Keeping up with the Jones: Looking forward to summer

By |  June 14, 2023 0 Comments
Jones's son, Boyd, hanging out in the H.O.J. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Jones’s son, Boyd, hanging out in the H.O.J. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Greetings from the Hall of Justice — or H.O.J. for short — my two-car Morton Building garage that I’ve converted into my own sports bar. Now that summer is here, you can be sure these next few columns are written under the soft glow of my two Budweiser neon signs, Ms. Pac-Man and the newest addition, an upright The Simpsons arcade game.

I say bring on the summer of 2023! If you’re a working journalist stiff like me, you love this time of year. But I’ve learned over the years to be careful when I speak about my excitement for the summer around Golfdom readers. Summer fun, for me, is the same time they are lacing up their work boots a little tighter as they prepare for a battle …

In this issue’s Focus on Fungicides supplement — sponsored by my friends and neighbors at PBI-Gordon, whose new office is less than 30 minutes from the H.O.J. — I spoke with three superintendents at high-end private clubs.

The pressure is turned up everywhere, and that’s no exception at places like Congressional CC, Bethesda, Md.; Arcola CC, Paramus, N.J.; and Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta, where the expectations are sky-high.

These superintendents shared what the summer heat and high humidity can bring. Scott Slemp, director of grounds at Piedmont Driving Club, called it a “90-day war.” Then he corrected himself. “Or more like a 120-day war.”

Slemp added that just because there’s high heat and humidity doesn’t mean they can settle for good.

“We’re not looking for good or great (conditions),” he said. “We’re looking for legendary.”

How will this summer of 2023 treat our readers? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: our readers are ready for the war. You can see my story with the superintendents at those three courses, A high-stakes game, and also check out a more laid-back Q&A with Pete Wendt, Congressional’s director of golf courses and grounds, in this issue’s 19th Hole.

Water, water, everywhere

Another theme for the issue is the work being done across the industry to save water. In this month’s cover story, Associate Editor Rob DiFranco spoke with Cole Thompson, the USGA’s director of turfgrass and environmental research, about how the organization’s recent $30 million commitment to water conservation will be put to good use. That story, Leading the Charge, begins on page 11.

Also in this issue, our research editor, Mike Kenna, Ph.D., discusses a study performed at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona, on wireless soil moisture sensors. And we have a giant research article penned by enough well-known industry researchers to face the Miami Heat. That article breaks down research on cool-season turfgrass water use and needs and begins on page 36.

Before I turn off the neons

Before I sign off from the H.O.J. for the month, we have a couple of noteworthy life moments to mention in the world of Golfdom:

Congratulations to DiFranco on recently tying the knot! A photo of the happy couple on their wedding day is on this month’s Golfdom Gallery page. And another shout-out to Emma Seltzer, the daughter of our Art Director, Pete Seltzer. The proud pops happily reports that Emma graduated from college and was offered a full-time job in her chosen career path before the ink was dry on the diploma.

If you know me, you know I don’t need an excuse to celebrate. But I sure do like it when I have one! Cheers, and good luck to you all this summer.

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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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