The ballot for next year's Hall of Fame class should include . . .
Early this week, the World Golf Hall of Fame inducted its 2013 class, highlighted by Fred Couples and Ken Venturi.
Who will be in next year's class? Editor-in-Chief and Chairman Jerry Tarde has already done the work for voters. In his May Editor's Letter, Jerry says the 2014 ballot should include A.W. Tillinghast, Butch Harmon and Vinny Giles.
Tarde makes the point that three categories are underrepresented in the hallowed halls of St. Augustine -- course architects, instructors and career amateurs.
Tillinghast, who designed gems such as Winged Foot and San Francisco Golf Club isn't yet in, and "it's an embarrassment to the Hall" that he isn't in there, Tarde writes.
Back in May 1974, former USGA Executive Editor and Golf Digest contributor Frank Hannigan wrote in a feature in the Golf Journal: "A.W. Tillinghast is the forgotten genius of American golf."
Almost 40 years later, evidenced by Tillinghast's absence in the Hall, it seems the Hall has still forgotten Tillinghast's genius.
Tarde's column has elicited a strong response from our readership.
Here's one from reader and competitive amateur James J. Dunne III of New York:
"The beauty of golf is its nuanced complexity, and we should pay homage to the full range of extraordinary people who have contributed in their own, equally important ways to the richness, evolution and history of the game."
Well said, Mr. Dunne.
Another response from a @GolfDigestMag Twitter follower, Joe Dante:
Dunne also felt strongly about Giles, remarkably the low amateur at the 1968 Masters and the champion of the 2009 USGA Senior Amateur, 41 years apart.
Dunne writes: "Giles also guided the careers of Tom Kite, Davis Love III and Lanny Wadkins, among others. Giles represents the very best of amateur golf and including him in the Hall of Fame would be a nod to the importance of amateur competitors throughout the game's history."
__ Tom Place, of Ponte Vedra Beach__, used to run PGA Tour media centers for many years.
Place wrote to Tarde with another good suggestion to add to the "builders' wing" of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
"You stated that the 'odd U.S. President' already is in the hall, but I'd like you to know about President Gerald R. Ford," wrote Place. "I'm leading an effort to have him receive the lifetime achievement honor for induction….in the class of 2014. A number of players are helping the cause."
It's great to hear prominent voices in golf are passionate about making the Hall of Fame a more complete rendering of the game's history.