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Keeping up with the Jones: To the stars through difficulties

By |  September 17, 2020 0 Comments
Seth Jones headshot (Photo: Golfdom)

Seth Jones

Tonight, I’m writing from my driveway, under the stars, enjoying an unseasonably cool August night here in northeast Kansas. I can’t help but think of the state’s motto: Ad astra per aspera, “To the stars through difficulties.” There’s little chance I’ll stick to one point this month, so hopefully you’ll stick with me as I go to the bullet points format …

  • I’m proud to present this month’s cover story on our Herb Graffis Businessperson of the Year award winner, Rick Mooney. This story is a couple years in the making. Last summer, I had the pleasure of visiting Mooney and Shore Lodge | Whitetail Club. It takes a lot to get there, but it’s worth the effort. Mooney is a person you will always remember, even after one meeting. I first got him in Golfdom in the August 2017 19th Hole interview, and I figured it wouldn’t be long until I got him on the cover. One of his apprentices, Sean Reehoorn, summed up Mooney nicely when he told me, “When you first meet Rick, you say, ‘Who is this guy?’ He’s really crazy, but he’s also really caring. Whenever I go to GIS, the first thing people say to me is, ‘Where’s Rick?’ He’ll outwork anyone, and he’s also one of the smartest people in the business.” If you haven’t already met Rick, I hope you get to meet him soon, because he really is one of the more colorful characters in our industry.
  • It was announced recently that an in-person 2021 Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas is off the table. With conferences canceling left and right, going into early next year, the tide turned and GCSAA had to fold. I asked GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans about the survey they did asking members about hosting an in-person GIS, and he told me, “The survey was conclusive — we had roughly two-thirds that simply felt it was not in the best interest to do an in-person show in late January/early February. That was conclusive, and we felt, given everything else, that it was time to be decisive and make a decision and shift to this virtual platform.” The complete Zoom interview I did with Evans can be found here.
  • It’s disappointing to think that we won’t be able to see our Friends of Golfdom in Las Vegas next year, but I understand the difficulty of the situation. Like everyone else, we’ll adjust and find new ways to connect. I do think losing GIS makes an old-fashioned print publication like ours even more important to keep our tightknit community together. We are up to the challenge and look forward to sharing the latest and greatest the industry has to offer via our various platforms in print and online.
  • After bemoaning my lack of travel last issue, I have an exciting update: I finally left my home office a few weeks ago and boarded a Southwest flight bound for Cleveland. I stopped in at North Coast Media headquarters and met with our staff there before heading off to the suburbs to get in 18 holes at Shaker Heights CC with the CEO and publisher. It felt normal! The flight was fine … aside from a terrifying moment when I felt a sneeze coming on. Mind over matter, I was able to convince my body that removing my mask wasn’t an option and an in-air incident was avoided. I’ll get on another airplane again when asked, no stress here.
  • Thank you to the readers who reached out to me after reading July’s column (Hail, hail to the lucky ones), supportive and happy to invite me to their golf facility as soon as I start traveling again … looks like my February 2021 just opened up …

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