Ventureout Interview Rock Barn

Ventureout Interview Rock Barn

Where the “fun” is Always Shining

Mary Ann & Bill Knox
Rock Barn Golf & Country Club
Conover, North Carolina

“Rock Barn is so wonderful. We feel so blessed. Everyday we sit on the patio and we say aren’t we the luckiest people in the whole world,” said Mary Ann Knox.

Over 12 years ago, Mary Ann and her husband Bill retired to Rock Barn Golf & Country Club from the Washington, DC area. The wanted to retire on a golf course and found the perfect place just outside the Charlotte, NC metro. Rock Barn Country Club & Spa is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Conover, NC, and features 36 holes of award-winning golf. The community boasts two challenging, picturesque, championship golf courses, a The Robert Trent Jones and a Tom Jackson course.

Mary Ann says, “We couldn’t have afforded this house in the DC area, it would have been $2 million plus in that area. I feel like the biggest cheerleader for Rock Barn. This community and the club are such an incredible value. We have more money to live the life we’ve always dreamed of. Rock Barn has vitality. We’ve lived in Rock Barn 12 years. The time goes so fast, it feels like we retired just the other day. It’s not a community, it’s a family.”

“I remember it was a culture shock to move from the DC area. But, at Rock Barn, it is living in a resort. They have everything we need here. We usually eat at the club. And, we have a world class spa that is currently being renovated to include a salt cave in addition already spectacular spa deck with jacuzzi, pools, and even a waterfall.”

The Spa at Rock Barn, is a European day spa featuring a mineral pool, a therapeutic waterfall, indoor and outdoor jacuzzis, saunas, essential oil infused steam rooms, and a bracing cold water pool. The spa also offers health and beauty treatments as well as poolside dining.

Mary Ann is the chairman of the membership committee. She says the whole culture of the club has changed. “New people move in and re-energize the community. That’s what makes the community so vibrant. Some old members have rejoined the club. It’s kind of an evolution. People are taking on new roles. We value our members. Since May 2018 we have added 72 new members and we offer a junior membership to encourage younger people to join. The staff at the club is excellent. They learn everyone’s name. They really get to know the people and the staff gets to know everyones’ name and drink.”

“When we lived in the DC area we didn’t have time to socialize like we do now. We have a club, “The Prime Timers” with over 100 people over the age of 55. Once a month we meet and even we went line dancing one time.”

The resort life, however, hasn’t been the only thing that Mary Ann has found at Rock Barn. she has now found her passion in helping others. Mary Ann volunteers in the local soup kitchen. She says “I didn’t have time when I was working. I have found my passion working with nursing homes. Just seeing the smiles on their faces is so rewarding. It’s good to give back to the community at large.”

Mary says, “Family and friends is what matters. My sister and her husband live down the cul de sac. We have created a family legacy— a tradition to pass on. My teenage grandkids want to visit. There are so many things to do. All of my grandkids and sister’s grandkids live to golf.”

“I stay so active. I never envisioned it would be so wonderful.”

A Highland Oasis in North Carolina Forested Foothills | Rock Barn Country Club

A Highland Oasis in North Carolina Forested Foothills | Rock Barn Country Club

Rock Barn Country Club & Spa in Conover, NC


Rock Barn Country Club and Spa in Conover, NC

Rock Barn Country Club & Spa is a highland oasis in the forested foothills of western North Carolina. Residential options include the walkable Walnut Ridge neighborhood and even larger sites for custom homes in The Oaks, in addition to single-family floorplans overlooking the links in The Fairways and the Golf Villas at the Laurels.

The 36 holes of championship golf at Rock Barn are highland-design masterpieces by renowned architects Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Tom Jackson. The rolling landscape is laced with creeks, ponds, and waterfalls amid hardwood groves that blossom in the spring and explode with color in the fall. Professional golf instruction is available, as well as fine and casual clubhouse dining that’s highlighted by regular events like the Sunday Champagne Brunch.

The Spa at Rock Barn, offering massage, facial, and salon services, will move into an expanded home later this year. The equestrian center is the region’s most complete facility for horse lovers who want to explore the local trails. Additional lifestyle amenities include pools and water aerobics at the aquatic center, state-of-the-art equipment, and complimentary classes for members at the fitness center, and league play at the tennis complex.

Rock Barn’s strategic location near the friendly town of Conover is yet another plus—just 45 minutes east of Pisgah National Forest hiking trails and less than an hour from the rest of the world via Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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A New Active-Adult Community in Central Florida | The Lakes at Harmony

A New Active-Adult Community in Central Florida | The Lakes at Harmony

Lake at Harmony, FL masterplanned community

The Lakes at Harmony | Harmony, FL

The Lakes at Harmony is a new active-adult community in Central Florida that’s part of the Harmony masterplanned development. Lennar is the featured Lakes at Harmony homebuilder and offers customizable two- to four-bedroom Florida, Palm, and Sanctuary series floor plans in three choice gated neighborhoods.

Residents of The Lakes at Harmony enjoy an array of lifestyle extras that include a new amenities center with multi-purpose rooms and fitness facilities, resort-style pool with sunset gazebo, and tennis, bocce, and pickleball courts. There’s also an on-site activities director to organize activity clubs and community events. Access to the adjacent Harmony Golf Preserve with the region’s only Johnny Miller Signature Course is also available, as well as a private Members Retreat in the golf clubhouse for Lakes at Harmony members.

Additional Harmony amenities include more than 12 miles of walking and biking trails through 7,700 acres of conservation areas and along the shores of two large community lakes. The Harmony Town Center is home to a grocery market, restaurants, medical
offices, a hair/nail salon, retail shops, and more.

