Thursday, April 28, 2011
We're getting a lot of buzz right now about our new issue... the issue contains the first interview with Mark Woodward since he resigned as GCSAA's CEO.
Here's a short video interview, look for a complete interview in this month's issue!
(If you have any troubles with the video on the site, click here for the video.)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Welcome to Hendren’s Hyperbole broadcasting live from the beautiful Dominican Republic! What an awesome country! Well, at least the drive from the airport to the resort and the beach at the resort is pretty stinking awesome! We are going to go play Golf Punta Blanca, a Nick Price design today and hit Corales, a Tom Fazio course at Puntacana Resort, tomorrow. I love vacation! Nothing to do but golf, drink, eat and lay on the beach! I'll share some photos and stories on the golf down there next week.
In my last post I reluctantly stated the obvious. As much as it pains me to say it, I am officially off the Johnny Vegas bandwagon. Because I am on vacation I am not logging the usual amount of golf watching, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share a story involving one Mr. Johnny Vegas.
A few months ago, when Johnny was playing golf with a little passion, Seth called and told me he had secured me a spot to take part in a mass media phone interview with Johnny Vegas, Camilo Villegas and Angel Cabrera. Needless to say I was pumped! I was going to get an opportunity to ask my boy Johnny Vegas a few questions... or so I thought.
I asked Seth if the phone interview was going to be in English. He told me the first half of the interview of going to be in Spanish and the second half was going to be in English. No worries, I just have to listen to a few questions and answers in Spanish and then it would be my time to shine, my time to earn my keep here on The Golfdom Daily.
I spent some time writing down a few questions to ask, things I thought I could use as material for my post. Needless to say, I had some awesome questions, and was ready to roll.
Also working in my favor was my wife. Erica has a minor in Spanish so I convinced her to take a few hours off work and listen to the interview with me and translate some of the interview I couldn’t understand. Foolproof plan, right? Not so fast.
The interview started and I had no idea what was going on. Is this Spanish? The extent of my Spanish speaking and understanding ability is what I learned from the band Sublime’s song “Caress Me Down.” You know the one: “mucho gusto me llamo Bradley!” I know that means, “Glad to meet you, my name is Bradley!"
That’s it. That is all the Spanish I know and unfortunately my name isn’t Bradley and neither was anyone I was interviewing. This is when I turned to Erica and said “What are they saying?” Erica proceeded to shush me, because she was trying to take in every word. After a few minutes I asked again "What are they saying, come on, hook me up!”
To add insult to injury, I heard them mention "Golfdom" by name (apparently, "Golfdom" in Spanish is "Golfdom.") -- so maybe they were talking about me. Maybe they were talking about my awesome questions! Perhaps they were even asking my question! (I had emailed a question in before the actual interview.)
This is where the whole interview started falling apart, at least for me. Erica told me they were talking too fast and it had been a long time since she had to translate anything. Basically, she tried her best but was no help. CRAP! Oh well, on to plan B, the English portion of the interview...
I waited and waited and waited, listing to what I am sure was a riveting question and answer session. All of a sudden I hear several people say “gracias!’ one after another and then there was a click and the phone was dead.
What just happened? The interview ended without an English portion? SERIOUSLY! SETH TOLD ME THERE WAS GOING TO BE AN ENGLISH PORTION! I just wasted the last hour of my life!
I was sort of pissed but then Erica started laughing and suggested I try to get an English transcript. Brilliant! All the great ideas I take credit for usually come from my better half.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get an English transcript despite Seth's email to Johnny's PR person. So instead of getting to read about the awesome interview I had with Johnny Vegas, you get to read about what a train wreck the whole interview was.
I should have known after that debacle Johnny Vegas was going to break my heart and run over me with his “bandwagon.” But hey, at least I got a good story out of it!
-- Matt Hendren
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
A lot of work getting done by Brad Enie, director of grounds, and his staff out here. Enie, only 32, arrived at the course three years ago via Trump International in West Palm Beach, where he was an assistant. Mr. Trump himself sat down with Enie at lunch to ask him what he thought of the possibility of moving to D.C. Enie and his wife had been wanting to move closer to Pittsburgh to be nearer family, so he jumped at the chance.
