Paradise in the Pines
By Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Paradise in the PinesOct 31, 2023
042: Jaime Diaz, Award-Winning Golf Journalist and TV Analyst
Jaime Diaz has spent 40 years documenting happenings in the world of golf. The respect among his peers and a long list of career accolades are many. Diaz is a nine-time Golf Writers Association of America award-winner; earned the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2012; and was recognized by Jack Nicklaus as the recipient of the Memorial Golf Journalism Award. He spent time in his career as a golf writer or editor for the New York Times, Golf Illustrated, Golf World, and Golf Digest. Since 2018, Diaz has appeared regularly on Golf Channel as an in-studio analyst and on Golf Central’s Live From broadcasts at major golf tournaments and events. Originally from San Francisco, Diaz has called Moore County home for 17 years, but this is his first appearance on the Paradise in the Pines podcast. Listen as Diaz talks about the state of the game, LIV Golf vs. the PGA TOUR, his love of Pinehurst and what he really thinks about Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee…
041: Eric Kuester, VP of Sales/Marketing & Business Development, Pinehurst Resort
Eric Kuester started his career at Pinehurst Resort as a front desk agent. Fast forward 20 years and Kuester is now on the front lines of one of America’s greatest golf resorts poised to host the 2024 U.S. Open, its first such championship in 10 years. Since the Resort hosted its first U.S. Open in 1999, capped off with one of the most memorable moments in golf history as Payne Stewart made an iconic putt to win the championship, Pinehurst has been continually adding to its lore. In recent years, the Resort has added new amenities on and off the course, will soon welcome the USGA’s Golf House Pinehurst, the return of the World Golf Hall of Fame, a new course at Pinehurst No. 10, and so much more. Kuester took some time to enter the Paradise in the Pines podcast to tell us more about what we know is coming from Pinehurst and what is to come.
040: Linda Parsons, Pres. CEO Moore County Chamber of Commerce
For nearly 10 years, Linda Parsons has served as the President and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce. During her tenure, Parsons has witnessed the growth of the Moore County business community, seen it more recently impacted by the COVID pandemic, and now emerging as one of the leading areas in North Carolina for growth and a positive business climate. In this episode of Paradise in the Pines, listen as Linda Parsons talks about the Moore County business community and what she sees on the horizon at the Chamber of Commerce.
039: Ashley Baker and Melissa Holt, CVB stars, guest host Daniel Dreyer
We hope you have been enjoying our bi-monthly podcast, Paradise in the Pines. The podcast is all about the people, places and stories that make us the Home of American Golf. This time, the podcast offers a unique twist. In a somewhat hostile takeover, we’re giving our boss a break and taking over the airwaves! In this episode, listen as CVB staffers Dan Dreyer, Ashley Baker and Melissa Holt talk about everything they love about travel, the destination, what they do for the CVB and their favorite recommendations in Moore County. They do it all and never even talk about golf! As you know, we may be golf here, but we are also so much Moore!
038: Sally Austin, LPGA professional, golf trailblazer
From a humble upbringing in Raeford, North Carolina, Sally Austin is recognized inside the Home of American Golf and beyond as a champion and trailblazer for women's golf. Austin's love for the game was instilled by her father and she honed her skills under the tutelage of the legendary Peggy Kirk Bell at Pine Needles, where she still teaches the game today. A faithful and diehard North Carolina Tarheels fan, Sally was part of the first women's varsity golf team at UNC Chapel Hill in 1974 and later became their head coach during the 1992-93 season and directed the program for 16 years. Austin lives in Pinehurst and when not teaching or enjoying all the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area has to offer, she also serves on the prestigious N.C. Golf Panel traveling the state to rank the Top 100 golf courses from the mountains to the coast. In July, Austin won the super senior division of LPGA Professionals National Championship at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA. Sit back and enjoy this episode of Paradise in the Pines with Sally Austin. For more podcasts, go to www.HomeofGolf.com/podcast/
037 Janeen Driscoll, USGA Director of Brand Communications
With Pinehurst Resort officially "on the clock" for the 2024 U.S. Open, we wanted to check in with Janeen Driscoll from the USGA to get the latest updates as we countdown to golf's national championship returning to the Home of American Golf. Plus, what's going on with the build out of Golf House Pinehurst, the World Golf Hall of Fame and so much more. Listen to the latest Paradise in the Pines podcast and learn more about all the excitement with the USGA HQ2 coming to town! @usga @pinehurstresort #visitnc @visitnc #pinehurst #pinehurstnc #usopengolf
