Our Staff

Department Head Staff:

Patrick O’Keefe, CCM, PGA


Patrick O’Keefe, the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Duck Woods Country Club, has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Patrick is a member of the PGA of America and the Club Manager’s Association of America. He has held positions such as CEO and Vice President with some of the finest private, semi-private, public and resort golf facilities and hospitality companies in the world. Patrick is an accomplished tournament player and golf instructor, having previously taught at the Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf.

Tom Wallwork

GCSAA, Director of Golf Operations

Our Director of Golf Operations, Tom Wallwork, is a Class A member of the GCSAA. He attended Edison Community College’s Turf/Golf Management Program while growing in The Strand and TwinEagles Country Club in Naples, FL. The Strand played host to the LPGA Memorial. TwinEagles is an Audubon Signature Course designed by Jack and Jackie Nicklaus and the club hosted the Office Depot Father/Son tournament and the Champion Tour’s Ace Group Classic. After spending five years as Assistant Superintendent at TwinEagles, Tom took a Superintendent position at Panama Country Club in Lynn Haven, Florida which then led to the opportunity to come to Duck Woods Country Club in March of 2005.

Aaron Palen

PGA, Head Golf Professional

Aaron graduated from North Carolina Wesleyan College in 2002 where he played collegiately. Aaron has held the position of Head Golf Professional at fine clubs in the region for over ten years. Aaron's leadership, professionalism, attention to detail, golfer development programs, and merchandising skills have elevated him to the top of his profession. In March of 2018, Aaron was awarded the 2018 Middle Atlantic PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year award for his Golf Shop's financial performance, artistic displays, and his Professional Staff's ability to provide small but powerful "wow" moments.  In 2014 and 2015, Aaron was nominated for the Middle Atlantic PGA Section Youth Development Award for his extremely vibrant, contagious, and ever-growing Junior Golf Programs.  Aaron and his wife Kristin have two beautiful children, Jayce and Kenzie. They love spending their family time at the beach.

Lauren Mercer

Food & Beverage Service/Event Manager

Lauren is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania and grew up spending her summers in the Outer Banks.  Lauren has many years of hospitality experience, specifically in event management.  She studied at The University of Alabama.  Lauren also has acquired many years of restaurant management experience with restaurants located on the Outer Banks.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the beach with friends and with her dog Murphy.

Stephen Jenkins

Facilities Maintenance Manager

Kip was born and raised in Port Norfolk. He then moved to Virginia Beach where he lived for 20 years. He has been on the Outer Banks since 1997 and Duck Woods Country Club since 2012. He has two beautiful daughters, Chelsea and Skylar, and two beautiful granddaughters, Cora and Roxanne.
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