Friends in High Places: Herm Edwards

By |  May 24, 2024 0 Comments

“You play to win the game!”

What sports fan hasn’t quoted Coach Herm Edwards? A cornerback in the NFL for 10 years, Edwards spent most of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles (1977-1985) as well as the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams. Edwards earned second-team All-NFC honors in 1980, helping the Eagles reach Super Bowl XV.

Photo: Golfdom staff

Photo: Golfdom staff

Edwards went on to coach after his playing career ended, first at the collegiate level, then in the NFL. He served as head coach of the New York Jets (2001-2005) and the Kansas City Chiefs (2006-2008.) Edwards also worked as a studio analyst for ESPN. Most recently he was the head coach of Arizona State University (2018-2022).

A motivational speaker, Edwards co-authored the book You Play to Win the Game — Leadership Lessons for Success On and Off the Field, the book title is a call back to Edwards’ famous press conference as head coach of the Jets when he incredulously repeated the line to a reporter.

“I’m pretty big into golf because I like the challenge of it,” Edwards says. “Am I any good at it? I’m OK. I mean, it’s like anything else — If you don’t practice, you’re not going to be any good.

I enjoy going out playing. I love the scenery of a golf course. I think the way they’re set up and you watch the guys that set the golf courses up where when you walk out there, there’s certain places you can go and you go, ‘Wow, this is pretty special.’ And I think those guys — the superintendents of golf — the little things, the things that we take for granted … when you see it, you go, ‘Who did this? This doesn’t just happen.’ It doesn’t. They didn’t just water the grass! You’re like, okay, there’s certain things they do. They have a way of presenting a golf course.

When you play on a really good one — it could be a muni course, it could be a private course — but the way they present it, they take great pride in their work. They really do. This is what they do and their signature’s on it.

I always say your name’s on it, their name’s on it. If I see them in their cart, or walking, I say, ‘Man, you got a nice course here.’ I tell them, you got a nice course.

But I’m also always messing with them. I’ll say, ‘Why you putting dirt on the fairways, that’s going to be there for a month!’ They’ll say, ‘We’re getting them ready!’ and I say, ‘OK!’ But I always tell them, thank you.

They’re hard-working guys. They start when it’s dark. I mean, those trucks are cranking — they got lights on them trucks and it’s dark out. Look at the Masters. People are leaving and them dudes are out there raking the traps, filling the divots, and the next day when people come back out, they say, ‘Did they even play out here yesterday?’ Yeah, they did — but guess who was out here working all night, getting it fixed up?

It’s amazing what they do and what they mean to golf … but they don’t get enough credit.”

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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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