036: Chris Vonderkall: Vice President, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation
U.S. Kids Golf is a global brand, recognized around the world as one of the leaders in attracting youth golfers to the game. However, the epicenter of the efforts and leadership for U.S. Kids Golf is right here in the Pinehurst area of North Carolina. Chris Vonderkall is vice-president of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation and has been with the organization for more than two decades. The mission of U.S. Kids Golf is to help kids have fun learning the lifelong game of golf and to encourage family interaction that builds lasting memories. While the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation and their Golf Academy is located at Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Southern Pines, it is perhaps best known inside of the Home of American Golf for its annual U.S. Kids World Golf Championships, played on 11 different golf courses in the Sandhills area during a two-week period from the end of July through early August. In this Paradise in the Pines podcast, Vonderkall talks about his passion for the mission of U.S. Kids Golf, how he arrived and enjoys the Pinehurst area with his family and his love for the Pittsburgh Steelers! @USKidsGolfFDN @pinehurstresort @usga #visitnc #pinehurstnc #homeofamericangolf
035: Wit Tuttell, Executive Director, Visit NC
North Carolina is the sixth most-visited state in the country. The main reason why people make plans to visit the Tarheel State is Wit Tuttell, the Executive Director of Visit NC. Tuttell oversees a team passionate about everything from Murphy to Manteo and every town and hamlet in between, including the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area. To catch up with Wit, who enjoys minor league baseball and barbecue when not touting tourism, we brought our podcast, Paradise in the Pines, to the Visit NC nerve center in downtown Raleigh. Listen in as we learn more about the secret sauce behind the state's travel and tourism strategies and why people choose North Carolina more than ever before. @visitnc @ustravelassoc @SoutheastTourismSociety #visitnc
034: Natalie Hawkins, Moore County Economic Development Partnership
Natalie Hawkins has been leading the charge for Moore County's economic development for over two years. As president of the Moore County Economic Development Partnership (formerly Partners in Progress), she and her team are constantly seeking new business opportunities and enhancing current ones to define the future of the area. To accomplish these goals, Hawkins is constantly speaking and negotiating with elected officials and community leaders to find common interests and solutions for issues and create future opportunities for businesses attracted to Moore County. In her spare time, Hawkins loves to travel, experience new culinary adventures, and get in a little golf from time to time. Check out this Paradise in the Pines episode and learn more about the future vision for the Home of American Golf. #moorecountync #visitnc
030: CCNC: Don Hunter & Jeff Dotson
Happy Anniversary to the Country Club of North Carolina as they celebrate their 60th year. The club has a championship pedigree dating back decades and has witnessed some of the greats in the game compete in USGA and other notable events, including the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Hal Sutton, Fred Couples and Webb Simpson, among many others. In April 2023, CCNC will host the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Golf Championship on their Dogwood Course (April 21-24). The Dogwood (#3) and Cardinal courses (#13) are ranked high in the latest N.C. Golf Panel poll of the Top 100 courses in the state. Aside from golf, the club provides an array of amenities and experiences for its members and guests. They've even embraced the latest sports craze - Pickleball! Listen to this Paradise in the Pines podcast as Don Hunter (COO) and Jeff Dotson (Director of Golf) talk about the legacy and what's yet to come at The Country Club of North Carolina. @usga @visitnc #visitnc @GolfChannel #pickleball #golf For more information about the Pinehurst area of North Carolina, visit: www.HomeofGolf.com
27: Joshua Peyton, President & CEO - Veteran Golfers Association
Joshua Peyton is a purpose-driven person. As president of the Veteran Golfers Association (VGA) which he founded in Pinehurst in 2014, and as an Army veteran, served 20 years at Fort Bragg as part of the 82nd Airborne division. The VGA is a national non-profit organization that offers military veterans the opportunity to enjoy competition and community through golf. VGA membership is open to all U.S. veterans – wounded, non-wounded, disabled, active duty and retired – as well as to their families, including parents, siblings and dependents who are at least 18 years old. There are more than 17,000 members nationwide. Each year, the VGA hosts hundreds of golf tournaments all over the country, culminating with a national championship event. In the podcast, Peyton talks about the VGA, his own golf game and his love for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area of North Carolina.