The two courses look great. The Championship course just went through a redesign and the practice area has been blown up and expanded. They're about "95%" done with construction. "We're getting there," Enie said to me. "This spring has been unusually cool. We're about two weeks behind where I thought we'd be. But the good news is we had a great germination."
Thanks to Brad for his time today! An amazing 36 holes of golf... and a great finish to my trip to D.C.
Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G
Monday, April 25, 2011
A busy day at two amazing golf courses.
Spent most of the day out at Congressional, meeting the team that will be hosting this year's U.S. Open. I met with five different members of the Congressional team... Mike Giuffre and Dave Hutchinson gave me a lot of time today, and I got the VIP tour of the course while the course was closed. After today, there will only be one more day when the course is closed before the Open. Plus, beautiful weather... it was a very good day.
But I wasn't done when I left Congressional at 3 p.m.! I still had some gas in the tank, so I headed over to TPC Potomac, which is just down the street, to get a course tour and meet up with Tim Connolly, first assistant at the course. Tim wrote for the blog while he was at National Golf Day recently.
It was a busy, but productive day. Check out these two photos -- the first photo is No. 18 at Congressional, the second is of No. 12 at TPC Potomac.
Three more stops tomorrow, then back to the airport, back to Kansas.
A big "thank you" to everyone who took time out of their schedule to meet with me today. I know how valuable time is, especially when the U.S. Open is staring you down!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
What an amazing place! I think I walked more today than I did a few weeks ago at Augusta National. Saw the White House, the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, a visit to the Museum of American History...
And naturally, tomorrow and Tuesday is all golf. The No. 1 stop is Congressional CC to visit with superintendent Mike Giuffre and chat with him about hosting this year's U.S. Open. Then I've got two more courses on the agenda before I fly out Tuesday morning. (If you are in the area, drop me an email at email@example.com and I'll come visit your course, too!)
I've joked with friends that these last few weeks have been the "Seth Jones North American Tour." When it's all said and done, it will be 7 trips in 7 weeks. All I need is to print up some T-shirts. The great state of North Carolina is next on the tour.
It should be mentioned that the SJNAT would not be possible without having the world's coolest, most amazing wife. So a 'thank you' to Mrs. Adrianne Jones... you are the best! (I'll make sure I save you a T-shirt from the tour, babe!)
OK... coolest thing I saw today? The Lincoln Memorial gave me a chill, as did the flag that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner." Oh, and Lincoln's hat he we wearing the day he was shot... surreal. And John Brown's rifle was pretty cool... man, I saw a lot of cool stuff today.
Check in tomorrow, I'll be reporting from Congressional!
Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G
Friday, April 22, 2011
With such camaraderie around the office and support from those in the field, I love coming to work every day. People in the industry have reached out to me me across the board, from golf course superintendents and Green Industry maintenance leaders to chief executives and public relations representatives.
I thought getting to know people in the industry would take time--and it will. But I am impressed by how quickly people have taken it upon themselves to welcome me to Questex and wish me well.
I am really looking forward to getting to know more and more of you and meeting you all in person. Thanks for reaching out!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The brave new world of golf course industry criticism has taken a new turn. I just heard on NPR’s "Sunday Morning Edition" (There really is nothing more intellectually stimulating on the radio around here! Sad, but true!) that there is a professor from the University of Maine who has made a biodegradable golf ball.
The current construction of a golf ball makes it resist decay... so this new ball will be made out of crustacean shells that will allow for more rapid decomposition.
Now it's not all of golf’s senseless water usage, excessive use of chemicals or our abuse of fertilizers, but our golf balls are destroying the environment as well! I never saw this threat coming, but I understand. I mean, all those hackers at Pebble Beach, Cypress Point and the multitude of seaside courses around the world are slowly displacing the oceanic water! This is certainly going to cause some sort of water level rise that will only compound the damage that is being created from the arctic ice caps melting. And inland waterways are being negatively affected in the same way, causing more flooding problems!
I never knew that our game was so dangerous to not only passing cars but also the entire human civilization!
