(Franklin, TN) – Elected to membership in December of 1994, Mickey Barker has proven over the years that he is a pillar of the Memphis community, to his chapter, and to the Tennessee Section. Barker has spent the majority of his career in the city of Memphis, first as the Facility Manager and Head Professional for 14 years starting in 2001 at The Links at Galloway, then as an Administrator for Golf for the past 8 years with the City of Memphis. Since becoming the Administrator for Golf in 2014, Barker has been instrumental in numerous renovation projects at the 7 golf courses in the City of Memphis that he oversees. Barker is known to inspire fellow golf professionals through his work ethic, commitment to serving the community, and genuine support to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
“It is an unbelievable honor,” said Barker. “When I consider all the deserving professionals that are in the Tennessee Section, I am truly humbled and honored. For almost 30 years, I have seen the professionals that have been voted Golf Professional of the Year in the Tennessee Section and to be included with those names is the honor of my career.”
Across the city of Memphis, Barker has been an integral part in the renovation projects of the golf facilities under the Memphis Public Links umbrella. These renovations include complete rebuilds of The Links at Galloway, The Links at Pine Hill, The Links at Fox Meadows, and currently The Links at Audubon. In his current role Barker also provides support to each of the 7 golf course staffs. There are three PGA Professionals and one PGA Associate on the roster of Course Managers that Barker supervises.
“Mickey is a great supervisor because he gives you support when you need it while at the same time letting you manage your operation on a day-to-day basis,” said The Links at Galloway Head Professional Sean McFetridge, PGA. “I consider myself lucky to call him my boss and a friend.”
Barker has produced results, both for the City of Memphis and the golfers of the Memphis area. In 2022, the Memphis Public Links courses, with Barker’s support, were able to conduct a full tournament schedule of 13 Championship events. These events include men’s, women’s, senior’s, junior’s, and professional events which accounted for almost 1,800 rounds of golf in 2022. In addition, the courses saw over 135,000 rounds played in 2022. You will be hard pressed to find another set of Municipal Golf Courses anywhere in the US that match or beat what Memphis has to offer.
“Mickey Barker wakes up every day and works to make the game of golf better,” said Parks Director Nick Walker. “He and his team invest time into exposing youth to the game of golf and help to develop their skills. Accessibility of the game to all ages, abilities, and interest level is his main priority. Mickey continues to work with partners to bring resources and knowledge to our seven courses that we may otherwise not be able to provide. His management style and awareness of the game ensures that we have some of the best-run public courses in the country right here in Memphis.”
Barker has not only been able to successfully administer renovation projects, but has also been able to lobby for programming such as The First Tee of Memphis and also offer complimentary golf for youth under the age of 18 with the support from the city of Memphis.
“This award would not be possible without the support that we receive from the City Administration,” explained Barker. “From the Mayor to the City Council down to the Parks Administration Team, everyone has been extremely supportive of the direction we are going and truly want to have the best municipal golf system in the country.”
Over the years, Barker has served both the West Tennessee Chapter and the Tennessee Section including being a Chapter Director, Tournament Chair and on the Section Board of Directors. Currently Barker serves as the West Tennessee Growth of the Game Committee Chair. The recipient of the Tennessee Section 2016 Richard Eller Growth of the Game Award and West Tennessee 2015 Bill Strausbaugh Award, Barker is no stranger to being recognized for his commitment to excellence.
Spend only a little bit of time with Mickey Barker and you will understand the passion and commitment he has to not only the game of golf, but to the Memphis community as well. It is this passion for development, unwavering commitment to his fellow PGA Professionals and his community, and genuine love for the game that culminated in Mickey Barker being named the 2022 Tennessee PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
We would also like to recognize the other four individuals who won their chapter Golf Professional of the Year Award. Chattanooga: Chris DeBusk, PGA, of Council Fire – Middle Tennessee: Brooks West, PGA, of Franklin Bridge GC – Tri-Cities: Cody Weems, PGA, of Tennessee Golf Foundation – Knoxville: Casey Flenniken, PGA, Tansi GC. This award is the highest annual honor a Chapter can bestow upon a professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional. All of these individuals are continuing to do amazing things in their respective areas of the state.