The holiday season is here and there are many holiday functions planned for your enjoyment. Events are starting to pick back up after COVID and we are currently at an over 400% increase in wedding function bookings from 2021 and growing every day! A few years back, we were executing over 200 events a year and we are well on track to meet and beat it in the future. I have been communicating with members on a daily basis and interest in the club and the many activities offered have increased membership and participation at the club.

The New Year is just around the corner and with it comes great hope for the future of the club. Membership is growing along with member spend. Facility conditions are getting better every day on the golf course, racquet sports facility, fitness center and clubhouse operations. The aquatic operations are a major focus for 2022 and there are major renovations that will be completed for opening in 2022.

Our finances are solid and new amenities scheduled, such as our state of the art pickleball courts, will allow us to continue to be the place to be for fine socialization and recreation on the Outer Banks!

Patrick O’Keefe

As we enter the holiday season and the winter months’ activities slow down, we will be creating new events. With that, I will be sending brief 2 minute surveys out over the next few weeks to find out if there are any activities you would like to partake in. Please let me know of your thoughts so we can develop some activities over those months that you would enjoy. With the continued COVID staffing challenges, we are increasing events that will enable us to properly serve you, such as Chef Joey’s Italian Night Buffet every Saturday starting November 6th (barring any special events). The event will feature homemade entrées and artisan breads along with a salad station for only $19.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids, under 5 are free. Matt, our bartender will feature a wine special each evening and Chef Joey will feature special desserts.

The weather is still great for outdoor activities, so get out and play some pickleball, tennis or golf and join us for a nice lunch or dinner to top off the day of recreation and socialization!

Patrick O’Keefe

The nice fall weather is here for all the great outdoor activities. Whether it is golf, tennis, pickleball or bocce ball, please come out to the club and enjoy. This is the perfect time of year for sitting around the fire pit and having a bite to eat, a refreshing drink and great conversation, so please see me, or any of the food and beverage service staff to turn on the fire pit per your request. Your committees are assisting with the 2022 business plan in formulating activities and improvements, so please reach out to the Golf Committee, Racquet Sports Committee (also pool and fitness) and Social Committee (also food and beverage) for ideas and suggestions. Please contact me if I you would like the direct contact information for the committee chair, also available on the member only section of our web site.

The staff is working hard to provide you an exceptional experience when you visit your club, as well as maintaining a safe and healthy environment for your social and recreational needs. It is going to be a fun filled fall and we are finishing up our plans for some great winter activities, see you around your club!

Patrick O’Keefe

As the summer comes to an end and the great fall weather begins, so does the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors to a greater extent for your social and recreational pleasure. With that in mind, we have many outdoor activities planned including new outdoor dining opportunities. There will be cookouts, live music and games out at the fire pit as well as at the outdoor dining area next to the bocce ball court.  In late fall when the weather starts getting a lot cooler, we will be enclosing the patios with plastic and setting up individual dining pods outside, all with lighting and individual small fire pits for some great ambiance. We are also extending the close of our aquatic area this year until September 20th, to take advantage of the last of the good pool weather.
Membership continues to increase with a lot of new members enjoying the amenities of the club as well as volunteering to assist on committees and work groups to improve the club, like the pool and replacement/reserve work groups. Our finances remain strong which will enable the club to make an impact on enhancing amenities for overall member and guest enjoyment.

Patrick O’Keefe

The club has been active and coming out of the pandemic in good order with a very positive net gain of 44 new members and a strong cash balance in the bank. We are still managing through a weak labor force market, but attending to the business in good order, which is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of staff and in particular the leadership of the department heads. MaryAnne, Teresa, and David in food and beverage, Dave and Aaron in golf, Kevin and Whitney in racquet sports, Joe in Facility Maintenance and Natallia in administration. We still have more work to accomplish with our malware attack and services, but we are progressing in a positive direction, and we appreciate your participation and contributions to the club.
Also, now that COVID is having a resurgence as predicted for late summer and fall, we are preparing for such a situation with diligent cleaning and refurbishment of our HVAC equipment, HEPA filters and sanitization standards, etc., to keep the club environment safe and inviting. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I have been asked to lead a capital reserve study to address the allocation of capital resources over the next five years to our key result areas. I have reached out to a few members but ask anyone interested in discussing the possibility of serving on the committee, under the Finance Committee, to please contact me at

Patrick O’Keefe

We had a successful Memorial Day Weekend Open House. We met with 25 couples and one single individual and we signed up 22 new members. In fact, for the month of May we had a net of 24 new members than the month before, which is the largest gain in many years. We are now focusing on our July 4th weekend Membership Open House, so please tell your family and friends who are not members about the weekend of specials to sign up new members. Remember, for every golf membership you bring into the club, you receive $500.00, Racquet Sports, $300.00, Social and Young Professional, $200.00 on your club account.

