Keeping up with the Jones: Trying to play it cool

By |  October 5, 2021 0 Comments
Golfdom Editor-in-Chief Seth Jones (left) was happy to not only get out to enjoy a concert, but also to make some new friends in the industry by meeting PBI-Gordon’s Brett Rieck (right) at the concert (with wife, Dana and Seth’s friend Sean Lipford in back.) (Photo: Seth Jones)

Golfdom Editor-in-Chief Seth Jones (left) was happy to not only get out to enjoy a concert, but also to make some new friends in the industry by meeting PBI-Gordon’s Brett Rieck (right) at the concert (with wife, Dana and Seth’s friend Sean Lipford in back.) (Photo: Seth Jones)

Greetings from the Hall of Justice, “the HOJ” for short … my detached garage. Sporting Kansas City is on TV, alternative rock is on the jukebox and cold Miller Lite is in my can. As I learned last summer, there’s no telling where these columns go when I’m writing from the HOJ … so here we go, in bullet format.

  • A column/story from earlier this year came full circle. Hopefully you remember the story “My son the rock star” from the January issue when I wrote about Mark Merrick, CGCS, and his famous son Zack Merrick, bassist for the band All Time Low. Zack and the guys performed in front of several thousand screaming fans recently at Kansas City’s Power & Light District, and Mark set PBI-Gordon’s Brett Rieck and me up with tickets. COVID prevented the meet-and-greet with the band, but it was a great time. ATL sounded fantastic, and the sold-out crowd was enthralled. And yes, I was the oldest person at the show. I’m sure ATL fans were asking themselves, ‘who brought their dad?’ But I’ve been gray since 30, I don’t even care anymore.
  • Big news in the Jones household: my daughter, now a freshman in high school, elected to forego volleyball to join the girl’s golf team! Right now, I’m just trying to play it cool — no pressure from me. But I mean, golf is in her blood! I have photos of her in a jogging stroller on the golf course. She’s met Greg Norman. She has more U.S. Open gear in her closet than any other student at her school. Is it too soon to run out and get her a new set of irons? Or to install a golf simulator here in the HOJ? That’s just being a supportive father, right?
  • Alan FitzGerald penned an eloquent column this issue (page 14) in tribute to the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. I can’t do any better than Fitz, so I’ll just give this quick version of my “where were you when?” I had just gotten to GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, where I worked at the time. A coworker grabbed me and told me to come to the boardroom because something was up. We watched in horror. I was adrift at work the rest of the day. That night, my friend John Wake and I went to a Blockbuster (yes, the movie rental place) and grabbed the dumbest comedy we could find to keep our minds off of the tragedy. Even the dumb comedy movie couldn’t get us to laugh that night. Here’s to remembering everyone whose lives were touched on that fateful day 20 years ago, and the many heroes who stood up for all of us.
  • In this issue, we have our Early Order Program Guide. It’s our pleasure to create this supplement for the industry. Inside the supplement, we have a story about a person I’ve known for a long time. It was probably 15 years ago when I lost my cell phone at Stone Mountain Golf Club while visiting Anthony Williams, CGCS. Anthony put the call out on the radio to the crew to keep an eye out. A few minutes later, then-assistant superintendent Tommy Hewitt pulled up in his Gator holding my phone up, much to my relief. Now a head superintendent, Tommy is just as eagle-eyed today as he recently helped create a tool for superintendents across the ClubCorp network. Keep up the good work, Tommy!
  • Do we have room for one more bullet? (Looks around the HOJ, realizes it’s past midnight and I’m alone.) OK! This issue I am proud to present my cover story on John Shaw, CGCS, at Valley Brook CC in McMurray, Pa. Shaw is our 2021 Herb Graffis Businessperson of the Year. This marks the tenth time we’ve presented the award. I look back at the people I’ve written about over the 10 years and it’s a cool feeling to think of all the stories this award has allowed me to share. Thank you, Mr. Graffis.
This article is tagged with and posted in Columns, Featured, From the Magazine

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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