Everyone reading this should gather that it is written tongue-in-cheek, but really... WHAT IS NEXT?
-- Chris Sorrell, superintendent, Eagles Ridge GC, Curwensville, Pa.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
What’s up Hendren’s Hyperbole fans? There is not a lot going on in the Hendren’s Hyperbole think-tank this week. The weather is changing a little more everyday making my days as busy as can be. Each day is starting to blur together, and we haven’t even hit the 90 days of hell yet! UH-OH! I better get my stuff together!
Did anyone watch the Valero Texas Open? I watched quite a bit of it, unfortunately. I watched Johnny Vegas fall apart, as usual. I think I have officially fallen off the Vegas bandwagon and it ran over me. What a joke. I just wanted to see a little fire in Vegas’s belly. Instead of fire in his belly all I see is a kid who looks like he is out playing a round with his buddies. Uninspiring.
Does anyone remember Rich Beem? In 2002 he won a little golf tournament called the PGA Championship. I have been a Rich Beem fan since I read his book Bud, Sweat, and Tees in 2001. It’s a good read if you are a golf fan. Anyways, Rich was in the hunt through Friday and then he just seemingly dropped off the face of the earth leaving me to watch another no name golfer, Brendan Steele, win in less than dramatic fashion. Less than dramatic might be a little harsh because any win on the PGA tour is a pretty special feat. I am just tired of all the no name winners.
Did you see Kevin Na’s impressive 16 on the par four number nine? It was epic! Na lost count after about ten or eleven strokes and had to go check the tape to come up with the final count of 16. IT WAS AWESOME! It actually made me feel good about my golf game.
I have been asking about ideas for me to write about for a while and the only one I have received is a request for me to tell about the time I played a new course, Spring Creek G.C., in Seneca, Kan. and decided to swim in the pond off No. 7.
...Well that is pretty much the story. I wasn’t playing all that well, had a few adult beverages and it was really hot so I decided a swim in the pond was a great idea. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably wouldn’t have dove in the pond because it was only about 4 feet deep and it stunk like a sewer. I think I stunk for about a week. No amount of showering was going to get off that funk!
Oh well, that’s how you get good stories, right? There you go Brad, a quick version of the pond incident in the thriving metropolis of Seneca, Kan.
Till next time!
Monday, April 18, 2011
If you get the Golfdom Insider e-newsletter, you'll have already seen this last week. If you don't get the Golfdom Insider e-newsletter, click here to sign up. This next one is going to be big, I promise!
These are the best things I overheard from the 2011 Masters...
One thing about going to a major golf tournament like the Masters by yourself is, you tend to hear a lot of the conversations around you, since there's no one to hold a conversation with you.
I'm always happy to make a mental note of the funniest/strangest things I hear all day. I like to think there are so many eloquent patrons because they're inspired by the beauty that is Augusta National, but it's probably the $3 beers. Yet another reason to love the Masters.
So, without further ado, the best of the Masters… from outside the ropes:
After his wife dumped out the remains of her iced tea on the second cut of No. 14 fairway
Husband: "You shouldn't have done that!"
Wife: "It's just ice!"
Husband: "It's Augusta National!"
A Masters patron looking at the open expanse of land at Augusta National between holes 8 and 18:
"Look at this! This open space? That's in better shape than most of the golf courses I've ever played in my life."
Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO, after I told him that I chose to walk the two miles from my hotel to Augusta National rather than drive:
"You know they have free parking here, right?"
A Masters patron immediately after exiting the bustling golf shop at Augusta:
"They gave me a trophy as I walked out… for the least amount of money ever spent in the golf shop!"
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson, introducing Lorena Ochoa at the Golf Writers Association of America dinner:
"Did you know that when Lorena was the No. 1 player in the world, she went to the maintenance building at the Kraft Nabisco, and actually made the maintenance team breakfast? …I can't imagine the other No. 1 player in the world at the time, Tiger Woods, making anyone breakfast."
Legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins accepting an award at the Golf Writers Association of America dinner:
"It used to be that golf writers drank gin and wrote about Bobby Jones all day. Now they drink bottled water and write about Tiger Woods all day."
