The 19th Hole: Bob Farren

By |  November 8, 2018 0 Comments
Photo: Bob Farren

Photo: Bob Farren

Bob Farren

CGCS // Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort

Bob, the grill looks good! What’s your specialty? I’m more of a production guy… I like to fire out 40 to 60 hot dogs and hamburgers and get everyone fed. We’re still active with our youth group at church, so we have a pool full of kids every other week. The kids say they want to come to Miss Kathy’s pool and have one of Mr. Bob’s burgers.

Tell me about your family. I’m married to Kathy, and I definitely over-married. My son Casey lives in San Antonio, he’s in architectural design; my daughter Kristin loves the outdoors and just moved back to North Carolina, she works for Young Life as a camp administrator. I couldn’t be prouder of my kids. …I just saw your son on Facebook, he’s growing up quick!

Yeah, he just got in trouble at school… punched a kid in the stomach. (Laughs) Hey, sometimes that’s OK — you don’t want the kind of kid that’ll just lie down.

Ha! That’s true. How did Hurricane Florence treat you guys? It moved so slow, they predicted it so far in advance that we actually over-prepared. It lasted three days, we lost 100 trees and got 14 inches of rain. We were closed three days during the storm and two days for cleanup… then back to business.

What’s your favorite tool for getting the job done? This might sound weird, but it’s our staff. We’ve got eight golf course superintendents, led by Kevin Robinson, 11 senior staff members and about 230 to 250 employees, many of them part-time. It’s like one big Swiss army knife.

What was your first — or favorite — car? I’m not a car guy like you. My first car was a 1971 Vega… and every car after that has gotten better!

What’s the best excuse you’ve ever heard for being late to work? This might sound harsh, but I don’t listen to excuses. So I don’t remember any of them! I don’t have time for excuses, I move on.

Your (North Carolina State) Wolfpack is 3-0 right now… That’s our family thing right there, N.C. State athletics, especially football and basketball. I’ll tell you what: We have had people in our seats at every Wolfpack (football) game since 1974. That’s not bad.

How many holes are you guys up to now? (Pauses) OK, I had to pull out the calculator. We’re up to 171 holes. You know, we put speakers on the Cradle for music. We’ve added a brewery. The culture here has changed. We’ve always been known for championship golf — and we still are. But now we also want to be known for fun at the highest level. That’s pretty cool.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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