Don’t picture me rollin’

By |  February 27, 2019 0 Comments
Seth Jones headshot (Photo: Golfdom)

Seth Jones

I never know what the annual Golf Industry Show (GIS) will bring. This year, I saw so many familiar faces, made a bunch of new connections and was greeted by a lot of readers who just wanted to say hi. Here are my top four moments of GIS 2019:

4. Diversity at GIS No, Ron Burgundy, diversity at GIS does not refer to an old wooden ship! (Sorry for the “Anchorman” reference, I couldn’t resist.) This show celebrated diversity in multiple ways … from the Powell family accepting the 2019 Old Tom Morris Award, to the two women-in-turf panels (one emceed by our own Bethany Chambers) to the election of a Hispanic as president of the GCSAA.

As a second-generation Mexican-American myself (don’t laugh, I’m not kidding!), the last one really strikes a chord for me. I’ve known Rafael Barajas, CGCS, for years, and I’m proud of his accomplishment. The members of GCSAA should be proud, too. I’m excited to see how Rafael influences the association and how GCSAA celebrates his year as its president.

3. Saved from the scooter by Rob The scooters were everywhere in San Diego. A quick scan of an app and you were riding a motorized scooter to your next destination for a fraction of the cost of a cab.

But two problems: First, I just wasn’t built to ride a motorized scooter. I’ve never been the most agile guy. Second, there’s no way for a man my age to look cool on a scooter. So me getting on a scooter was a bad idea from the get-go.

I was trying to follow Golfdom Publisher Craig MacGregor back to the convention center and rapidly was losing ground … when I heard Rob Wagner, superintendent at Trump National-Bedminster, holler at me from a Gaslamp bar stool.

I couldn’t ditch that scooter fast enough in favor of sitting in an open-air sports bar, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Why was I ever on a scooter in the first place? To hustle back to the convention center? Lesson learned: Keep my feet on the ground. “Stay in your lane, bro.”

2. Anuvia Legends experience I was thrilled to emcee Anuvia Plant Nutrients’ “Legends Initiative” panel at GIS, honoring longtime superintendent Ted Horton, CGCS. Also on the panel with Horton were old friends Matt Shaffer, CGCS, and Bob Farren, CGCS.

Prior to the panel, the Anuvia folks invited all of us out to dinner. The stories traded at the table — Shaffer’s got a ton of ’em — will be something I’ll always remember.

The panel itself? It was fantastic. Horton told a story about working for the King of Morocco that made my jaw drop. That was just one of the many highlights of the panel. The entire panel will be posted online, and if you miss that, I’ll recap it here in the pages of Golfdom soon.

1. Screaming down the boardwalk on scooters Yes, I’ll complain about the scooters and commend them in the same column.

My team was invited to several parties at GIS that all happened at the same time. The challenge was getting from location to location in a short time.

We attended the Simplot customer event at the Hilton Bayfront hotel. The next stop? Harbor House Restaurant for the DryJect party, a mile away down the boardwalk … too short to Uber, too long to walk … but perfect for those little scooters.

Five of us Golfdom staffers jumped on scooters, and we zipped past people to get to the next party. A 20-minute walk along the San Diego Marina was shortened to a thrilling five-minute scooter ride. Yes, liquid courage made my ride a little less daunting.

I consider that moment a metaphor for the whole show. The Golfdom team at GIS 2019? We were just on a roll.

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