ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The The World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum is closing its doors forever in less than a week, and that leaves a question – what to do with the museum’s assets beyond the cabinets and their contents.
Pinehurst accepts items such as Gene Sarazen’s 1922 PGA Championship and 1935 Masters Championship trophies; Jack Nicklaus’ MacGregor bag from his 1965 Masters victory; Johnny Miller’s club, ball and gold medal from the 1973 US Open at Oakmont (where he shot a record 63 in the final round); Seve Ballesteros’ wedge he used when he won the first of his five majors at the 1979 Open Championship; and the jersey worn by Annika Sorenstam when she became the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event at Colonia in 2003.
Volunteer Coulter Schmitt walks past the wall of bronze plaques honoring members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. St. Johns County will keep the plaques to be displayed in the recreated Hall of Fame and Museum building.
But there are about 7,500 other items that were loaned or donated to the Hall of Fame. McLaughlin said the offer was made to living Hall of Fame members and the families of the deceased to return some items, but other members have chosen to send the items elsewhere:
Two-time US Open champion Curtis Strange has asked that his donations be sent to his alma mater, Wake Forest.
Items belonging to Chick Evans will be sent to the Western Golf Association.
Augusta National accepts memorabilia associated with founder Clifford Roberts.
More than 3,000 books went to the USGA for the Southern Methodist Sports Management program.
“We’ve had no problem finding a home for most of the assets,” McLaughlin said. “Eventually, we hope to find a home for everything.”
The terrifying process begins in six days – after the last visitor leaves the structure.
That’s when an era in First Coast golf history ends in St. Augustine, followed by the Hall of Fame’s mulligan at Pinehurst.