Tiger Woods’ Hall of Fame donations highlight major wins and little-known moments
December 03, 2021
By Sean Martin , PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods' best shots of the decade: 2010-19
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The pre-teen was beating kids his own age so handily that the head pro asked if he wanted to move back to a longer set of tees to play against the older boys.
“No. There will be plenty of time for that later,” the phenom replied.
It was a sign of patience, that he was in no rush to skip ahead or bypass a level of competition. He wanted to prove himself at each level before progressing to the next. And that he did, dominating over the decades in one of the greatest careers that golf has ever seen. That kid was Tiger Woods, and this anecdote is an early example of the mental strength that helped him compile an incomparable resume, one that will soon be enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Woods is a member of the 2022 induction class that also includes former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning and former U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Marion Hollins, who also is credited with hiring Alister Mackenzie to build two of his Northern California gems, Cypress Point and Pasatiempo.
Their Hall of Fame induction will take place March 9 at the PGA TOUR’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Memorabilia from the incredible careers of each inductee is now being displayed at the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Berning’s collection includes the $5 putter she used for the final 36 holes of her victory in the 1973 U.S. Women’s Open and her custom 3USOPEN license plate that commemorated her three wins in her national championship.Susie Maxwell Berning’s collection includes the $5 putter she used for the final 36 holes of her victory in the 1973 U.S. Women’s Open. (PGA TOUR)
There’s Hollins’ locker key from Pasatiempo (numbered 1, of course), a copy of Pasatiempo’s original bylaws and a bronzed scorecard from the course’s opening-day exhibition on Sept. 8, 1929, which Bobby Jones won with a 75. Finchem donated everything from a knife set given to him at the 2004 Ryder Cup to signed letters from presidents and golf legends like Jack Nicklaus.
Woods contributed dozens of items, dating back to his earliest days. Visitors will recognize many of them. There are trophies from his wins in all four majors – three from 2000, including record-setting U.S. Open and Open Championship victories, and his 1997 Masters trophy – as well as the 2019 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, where he tied Sam Snead’s PGA TOUR wins record. The red mock turtleneck that Woods wore during his win at the 2019 Masters and his credential from that week now reside at the World Golf Hall of Fame, as well, along with several clubs and items of clothings.
Some of the oldest items are the most interesting, though. Woods’ life has been well-documented, but some of this memorabilia is from a time before he became a worldwide celebrity. These items shed light on little-known stories about his life. After all his success, it’s amazing that much of this memorabilia wasn't discarded years ago.
Among the surprising items now at the World Golf Hall of Fame is a photo from the pro-am of the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open, signed by both Woods and fellow TOUR player Duffy Waldorf. The everyday amateurs who were paired with Waldorf that Wednesday were treated to a second pro in their group, one who was just days removed from his own amateur career.1996 Greater Milwaukee Open plaque, signed by both Woods and fellow TOUR player Duffy Waldorf (PGA TOUR)
Woods’ MVP award from the 1992 Western High School golf team and a plaque commemorating his first hole-in-one, at age 6, also are at the Hall of Fame after being stored for decades, along with the blue carry bag awarded to Woods after winning his age group at the Yorba Linda Junior Invitational. For a second consecutive year, he’d eschewed the opportunity to compete from the longer tees for the overall title. He was content to win the 12-13 age group for another year.
“That was an example of his maturity. It was almost, to an extent, wisdom – 12-year-old wisdom – if there is such a thing,” said Yorba Linda Country Club’s head pro, Tom Sargent, about Woods declining his offer to play from the longer tees.'Hole in one' plaque give to Tiger Woods. (PGA TOUR)
Sargent first noticed Woods a few years earlier, and tipped off two of the country’s top college coaches, Stanford’s Wally Goodwin and UNLV’s Dwaine Knight, about Southern California’s rising star.
“You’d better put this kid in your computer banks,” Sargent said in John Strege’s book, “Tiger.”
Inspired by Sargent’s tip, and Woods’ appearance in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces In the Crowd” section, Goodwin sent Woods his first recruiting letter, when he was still just 13 years old.
“Dear Tiger,” the letter read. “Here at Stanford I am finding that it is never too early to get the word out to you exceptional young men concerning what it will take a few years down the road in terms of application to Stanford. If excellence in not only golf but also in the academic and business world is among your lofty goals, then listen to what I have to say to you.
“I am looking for a few tough kids,” Goodwin wrote toward the end of the letter. “Winners!”
He got one in Woods, whose incredible career is being immortalized in the World Golf Hall of Fame.Goodwin sent Woods his first recruiting letter, when he was still just 13 years old. (PGA TOUR)