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Jonas helps make it all go at Montreux
by Damian Tromerhauser
Aug 01, 2012 | 2195 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed graduate Zach Jonas stays plenty busy as the Associate Golf Professional at Montreux.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed graduate Zach Jonas stays plenty busy as the Associate Golf Professional at Montreux.
Eight years ago basketball was the center of Zach Jonas’ world. He had just completed his senior year at Reed High School, helping lead the Raiders to the state tournament, and was looking for a college that would allow him to continue his career on the hardwood. Eventually that search came up empty, but the hunt did not come up completely bare.

“It’s kind of funny because I looked into a couple junior colleges to try to go play basketball and realized I wasn’t going anywhere with that,” Jonas said. “I played golf in high school and it was always a second sport to me because I was mainly playing basketball, but it kind of came naturally. I ended up getting a scholarship to go up to Washington to play golf, so I went that route with it.”

After spending two years playing golf at Walla Walla Community College, Jonas hit the links as a professional and returned to the Truckee Meadows area with a new passion. Now, while Jonas said he still hits the basketball court in city leagues, his world revolves around the golf course.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Jonas said. “I played college golf up in Washington. I played up there and then turned pro after two years of college. I played a little bit and taught a little bit up there in Washington and ended up wanting to come back to the area here.”

The desire for the 2004 Reed graduate to return to Reno was much higher than the intensity of the job market at first though, leaving Jonas on yet another search before things fell into place at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

“I was actually struggling to find a job anywhere in town and ended up finding a job here which is obviously where I’d want to be. Of anywhere in Reno, this would be the place that I’d want to work,” Jonas said. “It was just a neat opportunity given to me by Gus Jones and I’m very grateful for that. It’s just ironic because six months prior to that I was in town looking at all the courses seeing if they had any openings and nobody really had any. Then sure enough, Montreux is the first offer I got which is the place that you want to be if you’re in the golf business.”

Jonas is now the Associate Golf Professional at Montreux, with his job duties encompassing pretty much everything dealing with the course.

“We do almost everything. We have a staff of 25 employees, with 24 underneath me.  I do all program coordination, so I’m the tournament coordinator and inventory controller, so I oversee all the inventory that we order, receive, etcetera, and then staffing.”

With the PGA Tour in town for the Reno-Tahoe Open, this week is unlike any other for Jonas and his team though.

“This week’s a different week. It’s really fun. Obviously I’d rather be playing in it than on this side of it, but it’s a really good week,” Jonas said. “We run the Pro-Ams, so we look forward to Thursday. That’s when the PGA Tour takes over and they just come play golf. It used to be Monday and Wednesday Pro-Ams that we’d run, but we cut back on Monday to make the Wednesday a bigger deal. Aside from that, we just have all the prep work for it.  We have 208 players out here, so it entails a lot of action.

“This week is just neat to have all the tour players out here. You see a course and a community that is so private and exclusive go public so it’s kind of an interesting week in that facet. It transforms for a week. It’s interesting, to say the least.”

Once the tournament wraps up on Sunday and things return to normal at Montreux, Jonas will be just as happy.

“For the job that I have, I’m grateful everyday driving down through these gates. It’s beautiful,” Jonas said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people before and they say ‘I’ve played in Reno,’ but if you haven’t played Montreux, it’s a whole other element. The community is really good and the members are great. It’s awesome. I enjoy the game of golf. That’s why I’m in the business. To this day, I enjoy playing it and teaching it. I love being here and I love the people that we work with. We have a great team. Every day driving through the gate, I’m grateful for it. I just love the people, love the course, love everything about it.”
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