Masters 2015 Notebook: Familiar faces, places

By |  April 10, 2015 0 Comments


(L to R) Griffith, Jorgensen, O’Leary and Kimball in Athens, Ga., enjoying the NCAA national championship game.

My 2015 Masters started off right when I made a visit to Scott Griffith at University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. I got some good photos, something I might be able to use for “My Second Office” or “19th Hole” in a future issue of the magazine.

Scott also set me up to meet with Andrew Jorgensen, CGCS (On Top of the World Communities, Ocala, Fla.), Corey Kimball of Nu Green by Corey and Terry O’Leary, AKA Agronomist Prime, a do-it-all turf pro in the Atlanta area. Not only was that a fun group to watch the NCAA championship with (the Dukies won Jorgensen his NCAA pool) but that also scored me a demo of the Air2G2 aerator that I’ve heard a lot about in recent months. You can watch the demo of that video in this here newsletter.

me and campbell

Seth and Jim Campbell, superintendent at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan.

From there, on to Augusta, where it’s always a privilege to be invited to the Jacobsen house. It was good to see Jacobsen guys Ric Stone, Garry Callahan and Josh Haggas again, but also to make new contacts like Jim Campbell, superintendent at Prairie Dunes GC, in Hutchinson, Kan.; Michael Miraglia, president of Fore Golf and his dad Lenny; and Kevin Smith, CGCS, Greensboro, N.C.

Then it was dinner with the Jersey boys: Tyler Otero (North Jersey CC, Wayne, N.J.); Jeremy Batz (Trump National GC, Colts Neck, N.J.); Mike Brunelle (Upper Montclair CC); Mike Weber (Ash Brook GC); Lance Rogers (CCGS, Colonia CC); Russ Harris (Galloping Hills GC); Rich Sweeney, CGCS (Plant Food Co.); Jim Rattigan (Plant Food Co.) and Mike the Pilot.

Seriously, flying to Augusta in a private jet? Well played, Jersey boys!

In just meandering around the grounds of Augusta National I saw Stephen Rabideau, CGCS at Winged Foot GC and his dad Steve; Chuck Calhoun, superintendent in Sebastian, Fla., Lester Lombard, superintendent at Grand Isle Club in Albany, Ga., and Andy Staples, ASGCA, Staples Golf.

Then there’s the Golf Writers Dinner, followed by the Landscapes Unlimited house, which is another great place to visit. I saw Bill Kubly only briefly, but was able to talk shop with Jim Flynn, director of marketing for Landscapes Unlimited (and fellow University of Kansas alumnus.)

jeff plotts

(L to R) Jones, Haddock, Plotts and Staples at the Landscapes Unlimited house.

I also saw Golfdom editorial advisory board member Jeff Plotts, superintendent at TPC Scottsdale, and we caught up. One thing he turned me on to that I hope to learn more about is Advanced Scoreboards. It’s a tracking system for labor that was created by Gerald Flaherty, CGCS at the Valley Club in Hailey, Idaho.

Plotts says he uses the system regularly, and even has it on split-screens in his office, one screen for the Stadium Course, the other screen for the Champions Course.

How did he find out about it? Twitter.

“I learn about so many things just cruising around Twitter,” Plotts says. “Like all the different places you grabbed a beer at last night!”

I made a ton of new contacts, rekindled some old ones and obviously just had a good time at the Masters this year. And believe it or not, I only suffered one hangover and no sunburns this trip!

I look forward to seeing many of these turf pros again… hopefully at the 2015 Golfdom Summit! And next year, I hope to see even more of our readers at Augusta National.

Photos: Golfdom Staff

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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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