The Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame was established in 1972 by the Board of Directors of the Southern Golf Association. The following qualifications were established as criteria for nomination of an inductee, but an inductee does not have to meet every single criteria. The candidate must have: 1) Outstanding competitive career; 2) Outstanding administrative contributions; 3) Outstanding promotional contributions; 4) The candidate must have met the above criteria while a member of a Southern Golf Association Member Club. The Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame is unique in that it does not necessarily induct a member each year, nor does it select multiple inductees.
The Southern Golf Association Directors elected Joe H. King of Birmingham as their inductee for 1998. Joe has been outstanding in all the criteria expected of an inductee. He first became associated with golf administration in the late 1940's when he was elected as Director of the Alabama Golf Association. He served as director of that body for over forty years and served as its President in 1959 and again in 1969. He was elected Director Emeritus of the Alabama Golf Association in 1989 and still remains active in its affairs. His involvement with the Alabama Golf Association led to his appointment to the USGA Sectional Affairs Committee. He has served as a Rules Official in 23 U.S. Opens, eight U.S. Senior Opens, 14 U.S. Amateurs, seven U.S. Mid-Amateurs, two U.S. Senior Amateurs and numerous other competitions at the local, regional and national levels. Joe has also served as a Director of the Southern Golf Association for the past 16 years and continues as an active member of that Association, including Chairman of the 1998 Southern Championship hosted by The Country Club of Birmingham.
In his competitive days, Joe qualified and played in the 1981 U.S. Open, three U.S. Senior Amateur Championships and once in the British Amateur. He was a winner of the club championship at Anniston Country Club, and has been Senior Club Champion at both The Country Club of Birmingham and Mountain Brook Club.
In golf circles, he served as President of Anniston Country Club in 1955 & 1956, Golf Chairman of the Country Club of Birmingham from 1970 to 1972 and President of the Alabama Senior Golf Association in 1985.
Joe was selected as Amateur of the Year by the Dixie Section of the PGA in 1969 and again in 1980. He was inducted in the Birmingham Golf Association Hall of Fame in 1974 and given the Distinguished Service Award by the Alabama Senior Golf Association in 1993. Also in 1993 the Alabama Golf Association named its Achievement Award the Joe H. King Award and made Joe one of its first recipients. Joe received the Isaac B. Grainger Award in 1995 and the Joe Dey Award in 1998, both from the USGA.
Joe is a member and perennial Rules Chairman of The Country Club of Birmingham and an honorary member of Grayson Valley Country Club in Birmingham and The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga.
A 1941 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Joe served in the Army Corps of Engineers in World War II from 1941 to 1946. As a retired vice president of U.S. Pipe & Foundry Co., Joe is one of the most well respected gentlemen in the game of golf. His dedication to the amateur game can be seen in all aspects of the Alabama and Southern Golf Associations, as well as in the USGA. He is a very respected and well-established citizen of the Birmingham area and will continue to lead the game of golf for many years to come.