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Keeping up with the Jones: What’s your all-time golf highlight?

By |  April 2, 2024 0 Comments

Hello, friends. It’s April, and you know what that means.

I don’t know if I’ll see any of you in Augusta this month, and the suspense is killing me. For the first time since I can remember, the Golf Writers Association of America — founded by Golfdom’s founder, Herb Graffis — notified our membership that they received more requests for one-day Wednesday badges than they could fulfill.

I haven’t been told no yet, but I also haven’t seen that envelope in my mailbox either. The GWAA said those left out this year will be given priority in 2025, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

I’ll admit, I sometimes take being in the golf business for granted. While my cousin Steve dreams of someday going to the Masters, I’m much more nonchalant about it, having attended many times. This time of year, whenever I walk into my local townie bar, Rick’s, it’s the question I’m most commonly asked: “Are you going to the Masters?” I usually shrug and say I haven’t decided yet, while the regulars cuss because I’m so casual about it.

For this month’s 19th Hole Q&A, I interviewed Greg Matz, superintendent at Inglewood CC near Seattle. I’ve known Greg for a few years (he attended our Golfdom Summit in 2018), but it took his GM, Craig McCrone, to nominate him for being featured in the 19th Hole before I picked up the phone and called him to get to know him better.

Photo: Golfdom staff

Photo: Golfdom staff

I learned a lot about Greg — like how his first degree was in communications and he did public relations for internet startups in San Francisco until he decided to change careers at age 27. I asked Greg if he had an all-time golf highlight — playing or watching. This question has quickly become a favorite and one I’ll ask regularly because the fond memories I hear from Golfdom’s readers are so amazing.

For Greg, his answer was twofold: playing, it was the two times he got to play the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in a John Deere tournament (he hit the green on No. 17 both times.) Watching, it was the year he and a group of superintendent buddies went to Augusta National to watch the Masters in 2016.

“It was the year Danny Willett won,” Greg told me. “It was the year Jordan Spieth was going for his second in a row and dunked it in the creek on 12 a couple times. God, that was hard to watch, but it was such a great trip.”

Greg added that he hopes to get back some year and how great it is that Augusta National allows GCSAA Class A Members free access to the Masters. He said the hard part is that the tournament always comes around at the same time as when they aerify.

“You’re either trying to sneak (aerification) in before or hoping it’s not the week that you’re aerating,” he said. “At some point, I’ll get there again. It is probably more important to see the Masters again than to say I did my twentieth aerification.”

For this month’s cover story, I asked all three sources for their favorite golf highlights. Tiffany Koss of Kafka Granite talked about the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Taylor Turner of Numerator Technologies just attended the Players Championship and talked about how great that course is. Stephanie Schwenke of Syngenta talked about the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles.

Then, Stephanie turned the tables on me and asked what my most memorable golf moment was.

I stopped, thought, and started talking about the time I met Arnold Palmer. Then, after I hung up, I recalled the trip to Cancun with Nick Price. Then I thought about the trip to Guadalajara with Ricky and Bobby Heine …

What’s your all-time golf highlight? And how awesome is it to be in this industry?

About the Author: Seth Jones

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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