Keeping up with the Jones: Why sometimes timing is everything

By |  February 21, 2023 0 Comments
Photo: Seth Jones

Photo: Seth Jones

It’s amazing how good timing can change someone’s life. Right place at the right time. I’ve been reminded of this lately, both in mainstream media and while doing interviews for Golfdom. It’s inspiring to consider that on any day, a young person’s first days or weeks at work might be changing their life forever.

One of the biggest bands of the last 20-plus years — Foo Fighters — was created by Dave Grohl. Before Foo Fighters, he was the drummer for Nirvana. In his autobiography, Grohl tells the story of sleeping on a friend’s floor in Los Angeles, desperate for money, when a friend gave him the phone numbers for the guys from Nirvana.

The band he was drumming for, Scream, had fallen apart. Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic saw Grohl a few weeks earlier at a show in Seattle and were impressed. They invited him to move to Seattle to rehearse for recording their second album, 1991’s Nevermind.

Grohl accepted and packed his duffel bag. Nevermind would go on to sell 30 million copies worldwide.

On a recent episode of CBS Sunday Morning, Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, recalled how he and a friend were living in Dallas and wanted to listen to Indiana University basketball games but couldn’t. It was the early days of the internet, and by troubleshooting this problem, they essentially invented online livestreaming — something they sold to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in stock.

The fortunate timing of the internet being an up-and-coming technology is not lost on Cuban. He told CBS’ Jim Axelrod, “Life is half random. There’s half you have some level of control over and half, it is what it is. If I was born five years sooner and not during the early days of the internet, you might not know my name. And I’ll never take that for granted.”

In a recent conversation with Marc Muniz, director of agronomy at The Club at Lansdowne (Va.), he shared his own ‘right place, right time’ moment with me.

Muniz was pursuing a criminal justice degree while working part-time at a country club on the food and beverage side. He was let go from the course but told by the superintendent that there was an open position at Ridgewood CC in Paramus, N.J. — on the maintenance crew — if he was interested.

“I had no turf knowledge at all, but they liked what they saw in me, and they offered me a position as an intern,” Muniz recalls. “After the (2010 Barclays), they offered me an assistant-in-training position. When they offered me that, I thought, ‘I could make a career out of this.’ It was so exciting. After that, it was game on.”

Muniz asked his boss, Ridgewood Superintendent Todd Raisch, CGCS, what he should do to make it a career. Raisch, well known for his passion for the Buckeyes, told him to enroll at Ohio State.

Muniz told him he didn’t see himself moving to Columbus. Raisch said, “Well, just don’t go to Penn State!” Muniz decided to attend UMass and got an associate of science in turf and turf management. The rest, as they say, is history — now Muniz is the director of agronomy at a 45-hole facility.

“That was the moment,” Muniz told me. “When they saw something in me that I could be more? … That gave me the self-confidence. I said, ‘OK, I’m going to make it happen.’”

If that superintendent didn’t point out that job at Ridgewood, how different might his life be today?

As the 2023 season is set to begin, courses around the country will be ramping up and adding staff. Some staff work out, others come and go. None of us will sell 30 million copies of an album or make Mark Cuban kind of money … but for those who find a career they love, the moment will be remembered forever.

This article is tagged with and posted in Columns, 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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