A patron trying to convince a security guard that what she was seeing wasn't what she was seeing:
Security guard: I'm sorry sir, no cell phones are allowed inside.
Patron: That's not a phone.
Security guard: I'm sorry?
Patron: That's a camera.
Security guard: So your camera came with a dial pad on it?
A patron, to Gary Woodland as he approached the No. 4 tee, a deceptively long 240-yard par three:
Patron: What do you think, Gary? 8-iron?
Woodland: Yeah… two of them.
A patron as he watched a group of fairway mowers cut No. 7 fairway in unison:
"This might be the coolest thing I've seen all day!"
Friday, April 15, 2011
Our three local superintendents: left to right: Jon Lobenstine of Falls Road Golf Course, Teddy Blauvelt of Hampshire Greens Golf Course and Mike Barrett CGCS of Argyle CC, standing in front of a trophy that'll be given to the winner of a little tournament at Congressional CC in June. Thank you USGA for the photo op!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Here's a pic of The Golf Channel's Michael Breed helping out a member of Congress with his golf swing.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
How about Charl Schwartzel winning the Masters? How anti-climatic can a golf tournament get? Wasn’t this a major? I mean who the hell is Charl Schwartzel? Who names their kid Charl? If I had to hear Nick Price talk about the Sunshine Tour or how he had Charl as his dark horse to win the tournament one more time I was going to lose it. Look, I love me some Nick Price as much as the next guy but come on! I think a “nobody” winning a major hurts golf. Thanks for nothing Charl!
Thanks to those of you who signed up for the first Golfdom Hackoff fantasy golf league. It was a last-minute deal but we had twenty people sign up in less than a day! We will definitely do a Golfdom Hackoff fantasy league before each of the majors. I will continue to fill out my team lineup for the rest of the year so feel free to continue filling out yours as well.
The winner of the Masters edition of the Great Golfdom Hackoff was... 17466. Wow, what a team name! I know about as much about 17466 as I do about Charl!
Well, while the team name is not very impressive, 17466's win was. 17466’s starting foursome was Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Y.E. Yang, and Rory McIlroy. Congrats and if you shoot Seth (firstname.lastname@example.org) your address we have a pretty cool prize from Augusta National for you. Thanks again to all of you who signed up!
What did you think of Rory’s epic meltdown? I thought it was horrible and it made me a little sick. I just hope that experience is an educational moment and not a defining moment, and I think it will be. You all remember what it was like when your 21… no? Me neither. My point exactly! I’m sure he’ll move on from that devastating meltdown and go on to do great things in the game of golf.
I wanted to do something to make Rory feel a little better and I could only think of one thing. Because Rory let down Ireland and feels badly about it I figured I would point out some even bigger Irish failures than blowing a four shot lead and dropping $1.1 MILLION DOLLARS in the process. Here goes nothing!
1. Sinead O’Connor… brutal.
2. The Cranberries… OK, I kinda like ‘em... but still horrible.
3. Denis Leary, responsible for the ridiculous TV show ‘Rescue Me,’ and a horrible tweeter.
There you go Rory! Don’t you feel better already? I know I do! Thanks for reading everybody and fire me a comment if you have a topic you would like me to write about for a future post!
Until next week!
-- Matt Hendren
Monday, April 11, 2011
Of the back nine at Augusta National?
It pretty much had it all, didn't it?
I've got an interview from Augusta National with Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO, ready to post. It's was Rhett's first Masters and we talked about the importance of GCSAA being at that tournament. So I thought, as a precursor, I'd share this welcoming photo from Augusta National.
That's right, prior to entrance through the gates at Augusta, you can find a sign directing members of the PGA... LPGA... and the GCSAA... this-a-way. And there's no line on that side of the fence, baby!
I think it's awesome that the GCSAA gets such nice treatment from the folks at Augusta.
More soon. I'm in Cleveland at the corporate office this week, so we'll be making some good things happen at Golfdom.
Who's ready for National Golf Day? It's this Wednesday! Golfdom will be there!
