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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

A few words about the million-dollar man

Monday, October 8, 2012

While covering the teenagers of the community is the first priority, every now and then something else happens that is worth spending a day talking about.

Today is one of those days.

No football this week, though extremely thankful both the Trojans and Choctaws earned important wins on Friday and Saturday.

No, today we're going to expand the coverage and talk about what can happen with the proper vision and determination to accomplish big things, really big things.

Just over three years ago, the position of superintendent came open at the city golf course.

There were several qualified individuals vying for the position, and all had good things going for them. Some were younger and had high expectations, while some others perhaps up in the age department threw their names in the ring as well.

When city officials made the decision to hire Bobby Baker to oversee the everyday operations at the course, I don't think I was the only one that realized the city had recorded a hole-in-one with the choice.

Baker had a vision. He wanted to work hard to improve the look of the course. He promised to work harder than anybody to make the hire a success.

Baker has the energy of a 10-year-old, and from the first day he walked into the clubhouse his feet have rarely been on the ground.

I remember when he first took over, Baker acknowledged there was a lot of work to be done to improve several areas of the course, but he was ready to get started.

And he did.

One of the first things taken care of was placing marshals on the course to maintain proper pace of play. If you enjoy playing the game, you too understand how much more enjoyable a round is when you can enjoy it and don't have to wait on slower groups who have no understanding of proper etiquette.

That one was easy, and anyone playing the course will tell you it was very much appreciated and helped immediately.

Baker had plans to clean the place up and return the course to something the city could be proud of. Soon after accepting the position, the cleanup began and the city was fully behind his efforts.

Baker lobbied for much-needed mowers for the fairways as well as for the greens. Through being persistent, Baker received what he needed and the place has never looked better, ever.

In most cases, he is the first one there in the mornings as well as the last to leave after closing down the course.

Earlier I mentioned he had the energy of a 10-year-old, and though he does, Bobby Baker is actually 73 years old.

City leaders, for several different reasons, should applaud his energy and efforts, but the most important may be his desire to make sure the course thrives under his watch.

The course is thriving too. Evidence of that can be measured in the revenue raised during his tenure over the last three years.

On Monday of the past week Baker made his normal trip to City Hall to drop off the weekend receipts. Though he has done it on a regular basis since being hired, this trip was different.

Showing all that hard work and dedication by Baker and his staff has paid off in dollars and cents, Baker strutted into City Hall smiling from ear to ear, and with good reason.

In just over three years, the course has taken in over $1 million and Baker has the receipts to show it proudly.

Yes, I would say the city has a winner on their hands, and the winning will continue as long as someone such as Baker is there to oversee it.

I hope I live to be 73, and if I do I hope I have half the energy I've witnessed with Baker, a friend I now refer to as the million-dollar man.

Your comments are welcome at msmith@ stategazette.com

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