My top 5 2014 Masters moments

By |  April 15, 2014

I was in Augusta, Ga., for a total of 48 hours. Arrived at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, drove out at 6 a.m. on Thursday. Yes, it was a short trip, but it was great. Possibly the most contacts I’ve ever made at one Masters, and I’m already thinking of when the next time I’ll be in Oregon, California, Nebraska or Texas so I can keep some of these irons hot.

I spoke with five different superintendents yesterday, looking into a topic of possible interest in the chemical business… I think every one of the guys asked me how my Masters trip this year went. So, what the heck… maybe more for my own reflection than anything else, here is the roundup of my top 5 moments of the 2014 Masters:


Brandon Haddock of E-Z-Go with sports writer Dan Jenkins at the GWAA dinner. Photo: Golfdom

 # 5 — GWAA dinner I am a proud member of the Golf Writers Association of America, and I’m also an aspiring winner of a GWAA writing award (even an honorable mention would make my month) but I’m currently riding an oh-for-lifetime streak. I’ll break that streak someday.


But definitely not this year.


Anyway, great to see friendly faces at the dinner, like Steve Mona (World Golf Foundation), Emmy Moore Minister (NorCal PGA) and Dan Jenkins (legend). Also fun to be told by a fellow member that they enjoyed one of my cover stories last year (StreamSong).

No GCSAA board members were in attendance this year, sadly — that’s typically a good time for me to catch up with the guys.

I went to the dinner with a friend in the industry, and we stuck around long enough to see Adam Scott accept his Male Player of the Year award (I didn’t vote for him) and Graeme McDowell accept his good guy award (I did vote for him). But then we had to bolt because we had an invitation to another party… see # 4…

# 4 — Landscapes Unlimited party


(L to R) Baxter Spann (Finger Dye Spann), Seth, and Jerry Lemons (Golf Links) taking a break from discussing industry trends to smile for a photo. Photo: Golfdom

During the Masters on Wednesday, I ran into one of my new friends in the industry, architect David Dale (GolfPlan). One of the guys he was with invited me to the Landscapes Unlimited house for an evening event… which catches my ear as a “party.”

And a party it was. It was great to catch up with Bill Kubly, CEO of Landscapes Unlimited, and a wonderful party host, as well as David, Baxter Spann (Finger Dye Spann), and Jerry Lemons (Golf Links), among others.

I was smart this day and stuck to beer (see # 2 for when I wasn’t so smart) so I had it mostly together when I was told the news that Joel Embiid would be leaving Kansas for the NBA.

Mostly together, that is.

# 3 — Egg salad sandwich at Amen Corner One of the few moments I was alone at Augusta this year was 30 minutes spent watching shots come in on No. 11, then the subsequent tee shots on No. 12. I had an “import beer” in one hand (I’m told it was Stella Artois) and my traditional egg salad sandwich in the other.

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Egg salad sandwich… GET IN MY BELLY! This photo is so bad, yet tasteful… Photo: Golfdom

It was that quiet moment that I wondered how many times (and with how many different friends) I’ve sat in those grandstands and done this. And I just kind of soaked it all in. I thought about grabbing a cigar, but then… why ruin an otherwise perfect moment?

My first Masters was 12 years ago, the year Mike Weir won. I’ve attended more often than not since then. It’s a cool gig, if you can get it. Like Augusta CC CGCS Greg Burleson said to me, “Man, you have a dream job… the places you get to go.”

Indeed I do.

# 2 — Major manufacturer party One of the big three iron companies invites me out to their rental house for a barbecue every year. It’s quickly become a fun tradition of Masters week.

This year I got to sit around and chat with five supers, three equipment guys and a manager for a Tour pro. We made golf bets, grilled burgers and killed a bottle of Crown.

Yes, Crown Royal. I didn’t want to walk into the house empty handed. Augusta’s liquor stores are pretty picked over by Wednesday, but I found a place with a couple bottles of Crown.

By the end of the night the Crown was all gone and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t control the volume of my voice. But in the meantime, we solved all the problems of the world (especially the golf business) as well as invited each other to everyone’s respective golf courses, towns, factories, basement offices, etc.

A great time for sure, but I paid for it the next morning with an early wake-up call and a level-3 hangover.

# 1 — Hanging with the Colorado guys

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Hanging with the Colorado guys. No. 16 green in the background. Photo: Golfdom

I went to the Masters this year by myself, but I think I was only without companionship for maybe an hour. As I would be getting ready to say goodbye to one group of guys, luck would have it that another group of familiar faces would stroll by. For some reason my karma was solid at the Masters this year.

I did trek it solo from No. 3 to No. 13 to chat with my old friend Tom Marzolf. Following that chat, and an entirely successful morning and early afternoon (and shaking off that level-3 hangover with the sweet, sweet Augusta air), I decided it was time to unwind, grab a beer and watch some golf.

First, the grandstands on Amen Corner, then I walked over to 16. It’s been a few years since I’ve taken the time to watch the pros skip shots across the water on 16. Plus, I found a good spot for viewing.

I watched until my drink went dry, then I walked over to the nearby concession stand for a refill. Ideal timing, as it was right in-between two groups of golfers. As I’m readying to pay, I hear someone say, “Seth Jones?”

It was Pete Tescher, superintendent at Granby Ranch Ski & Golf Resort near Granby, Colo. I met Pete a few years ago after speaking at the Rocky Mountain chapter meeting. He and a few colleagues just happened to be grabbing drinks at that same concession stand at the same time I was strolling through. It was their first Masters.

So I kicked it with these guys for about two hours, just talking shop, taking in the sights, enjoying the Masters on a Wednesday. The conversation was enriching and it was good to have some comrades to finish off the afternoon with.

The next morning I was back on I-20 heading to Atlanta to catch an early flight. It was a quick trip to Augusta, but it was also a great trip to Augusta.

Aren’t they all?

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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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