Jonesy’s GIS notebook: odds and ends

By |  February 13, 2018 0 Comments

Let’s go Chief!
At the Standard Golf booth, I saw my old pal Matt Pauli, who recently became part owner (along with all the rest of his co-workers) of the company. He had a new rake called The Chief that he wanted me to take for a test spin.

He talked to me about how more courses are adopting “Aussie-style” bunkers… about one in three in the U.S. This rake has shorter teeth one side, and a smooth side on the other. The smooth side is for the faces of the bunkers — where Matt tells me guys have been using paint brushes to smooth — and the other is for the bottom and gives a gentler scrape to the base of the bunker for a consistent lie.

The origins of the rake go to Oakmont, where Dave Delsandro is the superintendent. If you know Dave, you know he likes to avoid the spotlight, so don’t expect to see him in any commercials for this rake soon. But Dave and the team at Oakmont contacted Matt about the idea, and the folks at Standard put their 3-D printer to work.

It’s different and it’ll be available this spring. Learn more about the Chief, and see a video of it in action.

Breakfast of champions
Let the record show that at the 2018 GIS, I didn’t something out-of-character: I attended a breakfast meeting.

While my co-workers went to the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association breakfast (TOCA), Group Publisher Bill Roddy and I went over to the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) breakfast. The room was packed with every chemical manufacturer you can expect to see at the GIS, and the conversation was about efforts to keep pesticide applications legal and understood by the general public.

Karen Reardon, VP of public affairs for RISE, had rave reviews for the superintendent side of the business. She said that more than any other group they represent, the superintendent is the most proactive in helping people understand the benefits of pesticides.

“We go into some tough places and when we get there, a golf course superintendent is almost always there before us,” she said.

RISE President Aaron Hobbs — always a good interview — talked to the group about how Washington, D.C. has changed under the current administration.

“Things are different (under President Trump). It’s a different time,” he said. “To say it’s weird is probably alright. Overall things are moving in the right direction for the industry and the association. It does require a different kind of patience, and there is a lot of noise.”

Hobbs said the Trump Administration is generally more friendly to RISE than the previous administration, but because of a lack of political appointees, everything has slowed down. He compared it to a business with no middle management… slower to make decisions, slower to get answers.

Speaking of associations, I also met with Keith Jones of the Biological Product Industry Alliance (BPIA). There’s another group that is bullish on the industry. Just since Jones has taken the reins a few years ago the BPIA has grown from 85 members to 125 members. And he sees many more joining the group by the time we go to San Diego for the GIS next year.

“Conservative projections say we’ll see double-digit growth over the next two to three years,” Jones told me. He’s impressed with the Golf Industry Show, the superintendents and their dedication to integrated pest management. Like RISE, you get the sense that the BPIA has a special appreciation of golf and golf superintendents. To learn more about those guys visit

I didn’t make it to any chapter parties this year. There were several I wanted to pop in on, including my local chapter (Heart of America), the Wisconsin room, the Rocky Mountain guys and so on. But I figured I’d do better seeing those guys when I’m in their respective states later in the year.

The party at Durty Nelly’s was epic, thanks to everyone who came by. We’ll do something similar next year. If you want to be on the guest list for a fun party next year in San Diego — not sure where or when yet — just shoot me an email and I’ll add you to “the list.” Kansas City Barbecue was recommended to me, but man… I know they shot a part of Top Gun there, but I prefer an Irish pub, you know?

I made it to a few of the industry parties. Lots of fun locations all in a relatively small area. That enabled me to hit three parties on my first night in San Antonio.

Don’t forget the Golfdom Summit Golden Ticket to benefit the EIFG is still out there. The auction closes on Feb. 19th. Click here to have a look.

That’s all I’ve got time for today. Great seeing you all at the GIS. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth or stopped us while we were out and about with the kind words.

We’ll see you all in San Diego, if not sooner.

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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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