Editor’s note: 5 workdays Seth Jones would relive

By |  August 6, 2019 0 Comments
Seth Jones headshot (Photo: Golfdom)

Seth Jones

Forget Christmas in July — today I’m celebrating Groundhog Day in July.

I’ll explain. In this month’s 19th Hole interview, I asked Jason Tharp, superintendent at Glen Arven CC, if he found himself in the premise of the movie Groundhog Day, where he had to live the same day over and over — what day would he hope to find himself trapped in? I told him he had to choose a day related to his job — eliminating the answer of his wedding day or the recent birth of his son.

That silly question elicited a great answer. Read his responses here.

Then it got me to thinking about what workday I could live over and over again. Here’s a quick list:

2003 Masters — The winner wasn’t memorable (sorry, Mike Weir) but my first Masters was. I had to choose between the Final Four (my Jayhawks were in) and the Masters. Not knowing if I’d ever get another opportunity to go to Augusta, I made the agonizing decision to leave New Orleans after attending the semifinals. (I still blame myself for the KU loss in the championship.) It drizzled on and off, but I got to behold Amen Corner with my own eyes.

I’m thankful every year I get to go back. If you still haven’t gone, you need to make it happen in 2020.

Cancún 2010 — I was tasked with writing a cover story on Nick Price for my previous employer. Price’s people got back to me on a Monday and asked me if I could be in South Florida by that Thursday. I said it was unlikely, given the short notice. Then I was told that if I could get down there in time, I could join Price on his private jet for a quick weekend down to Cancún to check out some golf courses.

I figured out a way to get to South Florida by Thursday.

2012 British Turfgrass Management Expo — My first trip to London was energizing as well as entertaining. Traveling to Harrogate was a fun adventure with some old friends in the industry. The show itself was good … but the atmosphere and camaraderie was phenomenal. I’ll never forget walking into a pub and getting the “Norm!” from Cheers treatment from a raucous group of Irishmen.

And no, they didn’t know me.

Rounds at Pinehurst No. 2 or the Straits Course at Whistling Straits — I’m the high handicapper who shows up to the first tee with a golf bag with his name stitched on it (hey, it was a gift and besides … my name looks good on there). I’m a hack but once in a while, I play beyond my own abilities.

When you’re as bad a golfer as I am, that random lighting-in-a-bottle round is so rewarding. Bonus points when it’s on a top 100 course.

The 2018 ANA Inspiration — My oldest friend in the industry, David Hay, CGCS, invited me to come out to Palm Springs for the first women’s major of the year. I hadn’t been out there in a while, so I said yes. Then Dave Johnson, the longtime superintendent at Mission Hills, unexpectedly passed away. Hay was suddenly thrust into the position of filling in for his old friend. It was an emotional trip but also memorable for the quiet moments on the golf course, watching the best female golfers in the world with a relatively small, serene audience of fans, accompanied by Dave’s constant cigar smoke.

When the work was done, Dave and I drove out to the desert to sip a cold beer and look at the San Andreas Fault.

I can think of more, but this is a sampling of some of my Groundhog Day-worthy workdays. What are yours? Tweet them to me or post a message on our Facebook page and tell me the story. Or, even better: Tell me the story in person next year at Augusta National.

Email Jones at: sjones@northcoastmedia.net or tweet him @SethAJones.

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