I wanted to acknowledge and recognize the excellence of the compilation and thought by Sven and Mike on this post. I have read carefully through all the articles here. I admit I started out overly cynical about H.H. Barker and the work he did in the U.S. from 1907 to 1914. It was mostly due to my simplistic understanding of Walter Travis, who was at the center of golf in the U.S. in the pre-war years and dominated whatever discipline he focused his attention upon. Certainly, there must have been times when Barker experienced and endured the force of Travis' personality. Still, I wasn't giving Walter Travis enough credit for his humanity.
It seems clear that Barker completed most of his golf course designs on his own, especially after his first few years in the United States. I see Walter Travis as mostly a supportive and generous mentor to Barker, even if there were times when Travis was over-controlling. It's likely that Travis was mostly responsible for discovering Barker at the age of 24 and hiring him at Garden City in 1907. Walter Travis was Barker's patron in those first years. Travis enlisted Barker to work on the golf course with him at Garden City and Barker absorbed Travis' revolutionary ideas about how to design strategic and challenging golf courses. Travis helped his mentee to organize his start-up design business by placing ads for golf course design in his new magazine, American Golfer. It was a stroke of good luck. The magazine was an instant success and Barker was the only one advertising golf course design services in its first year. Travis gave Barker space in the magazine for bylined articles, which helped build his reputation. It's quite likely Travis helped him to write them. Barker would naturally have espoused some of the new ideas about golf architecture that Travis believed in. When requests for golf course design work came into the magazine in 1909 and 1910, Travis likely funneled them Barker's way. Barker would have asked his mentor for advice on his early designs. He may not have had much choice especially in his first years at Garden City.
By 1911, Barker had flown the nest and was on his way. I give them both credit for such a positive relationship. I don't think Barker was just some kind of front for Travis' architectural ambitions. Like so many others' lives in this era just before WW1, Barker's life also took a big turn when the war started. He returned home and was caught up in the war effort. He stayed home after the war ended. During his years in the U.S., H.H. Barker worked extremely hard, traveled to many corners of the United States, and was an influential force in the early years of the Golden Age. Even in his twenties, he had health issues. He died at the young age of 41 in 1924. He was a fast study, a hard worker, and quite likely the kind of person who was quickly able to establish trust with the local leaders he met on his visits to new and existing golf clubs. If the war had not occurred, it's not impossible to think he might have become one of the giants of the age.