Meet Jared Taylor, Dinah Shore Championship Course superintendent

By |  March 30, 2017 0 Comments

Jared Taylor knows his favorite view on the Dinah Shore Championship Course — it’s from the tee on No. 3. “Best tee shot in the valley,” he proudly proclaims.

But as far as having his photo taken there? He hates that idea. “I heard someone say once, ‘Don’t take my picture, it steals a part of my soul!’ That’s the way I feel, I wish I could use that.”

Taylor is your typical stays-behind-the-scenes superintendent. If people aren’t noticing him, that must mean he’s doing his job well. He just celebrated his 1-year anniversary of being a superintendent here. The Monday of tournament week last year was his first day.

“I didn’t realize how much effort it takes, building all these structures, getting everything out here, making sure they can stake everything in,” he says. “Sometimes it feels like you’re dealing more with that than the golf course.”

In the wake of Dave Johnson’s untimely death, Taylor has become the de facto go-to-guy here at the ANA Inspiration. Before a Golf Channel employee gets to his request, he gives Taylor his condolences on the loss. And then they get to business — they need to get another crane in on No. 18, fast.

It’s the same thing Johnson was doing this time last year.

“I remember last year, you’d turn around and David was there. You’d go and work on some other project, and you’d turn around and he was there,” Taylor recalls. “He was out here all day, directing traffic. Similar to what I’m doing today. But he was always a lot more calm. Me, I’m a little nervous, it’s my first tournament ever, my first superintendent job. It seemed like he was more, ‘been there, done that.’ …I guess after 28 majors that’s how you are. And he was very humble about it.”

A California kid, Taylor got his start in golf by working in the bag room. He soon learned that he preferred the maintenance side of the game. He went to school at the College of the Desert, then worked maintenance on various courses in California and Texas, including Tamarisk CC in Rancho Mirage and the Madison Club in La Quinta.

When asked what appealed to him about his current job, without hesitation he says, “A major.” And then he adds, “and the opportunity to expand my own abilities and have the liberties to run a course on my own.”

Going into the tournament, Taylor says the hard work has already been done. Now it’s just a matter of maintaining conditions for the first major of the 2017 golf season.

“Our big issue right now is managing the moisture. Because managing the moisture directly relates to the firmness and speed of the greens. As well as the fairways — we can’t have sloppy, sopping wet fairways. They have to be nice and firm.

“The biggest challenge we have outside the greens is these huge eucalyptus trees. The ‘Eukes’ will soak up all the moisture and the grass will wilt,” he continues. “Because the trees take all the water, we get a huge hot spot around it. With the rough this high, if it burns out, it’ll wither and you’ll lose the density and the height of the rough.”

Taylor notes that he gets by with the help of his team, especially his two irrigators. “I can call them and say, ‘Hey, can you help me out and go over and help them on No. 13, stake out those two towers?’ I could not get everything done without those two.”

A family man, tournament week wears on Taylor. He wakes up and leaves the house before his wife and kids (Seamus age 9, and Delaney age 8) are awake, and he returns home after they’ve already gone to bed. (His oldest, Ethan, 12, lives with his mother in South Carolina.) He’s looking forward to the tournament’s end so he can get back to coaching Seamus’ baseball team and helping out with Delaney’s softball team.

Still, looking for hot spots and moisture stress on greens — even with the high-definition cameras watching — gives him a rush. OK, he’s good with cameras on his course, just not on him. He wants as many people as possible to watch and see what they’ve accomplished here on the Dinah Shore course.

“There’s just a satisfaction of sitting back and watching them play the course you take care of,” he says. “I can’t explain it.”

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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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