Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (November 6, 2020) — The Philadelphia PGA Section and its Hall of Fame Committee has inducted PGA Members Mike Mack and Bob Barnett into its Hall of Fame as the class of 2020. Mack and Barnett are the 44th and 45th members of the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Mike Mack, the longtime PGA Head Professional at Burlington Country Club in Westampton, N.J., turned professional in 1977 and was elected to PGA of America Membership in 1981. Prior to joining Burlington, he worked at West Chester (Pa.) Golf & Country Club, Kennett Square (Pa.) Golf & Country Club, and Brookside Country Club in Pottstown, Pa., where he worked for Pete Dever.
“I am honored to be mentioned in the same breath as legendary PGA Members like Dick Smith Sr., Pete Trenham, Jack Connelly, Ed Dougherty, Art Wall, and the like,” said Mack. “I am thankful to the Hall of Fame Committee, our Executive Director Geoffrey Surrette, and to those who nominated me, Bob Hennefer and Curtis Kirkpatrick. I’m very fortunate to be part of the best Section in the nation, the Philadelphia PGA.”
Mack has been Burlington’s PGA Head Professional for over 39 years, an increasingly uncommon feat in today’s world, and while his position includes many managerial responsibilities, he has always remained an impassioned coach and teacher. In an effort to improve his own practice as well as the club’s profile, he built one of the Section’s first indoor teaching studios, which still gets perennial use by his students and Burlington’s members.
Furthermore, Mack’s engagement within the community has improved the lives of many. He has been involved with the PGA HOPE Philadelphia program, the flagship military program of PGA REACH Philadelphia, the charitable foundation of the Philadelphia PGA Section, which introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Mack also works with the Buddy Club, Variety Club, and Golf for Life charities to help support local youth. Impressively, he was also the first to introduce the game of golf to the Special Olympics regionally, and has been honored for his work with Camden’s inner-city youth.
In addition to his duties at Burlington, Mack has been involved with the Section at the highest levels. He was first elected to the Section’s Board of Directors in 1989, and served as a Section officer in multiple roles, including Tournament Chair, 1994-95; Secretary, 1996-97; Vice President, 1998-99; and as the Section’s 33rd President, 2000-01.
Mack has always considered playing the game of golf to be an important aspect of being a PGA Professional, and as a result, created the Burlington Classic golf tournament in 1986, one of the longest-running events on the Section’s tournament calendar. The Burlington Classic has been played annually since its inception (with the exceptions of 2000 and 2005, when the club hosted the Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship, and 2020, when it was cancelled due to the global pandemic) and has become a favorite among many Philadelphia PGA Tournament Players Division members. The tournament awards the low PGA Professional and low pro-am team; Mack won the team event in 2007.
Mentoring is also a passion of Mack’s, as he has helped usher many young PGA Associates to their PGA Membership and also served as a Dick Smith Cup Captain, an event created to celebrate 24 of the Section’s best PGA Assistant Professionals. He was also named the 1999 Philadelphia PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor the Section can bestow on its members. Mack was nominated to the Hall of Fame by PGA Members Bob Hennefer and Curtis Kirkpatrick.
The class of 2020’s second inductee, Robert Thompson “Bob” Barnett Jr., has been inducted posthumously. Barrett turned professional in 1914 to work as an assistant professional at Bala Golf Club in Philadelphia prior to serving in France for the U.S. Army in World War I. When he returned to the United States, he earned his PGA Membership in 1917 while working as the PGA Professional at Pocono Manor (Pa.) Golf Club. Barnett became the PGA Professional at the now defunct Tredyffrin Country Club in Paoli, Pa., in 1920, where they hosted the Main Line Open beginning in 1921, a golf tournament that attracted the nation’s top players. Barnett and Tredyffrin also hosted the first-ever Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship.
When the Philadelphia PGA Section was formally established on December 2, 1921, Barnett was unanimously selected by his peers to become the Section’s first president, a role he held for two years. Barnett was just 25 years old at the time.
In March 1923, Barnett resigned from Tredyffrin after accepting the PGA Professional position at the Chevy Chase (Md.) Club, and thus his position as Section president. Barnett went on to help found the Middle Atlantic PGA Section in 1925, and a year later became its second president. During his near 20-year stint at Chevy Chase, he also served as PGA Head Professional at Indian Creek Country Club in Miami, Fla., where he trained two young PGA Professionals, who ultimately became PGA leaders in their own right: Max Elbin, who served as PGA of America President, 1966-68; and Bill Strausbaugh, who became the namesake of PGA’s mentorship award. Nineteen-forty-seven U.S. Open champion Lew Worsham also worked for Barnett at both Chevy Chase and Indian Creek.
“We take great pride in welcoming Mike and Bob to our Hall of Fame,” said Philadelphia PGA Section Executive Director Geoffrey Surrette, PGA. “Our Section would not be where it is today without Barnett’s early leadership and Mack’s ongoing dedication to the game and fellow PGA Professionals. We proudly inscribe their names into our Section’s rich and storied history.”
About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.
Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org