The weather is getting hot, but not as hot as pickleball play which is up 317% over last year’s nice gain in participation. Kevin, our Director of Racquet Sports is doing a fine job in working with the Pickleball Association in developing events and participation in the fastest growing organized sport in the country. We will be releasing information in the near future about the exciting new state of the art pickleball courts amenity.

Last year, the club board under President Lou Fedele approved a charity event that will give back to the community. Many of our members give back to the Outer Banks in so many ways and Lou thought it fitting to make it a club effort. I want to thank Jane Webster, Janet Colegrove, Tess Judge and Jan Flakowitz who are working with me to develop, organize and implement such event on Saturday, November 6th. The club will be open all day for only this event of golf, pickleball and tennis for all to participate and enjoy, ending the day with a shrimp boil, oysters and all the fixings, with live music out at the fire pit area. Details of the event will be released in the August Newsletter and on our website to register, so please look for it!

Enjoy the great summer of ‘21!

Patrick O’Keefe

The new year has brought some challenges with continuing of COVID and its related problems of health, safety and availability of staff. But also positive news of membership being up and experiencing increased activity at the club in all of our social and recreational activities. The increased activity is not only due to the COVID vaccine, but to the dedication of the staff in all the key result areas. David our Executive Chef, MaryAnne in Food and Beverage Service, Teresa in Events, Kevin in Racquet Sports, Aaron in Golf, Dave in Grounds and Natallia in Administration have all led teams (although small at this time) with care, consideration and creativity to manage their operations successfully. We recently (Mr. and Mrs. Horn) and in the past have had thoughtful members mention and have had staff barbeques, with staff and members playing golf and racquet sports with end of day barbeque. Please let me know if would be inter- ested in volunteering some time and expertise (grill master out there?) in October to participate in the family event.

Happy Spring

Patrick O’Keefe

Spring has sprung and with it the great weather for social gatherings and recreational opportunities. Also, Executive Chef David has developed new menus debuting May 1st focused on quality, sustainable food offerings that bring fresh sea and farm products to the table. Homemade offerings that will be sure to please, as well as small plate dinner options that will leave room for some homemade desserts. Chef David enjoys special requests, so please feel free to contact him at
Our annual Membership Open House will be on May 29th and the 30th to provide an opportunity for your family and friends to enjoy our club amenities and offerings for consideration of membership. Please do not hesitate to contact me at to register them for a great weekend of activities as our guest.
I would like to thank Curt Baskette, our Golf Committee Chair for assisting and Cherrie Wheeler of the LGA and Ed Kitchen of the MGA for organizing their member volunteers to help with the clubhouse beautification project this Spring. A lot of hard work was done by the members in plantings and mulching of the clubhouse grounds, it looks great! Again, it reminds me of the Duck Woods Country Club community of caring members support, before and all throughout the pandemic and as we emerge out of COVID – 19 stronger and more committed than ever to enhance the lives of our members, guests and staff.

Patrick O’Keefe

The nice spring weather has become more conducive to additional outdoor activities and with that we have developed some outdoor activities for you, your family and guests to enjoy. Such as our weekly cookout at the new outdoor dining area next to the bocce ball court. We have bocce ball and croquet set up every Sunday afternoon starting at 3:00 pm for all to play and you can also partake in half price appetizers and drink specials. Of course there is great golf, tennis, pickleball and outdoor dining for your enjoyment. Executive Chef David is finalizing his new menus to debut in early April and he is bringing back small plate dinner options as well as some traditional favorites and some new trendy food options to please the plate. The Social Committee is working on developing a new wine menu, so if you have any ideas please let me know and I will pass them along. There are so many recreational and soon to be social opportunities for you to partake in at the club. If you have any ideas for events or activities please let me know.

