19th Hole: Eli Rahz

By |  July 12, 2023 0 Comments
Eli Rahz (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Eli Rahz (Photo: Golfdom Staff)


Eli Rahz

Director of Agronomy // Lemon Bay GC, Englewood, Fla.

Eli, drinks are on me — what are you having? I’ll have a bourbon … do they have Basil Hayden here?

What should I know about Lemon Bay? We’re in the tenth week of a full-course Drew Rogers renovation. Everything from irrigation up is being worked on. We shut down on April 3 and are scheduled to open on Dec. 1. I’m so fired up to see how this course looks when Drew is finished. It’s going to be incredible.

You’re married with kids, right? Yes, I have an amazing wife, Amanda. She followed me down here from Saucon Valley (CC, Bethlehem, Pa.). We have two children; Gwyndolyn is 8-1/2 and Penelope is 3-1/2.

What do the girls like to do for fun? Every Saturday morning, I wake up and ask two things: “What do you want for breakfast?” and “What do you want to do today?” They always say, “Go to your work!” They love the golf course.

That’s exactly what you want to do on your day off, right? Honestly, Lemon Bay is an amazing place. The people here are genuinely nice and friendly. I don’t mind it.

Do you have anything in your office that is especially sentimental? Last Father’s Day, my daughters built this little cigar box-looking thing … On it reads “We love you, Dad.” I keep my Expo markers in there. Whenever they come over, they open them and color.

What sports teams do you root for? I’m still hanging on to my old Ohio allegiances, the Browns and Guardians. I root for the Buckeyes, even though I’m a Rutgers grad. Since I’ve moved to Florida, we’ve taken the Tampa Bay teams — it’s been pretty easy with all the championships they’ve had recently.

What’s the hardest part about moving south? The difference in grass types, the weather or the lifestyle? All three. You must balance your life here because we don’t get that extended period where the course is closed, and you have to rein it in some. I learned that early on. At my first aerification, I wasn’t satisfied with how fast we were going. I jumped in and pushed the pace. I worked myself into not being able to come in the next day — I was throwing up and dehydrated. I was a mess.

When you are about to tackle a tough job, do you have a song or a playlist to pump you up? I don’t need to get pumped up for work — I love what I do. I’d say it’s more likely that I’m throwing on some (John) Coltrane in the earbuds to help me calm down.

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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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