026: Bryan Rosenberg, Chairman of the Board, Carolina Horse Park
The fourth annual Painted Ponies Art Walk is a sure sign of spring in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area of North Carolina. More than a dozen beautifully painted ponies line the streets of downtown Southern Pines along Broad Street between February to early April in celebration of the deep equestrian culture in the Sandhills. The Painted Ponies are a public art display that benefits the Carolina Horse Park Foundation. The CVB is a proud sponsor of two ponies. Bryan Rosenburg, chairman of the board at CHP recently joined the Paradise in the Pines podcast to talk about the Painted Ponies, his lifelong love for the equestrian lifestyle and what's happening at the Carolina Horse Park this year. #visitnc #sandhillsequine #paintedponies
033: BobFarren, Pinehurst Keeper of the Greens
Bob Farren is known as the “keeper of the greens” at Pinehurst Resort, a responsibility he has enjoyed for 41 years as the Director of Golf Course & Ground Management. In 41 years, you could say Farren has seen it all – a resort that was owned by the bank when he arrived in 1982 to now one of the most revered and globally-recognized golf resorts in the world and the first anchor site for the U.S. Open. Farren grew up in West Virginia, the son of a golf course superintendent, so you could say the seeds of golf were planted at an early age. In the last four decades, he has overseen 14 USGA Championships, including three U.S. Opens, and will host another in 2024 on historic Pinehurst No. 2. In between, add renovations to No. 2, No. 4, No. 8, the addition of The Cradle short course and soon to be completed “tenth course,” the coming of the USGA Golf House Pinehurst and World Golf Hall of Fame and you have one of the busiest men shaping not only golf landscapes, but the future of the Cradle of American Golf. Enter Paradise in the Pines and listen to a fascinating discussion with Bob Farren about how Pinehurst has become the model of the golfing world for others to follow. @USGA @pinehurstresort @visitnc #2024USOpen #homeofamericangolf www.pinehurst.com
32: Ray Owen and Chris Dunn, The Moore County Arts Council
If you are a fan of the arts, you are familiar with the Arts Council of Moore County. That means you likely know Chris Dunn and Ray Owen, a dynamic duo that are passionate about the arts and its place in the culture of Moore County. The Arts Council is the center of a thriving creative district, with arts and cultural industries generating $13.2 million in local economic activity annually. The Campbell House, home to the Arts Council, is one of the region’s most significant landmarks, owing its existence to the Boyd family. Once part of their Weymouth estate, the natural setting is among the nation’s important historic landscapes, encompassing the world’s oldest longleaf pines. For more than 100 years, Campbell House has been a beacon of culture, informing, influencing, and enhancing civic life. A gift to the Arts Council is the ultimate expression of faith in our goal of sustaining our community as a place resilient with the arts at its core. In the latest Paradise in the Pines podcast, Dunn and Owen talk about the history of the arts in Moore County and the exciting and innovative things and programs to come. https://www.mooreart.org/ @visitnc #moorecountync #paradiseinthepines
31: Ron Green, Legendary Sports Writer
If you follow professional golf, the names inside the ropes are household names. As a journalist covering the sport, Ron Green, Jr. is one of the most respected names inside the ropes and in the industry. This year, Green, Jr. was named the 2023 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism by the PGA of America. He is the 32nd recipient of the award. His 93-year-old father, Ron Green Sr., won the award in 2006 for his own golf coverage and was a longtime Charlotte Observer sports columnist. They are the first father-son duo to separately win the award. On a recent trip to one of his favorite golf destinations, Pinehurst, N.C., Green Jr. ventured into the Paradise in the Pines podcast to talk about this year's Masters, the upcoming PGA Championship and U.S. Open, how his father influenced his career, what it was like covering the 1982 North Carolina Tar Heels national championship run featuring some kid named Michael Jordan and much more. @usga @PGATOUR @pinehurstresort @visitnc #homeofamericangolf #pinehurst
29: Rachel Jurgens, owner, Red's Corner
If you haven't been to Red's Corner in Southern Pines, what are you waiting for? North Carolina's first and only permanent food truck and beer pavilion is the hottest place to be and be seen in Moore County.
The vision for Red's Corner comes from owner, Rachel Jurgens who is from Bend, Oregon where food trucks have been prevelent for years, so she wanted to create the same vibe here. After three years of painstakingly pursuing the dream of what would become Red's Corner, it has become a reality and the facility celebrated its one-year anniversary on March 17, 2023.
Jurgens visited our Paradise in the Pines podcast to talk about what's happening at Red's Corner, the person who inspired the name, her love of horses and her equestrian background and why a west coaster like her now calls the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area home.
28: Abby Liebenthal, founder and president, Fore The Ladies
Abby Liebenthal has a passion for the game of golf. She grew up around the game in Toledo, Ohio and as the assistant dirctor of media and CRM marketing for the USGA, she enjoys working and playing in the Home of American Golf otherwise known as Pinehurst, NC. Aside from her main career role, she has found another purpose as the founder and president of Fore The Ladies, a female-based, non-profit organization that brings women together to learn how to play golf through events nationwide. Liebenthal is doing her part to increase interest in the game among one of the fastest growing sectors - females! She is helping women continue their journey with the game and participate in all that golf has to offer. Abby is doing her part to make golf more accessible and approachable, while removing the expected barriers such as cost, intimidation and access. Liebenthal took time off the course to enter Paradise in the Pines and we teed up a great converation about golf, the ladies who play it and why the Pinehurst area is heaven on Earth! @usga #pinehurst #visitnc #northcarolina
22 Kevin Drum, Business Owner, Marketer, Golfer, Pinehurst Passionate
Kevin Drum is someone you should meet. Better yet, sit at the bar in the establishment he owns, the Drum & Quill, and enjoy a long conversation with a guy who loves Pinehurst almost more than life itself. Business owner, marketer, storyteller, and more, Kevin is passionate about life, golf, a good cocktail, and life in Pinehurst. Kevin's dad was Bob Drum, whose work with CBS Sports golf coverage as a golf writer is legendary. The Drum & Quill is a tribute to his dad, his namesake, and the pen Bob used to craft his Hall of Fame-worthy columns for decades. Listen as Kevin talks about his passion for Pinehurst, his father's long-time friendship with the "King" Arnold Palmer, and his passion for golf and life inside the Home of American Golf. Drum is a former Village of Pinehurst council member and owns a prolific marketing firm. #pinehurst #southernpines #aberdeennc #visitnc #northcarolina #homeofamericangolf #sandhills #moorecountync
25: Angela Robb and Nicole Stein, Entrepeneurs, Owners of Sanhills Trolley Co.
