Golf & Travel Personalities

The business of golf and travel is a fascinating one and involves a lot of interesting individuals.  This section of is intended to showcase people who have or continue to influence the quality and changes in golfing and travelings.  We hope you will enjoy discovering more facts and little know information about our selection of people featured in this section.

If you have a story to tell about someone who you feel has made a difference in your traveling experiences, please let us know by writing to:  Tell us about this person, send us a digital photo and how we can reach the individual for additional information.

Here is a list of people featured thus far:

Barney Adams...A Stroke of Genuis?
Story by: Jim Claggett

Barney Adams has a better than average understanding about the golf product world.  I mean, the man started Adams golf back in 1998, introducing many a golfer to the Tight Lies fairway wood.It’s something which looks pretty good on a resume and lends a bag full of credibility when talking golf innovation.

He has since retired from that pursuit and now is introducing players to his latest golf adventure-the Stability putter shaft, courtesy of Breakthrough Golf Technology in Richardson, Texas. (READ MORE OF THIS STORY)

Luis Colon, Head Golf Professional At Mission Inn Resort

Luis Colon

Luis (Lou) Colon has been named head golf professional at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the Hills, Florida, where he has served as assistant pro since 2014.

An Army veteran, Colon retired from active duty at the rank of Sergeant Major following 23 years of service.  He managed the careers of over 24,000 soldiers with a specialization in human resources.

Colon attended the Golf Academy of American in Orlando and graduated with honors in 2014.  He will oversee golf operations at this 36-hole facility, named among the top courses in America by Golf Advisor.  (READ MORE...)

Wayne Smith, PGA Professional
Blowing Rock Country Club

In 1984, the Blowing Rock Country Club was looking for a golf director, and the list of candidates was long and impressive.  The selection committee faced an arduous task, but was relieved that one name on the list stood out.

That was Wayne Smith, a young professional from Florida.  His credentials were outstanding, and his personality radiated during the interview.  His list of accomplishments at clubs he had served was persuasive and convincing.  Smith was hired by an enthusiastic committee.

That decision has proved to be a good one. (READ MORE...)

North Carolina Sports Hall of Famer
Bill Hensley Writes About
"My Golfing Career"

Bill Hensley with Hound Ears #9 green and clubhouse in the background.

As a veteran writer, promoter and player, I have been involved with the game of golf for sixty-six years, dating to my first round in 1950.  During that time I have played 231 of North Carolina’s nearly 600 hundred courses and an untold amount in other places in the states and abroad.

With that background, it is not surprising that interested people often ask me what my favorite in-state courses are. That’s an easy question.

Over the years, nine courses in particular have become my favorites, meaning  courses that I truly love and would enjoy playing every day for the rest of my life. They are,  in no particular order, Pinehurst No. 2, Charlotte Country Club, Hound Ears Club, Country Club of North Carolina’s Dogwood course, Pine Needles, Mid Pines,  Linville Golf Club, Biltmore Forest Country Club and the Old North State Club. (READ MORE...)


Bend, Oregon – Tetherow Resort in Bend, Oregon, home of the David McLay Kidd 18-hole championship golf course, has appointed PGA Golf Professional, Jake Edwards, as Head Golf Professional.  

Edwards joins Tetherow from the renowned Vintage Club in Indian Wells, California, where he was Golf Professional for seven years. There he provided the highest level of customer service in golf operations, membership and teaching. In addition to working with The Vintage Club members, Edwards worked alongside such legendary pros as Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Mike Weir, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Luke List, Annika Sorenstam, Natalie Gulbis and others. (READ MORE...)

College of Coastal Georgia School of Business
and Public Management to Honor Reg Murphy

Brunswick, GA – What’s in a research center name change? According to the dean and faculty of the College’s School of Business and Public Management: much, especially when the name change is to honor a well-known private citizen who is a friend, advocate, volunteer and financial supporter of a public institution. On Thursday evening, October 8, the Coastal Georgia Center for Economic Analysis and Student Research will officially become The Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies.

Reg Murphy
Reg Murphy

Students, faculty and staff, Foundation trustees, friends of the College and the Murphy family, and members of the community are invited to gather at 6 p.m. in the Stembler Theatre of the Campus Center for the presentation by College President Greg Aloia; Dr. Skip Mounts, Dean of the School of Business and Public Management; Dr. Don Mathews, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center; Buff Levy, President and Editor of The Brunswick News anda College Foundation trustee; Dr. Bee Carlton, Director of Athletics; and Pete Correll, businessman, philanthropist and the 2015 recipient of the College Foundation’s Alaimo Award for Public Service. (READ MORE...)

Rick Mattox, Head Professional, PGA, King and Prince Golf Club
St. Simons Island, GA...Recently, had the opportunity to meet Rick Mattox, general manager and head professional of the King and Prince Golf Course on St. Simons Island. He is truly a gracious gentleman and a blessing to the game of golf.

In 2011, the Georgia Section of the PGA honored Mattox with the Bill Strasbaugh Award. This is the highest honor bestowed on a golf professional in the State for showing outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring PGA Professionals and who have made a significant impact on the careers of others. In presenting this award to Mattox, the PGA stated that he is one of America’s most respected golfers, leading their club for nearly 23 years. (Read More...

