19th Hole: Greg Matz

By |  April 4, 2024 0 Comments
Photo: Leo Moen

Photo: Leo Moen

Greg Matz

Superintendent // Inglewood GC, Kenmore, Wash.

Greg, drinks are on me… what are you having? We’ve got a lot of great microbreweries here in Seattle. Let’s go with something local: an IPA from Ravenna Brewing.

Tell me about Inglewood CC. It’s a 100-plus-year-old course. The centennial anniversary was in 2019. A.V. Macan designed it. He was from Ireland and moved to Victoria, British Columbia, in the early 1900s after World War I. He did a lot of courses in the area — Washington State, Oregon, Northern California. It’s a relatively big property, 135 acres of maintained turf. It’s a pretty good test of golf just up above Lake Washington.

How did you get into the business? I went to a smaller college in California and graduated as a communications major. I spent some time in the mid-nineties working in the San Francisco Bay Area in public relations and marketing for internet start-ups. I enjoyed it but knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I moved back to Seattle. A chance encounter with the superintendent at my folks’ club led me to joining the staff. My superintendent said, “If you don’t want to be a lawn mower all your life, you’re going to need to go to turf school.” He made a couple of recommendations and I ended up going to Michigan State.

What was it like going back to college? It struck me from the first day that I was a different student at 28, 29, than I was when I was 19, 20, 21. I was really focused on what I was studying. I was paying for it all myself and I was studying something that I liked and knew was going to get me to somewhere that I was going to like.

Are you a sports fan? I’m a big sports fan. I grew up here, so I’m a Mariners, Seahawks and U-Dub Huskies fan. I dip my toes in with the Kraken. If I stretch out from there, my alma mater Santa Clara and my turf school, Michigan State.

Next time I’m out your way, what is something I’ve got to do? You’ve got to go to Dick’s Drive-In and get a hamburger. Then, go up in the Space Needle. You really get the whole view, the Puget Sound to the west, Mount Rainier and downtown to the south, Lake Washington and Lake Union to the north and the Cascade Mountain range to the east.

Do you have a most memorable day at work? It was a Sunday morning and I had the day off. I woke up, checked my phone and I had a couple messages from the golf shop. A driver ran a red light and plowed through a Leland Cypress tree hedge, into a bunker and flipped his car onto the No. 7 green. He was hauled off for impaired driving. He did some damage, but it could have been worse. The funny thing was, it was an identical truck to the one I drive. So, the crew’s initial reaction was, ‘Aw geez, was that Greg?’ So we all had a good laugh when I came in.

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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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