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19th Hole: Matt DiMase

By |  August 24, 2022 0 Comments
Photo: Matt DiMase

Photo: Matt DiMase

Matt DiMase

Director of Agronomy and Landscape // Abaco Sporting Club, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas

David, what are you having? A Juan Daly, not John. Refreshing … with a good tequila.

Tell me about the club. We are a private club. We are called a sporting club because we have more than golf. We have three different types of boats. We offer kite-surfing and electronic surfboard lessons. We’ve got one of the prettiest beaches you’ve ever seen. And the golf course is 18 holes of championship links-style golf that’s a Tom Mackenzie and Donald Steel design. It’s one of the hardest golf courses you’ll ever play. There’s a reason why PGA Tour players are members here.

How did you get into the business? Originally, I wanted to be a cop. I was going to school for criminal justice, but the only two jobs on my resumé were maintaining baseball fields and golf courses. When I interviewed after taking the NYPD test, the lieutenant said to me, ‘you know I’ve never heard of a superintendent being shot at. Have you ever thought about that for a career?’ On the plane ride home, I bought a golf magazine and that’s how I found the Mundus Institute / San Diego Golf Academy.

Have you seen Top Gun: Maverick yet? I loved it, how could you not? Tom Cruise did everything right with that movie. I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies. I bought four tickets; my wife said you’re crazy, it’s just the two of us! I splurged because I didn’t want anybody sitting on either side of us. I wanted to be able to enjoy that movie.

You mentioned Darren Clark. Is he a member there? Yes, he’s been here since day one. I met him on my first day on the job. Darren Clark, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel and Danny Willett are on No. 1 tee. I have my suitcase in my golf cart. The golf course was not in very good shape. I introduce myself and Darren says, ‘I have an event here in two weeks. What can you do to make the course more presentable?’ I said give me 10 days. He left and came back for his event and told me, ‘I don’t know what you did, but you obviously know what you’re doing.’ Our relationship blossomed from there. We play quite a bit of golf after 3:30. I can’t say enough good things about the guy — he gets it. He’s a guy’s guy.

If I’m ever there, what’s one thing I have to do beyond seeing the course? You’ve got to get a boat for a day. There’s so much to see and do. There are so many outer keys with great local bars. Rum punches anywhere, and you stick to the rum punch because every place makes it just a little bit different. And you don’t want to go from a rum punch to a tequila … I learned that lesson.

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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