Ron McPherson, CEO Antiqua Group, Inc.
Scottsdale, AZ - Ron McPherson, a former state amateur champion who is now the president and CEO of the Antigua Group Inc., based in Peoria, will be inducted into the Arizona Hall of Fame on November 21, 2011 at Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale after the completion of a pro-am scramble tournament. McPherson has been involved with golf on various levels, began playing very young and became a proficient amateur player.

McPherson, who was born in Montana and grew up in Wyoming, literally worked his way from the bottom to the top of Antigua, where he was the very first hire (sales manager) in 1979 of a company then called Eagle Golf. From humble beginnings in a Scottsdale warehouse with one embroidery machine, Antigua has grown into one of the nation's leading brands in lifestyle apparel and accessories. (Read More...)

Kurt Thompson, Golf Director, Linville Ridge, NC
When Kurt Thompson was playing professional baseball, he had no idea that he would end up in the golf business, let alone be associated with  prestigious golf courses, teach celebrities, and play with some of the game’s best players.

His entry into the golf world came in a roundabout fashion that saw the transformation of an unknown hacker, who had played golf only a few times, to the popular Golf Director at one of the country’s finest clubs:  Linville Ridge.

“I never dreamed of being a golf professional,” Thompson admits.  “I was into baseball big time, and if that failed I would turn to a career in the business world.  I had no experience in golf, hadn’t played it in high school or college, and knew little about the game.”

But all that changed. (Read More...)

Bob Kletcke, Augusta National and Grandfather Golf and Country Club Head Professional, Ret.
LINVILLE—Bob Kletcke can’t remember when he wasn’t involved with the game of golf.

The retired Augusta National and Grandfather Golf and Country Club head professional, spends his summers at Grandfather, was introduced to the game at an early age.

“From the time I was three, I was always with my father when he played in golf tournaments in the Chicago area,” Kletcke explained. Known in the Windy City as “the Golfing Fireman,” Eddie Kletcke won the Chicago amateur championship in 1941, the Cook County Amateur in 1946,1947 and 1948, and once qualified for the US Open. (Read More...)

Bill Hall, Golf Director, Charlotte Country Club
CHARLOTTE—Bill Hall first picked up a golf club when he was 13, liked what he had discovered, and began thinking of a career in the game he loved, giving up his high school baseball and football career in the process.

His dream came true, and during the past 30 years  he has established a colorful and distinguished reputation as one of golf’s tops club professionals. (Read More...)


Josh Smith, Superintendent, Elk River Golf Club
BANNER ELK, NC—Each morning at 6am from April through October, Josh Smith parks his motorcycle, fastens a two-way radio and a cell phone to his belt, jumps in a golf cart and heads to his workplace, a 125- acre garden spot of lush green grass surrounded by stately trees and beautiful wildflowers. (Read More...)

Woody Allen - Charlotte, NC...Woody Allen is the Director of Golf at the Golf Club at Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge. On most days he looks the part, wearing a golf shirt with a Ballantyne logo and a freshly pressed pair of slacks. He’s tall, lean, has an athletic build and can often be seen sneaking in a practice swing with an imaginary club. (Read More...)

Cecil Brandon - "Mr. Myrtle Beach Golf"
Cecil Brandon is just another guy on Main Street in Blowing Rock as he stops to chat with local merchants, mails a package at the post office, and grabs a quick lunch at Knight’s restaurant. (Read More...)


Oliver Peacock - Banner Elk, NC
Oliver Peacock’s occupation could only be described as a labor of love. During the season he is on the job from ten to twelve hour days a day seven days a week. The rest of the year—when the club is closed—he is busy with paper work, golf shop buying, trade shows, personnel matters, and a variety of administrative chores. (Read More...)


Allen Storie - Director of Agronomy at the Hound Ears Club, Blowing Rock, NC
BLOWING ROCK—Getting a teenaged boy to mow grass and tend to the lawn would be a difficult task, but those chores came easy for Allen Storie who is the new Director of Agronomy at the Hound Ears Club.

When he was 15 and in high school, Storie took a summer job working on the golf course maintenance staff at the Grandfather Golf and Country Club. During his tenure he learned how to grow grass, mow it, keep it free from weeds and diseases and to lay sod. He also learned how to drive a tractor, rake sand bunkers, paint benches and ball washers, use a weedeater, and a few other pertinent activities. (Read More...)

The Winner of the First Two PGAs:  1916 & 1919

As the world of men’s professional golf looks forward to this year’s first two majors, it gives us a chance to reflect on the man who won the first two PGAs (in 1916 and 1919), yet never won or even played in the Masters – England’s Jim Barnes.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the second PGA victory by Barnes, who also won a U.S. Open (1921) and an Open Championship (1925) during his long and distinguished career that generated 28 tournament wins, 21 of which are categorized as official PGA Tour victories.  Those four major championship titles put Barnes on the list of 17 golfers who have won at least three of golf’s four professional majors in their careers.  (READ MORE...)