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 known 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:

Brad Parker
Long-time general manager Brad Parker will support all regional operations
for South Carolina for the Atlanta-based club management company
ATLANTA (Sept. 20, 2021) – Atlanta-based club management and lifestyle hospitality company Bobby Jones Links is pleased to welcome Brad Parker as the new regional manager of operations for the South Carolina region. Parker will pull from 25 years of cultural and leadership experience in the golf industry as he settles into his new role on the regional team. (READ THE FULL STORY...)

Story by Bill Hensley

One thing is for sure.  Golf has played a major role in my life, both playing it and promoting it.

I was a late starter, not taking up the game until I was 24. And as luck would have it, when I began my public relations firm my first clients were resorts. Now 95, I can look back on 70 wonderful years of involvement in my favorite sport.



Story by: Mike May
Photo Courtesy:
Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

Talented, misunderstood and underappreciated.  That may be the most appropriate and accurate way to describe the life of the late, great Canadian hall of fame golfer Murray ‘Moe’ Norman, who died in 2004 at the age of 75.  To use a popular cliché, ‘Moe’ Norman was the real deal in golf.  When he died, he was a member of three sports halls of fame – 1995 inductee of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, 1999 inductee of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, and a 2000 inductee of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame.  After his death in 2004, he was later inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the PGA of Canada Hall of Fame in 2014.  Frankly, he deserved to have all those halls of fame honors when he was alive. (READ THE FULL STORY...)

Current Winter Park & Former Daytona Beach Resident Reflects on Life Playing Golf

Story by: Mike May

Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Jimmy Demaret, Dr. Cary Middlecoff, and Jack Nicklaus are all past Masters champions – and hall of fame golfers, as well.  Those six golfing legends are also people that former Daytona Beach youth golfing icon and former Daytona Beach-based attorney Joe Eubank either met or saw play when they visited Daytona Beach to play golf over the years.  Eubank is now 83 (2020), retired, and living in Winter Park with his wife Marjie.  He enjoys reflecting on his time spent chasing Old Man Par and the great people he has met along the way.  It’s worth noting that Eubank still plays golf and plays it quite well.  He’s a six handicap at the Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park.  He can still talk the talk and walk the walk. (READ THE FULL STORY...)

Cleveland Country Club Welcomes
Allyson Darling as New General Manager
Bobby Jones Links Appoints New General Manager at Cleveland Country Club in Shelby, NC
Allyson Darling
General Manager
SHELBY, NC. (January 17, 2020) – Atlanta-based national club management firm, Bobby Jones Links is excited to announce the appointment of Allyson Darling to the role of General Manager at Cleveland Country Club. Prior to joining the Cleveland Country Club team, Darling served as the General Manager of the Mixson Club in North Charleston, SC.
In addition to a genuine passion for club business, Darling brings to her new role a well-rounded understanding of club operations, hospitality and sales. After graduation from Johnson & Wales University, Darling spent five years as a Clubhouse Manager with The Golf Club at Briars Creek. Darling later held the title of Director of Sales and Catering at Tristan Restaurant, formerly located in downtown Charleston. Her previous experience also includes various sales positions with Hilton Worldwide and owning and operating her own event support business. Darling was brought on to the Mixson Club team as Membership Director in 2016 before being promoted to the General Manager position in 2018. (READ MORE ABOUT ALLYSON...)

Barney Adams...A Stroke of Genuis?

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...)

College of Coastal Georgia School of Business
and Public Management Honors 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. Recently, the Coastal Georgia Center for Economic Analysis and Student Research officially named 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 gathered 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 and 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...)

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, Jr. - "Mr. Myrtle Beach Golf"
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - Our beloved Weldon Cecil Brandon Jr. of Myrtle Beach S.C. age 91 went to be with his Lord and Savior on May 21, 2021. He passed peacefully at home while surrounded by his family. (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...)