ST. AUGUSTINE, FL. — Billy Payne, along with four others, including Retief Goosen, Jan Stephenson, Dennis Walters and the late Peggy Kirk Bell will officially join the ranks of the World Golf Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.
These five new members will be enshrined at the World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, June 10, 2019 in Pebble Beach the week of the men’s U.S. Open Championship. The ceremony will take place at the Sunset Center in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA. Billy Payne is an Atlanta native and a former Georgia Bulldog.
Billy Payne, United States
Lifetime Achievement Category
During his 11 years as Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club from 2006 to 2017, William Porter “Billy” Payne oversaw a number of significant achievements including the introduction of female members into the club’s membership. He originated the Drive, Chip & Putt National Championship with the USGA and PGA of America and established the Asia-Pacific Amateur and Latin America Amateur tournaments, each offering guaranteed Masters’ spots to the winners. Named the GWAA’s William D. Richardson Award recipient, Payne also received the Olympic Order after serving as president and CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games from 1992 to ’96. Continuing his legacy and involvement with the Olympics, Payne was a key figure in the successful return of golf to the 2016 Games.
“The 2019 Induction Class is one of the most well-rounded groups we’ve had to date,” said Jack Peter, President of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “It is our honor and privilege to welcome Peggy Kirk Bell, Retief Goosen, Billy Payne, Jan Stephenson and Dennis Walters to the World Golf Hall of Fame family. We are excited to begin working with them as we gear up for the Induction Ceremony in Pebble Beach this June.”
The Class of 2019 was elected by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Commission, which debated a group of 15 finalists. The Inductees each passed the required 75 percent voting threshold – approval by at least 12 of the 16 members.
The Selection Commission was Co-Chaired by Hall of Fame Members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam and included the members of the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors and a mix of institutional and at-large seats.
The finalists were vetted by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee vetted every candidate that met the qualifications of the Hall of Fame’s four Induction categories.