John Kolls is following in his family’s footsteps as the new director of golf at Bentwood Country Club and he says moving from North Carolina to San Angelo, “It’s like coming home in a way.”

“My uncle, Kyle Kolls, he was here as director of golf from 1995 to 2005, and I have another family in the area as well,” the new Bentwood pro said.

“As a child I used to come and visit my family and because he was here I would come to junior camp here at this golf course and play in junior events in North Texas or West Texas with my cousin. , who is also a great golfer.”

Todd Kolls, John’s cousin, is currently running for Tom Green County Judge.

John Kolls, the new director of golf at Bentwood Country Club, has been working on his short game recently.  He comes to San Angelo from North Carolina, but is originally from New Orleans.

John Kolls was ranked #7 golf instructor in North Carolina several years ago by Golf Digest.

“It was a great honor to get this,” said Kolls, who started her new job at Bentwood on March 8.

Kolls was the golf manager at Stoney Creek near Greensboro for the past five years.

Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, North Carolina.

“I’ve spent the last 17 years in North Carolina, but I’m originally from New Orleans,” he said.

John Kolls is the new Director of Golf at Bentwood Country Club.  He has spent the past 17 years in North Carolina, but has family ties to San Angelo.

The 37-year-old played college golf at St Andrews Presbyterian College, an NCAA Division II school in North Carolina.

Kolls knows there are a lot of good golfers here in West Texas and he’s eager to help them improve.

“I’m very excited to work with all the different levels of players in this area,” Kolls said. “The one thing about West Texas golfers is that they are passionate about golf and so am I, so that’s something we have in common.”

Bentwood’s new head pro spoke about his approach to teaching.

“There is no one way to rock the club,” Kolls said. “You have to consider the golfer’s goals and keep them front and center. Trying to leverage the golfer’s strengths and trying to get them where they want to be is my goal as an instructor.

“It’s not to go teach them like I would with a player on the tour. This guy maybe only plays once a week. He just wants to hit five yards or ten yards more. He doesn’t try not playing five days a week for a living or whatever.”

Leaving the beautiful landscapes of Tar Heel Country was not an easy choice, but Kolls always felt a connection to San Angelo.

“It’s a great place to raise a family and I have two young boys and being able to do that in San Angelo I think is a win,” Kolls said.

He and his wife, Kara, have two young sons – Owen (6) and Jack (15 months).

“(Owen) has a set of clubs and his brother likes to crawl around and get his golf balls out of his bag,” Kolls said. “We’re going to find clubs for them and get them involved in the game at some point.”

Bentwood has made many improvements to the golf course and the club in general over the past few years which is exciting for Kolls.

“Having the financial support of the owners, obviously, is huge,” Kolls said. “And to see the investment they are making in the property is certainly substantial and exciting. We look forward to continuing to develop it and certainly elevating the golf game here at Bentwood.”

Charles Bryce is a journalist who covers sports in West Texas. Send him a topical tip at [email protected] Consider Supporting West Texas Journalism with a subscription to