Thursday, April 07, 2011
OK, I'm wrapped up here in Augusta. My one day at the Masters was AMAZINGLY productive. I've got a few interviews in the can and a few other pieces I think you're really going to enjoy.
The world of golf is here! So you know Golfdom had to be too!
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
I'll have a real report on my visit with E-Z-Go next week, but for now, I'm going to post a few photos and then shut it down so I can get some sleep tonight.
Thanks to my pal Brandon Haddock, marketing communications manager for E-Z-Go, for all his time and attention today!
The photos (from bottom to top): the flip-chair metal getting welded (I dig the out-of-focus look); an employee using a "smart tool" that is calibrated to turn the bolts with an exact amount of torque; some cars coming off the line; a land of E-Z-Go cars in line awaiting shipping.
ALSO: Don't forget to sign up for our fantasy golf game! I'll have some sweet prizes from the Masters for winners!
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Breaking news from The Golfdom Daily headquarters! Starting NOW, The Golfdom Daily has formed a fantasy golf league. It is going to be at http://golf.fantasysports.yahoo.com/golf . Click on "Sign up now!" for "Tee it Up!" fantasy golf (it's the only fantasy golf game they have.) Once you create your team, click "join a group." The group ID is 17466 and the group name is The Great Golfdom Hackoff (Yes I know 'hackoff' is spelled hack off but I was limited in spaces to enter a name and I had to have the name be The Great Golfdom Hackoff!)
You will need a password to join the group. The password is golfdom123.
I called Seth and he is all about this idea. He said he'll pick up some Masters gear tomorrow morning at the course for the winners. Jones might be a lousy golfer but he's got good taste in golf gear, so I expect him to pick up some sweet prizes! Don't let us down Seth!
It is just as easy to sign up for as the bracket challenge and in my opinion, just as fun! Everyone will pick one “A” golfer, two “B” golfers and one “C” golfer. The lists of golfers are on the website.
I could go on about details but I will spare you, they are all on the website. The easiest thing to do is GO SIGN UP! This is the perfect week to start due to the Masters starting this week. Go sign up and compete in the inaugural edition of The Great Golfdom Hackoff!
The Great Golfdom Hackoff
Group ID: 17466
All we are missing now is YOU!
'Til next time!
-- Matt Hendren
Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole all six of you who read Hendren’s Hyperbole. Spread the word! I figure either you love the hyperbole or you hate it, either way you have to read it….right? I need some comments people! Comments help me shape the hyperbole. I am going to assume that no comments means I am hitting the nail on the head and all six of you love what you are reading. If I am wrong, leave a comment or shoot Seth an email letting him know you love Hendren’s Hyperbole!
Congratulations to Jerome Tucker for winning the inaugural addition of Golfdom’s Bracket Challenge, sponsored by SubAir and Rain Bird. First and second place both get $50 gift cards, while the next 12, maybe even 20 (depending on how many prizes we have stashed in Seth's office), all get some sort of prize for playing along. I'm talking golf shirts, hats, etc. So if you finished in the top 12, make sure to email Seth your mailing address.
Other notable participants include Erica Hendren finishing 2nd, Matt Hendren finishing 6th, Pat Roberts finishing 8th and last but not least... Seth Jones finishing 18th. In case you didn’t figure it out… yes, my wife kicked my ass by finishing 2nd! If Butler would have won my wife would have won the first ever Golfdom Bracket Challenge.
The thing that gets me is she doesn’t even like basketball! I think she picks winners by the team’s mascot or uniform color or something. This is the last year I invite her to join the Golfdom Bracket Challenge! To make myself feel a little better I listed where Seth and Pat landed in the field of 57 participants. At least I beat someone I can talk a little junk to but losing to my wife is fairly emasculating. Nice work Erica.
Did any of you notice The Goldom Daily has a sponsor? Jacobsen baby! WOW! The Golfdom Daily has officially hit the big time. I’m talking about the JACOBSEN! I bet all of my readers have at least one piece of quality Jacobsen equipment you use to manicure your course and make you look good in the process. I am pumped and want to personally welcome Jacobsen to The Golfdom Daily.
