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Fred Couples voted into the Hall of Fame, Creating some Controversy

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Fred Couples, a former Masters champion and one of the most popular figures in the game, was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday.  Freddie's career highlights are his 15 wins on the PGA Tour, the 1992 Masters and two at The Players Championship, including an eagle-birdie-par finish in 1996.  He played in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup five times each, and next year will be captain of the Presidents Cup for the third time. He was No. 1 in the world for four months in 1992.

But is this good enough for the HOF?  Mark O'Meara has won 16 times with 2 major wins and was fourth in the voting with 36 percent of the vote.

Good article to check out

Quote:
"There are other people in the Hall of Fame that are maybe good players. But good is a good thing," Couples said from Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. "I've been good at it for a long time, and I hope to continue to play a few more years."

"I've won 15 times and a major and all that," Couples said. "But I think one of the things I've done well is played for a long time. Sometimes that is meaningless. I think when you get in the Hall of Fame, it's more about the finishes you've had, and I know a lot about the baseball Hall of Fame. I know a little bit about the football Hall of Fame, and the way they talk about some people not getting in and waiting a long time.

"For me, at my age of 52, I think it's certainly a great honor and great timing, because it will push me to play a couple more years and see how I can play."

Golfweek's Jeff Rude poses a Q&A; and asks if this dumbs down the hall:

Quote:

No offense to Fred, whom I like, but someone getting in with 15 victories and one major does lower the previous unwritten benchmark, yes.


Couples, though, does get extra points for having been a television and gate attraction for years.

Expect more lowering of standards, particularly after Tiger Woods gets in after turning 40 in four years. At the moment, there aren’t many players with a pile of victories who will turn 40 any time soon.

Sadly, if we keep this up, pretty soon Craig Stadler with 13 wins and a major will represent the new bar.

This is not, and never should be, the Hall of Very Good.

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Nothing personal, but Majors are over-stated. There are maybe ten-twelve fields a year where at least 90% of the world's best play on courses that are reasonably tough (but should be tougher in my view). The majors were always named because the best players from around the world played them and (with the exception of the Masters) were open to either amateur (US / British Opens) or club Pro (PGA).

Look up 'Hogan' and 'Western Open' - that used to be a bullet tournament back in the day, with real kudos when you won it.

And FWIW here's my view on the Majors

Augusta is now a fabrication of the course it was meant to be - it's only defence is speed of greens, but even that does not assist - the average winning score for the last 30 odd years has been -9, and in the era of the Pro V1 bomber, only the Alaskan tournament where ZJ won was tough. If Bobby Jones saw the bunkering around the greens on holes such as 1, 2, 7, 14 and 17, he'd blow a gasket - the course was always meant to be a links style bump and run course. The bail out bunker at 15 should go. Should have made the greens smaller and pushed the rough in and made it rough . Oh yeah, I've been there, so before you ask.

British Open - depends on what course it is. St Andrews is no longer a fit and proper course for a major - it averages a winning score of -14 for the last 6 times it's been played there. If you hit a draw, you will never be in too much trouble, and with laser-guidance yardages, the bump and run is being eliminated. Plus if you play it in the occasional hot British summer, 40,000+ hackers rounds take their toll on the fairways.Time to find better courses - Western Gailes, Royal Aberdeen, Carnoustie (the ultimate test of golf in my book), Macarhanish, plus pick 5 courses in Ireland that could host the tournament. Plus Turnberry, St Georges, Lytham..Muirfield gets ate up too easily as well.

US Open - the greatest challenge, but once again, pull the greens in - too many players are using irons and 3-4 woods off the tee and getting home. Played on amazing course - just wish Pine Valley was still available.

PGA - could be just as tough as the Open - put the rough up, tighten the greens.

Anyway, I digress - I like Freddie, he's always been welcome here. His swing is a thing of liquidity and he's a nice individual from all I here. He's won a major and played all over the world, struggled with back injury. The only thing I can fault him on is his taste in women.

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Do they have to put someone in the HoF every year, or can they suddenly skip three years? There are only that many great golfers through the history. If they keep putting in new ones every year, it'll just become a ranking of the best players through history. At some point, Steve Williams will make the list.
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Originally Posted by Monte the Bear

Nothing personal, but Majors are over-stated. There are maybe ten-twelve fields a year where at least 90% of the world's best play on courses that are reasonably tough (but should be tougher in my view). The majors were always named because the best players from around the world played them and (with the exception of the Masters) were open to either amateur (US / British Opens) or club Pro (PGA).