The brainchild of Pinehurst entrepreneurs Angela Robb and Nicole Stein, the Sandhills Trolley Company has taken the Sandhills by storm. This is not your granddaddy's trolley with the boring tour guide droning on. These trolley tours are fun, interactive and the themes are seemingly endless. From Brews Cruises to Comedy Cruises to Coffee Tours and more, Robb and Stein have found a niche and a large following of people seeking a fun and unique experience. Sandhills Trolley Company’s mission is to provide safe, reliable, unique, and fun sightseeing and performance tours to the visitors and locals of Sandhills, North Carolina using antique-style open-air and enclosed trolleys to help capture the history of the Moore County surrounding areas, while providing guests with a fun, interactive trolley experience. Looking for a fun night out? Sandhills Trolley Company has a variety of tours that change monthly. Learn more: www.sandhillstrolley.com.
24: Tom Pashley
For the first anniversary Paradise in the Pines podcast, we bring back our inaugural guest - Tom Pashley, president of Pinehurst Resort. Perfect timing, too as the Resort is still basking in the glow of the annoucement that the tenth golf course will be built. Yes, the "tenth course" not Pinehurst No. 10. Pinehurst's newest golf course will be created by venerable course architect Tom Doak and it will represent his first layout inside the Home of American Golf. Aside from Pinehurst's tenth course, Pashley talks about things happening at the Resort, the progress being made with the USGA's Golf House Pinehurst and bacon! Yes, the bacon at Pinehurst is apparenrly the best bacon at any resort in the country. Thanks, Damon Hack from Golf Channel. Strap in and hold on, its time for another venture into Paradise in the Pines!
23: Jessica Halling
Jessica Halling and her husband, Brad, are Army veterans and proud owners of what will become the newest distillery in Moore County, NC – the Brad Halling American Whiskey Ko. (BHAWK). The destination distillery is expected to open in early 2024, just in time for the U.S. Open which is set to be played at Pinehurst No. 2 in June of that year. The campus will be located off Yadkin Road in Southern Pines, very close to the intersection of Midland Rd. and Highway 1.
The Hallings began their journey to business ownership three years ago. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the two decided to divide and conquer and received both formal and informal training to learn the skills required to successfully run a distillery. Jessica attended distillery operations training and Bradley attended distillers training, including receiving an opportunity to shadow master distillers and a full distillery team.
Along with brewing up whiskey, the brand will also focus on “expressing Gratitude™ for extraordinary service by common Americans, both uniformed and private citizens.” According to the Halling’s social media, a feather will be a prominent part of the BHAWK campus design, serving as a nod to the fallen. “Our lives have been dedicated to service,” said Halling. “The BHAWK Distillery Campus in Southern Pines, NC and BHAWK’s purpose driven brands are a second calling. Our vision to honor others was clear from the start, and we just wouldn’t have it another way.”
The Hallings are part of that large Sandhills military community. Jess was a Russian linguist and interrogator during her time in the service. She retired in December 2020 with a combined reserve and active career of 29 years. Brad joined the Army in 1980 and participated in the Battle of Mogadishu (the battle that the "Black Hawk Down" book and film are based on) in 1993. During the battle, he suffered injuries when the Black Hawk helicopter he was on was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. His left leg was amputated above the knee.
#BHAWK #MooreCountyNC #SouthernPinesNC #Armyveterans
021: Elizabeth Hudson, Editor Our State Magazine, Author, NC Lover
018: Micah Nieubauer, Co-Founder & CEO, Southern Pines Brewing Co.
