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Keeping up with the Jones: Social distance, social distortion

By |  April 2, 2020 0 Comments
Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

We emailed Tim Davis, the subject of this month’s “19th Hole,” shortly before deadline. We wanted to make sure he was happy with the way his interview looked before we sent the magazine to the printer. His response to us summed up the last few weeks: “Crazy how much the world has changed since this interview.”

I chatted with Tim on March 3, a little earlier than I typically do the interviews. I usually like to interview closer to deadline, to make sure the content is current. But, with a lot of business travel on my calendar, I decided to connect with Tim early.

I agree, Tim. Crazy how much the world has changed since then. I wonder what the world will be like by the time this issue reaches your desk.

I was at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco doing my PGA Championship preview interviews and photography two weeks ago. The course looks fantastic! Great crew, too. (My profile on the crew and course, which stands on its own regardless of the status of the 2020 PGA Championship, can be found here.) I wrapped up at TPC Harding Park and headed downtown. Coincidentally, my friend Sean and his girlfriend, Mary, were in San Francisco on vacation. I met them for dinner. My Uber driver was incredulous as we drove to Pier 39 unimpeded by traffic. “It’s never this empty down here,” he told me. “It’s usually wall-to-wall cars and people!”

The next day I was on a flight for Chicago. I was out to dinner Thursday night with my publishers, Bill and Craig, when we saw the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder walk off the court midgame. What exactly was happening? And how quickly did I need to get home?

The next morning, I was the only person on my shuttle bus from the rental car facility to Chicago Midway Airport. Being curious, I surveyed airport employees as I made my way to my flight. The rental car check-in person, the bus driver, the Southwest baggage person — everyone told me the same thing: It was eerily quiet, especially in a week when the airport is typically packed with spring breakers.

I got home, and that’s when everything really started going wild. The milestones came quick. For example, here in Kansas, my seventh-grader and second-grader suddenly became eighth- and third-graders. But this is not unique to me. We are all going through this … some on levels much more severe than what I’ve had to worry about so far.

My Masters admission came in the mail, always a moment of celebration for me. This year, I just stared at it and wondered what’s next. The money I put down in Las Vegas on the Jayhawks to win the NCAA Championship? That ticket is still propped up by a magnet on the fridge, along with a bet on Tommy Fleetwood winning the 2020 Masters. It’s all so trivial now.

I told my team this: I don’t know what’s happening, what’s next, but while we’re working from home … while this pandemic evolves … there’s one thing we can do … and that’s continue to serve our readers. I can’t predict where golf will be by next month. But I can assure you with great confidence that the team here at Golfdom will be doing our best to provide you with a magazine, a website, a social media presence, that serves our readers.

I have great confidence in our medical leadership, our industry and my own company’s leadership — we’ll continue to make well-thought-out decisions. I’ll remain positive, knowing we’ll get through all this uncertainty together and come out on the other side stronger than ever. History has proven this time and again.

Please think of your crew and their families first and stay safe in these uncertain times, because there’s a whole lot of “19th Hole” interviews I want to do when the times aren’t so crazy.

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