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Seth Jones reveals a new high-profile Golfdom department

By |  January 23, 2024 0 Comments

It’s time for the annual GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, and I’m excited to see many of you in Phoenix. One of the many things I love about the show is that you don’t know when you might see someone you haven’t encountered in years. And you don’t know if they might say something nice or even inspire you.

This happened to me last year at the show in Orlando. I was speed-walking through the trade show, running late for a meeting. As I turned a corner, I heard someone say in my direction, “Mr. Jones, how have you been?” It was Tim Powers, a longtime superintendent out in California.

I stopped and we chatted for a bit. Before we parted ways, he asked, “Hey, why don’t you ever do celebrity interviews anymore?”

Whoa! I didn’t expect that. It’s been a minute — about 15 years since I last chased celebrities to talk to them about their golf game and their appreciation for the work of superintendents. If you’ve been reading industry trade publications for a long time, maybe you remember when I worked for GCSAA and in their publication Golf Course Management, I did a monthly interview with celebrities and Tour pros called Reflections — it ran on the last page of the magazine every issue for several years.

Tim told me that he not only enjoyed that department and missed it but back then, he would clip them out of the magazine and get them autographed by the celebrities when they attended celebrity golf tournaments. I told him, I’ve got to see that! He emailed me the next week and sure enough, there was Bret Saberhagen, Tony Romo, Brett Hull and Grant Fuhr, all clips of mine, autographed and in frames, displayed in his office. It gave me a thrill!

When I left GCM to take the helm at Golfdom, I considered bringing it back. Instead, I opted to use the back page of this magazine for the 19th Hole, a monthly Q&A with a superintendent, that I’ve been doing for over a decade. I think that was a smart move, as that Q&A is something this magazine is well known for, and it’s allowed me to meet some great characters over the years. But after my conversation with Tim, I thought, what the heck — there’s room for a celebrity interview in Golfdom.

Seth Jones (left) with Travis Kelce (right). (Photo: Golfdom staff)

Seth Jones (left) with Travis Kelce. (Photo: Golfdom staff)

We’re calling the new department Friends in High Places and including the hashtag #ThankASuperintendent. This department will see a celebrity answer why they love the game, and how important playing conditions of the course are to their enjoyment of the game.

The first installment is with Travis Kelce. It appears on page 8, and while it’s not an earth-shattering interview I got with my favorite tight end in the NFL, it’s a fun moment in the issue — something different. It was certainly exciting for me, as a Chiefs fan, to get to chat with Kelce and even take a selfie with him. I hope you enjoy it and appreciate that we’re trying to do something fun, something different and maybe even something cool.

I love getting feedback on the magazine, what you like and even if it’s something you dislike; what you think we should do more of, or any big ideas. You don’t have to see me at a trade show to help us make this magazine better. If you ask us, you might just see us do it.

Do you know of someone who we should consider for the 2024 Herb Graffis Businessperson of the Year award winner? Want to volunteer to be featured in the 19th Hole? Or maybe try your hand at writing a column for the magazine?

Maybe 2024 is the year you do it. Why not?

This article is tagged with , and posted in Columns, Current Issue, From the Magazine

About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 18-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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