Micah Niebauer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Southern Pines Brewing Company in Southern Pines, NC. He spent 11 years in the United States Army serving as a green beret, 3rd Special Forces Group, Company Commander. Micah Niebauer attended The Wharton School and received his MBA from the insitution in 2019. Entrepreneur, innovator, brewmaster, leader, soldier and board member, you name it, Micah has seemingly done it all, but is never satisfied. His infectious personality and strong character make him one of the most admired and revered businessmen in Moore County. After starting with the brewery's original location on Air Tool Drive in Southern Pines, the operation expanded in 2021 to a satellite location at the corner of Bennett St and Pennsylvania Ave. in Southern Pines and boasts one of the best "places to be seen" with the location's outdoor deck with comfortable seating and fire pits. In the summer of 2023, Niebauer plans to open a new location with a restaurant on Hay St. in downtown Fayetteville. Recently, he purchased the old Tyson & Jones Buggy Factory in downtown Carthage and plans to reimagine the space with two stories for a bar, restaurant and maybe even a rooftop experience. More to come. Listen to this Paradise in the Pines podcast, produced by the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB as Niebauer talks beer, building a brand, what rooted in the community means and how the concept of #TogetherweareMoore came about. @Visit NC Industry Partners @NCBeerGuys @NC BEER PRIDE #homeofamericangolf #morethanjustgolf #SandhillsNC
020: Ben Owen, Potter, Seagrove Ambassador
Ben and Phil talk pots and Seagrove history.
019: Ron Maness, Director Moore County Airport, Thunderbird Vet
Maness has been involved with aviation his entire career: for over 10 years with the Air Force, including as a Captain for the inaugural class of the first TOPGUN training wing in California and two years as a pilot for the Air Force precision flight squadron, the Thunderbirds. Following his military career, Maness joined U.S. Airways where he served as a pilot for 22 years. Prior to accepting his current role as Director, Maness served three terms as Airport Manager in Moore County in 2004-2007, 2010-2012 and again in 2018-2020. He was instrumental in assisting the United States Golf Association with two U.S. Open Championships and coordinating the unique operations plans to handle thousands of flights that arrived and departed at the airport in 2005 and 2014. Maness will be instrumental in developing a similar plan for the 2024 U.S. Open Championship, which will be hosted at Pinehurst.
Maness’s responsibilities as Director will to manage all the operational aspects of the airport including increasing revenues, providing exceptional customer service, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Along with the members of the Airport Authority, he will oversee the short and long-term strategic plans for the facility. Maness will work with federal, state, and local agencies for grants supporting facility maintenance, growth in capacity and service, and overall improvements to the airport. He will also manage current development projects, including the base-customer hanger expansion and infrastructure projects, the conversion of all external lighting to LED and the continual enhancements to the exiting airport terminal building.
The airport hosts the annual Festival D’Avion in late October each year.
Maness is a long-time resident of Moore County and lives in Whispering Pines. He and his wife Nancy are parents to two grown children, who live in North Carolina, along with six grandchildren.
#visitnc #homeofamericangolf #moorecountyairport #festivaldavion
017: Pat Corso, Past Pinehurst President, Local Leader
This will get updated
016: John Dempsey, President, Sandhills Community College
After 33 years as president of Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Dr. John Dempsey is stepping down at the end of December 2022. Dempsey has been president of Sandhills Community College since 1989. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds a master’s degree in Government from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. He is a Vietnam veteran, and he served in the Executive Office of the President during Jimmy Carter’s Administration.
During his tenure, the college has grown dramatically and has become nationally renowned for its medical, developmental educational programs, its beautiful gardens, and the activities of its Foundation. Dempsey’s tenure at SCC exceeds his nearest fellow president by 17 years. When he arrived at SCC, the school had a $1 million endowment which now exceeds $50 million. He has overseen multiple improvements to the campus.
In this podcast, Dempsey talks about his reign at SCC, his lasting legacy, bringing the Sandhills Bogeys summer wooden bat baseball team from the Old North State League to campus and his love for the game of golf.
015: Christopher Prieto, BBQ Nerd, TV Personality, Restauranteur, Missionary
Christopher Prieto is a champion pitmaster and the self-proclaimed #BBQNerd. He is the headliner for the second annual Pinehurst Barbecue Festival, Sept. 2-4, 2022 in the Village of Pinehurst in North Carolina. Prieto is of Puerto Rican descent and was raised in Texas, a state synonymous with great barbecue. In recent years, Prieto and his family moved to the Raleigh suburb of Knightdale where he owns and operates the enormously popular Prime BBQ restaurant.
The Paradise in the Pines podcast recently made the journey to visit Prieto at his BBQ heaven to talk about his craft, his passion and ministry for all things barbecue, life as a Food Network star with his recurring appearances on the popular show “BBQ Brawl” and his role, along with six other pitmasters at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.
We can attest, we ate like kings after the show recording as all meats, sides and even the killer bread pudding was unmatched and we cannot wait to go back!
