Keeping up with the Jones: Give me a minute to thank my people

By |  October 12, 2023 0 Comments

The best concert I’ve ever seen — I’ll go on the record with this one — was the Beastie Boys at Kemper Arena in Kansas City in 1998. A Tribe Called Quest, on their farewell tour, opened the show. My friends and I saw three performers at the peak of their game.

Seth Jones headshot (Photo: Golfdom)

Seth Jones

The B-Boys were touring on their Hello Nasty album. On that disc, they had a song called Dedication. They play a simple beat while thanking a bunch of cities. It’s a throwaway track, not something they would ever release. But I bet it meant a lot to those name-dropped.

That brings me to Thank a Superintendent Day. Maybe I should take a tip from the Beastie Boys and give a few shout-outs. In the words of the great Adam Yauch, aka MCA, who died far too young at age 47, “I want to take this minute to introduce you to my people!”

For almost 25 years, I’ve been working with superintendents. Overwhelmingly, superintendents opened their doors to me, taking time away from their jobs to talk to me about what they do and to show me what it looks like. They’ve invited me to their courses, their local pubs and even their homes. I’ve met their crews, their members and their families.

There are too many superintendents I need to thank than I can rattle off here in one column. So, how about I just say thanks to the superintendents who have helped me out over the last six days?

Shout-outs to: Jim Moore; Kasey Kauff; Troy Flanagan; Tim Powers; Thomas Bastis and Matt Dachowski.

To give some detail, on Sept. 12 — Thank a Superintendent Day — I was in Dallas attending a conference. Editor Christina Herrick told me she invited columnist Jim Moore out for coffee. Moore, the former USGA director of education, doesn’t live far from Dallas (at least as far as Texas goes.)

I surprised Jim when I crashed their coffee meeting. Jim was happy to see Christina and me, and it was great to catch up. We exchanged ideas for future issues and talked about the superintendent lifestyle — both of Jim’s sons have gone on to become superintendents as well.

Photo: Golfdom staff

Photo: Golfdom staff

The next day, Kauff, director of grounds at Trinity Forest GC in Dallas, hosted me and my colleagues at his fine golf course. Kauff, whom I’ve known since he was a superintendent at Atlanta Athletic Club back in 2011, drove out to meet us mid-round. Within minutes, he had our whole group laughing, something Kauff is known for.

A few days later, I found myself in San Francisco, the guest of Flanagan and the Olympic Club. Troy told me how happy he was I accepted his invitation to the course’s media day, where the club unveiled the results of a wonderful Gil Hanse restoration. I told him how honored I was to get the invitation.

More superintendents I ran into at Olympic: Bastis, competitions agronomist for the PGA Tour, who had just wrapped up his work at the Fortinet Championship at Silverado Resort in Napa; and Powers, CGCS at Poplar Creek GC in Burlingame, Calif. I last saw Powers at the most recent GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, where his kind words motivated me to revive an old department I haven’t written in a long time.

And lastly, Dachowski, who invited me to tour Lake Merced Golf Club the next day. The course, like Olympic, recently underwent a Gil Hanse renovation. Dachowski, a new dad of 6-month-old twins, gave me a guided tour of all 18 holes, and the renovation was indeed fantastic.

I’m writing this from the Oakland airport, about to head home after a busy week. I think I could write a shout-out column every month and never thank every superintendent who has helped me and this magazine.

So, to all of you out there: thank you.

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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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