The Joe VanHoose Story


That photo is real. I played Augusta National Golf Club the Monday after the 2011 Masters. Shot a 91. I contend that I am the only man in the world who has played Augusta National and eaten at Long John Silvers in the same day.

After that, my story gets a little boring. But I’ll try to make it sound neater than it is.

I live in Athens, Ga., and started a new career in public relations in 2012 after a three-year run at the Athens Banner-Herald. At the ABH, I covered the arts, music, entertainment, food, health, faith, golf and stock car racing beats. There were certainly worse gigs out there.

I think my gig at Jackson Spalding is even better.

I grew up in Ocala, Fla., and started my journalism career there. I graduated from Jacksonville University and worked a few public relations jobs in Jacksonville and Nashville, Tenn., before I caught the journalism bug.

The only way to kill the journalism bug is to cross a few items off your bucket list. Did I mention I played Augusta National?

If you’re looking for me, limit your search to good barbecue restaurants, second-rate concerts and race tracks. You’ll find me sooner or later.

A few other tidbits:

  • I’ve won two Georgia Press Club and Associated Press awards for feature writing.
  • I’ve been named Employee of the Month at least once in every office I’ve ever worked in.
  • On a few nights at Ocala Speedway, I filled in as the track’s announcer. Best gig ever.
  • I take barbecue very seriously. Give me good ‘cue or no ‘cue at all.
  • If you’re looking for the best barbecue in the Southeast, try 12 Bones in Asheville, N.C., Mojo’s in Jacksonville, Fox Brothers in Atlanta, First Choice in Tampa and Chub’s in Ila, Ga.
  • I love to play guitar and have written several songs. Sometimes I even play them in front of people. You know, songs like this one: 


  • My golf handicap is 14. When I play enough, it’s closer to 10.
  • I’ve covered four Daytona 500s, a dozen NASCAR races and more than 100 motorsports events across the country.
  • I have been foster-parenting a cat since September 2010. I’m pretty sure I have a cat now. His name is Butters.
  • I can be just about anywhere in 72 hours or less.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd and North Wilkesboro Speedway got me into journalism. Both are long stories.
  • I believe the greatest sandwich in America is at Angie’s Subs in Jacksonville. If you’re within 100 miles, it’s worth a day trip.
  • Darlington Raceway feels like home to me. I’ve never lived in South Carolina.
  • I have Crohn’s Disease, or at least that’s what doctors tell me. Fortunately, this development has not affected my barbecue diet.
  • I don’t cover college football because I’m too big of a Florida homer. It’s great to be a Gator. But I have a thing for the Clemson Tigers, too.
  • I drive about 25,000 miles a year. Fortunately, my 2006 Mazda3 handled every last one of them for eight years. Now, I drive a 2011 Lexus CT200h. It’s lovely.
  • I’ll take the mountains over the beach any day. But I need the beach more than I need the mountains.
  • I’m always open to new ideas and opportunities. Stop by the “Contact” page and let me know what you’re thinking.

One thought on “The Joe VanHoose Story

  1. Hey Jose, it may be a bit out of your range, but if you’re ever at the inters cation of I-77 and Zephyr Rd. in Dobson, NC, give the shredded pork at Surry Diner a try. Caution: the sauce is of the sweet variety. Made with love and care by a country guy who knows his shit. Or get the Western omelette made with country ham and ht that pork butt dinner later as take out.

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