Say ‘uncle!’

By |  February 26, 2019 0 Comments
Seth Jones headshot (Photo: Golfdom)

Seth Jones

I am off to a fast start in 2019, as I’ve been on the road every week except one so far. As I write this, the Golf Industry Show in San Diego is staring me down, kicking off another jam-packed travel month for February.

In January I enjoyed St. Pete Beach in Florida, then a couple cold days in Omaha. Luck was on my side and I caught beautiful weather in San Francisco and Pebble Beach. January travel concluded with two days in Phoenix at the Sports Turf Managers Association annual conference, then home.

I’m back in the office too close to deadline to share photos from Pebble Beach this issue … which include those from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cypress Point Club (well, I hope it’s not once-in-a-lifetime). I’ll post those photos on my Twitter accounts, @SethAJones and @Golfdom. I’m sure we’ll use them in the magazine at some point. Between my time at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Cypress Point Club, I got lucky — a perfect day. The golf gods were smiling on me.

If I was in your city for these trips and didn’t give you a call, forgive me. With two young kids at home, I never have much free time when I travel. It’s always point A to point B, then back to point A. Heck, in San Francisco, I never got to see my wife’s Uncle Rick … and I stayed at his house! I arrived late, was out the door well before sunrise, and then back late both days.

But good news: On the trip to Phoenix I got to see my Uncle Vince for the first time in seven years. It’s been since we laid his mom, my Grandma Joyce, to rest in 2012 that I saw “U.V.” The hugs were abundant, the stories were rapid-fire and then it was back to the airport.

I’ll spare you the stories (although the one of my then-girlfriend-now-wife’s late three-legged cat “Elton John” getting smoked out of the house by U.V. before we went to the Nine Inch Nails show in 2005 is an all-time classic). Sitting in the airport I texted my boss and thanked him for allowing me this awesome job where I get to travel the country.

I may have missed my wife’s Uncle Rick, but the significance of connecting with my Uncle Vince was not lost on me. I’ve complained about air travel in this space before. Let me take this moment to commend it.

Traveling from city to city is essential to my job. I had a guilty feeling every time I sauntered through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Precheck security on my way to the next golf paradise, while the people working to keep me safe hadn’t seen a paycheck in over a month. Roughly 800,000 government workers and contractors have been either furloughed or told to work without pay for 35 days — the longest-ever government shutdown. And all we know currently is that there is a three-week spending package to keep these people working through Feb. 15.

Here at Golfdom we talked about the government shutdown and what might happen if it continued up to the Golf Industry Show. What would it mean for our industry if “worse comes to worse.”

It doesn’t matter whose side of the fence (or wall) you’re on. We’re in this together. After a day in Pebble Beach, I’m as high on life as Elton John the three-legged cat was back in 2005. That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the hardworking people of the TSA.

I don’t care who says “uncle” first. I just want both sides to figure it out so we don’t have to do this again, and we can keep enjoying the spoils of this beautiful industry. 2019 is right there before us … let’s avoid a downward spiral.

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