Look up 'Hogan' and 'Western Open' - that used to be a bullet tournament back in the day, with real kudos when you won it.

And FWIW here's my view on the Majors

Augusta is now a fabrication of the course it was meant to be - it's only defence is speed of greens, but even that does not assist - the average winning score for the last 30 odd years has been -9, and in the era of the Pro V1 bomber, only the Alaskan tournament where ZJ won was tough. If Bobby Jones saw the bunkering around the greens on holes such as 1, 2, 7, 14 and 17, he'd blow a gasket - the course was always meant to be a links style bump and run course. The bail out bunker at 15 should go. Should have made the greens smaller and pushed the rough in and made it rough. Oh yeah, I've been there, so before you ask.

British Open - depends on what course it is. St Andrews is no longer a fit and proper course for a major - it averages a winning score of -14 for the last 6 times it's been played there. If you hit a draw, you will never be in too much trouble, and with laser-guidance yardages, the bump and run is being eliminated. Plus if you play it in the occasional hot British summer, 40,000+ hackers rounds take their toll on the fairways.Time to find better courses - Western Gailes, Royal Aberdeen, Carnoustie (the ultimate test of golf in my book), Macarhanish, plus pick 5 courses in Ireland that could host the tournament. Plus Turnberry, St Georges, Lytham..Muirfield gets ate up too easily as well.

US Open - the greatest challenge, but once again, pull the greens in - too many players are using irons and 3-4 woods off the tee and getting home. Played on amazing course - just wish Pine Valley was still available.

PGA - could be just as tough as the Open - put the rough up, tighten the greens.

Anyway, I digress - I like Freddie, he's always been welcome here. His swing is a thing of liquidity and he's a nice individual from all I here. He's won a major and played all over the world, struggled with back injury. The only thing I can fault him on is his taste in women.

I don't see how making majors more difficult would improve anything, it's all about the strength of the field and the size of the reward. Who cares if the winning score at Augusta is -14? And how can you suggest St Andrews be dropped? I agree Carnoustie is probably a better course, but still. Try playing the Old Course in a 30mph gale with no roll on the fairways. It's been bad luck lately that we haven't had a really tough Open. And the suggestion that we pick Irish courses to hold the BRITISH Open is a pretty odd one. I don't think the Irish will go for it unless they change the name. Not that there aren't great links in Ireland, it's just that there has been a spot of trouble between the UK and Ireland for a good while now. The US Open is all about tricked up courses and all, which is fine, but no need to make the PGA the little brother of the US Open.

If you try to fight the longest players with course design, you'll lose every time. There will always be that one guy who has wedges into the 500 yard par 4s, plays the par 3s like a pitch and putt, and gets an eagle chance on anything under 600 yards. That's 600 yards uphill, no doglegs and wind in your face. And meanwhile Luke Donald is back at the ladies tee hitting his second, needing a long iron to reach those long par 4s and laying up on a lot of the par 5s. He's not thinking about cutting back the ball or lengthening tees, he needs all the distance he can get. Everything honestly balances out pretty well for the average 290 hitter on tour, IMO. That's all they can do when there's such a difference between the longer and shorter players.

Anyway, I think Freddie deserves to get in on the basis of sheer style. Not something that can be said for too many players.

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Fred Couples, absolutely, does not deserve the HOF. 15 victories? Come on, really?

Handsome face and a pretty smile goes a long way for this entree.

Good looks will get you far in this world.

Ugly candidates for President, for example, never win!

Good looks, is a huge factor in life. Whether it be presidency, getting that job, or Golf HOF.

How come guys with a more impressive resume than Freddy aren't voted in, but he is?

Golf Channel says he did so much for golf! Like what????

They said, "he has that effortless, beautiful powerful swing" and he was an "under-achiever" - "should have won more" - "poor guy, and his back problems."

Doesn't matter, show me results.

"People liked to root him on, a fan favorite." Ok, so he had fans...i'll give you that. Is that a criteria for the hall of fame?

The rules are ridiculous that you need 65% votes, but if nobody gets there....we'll take anyone over 50%.

What a CROCK!

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The guy above says he should have gotten in on "the basis of sheer style"

How delusional some of us are.

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Mark O'Meara has two majors and 16 PGA Tour wins. What's he thinking about now?

O'Meara got 36% of the vote.

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Last couple posts...are quotes from voting members.

I should have posted their names.

