Photo: Mike Mack (left) at Burlington's indoor learning center

Mike Mack, the longtime head PGA professional at Burlington Country, has never been reticent about where his passion in golf lies.

He’s been a supporter of junior golf since his first day on the job, dating back to 1982.

“I guess you could say if I have a legacy, it would be as someone who loves being around people and who loves to grow the game of golf,” said Mack, 62, a recent inductee into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame Class of 2020. He is joined in the class by Bob Barnett, who was the first PPGA section president in 1921.

Mack is legendary in his work with young golfers. At Burlington Country Club, he introduced golf to the Special Olympics in his region and served as the instructor. He was honored for his work with the inner-city youth of Camden and also promoted team matches for juniors among golf clubs in southern New Jersey.

Spending time with charitable groups like the Buddy Club and Variety Club, he has helped to support local youth. He has worked with disabled children, including wheelchair-bound children and others with leg braces. His involvement grew into a program for disabled children in the southern N.J. and Philadelphia region.

“It was worth every second. It was always a fun day. We would bring the kids here and work with them for hours and hold different events. We bussed in kids from Camden and we would chip and putt with them for hours on the range. I just love working with kids,” Mack said.

He has also been involved with the PGA HOPE Philadelphia program, the flagship military program of PGA REACH Philadelphia, the charitable foundation of the Philadelphia PGA Section. The program helps teach the sport to veterans with disabilities.

“What you do shows how much you enjoy game and how passionate you are about it, whether it’s with adults, children, veterans or minorities,” said Mack, who was gratified when Burlington Township High School won the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions in 2012. He had taught the game to each team member.  Another student of his includes Michael Hyland of Little Mill Country Club, who has won the NJSGA Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships.

For his tireless efforts, Mack has been named a Teacher of the Year by Golf Magazine and was named the Philadelphia PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1999. 

He created the Burlington Classic event in 1986, one of the longest-running events on the Philadelphia PGA Section’s tournament calendar. The tournament awards the low PGA Professional and low pro-am team. Mack’s team won the event in 2007.

His biggest victory came in 2002 in the Westlake Invitational, a 36-hole championship that is one of the top-rated events in the section. Mack finished second in the Philadelphia PGA Section championship in 1994 and third in 2000. He has qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship twice and the Senior PGA Professional National Championship once. He also played on six Section Challenge Cup teams.

“My biggest disappointment was never winning the section or the NJSGA Open championships. I had a couple seconds and some decent finishes, but I never got the job done. It’s okay. I really didn’t practice much as I was busy with my job. But I was proud of my playing career because I could always compete despite having a full-time job in between,” Mack stated.

As an innovator, he built one of the Section’s first indoor teaching studios at Burlington Country Club. It is widely sought-after for use by his students and club members.

“I’m teaching some girls who rank in the top 50 in the country. Our indoor studio is high technology and allows me to get in depth with what I can teach,” Mack said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.”

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