Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gold Hall of Fame Has New Chief

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gold Hall of Fame Has New Chief

Article excerpt

Bruce Lucker thinks there needs to be more going on at the World Golf Village.

That is one of Lucker's goals in his role as the new chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame. But don't expect activities to increase overnight.

These things take time, Lucker said.

"Northeast Florida is an emerging area, and the World Golf Village can evolve into a world-class resort," he said.

Attendance at the St. Johns County attraction off Interstate 95 has been substantially lower than officials predicted.

Before it opened in May 1998, officials thought 1 million people would come each year. That number was later lowered to 500,000, then to 420,000. But only about 350,000 guests visited the facility during its first year, officials said in May.

"They have not come along as quickly as we expected," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said yesterday at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce's Cornerstone luncheon, where he was the keynote speaker.

Finchem said the World Golf Village should be "a living, breathing facility" that should constantly change to attract golfers and non-golfers.

That's something Lucker will try to address in his new job, which was officially announced yesterday.

He will be taking over some duties that had been handled by Ruffin Beckwith when he was executive director of the World Golf Foundation, which oversees the World Golf Hall of Fame and IMAX theater.

Now senior vice president of golf development for the foundation, Beckwith will oversee golf-related activities at the Hall of Fame, including the nomination, balloting and induction of players into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Lucker will be responsible for working with the World Golf Village's partners to assist with the coordination of marketing and advertising at the village. He also will oversee the village's daily operations. …

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