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Keeping up with the Jones: A busy but fun year

By |  November 28, 2023 0 Comments

As I prepared to write this month’s cover story on the recent work at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, I picked up my iPhone to refresh my memory of what I saw when I played the course. I scrolled back to the summer, trying to remember when it was that I was there. Before or after July 4th? Before, I think.

Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Lost in a cavalcade of photos — Wrigley Field, camping with the kids, Starlink floating by in the night sky — I finally gave up and consulted my calendar. It was just seven weeks ago? For some reason, it felt like it was months ago.

Sitting next to the Solo Stove on a beautiful fall Kansas day, I told my wife that, in hindsight, this year felt really long. Maybe it was because we did so much.

It was a busy, productive year, both personally and professionally. This year, the team here at Golfdom created our first-ever Tour Guide issue, where we profiled 22 superintendents hosting professional tournaments, along with a complete list of every tournament and its host superintendent. We created the second annual Supers’ Choice Awards and the 2023 State of the Industry Report, both in this issue.

I made 18 business trips, including one to Canada and one to Italy. I saw Major League Baseball games in Kansas City, Oakland, Cleveland, Chicago and Boston (the game at Wrigley Field coincided with the Chicago Air and Water Show; at Fenway, I was able to get on the field before the first pitch; and in Oakland, they chanted, ‘Sell the team!’) I took my daughter to her first college recruiting trip. I watched my son lead his soccer team in scoring. Sadly, I gave two eulogies.

2023 was a busy but fun year. In creating this issue’s State of the Industry Report, sponsored by Nufarm, I got the same impression from GCSAA chapter presidents around the country. Without hesitation, we were told that golf courses were packed, even compared to 2021 and 2022. We were told that, for many, the labor situation was improving. The weather, for the most part, was better than cooperative.

Late in the magazine’s publishing cycle, I called several trusted sources to get their feedback and comments for our Supers’ Choice Awards. You won’t see my friend, Tim Davis, superintendent at Legacy Ridge GC in Denver, quoted anywhere else in this issue, but our catch-up conversation summed up the mood of this issue. Tim says right after he put out fertilizer in the spring, it rained for three straight days, the course was as green as it’s ever been, golfers were thrilled, and they set a record for both rounds played and revenue. As he said, it was the year that everything came together.

A day later, I got a call that sounded like it was made from a tin-can phone. In the distance, I heard, “Seth, it’s Damon and Pinki calling from St. Lucia!” I had not spoken to Damon Di Giorgio in forever but have been observing his progress on the beautiful Point Hardy GC, which was just featured on the cover of Golf Magazine. His excitement for everything — the course, catching up, asking me about my Italy trip — was palpable, even on the shaky phone connection. How did Damon know his name came up just the other day while we sat around the Solo Stove?

2023 will be a year to be remembered. Consider the number of people who enjoyed the results of your hard work this year. Take a minute and scroll through your photos on your phone. Soak in all that you saw and all that you accomplished. (Have you ever seen Starlink in the sky? It’s uncanny.)

I don’t know if the year felt long or short to you, but one thing I think we can agree on is that 2023 was a success.

This article is tagged with and posted in Columns, Current Issue, From the Magazine

About the Author: Seth Jones

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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