Golf's Winning Twosome

lf Association of America (PGA) provides a window into a rarified world of perfect swings and spectacular courses.  Founded in 1916, the PGA is the world’s largest working sports organization and is indelibly linked with storied names such as Augusta, Pebble Beach and Crooked Stick (located in Carmel), and renowned players like Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. Add Jack Barber to that list, a long time Carmel resident and recipient of one of the highest awards the PGA bestows. In 2009, Jack was recognized as the PGA Professional of the Year and will be inducted into both the National Professional Hall of Fame in November 2011 and the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame in October 2011. Becky Barber, his wife of 40 years, recently shared a little of their background.
How were you attracted to Carmel and how long have you lived here?
Moving here from Lexington, Kentucky 25 years ago, we relied on the advice of friends as well as our realtor® to suggest the best location for us to purchase a home. Carmel was our choice due to the fact that the community managed to retain property values and was conveniently located just north of I-465 close to everything we would want. It was also touted as the place that had great nationally recognized public schools for our two sons and a great local sports 
organization, the Carmel Dad’s Club. In addition, the community offered many opportunities to become involved in a variety of worthwhile organizations.
What have been some of your families’ experiences over the years in Carmel?
I thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with all the elementary, middle and high schools that our sons attended. Every PTO has an incredible body of eager volunteers dedicated to help out in any possible way with fund raising, sponsoring events for the students, showing appreciation for Carmel’s exceptional teachers and staff, etc. In addition, for many years our sons were involved in Carmel Dad’s Club sports and those experiences are some of our most treasured memories. I served on the CDC board and learned firsthand how these volunteers work tirelessly for the benefit of our youth here in Carmel. I imagine it would be hard to find a better program in the country that serves so many youth with the variety of choices than the Carmel Dad’s Club.
How did Jack gain attention as one of the leading PGA professionals in the country?
Jack has been a Class A1 PGA Golf Professional for 35 years, 9 years at Lexington Country Club in Kentucky and 26 years in Indianapolis as Head Professional at Meridian Hills Country Club. In both states he served the state PGA Section as secretary/treasurer, vice president and president. The offices he held gave him the opportunity to travel around the country and to meet many other PGA professionals and principals in the golf industry. In addition, he received numerous PGA section awards in both states, i.e., Teacher of the Year, Professional of the Year and the Horton Smith Award among others. He also credits his success to the extremely competent and hard working staff members that have been in his employ. Jack has mentored over 20 assistant professionals, some of whom are now head professionals themselves, and he views this as one of his main opportunities to give back to the game of golf.
What were some of the highlights for Jack as recipient of this national award?
It was an honor that Jack was chosen by a group of his peers out of more than 28,000 fellow professionals. The recipient of the award is looked upon as a model PGA Professional who exhibits 37 recognizable traits as a teacher, player and humanitarian to name a few. With his induction into both the PGA Professional and Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, Jack will be part of a select group and it is humbling that he is in such elite company. In the golf industry, the PGA Professional of the Year is actually treated with rock star status….simply unbelievable! Jack is proud of the recognition this award has brought to the Indiana PGA section, Meridian Hills Country Club and all his former staff.
by Becky Barber • Interviewed by Jackie Holloway