Keeping up with the Jones: Welcome to the Tour Guide

By |  May 5, 2023 0 Comments
Graphic: Golfdom Staff

Graphic: Golfdom Staff

When you’ve had the same job for a dozen years, ‘firsts’ don’t come around as often as they used to. Perhaps that’s why I’m so excited about this first — our first-ever Golfdom Tour Guide issue.

The idea came about last fall. It started with combining our November and December issues while adding an extra issue in the spring. That first part seemed clever, but what could we do in the spring season to kick off the golf season for our readers?

Over the years, we’ve been profiling the superintendents hosting the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open in back-to-back issues.

We decided to blow that up. Instead of two cover stories covering two major championships … how about one issue profiling 20-plus professional tournaments? That sounded cool to me.

We even had a catchy name, ‘Tour Guide.’ But what kept me up at night was, what about the magazine earned that name? The 20-plus tournament spotlights were fun, but … was it really a true ‘Tour Guide?’

It probably wasn’t as profound as the moment Doc Brown fell off his toilet and envisioned the flux capacitor in Back to the Future, but I had an idea. I proposed a four-page insert that could be pulled out of the magazine.

It would be a complete listing of every American and Canadian tournament (our primary readership — sorry, Mexico and Caribbean) along with the host superintendent, their years of experience in the industry and the school they attended.

It was an ambitious idea and yes, there are some holes in our list (some of you are too good staying ‘behind-the-scenes’). I’m sure there will also be a few mistakes. The list might have even made us an enemy already. One of our editors, while trying to fact-check the section, was cussed out and then hung up on. (Good news, the call wasn’t to the head superintendent, reaffirming that a head superintendent would never show that lack of professionalism.)

Another idea came about a mere seven days before printing the magazine; What if we supported the content with three essays from friends of Golfdom? A look at what maintenance crews face before, during and after hosting a professional tournament.

I liked that idea so much that I immediately got Rees Jones, Chris Zugel and Matt Shaffer on the phone to help me understand those emotions.

I learned a lot about the industry, our readers and our magazine over the three months we worked on this project. A few examples: all these professional tournament hosts were eager to offer advice to their colleagues like they were looking out for their younger selves.

Many of the challenges were similar, but the most recurrent message was to be confident. We also learned that we have more friends out there who are happy to support our humble magazine than I dared to imagine.

I hope you’ll throw your copy in the locker room, the 19th hole or the pro shop as another way of celebrating the hard work pulled off by superintendents around the country to make TV golf look as good as it does.

And I hope it helps people at every kind of course appreciate that the challenges to making exceptional conditions are universal.

If you’re new to Golfdom, welcome. The first issue came out in 1927 and our magazine can be read for free monthly at We support our readers, the men and women around the country who make golf courses beautiful.

Ask your superintendent about us. Then, check out what my friend Rees Jones says about the role of the superintendent.

“In my estimation, the superintendent is the most important person regarding any kind of championship or tournament.”

Welcome to Golfdom’s 2023 Tour Guide.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Columns, Featured, From the Magazine, Tour Guide

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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