014: Lee Pace, Golf Author, Sports Reporter, Pinehurst Historian
Lee Pace is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina based author, editor, publisher and broadcaster who has spent the last thirty years writing about golf in the Carolinas and beyond. He visited the Paradise in the Pines podcast to talk about his being in residence as a writer at the Weymouth Center and the James Boyd House in Southern Pines, NC and his passion for golf, writing and the Pinehurst area. He believes like many that golf is best experienced via foot, the old-fashioned way—walking with a light-weight and simple carry bag slung over the shoulder. Toward that end, Pace authored a book, "Good Walks" on the joys of walking and playing golf. That book includes stories about walking some of the best courees in the Carolinas including Pinehurst No. 2, The Country Club of North Carolina, Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club and several others. He has written four books about the golf heritage of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, most recently the 2012 volume The Golden Age of Pinehurst—The Rebirth of No. 2, which chronicles the evolution of architect Donald Ross’s tour de force and the restoration program of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw from 2010-11. Pace is a 1979 graduate of the University of North Carolina, and when not trying to break eighty on the golf course writes about the Tar Heel football team through his Extra Points feature that appears regularly on Goheels.com. He has also been the sideline reporter since 2004 for the Tar Heel Sports Network. Pace and wife Sue, a talented graphic designer, teamed to produce and publish a coffee-table book on Kenan Stadium in 2016 entitled Football in a Forest—The Life and Times of Kenan Stadium. @Pinehurst Resort @Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities #goodwalks @UNCTarHeelsAthletics #homeofamericangolf #pinehurst #southernpinesnc
013: David Woronoff, Editor, Owner, Journalist, Pilot Newspaper
David Woronoff is a legend among the world of journalism and publishing in North Carolina. He became publisher of The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines, NC on July 1, 1996 when he and a group of buyers including Frank Daniels, III and Frank Daniels, Jr. purchased it. Since then, Woronoff has led not only the growth of the publication named “Best Community Newspaper” in the country multiple times since 2015, but also a media empire spanning magazines, digital assets, a radio station and more. David was named President of the North Carolina Press Association in 2010 after serving six years on its board, as the NCPA’s Professional Development Committee’s chairman for five years, and as the Association’s Legislative Committee chairman for three years. He also serves on the board of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. David was the first – and remains the only – community newspaper publisher appointed to the 112-year-old organization’s board of directors. During the Paradise in the Pines podcast, Woronoff talks about life as a publisher, its challenges and how he has been able to diversify his product to stay competitive and maintain audience share. He also talks about the popular Open Daily special golf issue that was first published during the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 and continues to this day, most recently during the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. Also, hear about how their radio station, Golf Rock Radio, teed off inside the Home of American Golf. #ParadiseinthePines @Visit NC Industry Partners #PilotNewspaper #southernpinesnc #visitnc @The Pilot News
012: Alec Allred President, Old North State League
Alec Allred has big plans and bigger dreams for the Sandhills. Come meet him and the field where he's planting dreams as we gear up for the first season of the Sandhills Bogeys baseball. Allred is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Old North State League. Allred was the Director of Baseball Operations during his first three years with the league. In February of 2022, Alec was named the President of the Old North State League and with that became the youngest President of a collegiate sports league in the United States. In the offseason, Allred trains baseball players of all ages at The Factory in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Allred had an outstanding college baseball career at William Peace University where he still holds multiple hitting records and became the first male athlete in University history to sign a professional sports contract. After graduating in 2018, he was signed by the Westside Woolly Mammoths of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. Allred wrapped up his playing career in 2021 with the Gastonia Honey Hunters of the Atlantic League. Alec Allred currently lives in Whispering Pines, North Carolina with his wife, Lexie. Listen as Allred shares his passion for baseball, his excitement for the Sandhills Bogeys' inaugural season and his vision for the Old North State League. #visitnc #oldnorthstateleague #sandhillsbaseball
011: John Maginess, Professional Golfer, Golf Commentator and All Around Good Guy
John Maginnes is a former PGA Tour player who spent more than a decade and a half playing professional golf. While recovering from elbow surgery in 2004, John was offered an opportunity as a USA Network on-course commentator covering Thursday and Friday rounds on the PGA Tour. With microphone in hand, John found his second passion. He stayed with USA Network until the Golf Channel contract took over early round coverage in 2007. He joined the XM Team in 2005 and started Maginnes on Tap in March of 2011. John grew up in a golf family in Durham, North Carolina. He is the youngest of four and was given the opportunity to play golf at an early age. By the time he was in sixth grade he had decided that he was going to become a PGA Tour player and would spend seemingly endless hours working on his game year round. John is a proud East Carolina University Pirate and resides with his wife and young son in Wilmington, NC. He stopped by Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club a couple weeks before the 2022 U.S. Women's Open to preview the championship for his Katrek & Maginnes on Tap show on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio. Listen as John reflects on his playing career, life as a broadcaster and his latest musings about the PGA Tour. @United States Golf Association (USGA) @PGA TOUR @SiriusXM @East Carolina University #pineneedles #southernpinesnc #sandhillsnc @Visit NC Industry Partners
