It’s not me, Bill Murray; it’s you

By |  September 22, 2015 0 Comments

The October issue of Golf Digest is on my desk, and it dubs itself “The Comedy Issue.” Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live is on the cover.

It was interesting to read in the Editor’s Letter from Jerry Tarde that Jost wasn’t GD‘s first choice for the cover. No, it was Carl Spackler, Dr. Peter Venkman, it was Phil Connors… the elusive actor Bill Murray.

Tarde writes that he tried everything — an editor’s version of a fastball, change-up, slider and even a spitball — to get Murray, but it was all for naught. He tried a neighbor, a brother and even a guy who shares his swami (whatever a swami is), and they still couldn’t get him.

Which makes me feel a little better about myself.

I’ve been chasing after Murray, who I consider Bigfoot, Yeti and Sasquatch all rolled into one, for years. I even got close a few times, most notably a somewhat brusque interview at the 2012 AT&T. Murray answered the three questions I had time for with questions and riddles before marching away, Stripes-style. We ran the photo of my ill-fated interview as it unfolded in the January 2013 issue of the magazine. You can see my soul getting crushed right then and there by the guy who played Bunny Breckinridge in Ed Wood (one of his most underrated roles/movies, check it out if you haven’t.)

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Something was Lost in Translation during my brief interview with Murray in 2012. Photo by Sean Lipford. Photo: Golfdom

Tarde’s column shares a few good tales, like the story of how Tim Finchem got him back out to the AT&T after being almost banished by Deane Beman. Equally cool is the story of Tarde’s other Unicorn-level celebrity, who he has at least once spoke with over the phone (Tarde hasn’t had any encounters with the Yeti, yet.)

Though he ducks the golf media, I have been told that Murray is not only friendly with fans, he’s also a huge fan of the maintenance staffs.When I told Chris Dalhamer, CGCS at Pebble Beach that I was hoping to catch Murray for an interview, he raved about him. “He’s a great guy — always takes time to stop and chat with our crew when he’s out here.”

Maybe next time I go undercover, ditch the media credential, and approach him as a member of the crew? (Nah, I couldn’t — that’s way too paparazzi/TMZ for me.)

But it’s good to know I can again watch Groundhog Day without feeling like a complete failure. If a mainstream magazine like Golf Digest can’t get him, well, an industry-specific magazine like Golfdom is going to struggle too, right?

I’ll at least take solace in the thought that, if Carl Spackler were real, he would prefer Golfdom over our competitors. I’ve got that going for me… you know the rest.

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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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