Defining the Dark Side

By |  August 12, 2016 0 Comments

golf-july-cover_200x271When we use the term “going to the Dark Side” do you know what we mean? Of course you do. It’s a common term that’s been used for years, and not just in our industry.

No, the Dark Side does not describe any one specific industry (unless you take science fiction movies far too seriously, and believe that real people died building the Death Star). The Dark Side is what people say when someone leaves one side of a business for a different area of the same business. It’s what my co-workers good-naturedly said to me when I left GCSAA to work for Golfdom. It’s what Pat Jones tweeted to my co-worker Bill Roddy when he left an advertising agency to join North Coast Media.

PJ_BR_Note-cropYes, Golf Course Industry’s Pat Jones has attacked Golfdom (while not using our name or providing the link to the story that offended him so much) for “perpetuating a counterproductive stereotype” after we used the term on our cover. He hasn’t been honest about our story. The cover story isn’t an attack on the sales side of the industry, as he paints it. It’s a frank and forthright conversation among five former superintendents who left their superintendent jobs to take positions in Green Industry sales. Give it a read, the story needs no defense.

Pat’s using our story to get clicks for his own website, and it’s working. But a lot of people aren’t falling for his P.T. Barnum circus act. After all, the guy who allegedly hates the term so much uses it himself — like in this video shot only a few months ago (fast forward to the 15:35 mark.)

Not everyone has had the opportunity to leave an employer on good terms and move to a new position within the same industry. The so-called Dark Side has been very good to this editor, and to each of the former superintendents turned Green Industry sales representatives whom we feature in our August cover story. And trust us, no one has ever sustained a lightsaber injury in the transition.

And no, despite all my gray hair and the common last name, I am not Pat Jones’ father.

Photos: Golfdom

This is posted in Columns, Featured

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

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