The venerable Louisville club follows Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the famed “Louisville Slugger” baseball bat, and Churchill Downs as the only entities to be selected into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
Valhalla Golf Club, home to some of the game’s most dramatic major championships and the site of the last victorious United States Ryder Cup Team, has been selected to a rare berth in the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
Valhalla follows Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the famed “Louisville Slugger” baseball bat (2006) and Churchill Downs (2012) as the only entities to be selected into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Valhalla is part of a seven-member class that will be inducted June 18, in a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza in Louisville. The other 2014 honorees are sportscaster Paul Rogers, triathlete Susan Bradley-Cox, basketball coach Stan Hardin, boxer Rudell Stitch, baseball coach Bill Miller and horse trainer/breeder Charles “Redd” Crabtree.
“The PGA of America is honored that Valhalla Golf Club, synonymous with historic moments in the game, is receiving this recognition by the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “The PGA has a great appreciation for the outstanding sports fans in Louisville and throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. To have Valhalla, a PGA of America property, enshrined alongside the state’s greatest legends is testament to those who have worked hard to bring the best in golf to Kentucky and showcase it to the world.”
Founded in 1963, the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes athletes and sports figures who were born in or who have played their respective sport in the State of Kentucky. Past inductees include Muhammad Ali, Pee Wee Reese, Pat Day, Denny Crum and nine with golf connections, including 1964 PGA Champion Bobby Nichols and Valhalla founder Dwight Gahm. Overall, the current class brings the total Hall of Fame membership to 267. Hall of Fame honorees are perpetually enshrined in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
“We’re very proud of all the great sports facilities in Kentucky, and proud that Valhalla Golf Club joins the Hall of Fame,” said Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame member and current board member Dan Neal. “It is up there in its own class for the great excitement that it has generated and the championships it has hosted over the years. Valhalla brings out the best of Louisville and Kentuckians.”
Opened in 1986 and designed by legend Jack Nicklaus, Valhalla Golf Club is listed by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Courses.” It was the site of the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championship, and will host the 96th PGA Championship, Aug. 5–10.
The PGA of America assumed full ownership of Valhalla after the 2000 PGA Championship and the club’s legacy in history-making events included hosting the 2008 Ryder Cup, the 2004 and 2011 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid and the 2002 PGA Professional National Championship.
All net proceeds from the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon and ceremony benefit Kosair Charities.