golf Hall of Fame, was established in 1967. Those LPGA members who were already in the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf, which was established in 1951, were the first inductees into the LPGA Hall of Fame.

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