Golf Course Management

JUN 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/986198

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46 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.18 Jennings, whose game was once good enough to make him a 9 handicap, had practice for what played out at Chicago GC and Shinnecock. Although he spent only 13 months as the assistant at Onondaga Golf & Country Club in Fayetteville, N.Y., it was there that Jennings, working alongside UMass classmate Erick Holm, had his first major encounter with helping to restore a golf course to its original appearance. "We brought the course up to speed with a modern approach to turfgrass mainte - nance," says Holm, noting that regular ver- ticutting became routine. "Jon got his feet wet on those kinds of things at a club with a big reputation in the area, big expectations in the finished product in that community. e pressure was on from when he started. Jon and I had a lot in common. It was a no- holds-barred, can-do attitude. He has the intellect, the drive." Asked how he feels about Jennings host - ing a U.S. Open, Holm is convinced about the outcome. "Piece of cake. He set himself up perfectly to build for this accomplish - ment," Holm says. Fergie, James Bond, and a first When he isn't on the scene at Shin- necock Hills, Jennings probably is doing the music scene. Or, he could be tidying up the home — maybe even yours. He's seen the Grateful Dead 25 times. Samantha, who works in non-profit ad - ministration, often accompanies him to concerts. ey've seen Steely Dan, Fergie, e B-52s, you name it. She's thrilled that he takes time to chill. "He's one of the most tenacious people I've encountered in my life," says Samantha, whose aunt, Jon's sister Martha, will work on his volunteer crew. "If something needs to be done and he finds out about it, he gets it done." Jennings came home one time and Susan, smiling, asked if he noticed anything different on the patio deck. Long story short: She'd planted geraniums. "I said, 'e geraniums need some water.' I don't see the good. I see the things that need to be done. I'm the guy who walks into your house, and when you turn your back, I'll straighten out the picture on your wall. But I'll be polite and wait until you turn your back," Jen - nings says. His son Ted, who attends the Univer - sity of Minnesota, is an important element of the family backbone. "Ted's the guy who holds the door for 50 people before he goes in himself. He's on a bone marrow donor list at Minnesota. He always gives blood. He puts me to shame," Jennings says. To keep his mind occupied, Jennings receives the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day via email and his goal is to inte - grate it into his vocabulary. He loves watch- ing James Bond movies. Of course, there's a reason behind it. "I find that despite any setback that comes his way, he manages to accomplish the given assignment with re - sourcefulness," Jennings says. Sounds like someone we know. Some - one who ushered in new eras at old, legend- ary golf courses and now is about to host his first U.S. Open. Someone who dared. Someone who hopes to deliver. Again. "It could be the greatest thing I achieve in my career," Jennings says. Howard Richman (hrichman@gcsaa.org) is GCM 's associate editor. Below: Jennings has participated in numerous run- ning events, including marathons in Boston and Chicago. Here, he is seen participating in the New York City half- marathon. Photos courtesy of Jon Jennings Left: The Jennings family celebrates Thanksgiving Day together in this photo. Family members in the front row are (left to right) Susan Jennings; Samantha Jennings; Clark, the labrador retriever; and Ted Jennings. In the back row (left to right) are Martha Jennings, Jon Jennings, Tom Jennings and Fran Jennings.

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