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Keeping up with the Jones: 2021 spun me around

By |  December 14, 2021 1 Comments
Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

There is so much to digest, and I’m not just talking about having a normal Thanksgiving for the first time in 24 months. It’s hard to believe we’re putting a bow on 2021 with this issue’s State of the Industry Report, and at the same time looking forward to 2022 with our annual Underdogs of Turf Calendar.

Special thanks to Nufarm for sponsoring our State of the Industry Report and to John Deere and Rain Bird for sponsoring our popular pup calendar. And thanks to the record-setting 139 of you who sent us great photos of your golf course dogs — there are some really great pics in this year’s calendar. Those two linchpins of this issue made my head spin. One of the reasons we went with a golf-ball-as-the-sun cover with many planets orbiting it is a nod to the myriad issues affecting the game and the business or perhaps the many balls we’re all trying to juggle.

We spoke to a dozen chapter presidents about the year that was, heard some interesting stories with some common themes and also got some great leads on 2022 story angles we should be pursuing. As we were compiling this issue, we were also receiving our 2022 Golfdom Report surveys back from our most dedicated readers (thanks to those who took the time — we are donating $1 to the Wee One Foundation for each completed survey). As those surveys were coming in, it made us hungry to get to work on our 2022 content.

Supply chain issues. Price inflation. “The Great Resignation.” We’ll have our regular feature stories you’ve come to expect in Golfdom next year like our U.S. Open and PGA Championship previews, but from the looks of things we’re also going to have a whole slate of important fresh topics to tackle in the new year.

Before I set sail on 2021, here’s a quick look back at my high and my low of 2021:

My low was trying to host a virtual Friends of Golfdom (FOG) party in honor of Rick Mooney, vice president of maintenance and development, Shore Lodge | Whitetail Club, McCall, Idaho. Mooney was named Herb Graffis Businessperson of the Year in 2020, and we tried to celebrate it during the 2021 virtual Golf Industry show. That whole week was a nightmare. Our Zoom party with Rick was fine, but if you know Mooney you know that would have been so much more fun in person, and it would have been an amazing turnout. Instead, it was those awkward moments of people talking over each other, wondering how long they should sit in front of their computer screen on a Wednesday afternoon in February.

I’m so excited to return to an in-person GCSAA Conference & Show in San Diego in early February. I hope to see many of you there, and hopefully I get a chance at a make-good with Mooney and the FOG.

My high was speaking at the joint chapter event of the Southern Illinois and Mississippi Valley GCSA chapters back in May, at beautiful St. Claire CC in Belleville, Ill., and enjoying a day on the golf course with a great group. I played like a dog but this was the first chapter event I’d been able to attend in months, and it turned out to be the beginning of me getting out there and seeing our readers again. As of this writing, my spreader is set to WFO, and I just did a spell of six of the last eight days on the road visiting folks in the industry.

I want to thank you all for your support this year. 2021 was a phenomenal year for our humble publication, made possible by you, the reader, by our industry partners and by our team here at North Coast Media. Happy New Year. I’ll see you in 2022.

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a 18-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 sjones@northcoastmedia.net.


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