Sunday, April 26

Doug Ford Belongs in World Golf Hall of Fame

I DON’T HAVE A VOTE, but if I did I’d cast my ballot for Doug Ford to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. Ford was again bypassed this year, although he did finish second in the voting, appearing on 46 percent of the ballots. Lanny Wadkins is the sole 2009 inductee.

“I’ll put my record up against just about anyone’s in the hall,” Ford recently told Randall Mell of

“I think I have a hell of a record. I don’t know what they’re looking for. I don’t know what the knock on me is, but I’m just not that enthused about it anymore. If they don’t appreciate what I’ve done, I can’t do anything about it.”

Let’s look at Ford’s record. Nineteen PGA Tour wins. Two majors: the 1957 Masters, beating Sam Snead by three shots, and the 1955 PGA Championship, beating Cary Middlecoff in the final (when the PGA was a match-play event). Also four Ryder Cup teams.

Looks awfully good, doesn’t it?

As Mell notes (and I’ve added a few names), Ford played in the era of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Cary Middlecoff, Arnold Palmer, Julius Boros, Tommy Bolt, Gene Littler and others. All winners and tough competitors. It was back in the day when you sometimes needed to win or finish high just to make enough money to get to the next event, as Bolt told me last year.

There are several players in the Hall who were elected with fewer wins or majors (or both) than Ford: Tom Kite (18 wins, one major), Tommy Bolt (15 wins, one major), Bob Charles (18 wins, one major), Gene Littler (29 wins, one major) and Chi Chi Rodriguez (eight wins, no majors).

“It’s a travesty Doug’s not in. Evidently, he alienated some people,” Bob Goalby said.

Probably so. Ford was known for his feisty personality. It’s part of what made him a great player.

The voting body consists of 200 journalists, historians and dignitaries. Hurry up, guys. Put Ford in. He’s 86. And he deserves it.

−The Armchair Golfer


Shane B. said...

I agree. Guy should be in for sure.

Unknown said...

Anyone that Doug alienated on the course is probably dead by now so that can't be what's keeping him out.

Ford was a great golfer, though. Especially to win majors with the higher level of competition back then.

If he played today he would have won twice as many.

Frankie C

Lancer said...

Agree that he should be in. Who actually makes the selection?

Unknown said...

Thanks. Chi Chi only had 8 tour wins and no majors? Wow..!!

Ford has not competed on the tour (other than some exemptions) for over 35 years. Some of 200 HOF voters were not born yet and almost everyone else was under 30 years of age.

19 tour victories, a Masters and a PGA winner not in the HOF. Shame on those guys. That is pathetic for whatever reason they might have.

Charles Boyer said...

Doug Ford belongs in the HOF. Dr. Cary Middlecoff was inducted in 1980, and he had 40 wins with three majors. Though not quite as stellar, Ford's 25 wins and two majors is fairly comparable to Middlecoff's and if Chi Chi can be in, so should Ford.

Anonymous said...

The HoF uses subjective, who's your buddy, type criteria. There are probably as many people who are in and shouldn't be as are not in but should be.

The LPGA uses objective criteria for HoF inclusion that should be the standard for all golf.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Mell also reported (not included in my shorter piece) that Ford sat on PGA Tour player committees and "was forever waging battles with the Tour." He was a hard-nosed proponent for the players. Maybe there are some within the voting body who have a long memory, although I agree with comments about most not being old enough to recall Ford's feisty rep.

Even so, the man's record speaks for itself. They should induct Ford ASAP so he can be recognized while he's still alive.

For those of you who are interested, the induction criteria are here:

The Armchair Golfer said...

Note: The eight wins mentioned for Chi Chi are PGA Tour victories. He also had 22 Champions Tour wins, including two "senior" majors.

Mr Business Golf said...

It is a shame..What do they look for in a player to win the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Do ya think that if Doug was to get on Twitter he would have a better chance of getting the mass appeal? lol

yahoo said...

he should get in just for beating sam snead by three strokes, in sam's hay day.