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19th Hole: Jason Fuertes

By |  March 16, 2022 0 Comments
Photo: Jason Fuertes / Golfdom staff

Photo: Jason Fuertes / Golfdom staff

Jason Fuertes

Superintendent //  Industry Hills GC at Pacific Palms Resort, Fullerton, Calif.

Jason, drinks are on me — what can I get you? I go straight to a neat whiskey. I like to stay warm after the round.

How long have you been married? Three years now. I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together roughly 15 years now.

Tell me about the golf course. It used to be a landfill. It opened in the 1970s. It’s a 36-hole facility, with big resort grounds. Everything that falls under grounds, I look after. It’s a great location with amazing views … it’s California! A lot of people have probably seen the course in movies and golf commercials. They film a lot out here. You’ve seen it, you just aren’t aware of it. I even catch myself watching TV and I say, “Oh, there’s Industry Hills!” I get to work with the film crews all the time, just making sure they don’t break anything or drive on the greens.

How did you get into the industry? My dad was a superintendent, I’d always come out with him when I was young, to drive the golf cart. I started getting my hands dirty around 15, in the summertime. The more I started working on the course, the more passionate I got about it.

What’s your favorite tool? My go-to has always been a simple pocket knife. You always have to have one. I use one called the RoverTac. It has a bunch of gadgets. And of course, my trusty ice pick for ball marks — a superintendent’s worst nightmare.

If you’re going over to mom and dad’s place, what do you hope is on the menu? My mom makes the best chile rellenos. It’s basically a poblano chile filled with cheese, battered with egg whites, fried up. And the salsa she makes with that is amazing. And some Mexican rice on the side. I’m there in a heartbeat, I’ll never say no to that and I’ll take some with me to go.

Give me a Spanish phrase everyone should know, for the crew? I could go on and on, but one of the main ones: cuidado con los bolazos (watch out for golf balls). A lot of guys get so focused on their work, the last thing we want is for them to get hurt by a golf ball.

How was your recent experience at Cypress Point? It was perfect, I can’t put it any other way. No wind, no clouds, sunny all day. By the second hole, I took off my sweater. And my brother and I played well, he’s an assistant at Spyglass. We played against a couple of guys here from the pro shop. And we beat them by the 13th hole, so you know — we got on a good birdie train.

As interviewed by Seth Jones, February 17, 2022.

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a 18-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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