After two years of planning and programming, a new award programme has launched to recognise golf holes across the world.
With an extensive network of reviewers, the process for evaluating nominated holes leads to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ conclusion. However, the process is anything but simple behind the scenes. While anyone may nominate a hole — the website aims to make this easy for clubs or golfers —sophisticated software manages the opinions of reviewers who are able to base their opinions on recent and previous visits to the course, as well as background date, photography and historical references.
“In essence, each hole is evaluated against a series of criteria, and each of those are weighed against separate sets of variables such as how recently the reviewer visited the hole, how many reviews are completed and ultimately how many agree on the category and acceptance,” said Arizona-based golf architect Forrest Richardson, one of the founders of the programme.
Following testing of the website and evaluation logistics, the first nominations and reviews began coming in during December. As of mid-January there were more than 50 active nominations with the first wave of inductees scheduled to be announced later in February.
Once inducted, a hole will be displayed with photos, historical background and searchable fields such as course name, par, architect, year established, country, state and course type. The goal is to immortalise outstanding golf holes. ‘Legendary’ inductees are holes with worldwide acclaim. ‘Honorary’ inductee status is reserved for holes that have risen to fame within a specific type of course or which are well known within a region or locale. The distinction allows nominees to be evaluated in comparison, but without trying to pit a iconic golf hole up against a beloved hole at a little-known course in a remote location.
The Golf Hole of Fame website may be accessed at www.golfholehalloffame.org. “It will take time to grow the Golf Hole Hall of Fame,” said Richardson. “Like all of the other great hall of fames, you do not begin with a full list. It’s a work in progress.”