Oakmont in the rearview (& Violent Femmes concert + Mom Delsandro’s cookies)

By |  July 12, 2016 0 Comments
Seth Jones, John Zimmers

John Zimmers and I smile for a quick post-interview selfie.

Photos: Golfdom

The 2016 U.S. Open was a good experience all around, it seems. Pittsburgh was a great host city, sharing a Stanley Cup victory with us while we were in town for the U.S. Open… allowing me free access to a concert since I was a part of the U.S. Open crowd (more on that later)… obviously a good week for Dustin Johnson (who is on a tear right now) and of course Oakmont and its crew.

For the new issue of Golfdom (out soon!) I wrote up a little 2016 U.S. Open recap piece. I called both Dave Delsandro, Oakmont’s director of U.S. Open operations, and Mike McCormick, first assistant superintendent, to get their 2016 U.S. Open in the rearview thoughts.

“I’m not the type of person who reflects much,” Delsandro told me. “I’m just thinking, ‘What have we got to accomplish tomorrow?’ There’s so much infrastructure on the course now, getting it all off is going to be a big task. Inside the ropes looks great. Outside the ropes, all that mulch they just threw down? …It’s going to be a big task.”

Then Dave laughed and admitted that what he said probably wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. And I told him he was right — I was looking for a “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” type quote, but that’s OK, if that’s the way he feels, that’s the way he feels.

But McCormick came through for me…

“It was an unbelievable experience, it’s hard to put into words,” McCormick told me, just getting warmed up. “It was a combination of a lot of hard work. It’s one of the most memorable moments of my life…

“It’s really easy to come to the course the day after the U.S. Open and get bummed out — what else do you prepare for six years for and then it’s over in a week?” McCormick continued. “But we still have a lot of work to get done to get this course back for the membership. I’m just proud to have been a part of it, at the end of the day.”

Thank you Mike McCormick, and Dave? It’s time to re-watch Bull Durham and Crash Davis’ advice on interviews!


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Add Mr. Small’s Funhouse in Millville, Pa., to my list of places I’ve caught a concert.

Another random side note to my U.S. Open…

Whenever I travel I visit the website pollstar.com to see if there are any bands in town I might want to check out. I’m a live music nut, and there’s a special appeal to seeing a band I enjoy in a city/venue outside my own stomping grounds. So I was excited to see the Violent Femmes (80s alternative music fans will recognize the name) were in town on Tuesday night.

I caught an Uber ride over to the venue, an old church in Millville, Pa. I figured my timing was right-on, if there was an opener I’d be there right on time.

The young hipster at the door (nose ring, sleeve of tattoos) gave me a puzzled look.

Her: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, can I buy a ticket?”

Her (annoyed): “Sold out.”

Violent Femmes

Obligatory crowd shot. I’ll be seeing the Femmes again this weekend in Kansas City at a two-day festival. (This time I’m just me, though.)

Me: “OK,  but what’s one more? I’m by myself…”

Her: “Sorry.”

Me: “Aw, come on! I’m from out of town! I’m here for the U.S. Open.”

Her (surprised): “Oh! Are you on the guest list?”

Me (confused): “Uhhhh, no.”

Her: “So are you a golfer?”

Me: “YES I AM.

Her: “Go ahead and go in! Good luck this week!”

Me: “Thank you!”

There are some of you who have played golf with me, and realize how absurd the thought of me passing myself off as a competitor in the U.S. Open is. But I would then say to you  — she didn’t ask me if I was playing in the U.S. Open. No, she asked me if I’m a golfer. And according to the National Golf Foundation, I’m not just a golfer but a core golfer!


I’ll be at the PGA Championship Tuesday-Friday, and I have high hopes. But there is one thing I’m sure of: there will not be cookies as good as Mom Delsandro’s:

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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 sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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