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Keeping up with the Jones: Reaching new heights

By |  November 2, 2021 0 Comments
At the annual TOCA meeting in Denver, Mark LaFleur of Syngenta and Jones were able to catch a recent Colorado Rockies game. (Photo: Mark LaFleur)

At the annual TOCA meeting in Denver, Mark LaFleur of Syngenta and Jones were able to catch a recent Colorado Rockies game. (Photo: Mark LaFleur)

Greetings from the Hall of Justice, our Morton Building-turned-sports-bar. The “HOJ” has become my happy place to write. Monday Night Football is on mute, and the jukebox is pumping out the jams. Coors is in the kegerator, not because it’s my favorite but because it was only $59 for the half-barrel, and I never say no to a great deal.

I’m happy to report I’ve been able to get out and travel some these last few weeks. While traveling for work, I caught games at Fenway Park in Boston, Coors Field in Denver and closer to home, I saw the Chiefs play the Browns at Arrowhead.

The trip to Fenway was for Quali-Pro’s launch of Suprado, an insecticide for annual bluegrass weevil. Ben McGraw, Ph.D., Penn State University, presented along with Quali-Pro’s Ian Rodriguez, Ph.D., on the results they’re seeing with the new chemistry. (There’s a recap of this event and the other Suprado events inserted in this issue.) Once the formal part of the meeting was over, it was time to hit the ballpark and catch a game. I’m thankful Quali-Pro put together such a fun event with a great group of superintendents. And now I can say I’ve watched batting practice from atop the Green Monster. It might be true that I’m not good with heights.

The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) — an association of people who work as communicators in the green industry, proving that there is an association for everything — is what took me to the Mile High City. It was the first time this group had been able to meet in person in 18 months.

At the meeting, former Golfdom Editor-at-Large Ed Hiscock was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame. The longtime industry editor — he worked for Grounds Maintenance magazine, then Golf Course Management magazine and then for us — was in attendance with his wife, Pat. Ed was gracious as always and asked if it was really a hall of fame, or a wall of shame? Then he said it didn’t matter to him, he was happy to be in either.

Ed taught me a lot in our time together, so I was thrilled to see him recognized. Ed got me my start in the industry 23 years ago when he hired me as an intern at GCSAA. He hired me full time when I graduated. And he was kind enough to wait about three years before telling me I was his second choice for the internship — his top choice turned the job down.

Cheers to you, Ed Hiscock, TOCA Hall of Famer.

Proud dad update: Evey’s first season playing high school golf was a success! She played on the JV team, and she and her scramble teammate, a foreign exchange student from Sweden, won the last event of the season (I told Evey I also know a pretty good female golfer from Sweden). They ham-and-egged it, Evey’s long off the tee (she didn’t get that from me), while her teammate has the short game.

Evey playing on the high school team had a great unexpected side effect: It inspired my son and me to play more often, and with her whenever possible. We had an amazing moment on the golf course this weekend when the three of us (ages 44, 14 and 9) all parred the same hole.

How cool is that for me as a dad to see these two kids looking so good on a golf course at such young ages?

I could be invited to play the finest golf course in America tomorrow … and it wouldn’t beat the feeling of that moment. Man, I love this game.

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About the Author:

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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