Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

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.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • rachel.jpg Factor X Fitness holds Fitness Classic

    South Georgia is on the verge of muscling its way back into the national bodybuilding scene, ending a lengthy absence.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • No. 21 Blazer Softball faces Lee in regular season finale

    Expect Blazer Nation to be out at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park in full force today and Saturday to watch their No. 21 Valdosta State softball team take on the Lee Lady Flames in the final series of the 2014 regular season.

    April 18, 2014

  • VHSsigning.jpg Goals Achieved

    The Valdosta High Wildcats hosted a scholarship signing ceremony for senior soccer player Dale Fulton Kent on Thursday afternoon in the schools’ Performing Arts Center.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog
More