How a Pine Valley tee time tanked JJ Redick’s Boston Celtics interview

jj redick speaks into a microphone and joe mazzulla walks in a black shirt.

What would you give up for a Pine Valley tee time?

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We would call a tee time at Pine Valley the real-world equivalent of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, but even that would be underselling it.

In the Wonka movies, five people (and their plus-ones!) earn entrance into the chocolate factory. At Pine Valley, you’d be lucky to enter as a pack of four.

That’s how hard it is to earn an invitation onto GOLF’s No. 1 course in the world — a club so revered it remains entirely in a class of its own. It is expected that you should drop anything for the chance to walk the hallowed fairways of George Crump’s design, should you be so lucky as to earn an invitation. And, as former NBA-er JJ Redick proved late last year, that includes the opportunity to coach the winningest franchise in NBA history.

On Thursday, Redick appeared on Pablo Torre’s wonderful new podcast, Pablo Torre Finds Out, to discuss (among other things) his current and future coaching prospects. The former Duke star is a few years removed from his retirement from pro ball — a time that has seen him pursue a career in media as an analyst for a host of NBA programming on ESPN and a host of the uber-popular hoops podcast The Old Man and the Three. Redick is a self-professed control freak, a trait that makes him a gifted voice for basketball in much the same manically practiced way he was once a gifted shooter. But, as he admitted on Torre’s show, talking about basketball doesn’t elicit the same passion for the sport that playing it once did. At least a few times in the last few years, Redick says, his mind has drifted to the possibility of rejoining the pro ranks as a coach.

“The people that I talk to within the NBA circles, my friends, former agents, people that I worked with — we have talked since I retired about the idea of me coaching, and I think there’s a strong desire for sure,” Redick said. “People come up to me and they’re like, ugh you look like you’re having so much fun in media. And I’m like, yeah, it’s fun, and there are great days, but there are bad days, too. There are some really bad days. I leave my place of work, whatever it may be, and I’m discouraged. And that’s not a knock on anyone. I loved every day in the NBA, but this is a new thing.”

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The opportunity to enter the coaching world is tempting, particularly for a player who maintains so many connections in the pro game. But coaching is also taxing; a monthslong slog that requires the undivided and uninterrupted attention of the individuals running a team. That hasn’t stopped Redick from looking — he said on Torre’s podcast that he has taken “between six and eight” coaching interviews over the last few years — but it has, on at least one occasion, stopped him from committing.

And at least part of the reason for that hesitation? Yes, a Pine Valley tee time.

As Redick tells it, the story starts immediately following Joe Mazzulla’s surprise hiring as Boston Celtics head coach in October of 2022. Keen hoops fans will remember Mazzulla, a talented but unproven assistant, was thrust into the lead job after the Celtics placed then-head coach Ime Udoka on administrative leave for an inappropriate relationship with a coworker. With just days until the start of training camp, Mazzulla began an all-out sprint to fill out his coaching staff, which is how Celtics GM Brad Stevens wound up phoning Redick to ask if Mazzulla could join his Sunday afternoon foursome in Boston.

Mazzulla and Redick got to talking, and before long it became clear that Mazzulla was interested in hiring him as a Celtics assistant.

“We’re on the 11th hole, Joe and I have now been talking for 2.5 hours,” Redick says. “I’m asking him questions — what type of role I’m going to have? What would I be responsible for? Where can I help the most? — I’m getting a feel for him. And [Celtics assistant GM Austin Ainge] asks me, do I have any more golf trips planned this fall?”

Redick stopped dead in his tracks. He is, charitably, a golf addict (as has been chronicled already on this website) — and he did, in fact, have another golf trip in the fall. And not just any golf trip, but one to the granddaddy of ’em all: Pine Valley.

“I said, yes, ‘I’m going to Pine Valley on October 18th’ — and the look on Joe’s face,” Redick said, laughing. “I knew as soon as I said it, I was like ‘oh sh*t.’ And I was like when does training camp start? When would you need me there?”

Mazzulla was, well, not willing to consider an exception.

“He was like, ‘Yeah, training camp starts Tuesday. We’d need you there Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.”

Eventually, Redick was offered the job, but he and Mazzulla decided it was best if the Celtics went in a different direction. It was a bummer for Redick, who was pumped about the opportunity to join one of the best and most historic teams in the NBA, but it was the right decision, too — and not the least bit because it kept his Pine Valley foursome in place.

To hear the rest of Redick’s (excellent) interview with Torre, you can check out the video below.

James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at

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