The Harmony community is located just outside of the friendly town of St. Cloud and within 20 minutes of the region’s VA Hospital and other health-care services. Within 40 minutes or less are wide Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Orlando International Airport, and all of the area’s world-class theme parks, destination resorts, cultural centers, and nightlife venues.

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The Lakes at Harmony

The Lakes at Harmony

This gated community, with a golf clubhouse, exclusive Members Retreat and a resort-style pool with a spacious deck and Sunset Gazebo, sits on 11,000 acres. With two lakes and 12.5 miles of walking and bicycling trails, Harmony boasts a serenity matched only by its outstanding proximity to everything you could ever want. Read More...

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Settling into Community at Scotch Hall Preserve

Settling into Community at Scotch Hall Preserve

Fishing and Catching at Scotch Hall Preserve.

An Ideal Confluence of Work and Play

Scotch Hall Preserve is a North Carolina waterfront community set on a prominent headland where Salmon Creek and the Chowan River flow into Albemarle Sound. Native Americans called the area “Avoca,” meaning “the meeting of the waters.”

Lois and Richard Gobbi are originally from California but moved to Maryland 20 years ago because of his engineering work. As they neared retirement age, the Gobbis began a search that eventually brought them to North Carolina.

“We were looking for a water view where we could build our dream retirement home,” Lois said. “We looked extensively in Maryland and Virginia and found places that just didn’t suit us at much higher prices. The value of the property here was a definite attraction.”

The Gobbis found that perfect view at a Scotch Hall Preserve homesite overlooking the sound and moved into their dream home in 2017. But, like many couples who move to warmer climes these days, they didn’t both retire right away. Lois had finished up her work in a high school counseling office in 2016, but Richard still consults for a government contractor from his home office.

“Working from home allows him to enjoy the beauty of Scotch Hall and continue his career,” Lois said. She also has a home art studio for a hobby that has become a new calling as she’s gotten more involved in community life. “I’m on the HOA Advisory Board and Architectural Review Committee,” she said, “and I’ve organized art classes for the residents. My love is for painting and helping others learn to paint is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

 Scotch Hall is such a special place, not just

because of its beautiful surroundings, but because

of the wonderful people in our community.

— Louis Gobbi

Scotch Hall’s Arnold Palmer Signature golf course also proved to be irresistible. “With the beautiful course right outside our door,” Lois said, “we have both taken up golf, which is new for us.” Other outdoor recreations have also become part of their lifestyle. “The swimming pool is a big attraction for us and our family and friends,” she continued. “During the summer, I do water aerobics classes three days a week. We also enjoy jet skiing and tried kayaking with the family recently. We’re going to buy our own kayaks and maybe build our own dock in the future.”

Scotch Hall water views are breathtaking.

And, the Gobbis have found a lot to like just beyond the Scotch Hall gates. “We really enjoy trips to Edenton, which is 20 minutes over the bridge from our home,” Richard said. “Edenton has become our local town where we attend church, shop at the farmers market, and frequent the local stores and restaurants.”

Southern Hills  Country Club Living from the mid $200s


“We also love to go to the Outer Banks, which is a little over an hour and a half away,” Lois added. “We always stop at Manteo, a quaint town on the water with shopping and restaurants.”

“And, we’re planning to explore more of North Carolina,” Richard said, “especially west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Asheville area.”

Closer to home, the Gobbis have made new friends and hosted holiday dinners for their neighbors. “Scotch Hall is such a special place,” Lois concluded, “not just because of its beautiful surroundings, but because of the wonderful people in our community.”

At “The Meeting of the Waters,” Lois and Richard Gobbi have found just the right balance for the ongoing adventure of their lives.

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Featuring Georgia’s Natural Beauty

Featuring Georgia’s Natural Beauty

Top State in 
Film Production

Gov. Nathan Deal announced film and television productions generated $9.5 billion in economic impact in fiscal year 2017, setting a record with $2.7 billion in direct spending.
320 film and television productions were shot in Georgia, including several Marvel movies, Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

With a total area of nearly 60,000 square miles from 
the mountains to the sea, Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport in terms of both passenger and aircraft traffic.

Georgia's Natural Beauty Caught on Camera“The Peach State” of Georgia is no longer America’s leading producer of that sweet fruit. A more contemporary nickname for the nation’s No. 1 grower of peanuts and pecans might be “The Nut State.”
The Masters golf tournament, played every year during the first week in April, is the only one of the game’s four “Majors” to always be played on the same course at Augusta National Golf Club.

Georgia is tax-friendly toward retirees.
Social Security income is not taxed.
Withdrawals from retirement accounts are partially taxed.
Wages are taxed at normal rates, and the marginal state tax rate is 4.00%.

Historic Saint Marys on the 
Georgia coast is the second oldest city in the nation and the gateway to the pristine Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Interesting Facts

Coca-Cola was created in Atlanta in 1886 and still has its corporate headquarters in Georgia, along with CNN, Delta Airlines, Chick-fil-A, and Home Depot, among others.
Downtown Savannah, with its 22 park-like squares, numerous restored homes, and commercial buildings, is one of America’s largest National Historic Landmark Districts.
Founded in 1836, Wesleyan College in Macon was the first college in the world specifically chartered to grant degrees to women.
Athens, home of the University of Georgia, was named in 2017 by Southern Living magazine as one of the “Best Small Towns in the South to Retire.”
The Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia encompasses more than 400,000 acres of waterways, moss-draped cypress trees, and lily-pad prairies that provide sanctuary for hundreds of wildlife species, some endangered.

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