Director of Golf
Originally from Ohio, Kurt Thompson brings more than a decade of golf experience and a wealth of knowledge to his team. Before joining Linville Ridge in 2005, Kurt broke into the golf industry when invited to join the golf staff at Bighorn Country Club (Palm Desert, CA). There, he worked under Bill Harmon—son of Masters Champion Claude Harmon— who was consistently ranked as a Top 100 Instructor by Golf Digest. During the summer, Kurt worked at Grandfather Golf and Country Club in the North Carolina Mountains, under two of the most respected names in the golf industry, John McNeely and John Buczek. Later, he was invited to rejoin John McNeely at the Floridian, one of the country’s most prestigious golf clubs, where he had the privilege of working with recent winners on both the PGA and Senior PGA Tours.
Director of Outside Operations
A native of Naples, Florida, John brings over 20 years of experience to the golf industry. Starting at the age of 20 at the Vineyards Country Club in Naples, Florida, where he worked with Al Nelson, Linville Ridge’s first Golf Professional. After completing Edison Community College, he decided to move to Banner Elk, North Carolina in 1998 to join the team at Linville Ridge and attend Appalachian State University where he finished his studies in mathematics.
Development & Operations Director
Steve Sheets is a North Carolina native and has been part of The Lutgert Companies’ team since 1984. From his start as a Golf Course Superintendent at Linville Ridge, Steve has been fundamental in assisting with the growth and development of the community. Over his 43-year career, Steve held previous roles such as President of the Eastern and Western North Carolina Turf Grass Association, President of Carolina’s Golf Course Superintendent Association, and served on the Turf Grass Council of North Carolina’s Board of Directors. A passionate golfer, Steve spends his spare time watching and playing the game, as well as skiing and hiking.
Tommy Clark is a native of the country club industry, having worked in various clubs over the last 29 years. Since 1996, he has played an integral role in keeping the Linville Ridge golf course in pristine condition during the summer, and in healthy shape during the winter. A native of Morgantown, N.C., he holds an associates degree in turf management from Catawba Valley Technical Institute. He was awarded the Bayer Superintendents Awards, and is also a member of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Fluent in Spanish, he also enjoys weight lifting, golf, snowboarding, motorcycle riding and spending time with his family.
Head Golf Professional
Originally from Conyers, Georgia, Brent Allen attended Heritage High School, where he lettered in varsity for four years in football and baseball. After high school, Brent attended Darton College on a baseball scholarship. He then transferred to Appalachian State University his junior year, but tore his rotator cuff before the season started. Even though this injury ended his baseball career, it introduced Brent to the game of golf.
During his career, Brent has held the position of 1st Assistant Golf Professional at Balsam Mountain Preserve in Sylva, North Carolina, Assistant Golf Professional at Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida, Assistant Golf Professional at Country Club of Asheville in Asheville, North Carolina and Assistant Golf Professional at Colleton River Club in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Brent currently spends his winter months at the Floridian, where he has been able to rub elbows with the best players on the PGA Tour and work alongside golf’s greatest instructor, Butch Harmon.
When Brent is not performing his duties as a golf professional, he enjoys exercising, fishing and working on his golf game.
Golf Shop Coordinator
Barbara was born in Endicott, New York and later attended Palm Beach State College in Florida. She currently resides in Delray Beach, Florida during the winters, and in Banner Elk, North Carolina during the summers. This was decided almost a decade ago when Barbara vacationed to Banner Elk and bought a house six months later.
Before joining Linville Ridge Country Club as the golf shop coordinator, Barbara worked for the Diocese of Palm Beach at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic School for 10 years. Prior to that, she worked for IBM in Boca Raton for ten years.
Barbara is married with three sons, all of whom are active in the golf world. When she is not working, Barbara enjoys going hiking, and of course, playing a round of golf.