The current featured exhibit at the World Golf Hall of Fame is " Bob Hope: Shanks for the Memory," which runs through 2010 in honor of 1983 Hall of Fame inductee Bob Hope.
More than 400 of Hope's golf artifacts, ranging from the trick golf clubs he used in his USO shows with the troops to a replica of the club that astronaut Alan Shepard used on the moon, are on hand to help tell the story of an entertainer who was hooked on the sport. Shepard said he got the idea to take the club into space after watching Hope constantly walk around a movie set using a driver for better balance.
Besides the Hope exhibit, golf fans can learn what it was like to putt gutta-percha balls with hickory putters on old, spongy greens — just as they putted on them at St. Andrews in the 1800s. There is a room devoted solely to the evolution of golf equipment, showing how the advances have become exponential in recent years.
Fans can even get a glimpse into lockers used by the Hall of Famers to see what personal items and golf essentials they employed.
On the top floor of the Hall of Fame is a display of special interest to golf fans: replicas of the four major championship trophies. This is as close as most of us duffers will ever get to touching one of these prizes.
There also is a golf simulator, enabling one to visually play just about any famous course.
Entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame museum costs $19.50 for adults, $17.50 for people 56 and older, $9 for children 4-12, and it's free for younger kids. There is a special $10 rate until Oct. 4 for Florida and Georgia residents. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at the museum. For information visit wgv.com or call 904-940-4123.
The World Golf Village is 20 minutes south of Jacksonville and 8 miles north of St. Augustine off Interstate Highway 95. Get off the interstate at Exit 323 and follow International Golf Parkway to the entrance.
For accommodations at the village, call 904-940-8000.