19th Hole: Dave Johnson

By |  October 3, 2022 0 Comments
(Photo: Jason Paige Smith Photography)

(Photo: Jason Paige Smith Photography)

Dave Johnson

Director of Grounds // The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.

After 18 holes — or maybe after hosting the 2022 U.S. Open — what’s your drink of choice? I like a good IPA. Tree House Brewing Co. is from this state. They’re really good.

How big is your family? I have two daughters, Valerie (18) and Samantha (16), and my wonderful wife, Maryann. They were all here during the (U.S. Open) championship. My youngest works in the bag room here. That makes my day go by and puts a smile on my face. Without them, I couldn’t have done this and been successful over the last four years.

E.J. Marshall Platter (Photo: USGA)

E.J. Marshall Platter (Photo: USGA)

I have to ask … where is the E. J. Marshall platter now? Good question. The platter is at home because a friend of mine is building me a case for it, so I don’t break it. I told him he has to help me protect it. It’s waiting for the proper arrangement so I can hang it on my office wall.

Go back to the conclusion of the U.S. Open, when did you know they were going to make that presentation to you on national TV? I didn’t know. I was as surprised as everyone else. Darin Bevard (USGA director of championship agronomy) kept checking in with me to make sure I was on time to get on the 18th fairway. He was really persistent. When I got to the fairway, he handed me the plat- ter. But things were already rolling. He said, ‘Hold this and look at the camera.’ I didn’t even have time to read it. … The platter was given to me, but right on there, it says, ‘Dave and his team.’ The people around me made it happen — it was a true team effort to make it a successful championship.

How did you and the crew celebrate the conclusion of the championship? We had a big celebration afterward at the grounds facility. We had our family, friends, industry partners and a lot of superintendents from the area. Every- body hung around, and we celebrated, laughed, cried and hugged. It was a once- in-a-lifetime experience.

So you’re a lifelong Boston guy? What makes you say that? Can you hear my accent or somethin’, Seth? I grew up 30 miles west of Boston, a small little town, and I’ve lived here my whole life. I went to UMass. Born and raised. I love it here.

What’s your all-time favorite Boston sports highlight? Well, now I have a new one, and it took place in 2022. I grew up watching the Red Sox and the Celtics, I go back to the mid-’80s watching with my father. It was phenomenal, I could go on and on. But the 2022 U.S. Open now takes it all.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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