Like this one:

Freddie is like Joe Namath -- he didn't accomplish as much as some other hall of famers, but it would be really weird to not see him enshrined.

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^^ Try the edit feature.

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This topic is like politics or religion, probably should never me discussed, but since we are, I'd love to share my thoughts.  First off, it's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Accomplishments, quite honestly it has nothing to do with how many wins you have or majors.  All of the HOF's are as much a popularity contest as they are defining a great career.  The golf HOF does have some basic accomplishment requirements, 10 wins and 2 majors or 2 players championships, so the bar is pretty low.  I'm a Fred Couples fan, but I'm not sure I would say he had a great career, a good one for sure, I think he got in as much on his potential talent as much as his actual accomplishments, then throw in the cool, the style, the charm and a good bit of luck in the voting and he's in the HOF.

IMHO, you will see more popularity voting in golf than in the other sports, we all know how fickle golf can be, so the perception of how good a player is/was will probably weight as much if not more then the actual accomplishments of the player.

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I think he is fine for GHoF pick. There's more to it than winning majors. He's been a good advocate for golf. Shoot, being on the Ryder Cup/ Pres Cup 5 times and Captain of the President's Cup is enough in my book. At least 5 times he was one of the top golfers in the USA. That's nothing to scoff at.

Mark O'Meara deserves it also.

The only thing I can see to scoff at is his age. But hey, his PGA career is most likely done. Being on the Senior Tour and still playing is nothing in my book for still being an active player.

We certainly could do worse than Freddie being in the Hall.

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By the narrowest of margins Fred Couples should be in the golf Hall of Fame.

That narrowest of margins to me is "Boom Boom".

Fred "Boom Boom" Couples is loved by the fans and golf is entertainment and part of being a Hall of Famer is to be appreciated by the fans.

Mark O'Meara had a similar career but what nickname is he known by?

So, the voters got it right by the narrowest of margins is very appropriate.

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Freddy is a star.  He's the face of Bridgestone, on all kinds of commercials, and people care what he's doing.  And I wouldn't underestimate the importance of his Ryder Cup and President's Cup performance, particularly as 3-time Captain.  Honestly, I think the Cups should get more weight than winning the John Deere, as there's no money involved--it's all about the game.

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Originally Posted by photoballmarker

By the narrowest of margins Fred Couples should be in the golf Hall of Fame.

That narrowest of margins to me is "Boom Boom".

Fred "Boom Boom" Couples is loved by the fans and golf is entertainment and part of being a Hall of Famer is to be appreciated by the fans.

Mark O'Meara had a similar career but what nickname is he known by?

So, the voters got it right by the narrowest of margins is very appropriate.

I have no problem with such intangibles as fan appeal and personality being part of the reason for a player getting into the Hall - after all, it's call the Hall of Fame , not the Hall of Winners or the Hall of Good Golfers.  Fame goes beyond simple statistics.  Mark O'Meara is a nice guy who is virtually unknown outside of golf.  Couples has a loyal fan base within the game, and also has a significant amount of popularity and name recognition outside of the game as well.  His popularity has been good for the game as a whole - something which can't be quantitatively measured.  You simply can't say the same for O'Meara.

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Freddy is a icon in the game but more for his style and personality than his golf game and accomplishments.  There are a number of athletes that were fan favorites and well known and liked but didn't have a career worthy of being inducted into their respective HOF's.  Including people like Freddy, and guys that are currently still playing on the PGA Tour into the HOF makes it seem less prestigious.

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When comparing Couples to O'Meara (who is about 2.5 years older) I see that Couples was a World #1 and won over 50% more $ on the PGA Tour with 162 Top 10s compared to 119 for O`Meara (who played 60 more tour events than Couples).  O`Meara failed to make 222 cuts compared to 118 for Couples.

Overall, Couples had a slightly higher win % and much higher top 10, top 25 and made cut % than O'Meara on the PGA Tour.  On the Champions Tour, Feddy has won 8 times in 37 events while Mark has won twice in 100 events.

Looks and popularity aside, I would say Freddy was (and still is) a better player than Mark.

I agree that while accomplished, Couples may not appear to be an obvious HOFer.  However, when looking at players his age or OLDER he is #1 on the PGA Tours all time $ list (with Perry and Calcavecchia being the only SRs ahead of him, but slightly younger)

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As a golfing history neophyte, hearing about guys getting inducted with win totals in the mid-teens really puts a few things into perspective for me in terms of how Jack and Tiger dominated their respective competition (among others).  My goodness.

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