Borders said his induction was a complete surprise. A longtime member of the Georgia State Golf Association’s board of directors, the Woodstock resident was forced to recuse himself from voting when he was nominated.
“I had to actually leave the meet,” said Borders. “I’m in an awkward position, but I certainly appreciate it.”
What Borders may have lacked in skill, he made up for a passion for the game. A fixture of the Georgia chapter of Club Managers Association of America, he is known for his professional development and mentoring.
“I certainly wasn’t looking for accolades while I was in the business side of golf,” Borders said. “To be inducted with all of my heroes from Georgia that I spent 42 years serving is really something. I’m not getting in because of any golfing prowess, but because of the administration and volunteerism.”
Borders retired in March from his position as the general manger of Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, where he served for 22 years. He will be the first club manager to be inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
Borders plans to stay busy despite his recent retirement.
“We have a farm down in southeast Cherokee County, and I will be playing a little golf and doing a little fly fishing,” he said. “We have 11 acres of farm, so it takes a little work.”
Born in Perry in 1947, Borders attended Mercer University on a partial golf scholarship and graduated in 1969 before serving as an officer in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He participated in various golf competitions while in the service and built a driving range while stationed in Vietnam.
Upon returning home, Borders earned a second bachelor’s degree from Florida State University before going to work at Atlanta Athletic Club. Over the next 11 years, he held various positions and arranged for club to host several major events, including the 1976 U.S. Open, 1981 PGA Championship, 1982 Junior World Cup and 1984 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
In 1986, Borders was named the general manager of Horseshoe Bend Country Club in Roswell, but left the post two years later to take the same position as Atlanta Athletic Club.
During that tenure, the club hosted the 1990 U.S. Women’s Open, 2002 U.S. Junior Amateur and 2001 and ’11 PGA Championships. Borders also oversaw extensive renovations of the club’s two courses and the clubhouse and was key in the creation of the Bobby Jones Room, named after the famed amateur star of the early 20th century.
Borders was named the Club Manager of the Year by the CMAA in 1992, Alumnus of the Year by Florida State in 2001 and Operator of the Year by Golf Inc. in 2005.
Borders has also prided himself on establishing relationships abroad. He organized golf trips to Scotland and Ireland.
Other members of the Class of 2014 include Bob Cupp of Atlanta, Frank Eldridge of Valdosta, and Stephen Keppler of Kennesaw. While Cupp’s name might not be familiar to Cherokee County, his handiwork is as he designed two of the county’s courses — Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground and Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek along the Cherokee-Fulton county lines.
The induction ceremony will be held at Atlanta Athletic Club on January.