That was the word that came down from the Royal Canadian Golf Association this morning.
Let’s start here — Mike Weir, at 38, is the best Canadian golfer in history. He’s the only male winner of a major, and he continues to be among the best players in the world, currently ranked in the Top 20 in the World Golf Rankings.
Certainly he’s a lock for the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. He deserves to be there. But at 38, while he’s still active? How does this make sense?
I’ve said this before, a couple of years back when Lorne Rubenstein — still an active reporter — was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. Do we have so few worthy entrants that we need to induct people who are still in the midst of vibrant careers?
I wonder why the RCGA and its inducting committee wouldn’t wait a while to put Weir in. Since the hall seems to be down with having anybody with a couple of wins on a pro tour in the HOF, like Lisa Walters last year, what about someone like Richard Zokol, who is clearly done with his competitive PGA Tour golf now at the age of 50? Or poke back into the earlier days of Canadian golf and pick noted designer/player Vernon Macan? ]
Or how about this for a thought: Don’t induct anyone if no one fits the bill. Do you have to induct someone every year? Even the baseball HOF doesn’t do that (though it is admittedly rare).
Truth is Mike Weir is far from museum material. I spoke to Weir a couple of weeks ago for a magazine profile and he talked about his legacy as a golfer being consistency in big events and longevity. He truly believes he’ll play better in coming years and will win numerous times. Is he right? Who is to say. But does that sound like someone at the end of their career? Surely Weir wouldn’t agree.
Truthfully for this to make sense one has to look at the popularity of Weir in Canada and at the timing relative to the Canadian Open. Canada’s top tournament celebrates its 100th playing this year. That’s right, you remember 2004 when the RCGA celebrated the 100th anniversary? Well some wars got in the way, so we’re celebrating the 100th playing this year. Call it a celebratory do-over or an anniversary mulligan. Either way, the RCGA sees this as a reason to celebrate the Canadian Open.
Now I’m all for promoting the Canadian Open. But there seems to be some sort of tangential link between Weir and the 100th anniversary celebrations.
None of this is Weir’s fault. What’s he to do? Turn the induction down? It is a big honour for him — even if the timing seems off. He’s done tons to promote Canadian golf and the Canadian Open, and has been a strong supporter of communities in Canada in recent years. Call this a premature election, but a worthy candidate nonetheless.
One thing I’ll be intrigued about — where will the induction take place? At his boyhood home in Brights Grove where he learned to play the game? Or among the pomp and circumstance of Toronto, where the corporations that support the game reside?