010: Jack Nance, Executive Director, North Carolina Golfing Association
Jack Nance has been executive director of the Carolinas Golf Association since 1991 and leads the second largest such organization in the country spanning both North Carolina and South Carolina. Prior to joining the CGA, Nance played golf at Wake Forest. The CGA is a non-profit service organization that was formed in 1909 to conduct championships and tournaments for amateur golfers in North and South Carolina, administer the USGA handicap system in the Carolinas, and support its membership of more than 190,000 golfers in the CGA's 730 plus member clubs and associations. In Nance's time at the CGA, they went from hosting about 60 annual event to now about 350 per year. in this podcast, Nance talks about the mission of the CGA, his love for golf and the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area, some of his favorite places to tee it up and a few watering holes away from the course you may want to try. @Carolinas Golf Association @Visit North Carolina @United States Golf Association (USGA) @US GOLF TV #sandhillsnc #southernpinesnc #homeofamericangolf
009: Katie Wyatt, President Weymouth Center for the Arts
Katie Wyatt is living her best life and has landed her dream job. Last summer, Wyatt was named exectuive director of the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, NC. The daughter of Army parents and raised in the Washington, DC area, Wyatt found at an early age that music presented a great opportunity to communicate among diverse races and cultures. Music, arts and culture is the foundation of a life where she has experienced being a professional musician, educator, innovator and an agent for social change. In her role at the Weymouth Center, Wyatt has big dreams, a vision and a plan for a place entering its second century. The Weymouth Center is home of the James Boyd House and the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. They host a writers in residence program and Wyatt has already created new experiences in her first year as executive director. One of the programs is called Weymouth Wonderfull 100 which will showcase 100 events in the 100th year of the Center. In this podcast, Wyatt shares stories about her life, her global experience, inspriations and more. She even performs a couple of songs with her viola. @Visit North Carolina #visitnc #literaryHOF @NCArts #southernpinesnc #weymouthcenter
008: Bernie Carbo, Field Manager, Sandhills Bogeys, Baseball Legend, Instructor
Bernie Carbo is a hero in Boston Red Sox lore. His three-run home run in Game 6 of the famous 1975 World Series against the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds is one of the most memorable moments in MLB history. In 1965, Carbo was a first round draft pick of the Cincinanti Reds and was even picked ahead of Johnny Bench, an eventual Hall-of-Fame player and arguably the best catcher in baseball history. But, while Carbo enjoyed fame, his life had a dark side. An admitted user of drugs (he admits being high during the entire 1975 World Series), he nearly committed suicide, but was saved by finding religion and gained salvation, later writing the book "Saving Bernie Carbo." Today, Carbo resides in Southern Pines, NC and has been announced as the new Sandhills Bogeys Field Manager in the Old North State League. His fascinating career has seen the highest highs and lowest lows possible in the "Greatest Game" of baseball. Join this in-depth conversation with Carbo and get excited about the Sandhills Bogeys' upcoming season. Learn more about the Sandhills Bogeys: https://www.oldnorthstateleague.com/members/Sandhills_Bogeys/Bogeys_Team_Page @MLB @Boston Red Sox #pinehurstnc #southernpinesnc #oldnorthstateleague
007: Nick Bradley, Instructor, Auther, Director, Traditions Golf Academy
Elite golf instructor, mentor, best-selling author and Ryder Cup champion. For more than 25 years, Nick Bradley has built a enormous reputation in the golf industry and now has found a home in the Pinehurst, NC area. Bradley’s client list has included a World #1 player, several World #5 players, European Order of Merit champions, eight national amateur titles and consulting work with captain Paul McGinley during the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
As executive director of Traditions Golf Academy at Forest Creek Golf Club, Bradley is building a golf school for elite players wishing to dedicate their life to the sport while receiving their formal education at the O’Neal School.
Listen to the podcast to hear about how Bradley become involved in the golf industry, his passion for the game and his love for James Bond movies.
Check out his books here
006:Jamie Ledford, President, Golf Pride
For more than seven decades, Golf Pride has been the global leader in golf grip innovation and technology. Plus, Golf Pride can boast more professional tour and major wins than any other grip company. More than 80% of Tour professional choose to play Golf Pride grip and not one of them is paid to do so.
Golf Pride’s Global Innovation Center is located in Pinehurst, NC on the campus of Pinehurst No. 8. It’s president is Jamie Ledford who leads a team of developers and innovators creating the latest technology to assist players of all skill levels to better enjoy the game of golf.
Ledford is a strategist, deep thinker, ideation expert and passionate about the game of golf and the quality of grips Golf Pride produces.
Listen to this podcast to learn about Ledford’s vision for Golf Pride, why Pinehurst is a great place for the golf industry to do business and his love for the Seattle Seahawks
#VisitNC, #Home of American Golf Pinehurst, #NC and #SandhillsNC
005: Gerry Bateman, President, Southern Pines Growler Company
If you like beer, you'll like Gerry Bateman. If its a lager, a sour, an IPA, or a stout, he can likely tell you all about it. While he doesn't make his own beer, his business allows home brewers to give it their best shot. But, his Southern Pines Growler Company is more well-known for always having 32 different beers from all over the country on tap at all times.
