Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

June 9, 2012

A future PGA player?

Logan Barker, 14, eyes career as a pro golfer

VALDOSTA — It is a mostly sunny day in June. The temperature is in the mid-80’s and school is no longer in session. Most rising high school freshman are spending the day sitting by the pool, spending time with friends or relaxing by playing video games.

Everyone except Logan Barker. Instead, the 14-year old is hard at work on the golf course.

Sporting his purple Nike polo, gray shorts and white belt, Barker places a ball down onto the driving range at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, takes a deep breath and hits the ball right down the middle of the practice range. He repeats this process, while switching clubs, for nearly six hours each day.

This is all in a days work for Barker, who hopes to become the next rising star on the PGA TOUR.

While Barker, who says he looks up to three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, hopes to compete on golf’s highest-level one day, he knows the amount of hard work it will take to get there. For now, he is working hard and competing in both Junior PGA and American Golf Junior Association events, which granted him $4,500 in 2012.

He can use the money granted to him from the AGJA for various expenses, such as entry fees to tournaments, transportation and food.

“It covers everything he may need for a weekend at a tournament,” said Logan’s father, Jay Barker, who became a professional golfer in 1993.

Between the Junior PGA and the AGJA, Barker currently competes in 15-20 events a year, going as far as North Georgia and Tennessee to compete.

When he isn’t competing in events, or doing homework, he is hard at work at Kinderlou Forest, where is a member. And while he spends much of his time working by himself on the driving range, the future Lowndes Viking also works with Kinderlou’s Golf Professional, Bill Robinson, who said Barker has a special gift and talent.

“I see Logan out here practicing a lot, he hits a lot of range balls,” said Robinson. “And somebody that has that desire, it means a whole lot.”

Robinson is the third different PGA professional to work with Barker, who has also worked with JR Leonard at Francis Lake Country Club and Chris Dixon, the former professional at Kinderlou Forest.

“It means a lot,” said Barker of the help he has already received. “I am very thankful to have this course and all the people that have helped me.”

The hard work Barker has already put into the game of golf has already paid off. He has already managed to shoot in the 60’s — a 69 to be exact — at Kinderlou Forest, one of the toughest courses around.

“He is a big kid and he hits it a long ways for a 14-year old. And length is so important now-a-days,” said Robinson. “So, he is only going to get better. Each tournament that he plays in, he is going to learn from his mistakes and hopefully he will get better as he gets older.”

With Barker continues to improve his golf game and rise through the ranks of golf, the pressure will also rise, something he says he already feels.

“I just try to put that (pressure) behind me and try to play. It is all about having fun,” Barker said. “And not getting too angry and throwing clubs and everything — just a cool, calm game.”

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog