Diegel was selected through the Veterans Category and Higuchi through the Lifetime Achievement Category. They will be inducted Oct. 20 during the World Golf Hall of Fames annual induction ceremony at World Golf Village near St. Augustine, Fla.
Diegel and Higuchi are important additions to the Hall of Fames membership, said Jack Peter, the Hall of Fames chief operating officer. Diegel was a premier player of 20s and 30s and was one of the first Americans to make his living solely playing golf. And Chako, who still contributes greatly to this sport today, is Japans most successful female golfer. The World Golf Hall of Fame looks forward to welcoming them in October.
A native of Detroit, Mich., Diegel won consecutive PGA Championships in 1928 and 1929. In total, he won 31 PGA Tour events during his career, including four Canadian Opens.
Diegel ended Walter Hagens PGA Championship winning streak at four and consecutive match winning streak at 22 in 1928. That year, he defeated Al Espinosa in the final 6 and 5; in 1929, he dispatched of Jimmy Farrell 6 and 4 in the final.
Diegel was a member of the first four U.S. Ryder Cup teams between 1927 and
1933. After retiring in 1935 due to a hand injury, Diegel became a respected teacher. Before his death in 1951, he also was instrumental in the establishment of the Tucson Open.
Higuchi, a charter member and former star player on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association, now serves as the JLPGAs chairman. She dominated the circuit during the 1960s and 70s, winning the Japans Womens Open eight times and the JLPGA Championship on nine occasions. Higuchi topped the money list in Japan from 1968 to 1976.
In 1977, Higuchi became the first and only Japanese player to win a major
championship when she captured the LPGA Championship. She ended her career with 72 victories worldwide.
Chakos success here in the United States in winning the 1977 LPGA Championship opened the door to the world and inspired her fellow countrymen, both men and women, to follow in her footsteps, said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. Her election is not only in recognition of her outstanding professional career, but also her commitment and dedication to the growth of the game of golf in Japan.