Keeping up with the Jones: Celebrating women in turf

By |  April 10, 2023 0 Comments

The 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla., was an exciting tournament to watch. It had a star-studded leaderboard with several players all within a stroke or two of each other for the lead down the stretch. On top of that, the course looked immaculate.

A month earlier, in February, during the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, Chris Flynn, CGCS, director of grounds at Bay Hill, hosted 300 GCSAA members at the course. Flynn and his team gave an educational tour of the property while focusing on tournament prep. Some fortunate superintendents even got to play the course that week.

It’s always more fun to watch a tournament on TV when you’ve played the course yourself. Who can resist providing their own commentary to whoever is within earshot — of how you played the hole that’s on screen at that very moment?

Well, at least the successful holes … never mind the double bogeys.

In 2018, Bay Hill undertook a $3.5 million renovation, replacing an outdated irrigation system from the 1960s. At the time, it was the largest golf course irrigation renovation performed in the country, and throughout all of it, the course remained open.

Flynn knew that for the project to be successful, he needed someone to run point on the renovation and to learn the new system during installation. Without hesitation, Flynn chose Senior Assistant Superintendent Alexandra Hills.

“Alex is simply an all-star,” Flynn says. “She has proven to be a leader with just about everything she gets involved with. I’m extremely fortunate to work alongside her and to play a role in her career journey.”

Just like Bay Hill and its team were happy to host the GCSAA and conference attendees, Flynn and Hills were happy to help us here at Golfdom. When we reached out to Hills to ask her to be a part of our Women in Turf issue, her response was, “I’ll do anything to promote the women in this industry.”

Flynn told me that he relies on Hills for every facet of the operation at Bay Hill.

“Her strong work ethic and ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude has made her an invaluable member of our team,” Flynn says. “Aside from the time she puts into work, along with being a mother of two, she also finds time to give back by serving on the (Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association) Assistant Committee and being a leader in the Women in Turf movement.”

In this issue, we are happy to celebrate the Women in Turf Team with a story written by two women in the industry: Golfdom Editor Christina Herrick and Golfdom Digital Editor Sydney Fischer.

We’ll be back in just a few weeks!

What’s better than receiving one issue of Golfdom in your mailbox? Receiving two different issues of Golfdom in the same month.

In just a few short weeks, you’ll see your favorite magazine in the industry (maybe even the world!) hit your mailbox again with a special spring bonus issue that we’re calling Golfdom’s Tour Guide.

This issue will spotlight multiple professional tournaments around the country. It will also include a complete list of every tournament and its host superintendent.

This is our first try at this, and I’m excited to see how it turns out. A lot of work has gone into this issue. We can’t spotlight everyone, but if you are a candidate for coverage and want to be included in 2024, reach out to me!

Bold prediction: this will be one of the most popular issues in the industry in just a few short years.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Columns, From the Magazine, Industry News

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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