Dave Barber needed a daytime activity.
He worked an afternoon-night shift for the sports department at the Bangor Daily News and didn’t want to sleep all day.
His close friend, BDN photographer Scott Haskell, had taken up golf, so he asked Haskell if he could join him on the course.
That was in 1979.
Barber had dabbled in the sport in the past but developed a real passion for it while playing with Haskell and, a year later, BDN sports editor Bud Leavitt asked him if he would be interested in writing two golf columns a week.
“I asked him if there was enough material out there to write two columns a week. Bud said ‘don’t you worry about that,” Barber recalled. “And he was right. There was plenty of stuff to write about.”
Barber parlayed that opportunity into a 33-year career as the golf writer at the BDN and he is being recognized for his lengthy and impressive career.
Barber will be one of six people inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the Poland Spring Resort.
He will be joined by Maine Senior Amateur and Junior Amateur champ Len Cole from Bangor; the late Harold Alfond, the Belgrade Lakes Golf Club founder, business entrepreneur and philanthropist; well-respected and highly decorated golf pro Tony Decker, who is currently at the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth; Gorham Country Club founder and superintendent Ernest Hawkes; and standout professional and amateur golfer Bob Mathews from Augusta.
Mathews won the Maine Amateur in 1978 and was a runner up the following year.
The six will bring the number of inductees to 139. The Maine Golf Hall of Fame was founded in 1993.
There were 19 nominations for this year’s class.
“I was surprised to be nominated and I am as pleased as punch to go in,” said the 67-year-old Barber, a 1972 Bangor High School graduate and 1977 University of Maine graduate.
He said one of the neat aspects of his honor is being inducted with Cole, “who I covered throughout his career.”
Barber spent 41 years in the sports department at the Bangor Daily News before retiring in 2013. In addition to being the golf writer, he also covered a variety of other sports and served as an assistant sports editor.
One of his highlights as a golf writer was covering the 1988 U.S. Open at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, which was won by Curtis Strange in a playoff against Nick Faldo.
But Barber said the best aspect of his job was meeting “the people who were involved, rather than what they were doing.”
He talked about the professionals he got to know who would come from all over the country to play the Greater Bangor Open year after year because they enjoyed the area and the event, which was held at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course.
He said the late Vern Putney, a fellow Hall of Famer who covered golf for several years for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, was a valuable source of information and someone who was a big help to him. Another one was Hall of Famer and PPH/Maine Sunday Telegram writer Tom Chard.
Barber plays as much golf as he can and still loves the sport, although he admits his scores aren’t as low as they used to be.
He lives in Norway, Maine, with wife Abbie. The former long-time Brewer resident and his wife live near their daughter Holly and her husband, Brian Patry.