Joe Borland, son of Virgil and Constance (née Chitwood) Borland, was born in Appleton City, Missouri on November 17, 1942 and moved to Carthage with his family as a very young boy. Living across the street from the Carthage Golf Course, Joe and his brothers began caddying and watching the adult golfers – building and perfecting their own game around age 8. Through a long golfing career that spanned from junior, high school, military, amateur and senior amateur golf, Joe was a top golfer in Missouri.
Joe was the most exceptional ball-striker in the area throughout his 50 years of golf, winning him almost every recognized tournament in Southwest Missouri. At Carthage High School, he lettered in golf all 4 years and was a member of the Carthage Tiger Big 9 Conference Champions in 1957, 1958 and 1959. Joe finished 1st in the Jaycee Junior Championship in 1962. After high school, Joe went into the service, making the golf team at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka and becoming base champion twice. In 1977, he was the Missouri Amateur Low Qualifier at 71. Joe won the Carthage Pro-Am Championship 4 times and placed an additional 13 times. Joe finished 1st in the Center Creek Open in 1979, 1980 and 1981, as well as 1st in the Lamar Open in 1987. He finished 1st in the Dick Mansfield Championship a record 5 times in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013. Joe was named Carthage Men’s Golf Association (CMGA) Player of the Year in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011 & 2012. He finished first in CMGA stroke play in 2004, 2005 and 2008, as well as senior stroke play in 2011 and 2013. To this day, Joe holds the Carthage Golf Course Record of 59, set in 1998. In his career, Joe has 39 individual 1st place finishes and 50 team 1st place finishes, as well as 32 second place finishes in individual and team play.
Joe was inducted into the Joplin Golf Hall of Fame in 2014, alongside his brothers Glen and Gary. The induction ceremony was the largest turnout for the Joplin Golf Foundation in its long history. In addition to his exceptional golf ability, Joe was always willing to share his time and talents with junior golfers. Fellow golfers describe him as soft-spoken, but approachable, engaging, helpful and caring. Joe Borland is the most common name on the trophies for the Carthage Men’s Golf Association. In 2020, the CMGA Player of the Year Trophy will be named after Joe. For generations to come, the highest golfing honor in Carthage will be the Joe Borland CMGA Player of the Year trophy.
Joe married Melva Borland (née Jordan) in 1964, raised 3 children in Carthage and worked at Atlas/I.C.I. for 30 years in addition to playing many rounds of golf with buddies. He died August 27, 2018 and is buried in Park Cemetery.