How about Phil winning the Shell Houston Open? I think it’s great and wish Phil would play at the level he is capable of, like last weekend, a little more often. No one is more fun to watch when he is firing on all cylinders than Phil. This was Mickelson’s first win since last year’s Masters win. From what I can tell, everyone loves Phil. Phil is the anti-Tiger. For the first time since 1997 he overtook Tiger on the world rankings, jumping to 3rd. Tiger is 7th and falling fast.
If you read Hendren’s Hyperbole on a regular basis you know I am not a Tiger Woods fan but am starting to feel sorry for him so I wanted to throw this out there…. I Know Tiger will get his stuff together sooner or later, probably later, but it is true -- regardless of anyone’s opinion of Tiger you have to give him props for what he has done for the game of golf. There, I said something somewhat nice about Mr. Woods. This probably won’t happen again so if you are a Tiger supporter or sympathizer this should tide you over for a while. Just don’t forget Tiger is still a bum.
Do you think Phil can throw together back-to-back wins for the first time since 2006 and win the Maters this week? I looked into my Magic 8 ball and it said “Outlook Unclear.” I hope he does as long as it doesn’t involve beating Johnny Vegas in dramatic fashion on the 72nd hole, which is not looking promising.
Does anyone give Tiger a shot? Did anyone buy Tiger Woods: My Swing? Has your game improved immensely? I am still waiting to schedule Seth’s first swing lesson. The offer still stands! Fire me a comment and let me know what you think.
-- Matt Hendren
Monday, April 04, 2011
How about with this exciting news... we have added to our staff! Golfdom has added the amazing Beth Geraci, a veteran journalist who combines excellent experience with superb enthusiasm, to our team. Beth is located at the Cleveland offices of Golfdom, and can be reached via email at Bgeraci@questex.com. Welcome Beth! (Look for more about Beth at the end of this post.)
Also, welcome to Jacobsen as the official sponsor of the Golfdom blog! We're honored to have a sponsor like Jacobsen supporting the blog. We want to keep posting regularly, and with a company like Jacobsen taking notice and lending their support, well, that makes us want to do even better work here.
Speaking of 'work here': Keep an eye on the blog as we'll be posting from Augusta National and the Masters this week. We've got meetings set up all over the place... including GCSAA's new CEO; the host superintendent of the PGA Championship; E-Z-Go; the Golf Writers meeting; and our own Anthony Williams, CGCS, MG. If you're going to be at Augusta this week and would like to meet up, drop me an email at email@example.com.
The Golfdom NCAAA Bracket Challenge -- sponsored by our friends at SubAir and Rain Bird -- is about to come to a close! I know Hendren will have some things to say about it tomorrow, but yeah -- the winner of tonight's game determines the winner of the first ever Golfdom NCAA bracket challenge! And I'm pretty sure Hendren will be pulling for the Butler Bulldogs! I'll let him explain why tomorrow...
Speaking of random sports betting (but no money is changing hands here, no-sir-ee...), do you want to do a little Masters pool? I'll talk to Hendren about it tonight. We might slap something together last minute. If we only get three people involved, well, at least my odds of winning increase.
FINALLY... let me better introduce you to Beth. (I need a nickname for Beth. I've been calling her "B.G." thus far, but I need something better. Her last name is pronounced jer-AYE-cee so maybe that's where I need to focus. ...or maybe she hates nicknames all together, and if that's the case, I'll find out very soon!)
Beth Geraci has been named senior editor of Golfdom and Landscape Management magazines, officially joining the Questex team on Monday, March 29.
Geraci has worked as a professional journalist for more than 15 years, including six years as a writer for the Chicago Tribune. A graduate of Allegheny College and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Geraci began her career as an editor at a newswire service in Washington, D.C. ,where she edited and distributed press releases from the White House and congressional leaders.
She went on to become the community news reporter at the Jackson Hole Guide newspaper, winning two national feature writing awards. Her other experience includes working as a book editor in Chicago and as a professor of business communications at Cleveland State University.
“I’m excited about joining the Questex team as senior editor of Golfdom and Landscape Management,” Geraci says. “I’m really looking forward to working with everybody and making my own contributions to the company.”