While a nice "beer snob", Bateman has lived in Moore County, NC for more than 20 years and has seen the Home of American Golf grow from a tiny destination to one of the most popular ones in the world. The question is does he play more golf, or drink more beer? We posed the question and talk about how the Pinehurst area is becoming a great beer and food destination not just one of the best places to tee it up on Earth.
Sit back, relax, crack open a cold one and listen to the conversation.
004: Ashley Van Camp, Owner, Ashten's Restaurant
Ashley Van Camp is a Sandhills of North Carolina original. Chef, restauranteur, owner, lover of the arts and equestrian, she is a woman with a passion for life. From North Carolina, but schooled in Boston and former resident of New York City, Van Camp's heart and soul now reside in quiet, yet purposeful fabric of the Pinehurst and Southern Pines, NC scene.
003: Kelly Miller, President, Ross Resorts
Kelly Miller had no idea what he was getting into when he married one of Peggy Kirk Bell’s daughters and moved to Southern Pines in 1982.
“The Bell family and Pine Needles kept me in the game of golf,” Miller says. “I wanted to get into business of some kind, I wasn’t sure what.”
Miller grew up in Indiana and attended the University of Alabama to play golf, and there he met Peggy Ann Bell, the middle child of Peggy and Warren “Bullet” Bell, the owners since 1953 of the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club that featured a 1928 Ross course. Since the Bells’ oldest daughter, Bonnie, was traveling the country with her husband, Pat McGowan, on the PGA Tour, and son Kirk was just entering college, it fell to Kelly and Peggy Ann to follow in the footsteps of Peggy and Bullet in running the golf course and lodge. The timing was made further prescient by the fact that Bullet was diagnosed with cancer in early 1984 that passed away that May.
“I was an early riser—I’d get here at six in the morning and then Peggy Ann took the night shift,” Miller says. “She would work from three to 11 or whatever it took. We tried to do the same things Peg and Bullet had done for so many years—mingle with the guests, make sure they felt welcome and had a great experience.”
Kelly eventually became general manager and along with his mother-in-law led the family and resort to taking their spot in the Sandhills and Pinehurst-area explosion of the 1990s. In 1991, Pine Needles was awarded the U.S. Women’s Open for 1996 (and it would further host the event in 2001 and 2007 with a fourth coming in 2022). The family partnered with three individuals in buying the Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club across Midland Road in 1994. Miller struck a deal in 2012 with an eager and creative golf course construction worker and aspiring architect named Kyle Franz to renovate the 1921 Mid Pines course, and that project was roundly applauded by the golf world in 2013, leading Franz to supervise similar work at Pine Needles over the following years.
“It’s been quite a ride,” Miller says. “I’ve been here 40 years now, so it’s pretty amazing. We’ve been hosting these championships now for 25 years. Time goes quickly. But it really did start with the 1991 and ’92 Tour Championships at Pinehurst No. 2. That spawned the ’94 Senior Open, the ’99 U.S. Open and everything that’s come since. It’s hard to imagine.
002: Janeen Driscoll, Director of Brand Communications, USGA
Janeen Driscoll is a great friend of the Pinehurst area of North Carolina and her love for the Sandhills goes back to the last century and long before she became the director of brand communications for the United States Golf Association (USGA). Driscoll was hired by Pinehurst Resort a couple years before the club hosted its first-ever U.S. Open in 1999. Since then, Driscoll has ascended to a prominent role with the USGA and is looking forward to Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club hosting the 2022 U.S. Women's Open from June 2-5 in Southern Pines, NC.
001: Tom Pashley, President, Pinehurst Resort
The debut episode of Paradise in the Pines features Tom Pashley, president of Pinehurst Resort. In his 27 years at this iconic and globally-recognized golf resort in the heart of the Sandhills in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Pashley has seen it all. From the awarding of the 1999 U.S. Open which ultimately would showcase one of the most memorable moments in championship history - Payne Stewart's putt and fist-pump to win the title - to the naming of four more U.S. Open championships and the USGA announcing a second headquarters, Golf House Pinehurst, he has witnessed the continued growth and stature of one of America's truly great resorts.
Pashley is passionate about his work at the Resort and, of course, golf, as well as craft beer, family and making Pinehurst fun and cool for all that visit the Home of American Golf.
Paradise in the Pines Trailer
Paradise in the Pines will be coming out soon. Our first official episode will air in January. Listen now to get an idea of what's to come in our official Paradise in the Pines Trailer.
Tom Pashley, President, Pinehurst Resort
Gerry Bateman, Owner, Southern Pines Growler Company
Janeen Driscoll, Director Brand Communications, USGA
Ashley Von Camp, Owner, Ashten's Restaurant
Kelly Miller, President, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club and Southern Pines Golf Club