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Keeping up with the Jones: Not in Kansas anymore

By |  June 30, 2021 0 Comments

There’s a lot of content in this month’s issue that I’m excited to share with everyone. The cover story is a remarkable tale written by longtime Golfdom columnist Matt Neff, I have a fun Q&A with Dr. Dale Sanson of PBI-Gordon and I always enjoy sharing the 19th Hole interview each month.

But the page I’m most excited about this month? The triumphant return of the Golfdom Gallery.

The Gallery page ran every month in the magazine for the last nine years. It’s our “faces and places” page where we show the movers and shakers in the industry at the various events we attend each month. It’s a page that seemed daunting when we first started it (how would we get enough photos each month?) Over the years, it became second nature for the Golfdom community; people sometimes even volunteered to smile for a photo and suggested we use it on the page. Our readers have reached out to me asking for permission to create their own customized Gallery page in the Golfdom style to commemorate retiring employees (and I always say yes).

In April 2020, COVID-19 put the page, like much in life, on indefinite hiatus. No travel, no Gallery. As much as I love Kansas and our many golf courses, an all-Kansas Gallery would get repetitive pretty quick.

Now, mirroring the many reunions around the country with family and friends, the Gallery makes a welcomed return to the magazine this month. In it, we celebrate the 2021 U.S. Open and the people we saw there. The page adds a human element to our magazine. While it was gone, I felt the magazine was missing a big part of its personality.

The return of the department prompted me to revisit some old Galleries as a reminder of how we write the page and what it looks like. Just grabbing a few back issues was a walk down memory lane. There was the photo of the crew and me, all smiles as we toasted the conclusion of the 2016 Colonial in Fort Worth. I stumbled upon our own Jake “Goody” Goodman, western regional sales manager, with NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino at who-knows-what event. I grinned when I saw the photo of Golfdom Group Publisher Bill Roddy with his wife Melissa, as they held newborn baby Sarah.

It would be a lot of fun for me to go back and collect all these pages into a single edition. It would be like a Golfdom family photo album. I wonder which industry person holds the record for the most appearances? Surely it’s either Turf’s Most Interesting Man, Bob Farren, CGCS at Pinehurst Resort, or second-generation reader of the magazine, Rees Jones, ASGCA, AKA the Open Doctor, who makes a repeat appearance in this month’s Gallery.

Often, I hear from readers that after they are featured in the Gallery, old friends come out of the woodwork with a call, a text or a DM over Twitter, just to say hello after the welcome surprise of seeing them in the magazine. It might be someone they went to college with or worked alongside years ago before changing courses. I’m happy that Golfdom can accommodate those reunions.

I’m hopeful to see Golfdom Gallery back for good as the team and I are getting back on the road again to see you, the reader, and visit the great golf courses you all maintain. If you see us, grab us and smile for a photo so we can get it on the page. And, if you’ve been featured in the Gallery and have a story about it, shoot me an email and let me know because after all, you’re family, and I love a good family reunion.

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