Happy Spring!

COVID Management Perspective

Members have mentioned how pleased they have been with club operations during the pandemic. Also, concerning my perspective on club operations, in which I touch on below.

My managerial philosophy has evolved with the challenges that we have faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to be a more effective leader during this unfortunate situation, I have made adjustments in four key areas:

Club Facilities: Our goal was to provide an oasis of enhanced safety, where members, guests and staff could participate in a way that was both fun and healthy. We installed sanitization stations throughout the property, and in our golf and pull carts. Our outdoor dining areas were expanded, adding heat towers. A hospital grade sterilization fogger was used daily in our clubhouse. These are just a few examples of the new initiatives we implemented in order to limit the spread of the virus.

Staff: We have to care about the whole person, including their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Being empathic allows your team to be vulnerable, so that you can truly understand what they need to be safe and successful. That could be a sympathetic ear, words of encouragement, time-off or food and supplies for them and their family. Interest free loans were offered, and a psychologist was available for staff to speak with if needed. Providing avenues for open expression has allowed us to rise above any divisions and thrive as individuals and as a company.

Finances: Zero-based budgeting has always been at the core of my approach to financial management, and this discipline has led to successful financial plans over the past 15 years. We have consolidated certain positions and cross-trained our team to be able to work across departments. For example, administrative staff has assisted the food and beverage service department and I have worked in facility maintenance.

Programs: Beyond our amenities, we didn’t want to ignore our club social offerings. How can we continue to provide a top quality, personalized member and guest experience, while ensuring that safety remains the priority? The answer came in the form of smaller, distanced, outdoor group events, online instructional videos from our golf, racquet sports, and culinary staff, and safe, themed experiences like drive-in movie nights. We also created a member pantry where we delivered essential items to members who were more at risk for COVID-19.

Thanks to our pristine facilities, recreational amenities, engaging programs and safe interactions, our club has truly become a home away from home, at a time when it is needed most. I have consulted with many clubs during this challenging time and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help other facilities appropriately respond to this crisis.

Duck Woods Country Club news

It has been a challenging nine months in club operations and a very sad and unsettling time in the country with COVID–19. After thirty-six years of management in the hospitality industry from small market clubs to billion dollar resorts, COVID–19 has redefined my management methodology in four specific areas.

Club: Providing an oasis of enhanced safety, a healthy and fun environment.
Staff: Value staff more as a whole person of their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
Offerings: Enhanced personalization of the member and guest experience in every key result area.
Finances: Enhanced disciplined approach to the zero based budget process. Focus on every interaction, every occurrence with every member to be as accommodating and efficient as possible and still provide the outstanding product and or service.

As a result, the club finished financially in good order with the second best bottom line year in over 20 years, despite a 56.5% decrease in food and beverage revenue and a 26 member decrease from the beginning of the year. This is a direct result of dedicated work by the staff to keep the club as relevant as possible and manage costs, member leaders that encourage participation like the Newbie, Bunker Bee, WADWCC and the Other Guys golf and social groups, the standing committees and board of directors for their input and support of operations and last but not least, the federal government for an IRS tax credit.

Our 2021 business plan is built on growth with programs and offerings to enhance the lives of our members, guests and staff. Along with the valuable lessons learned and enhanced management to become more relevant, efficient and productive in operations this year. As we manage through this year, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or ideas to improve club operations.

Please stay healthy and safe.

Duck Woods Country Club news

As we emerge from a difficult year into a year with hope of the possibilities for a return to “normal” activities, we do so in a sound financial position. With that in mind, we have been working and redefining our five-year capital plan to maintain and enhance our property for increased member engagement and to attract new members. The plan has a mixture of behind the scenes capital, such as HVAC units that are in their 16th year of service, ovens entering their 20th year of service, as well as infrastructure, such as cart paths and bridges on the golf course. With prudent use of our 2020 capital improvement dollars, we negotiated and purchased two new fairway mowers and a tee and greens mower for $176,919.98. With the golf course on plan to maintain and upgrade course conditions, we are also planning on items for all the key result areas, such as fitness and pool equipment and supplies, as well as the possibility of dedicated pickleball courts.

This plan is a well thought out and an all-encompassing club plan that will maintain and keep our club relevant for generations of members now and in the future. Please stay healthy and safe.

Thank You.