Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, Jr (1902 - 1971)

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Birthplace: Atlanta, Fulton, GA, USA
Death: Died in Atlanta, Fulton, GA, USA
Managed by: Joe Stoner
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About Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, Jr

Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete on a national and international level. During his peak as a golfer from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition, and competed very successfully against the world's best professional golfers. Jones often beat stars such as Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, the era's top pros. Jones earned his living mainly as a lawyer, and competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28, though he earned significant money from golf after that, as an instructor and equipment designer.


Explaining his decision to retire, Jones said, "It (championship golf) is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there."[2] Jones is most famous for his unique "Grand Slam," consisting of his victory in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the U.S. & the U.K.) in a single calendar year (1930).


After retiring from competitive golf in 1930, Jones started and helped to design the Augusta National Golf Club soon afterwards in 1933, and also co-founded the Masters Tournament, which has been annually staged by the club since 1934 (except for 1943–45, when it was cancelled due to World War II). The Masters evolved into one of golf's four major championships. Jones did come out of retirement in 1934, to play in the Masters, on an exhibition basis until 1948, when he quit golf permanently, due to ill health. Wikipedia -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Jones_(golfer)

Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete on a national and international level. During his peak as a golfer from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition, and competed very successfully against the world's best professional golfers. Jones often beat stars such as Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, the era's top pros. Jones earned his living mainly as a lawyer, and competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28, though he earned significant money from golf after that, as an instructor and equipment designer.


Explaining his decision to retire, Jones said, "It (championship golf) is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there." Jones is most famous for his unique "Grand Slam," consisting of his victory in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the U.S. & the U.K.) in a single calendar year (1930).


After retiring from competitive golf in 1930, Jones started and helped to design the Augusta National Golf Club soon afterwards in 1933, and also co-founded the Masters Tournament, which has been annually staged by the club since 1934 (except for 1943–45, when it was cancelled due to World War II). The Masters evolved into one of golf's four major championships. Jones did come out of retirement in 1934, to play in the Masters, on an exhibition basis until 1948, when he quit golf permanently, due to ill health.


Early years


Jones was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.


Jones battled health issues as a young boy, and golf was prescribed to strengthen him. Encouraged by his father, Jones loved golf from the start. He developed quickly into a child prodigy, who won his first children's tournament at the age of six, and made the third round of the U.S. Amateur Championship at 14. That same year, 1916, he won the Georgia State Amateur Championship for his first important title, at the Capital City Club, in Brookhaven, where he became an active member later in life.


He was trained and coached by club professional Stewart Maiden, a native of Carnoustie, Scotland. Maiden was the professional at the Atlanta Athletic Club's East Lake Golf Club, who also trained the somewhat older Alexa Stirling, also a prodigy, at East Lake around the same time.[4] Jones played frequently with his father, Col. Robert P. Jones, a skilled player himself. The younger Jones sometimes battled his own temper on the course, but later cured this problem as he became more experienced. Jones toured the U.S. during World War I from 1917–18, playing exhibition matches before large crowds, often with Alexa Stirling, to generate income for war relief. Playing in front of such crowds in these matches helped him, as he moved into national competition a bit later on.


Jones successfully represented the United States for the first time, in two winning international amateur team matches against Canada, in 1919 and 1920, earning three of a possible four points in foursomes and singles play. In 1919 he travelled to Hamilton Golf and Country Club, for his first serious competitive action outside the U.S., while in 1920, Engineers' G.C., in Roslyn, Long Island hosted the matches. Still a teenager, he was by far the youngest player in the series. Jones also played in the 1919 Canadian Open while in Hamilton, Ontario, performing very well to place tied for second, but 16 shots behind winner J. Douglas Edgar. Edgar had immigrated from England in 1919 to take a club professional's job in Atlanta at Druid Hills Golf Club; Edgar mentored and played frequently with Jones from 1919 to 1921. Edgar was credited by Jones with helping develop his game significantly.


Jones qualified for his first U.S. Open at age 18 in 1920, and was paired with the legendary Harry Vardon for the first two rounds. He won the Southern Amateur three times: 1917, 1920, and 1922.


First majors


As an adult, he hit his stride in 1923, when he won his first U.S. Open. From that win at New York's Inwood Country Club, through his 1930 victory in the U.S. Amateur, he won 13 major championships (as they were counted at the time) in 20 attempts. Jones was the first player to win The Double, both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship in the same year (1926).


1930: Grand Slam


Jones is still the only player ever to have won the Grand Slam, or all four major championships, in the same year (1930). Jones made a bet on himself achieving this extraordinary feat with British bookmakers early in 1930, before the first tournament of the Slam, at odds of 50–1, and collected over $60,000 when he did it.


Jones represented the United States in the Walker Cup five times, winning nine of his 10 matches, and the U.S. won the trophy all five times. He served as playing captain of the U.S. team in 1928 and 1930. He also won two other tournaments against professionals: the 1927 Southern Open and the 1930 Southeastern Open. Jones was a life-long member of the Atlanta Athletic Club (at the club's original site, now the East Lake Golf Club), and the Capital City Club in Atlanta.


Jones is considered one of the five giants of the 1920s American sports scene, along with baseball's Babe Ruth, boxing's Jack Dempsey, football's Red Grange, and tennis player Bill Tilden. He was the first recipient of the AAU's Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. He is the only sports figure to receive two ticker-tape parades in New York City, the first in 1926 and the second in 1930. Jones is memorialized in Augusta, Georgia at the Golf Gardens and has the Bobby Jones Expressway, also known as Interstate 520, named for him.


Sportsmanship


Jones was not only a consummately skilled golfer but exemplified the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. Early in his amateur career, he was in the final playoff of the 1925 U.S. Open at the Worcester Country Club. During the match, his ball ended up in the rough just off the fairway, and as he was setting up to play his shot, his iron caused a slight movement of the ball. He immediately got angry with himself, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself. The marshals discussed among themselves and questioned some of the gallery whether they had seen Jones's ball move. Their decision was that neither they nor anyone else had witnessed any incident, so the decision was left to Jones. Bobby Jones called the two-stroke penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by one stroke. When he was praised for his gesture, Jones replied, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank." The USGA's sportsmanship award is named the Bob Jones Award in his honor.


St Andrews, Scotland


Jones had a unique relationship with the town of St Andrews, Scotland. On his first appearance on the Old Course in The Open Championship of 1921, he withdrew after 11 holes in the third round, when he failed to complete the hole (in effect disqualifying himself), and tore up his scorecard, although he finished the round and indeed played the fourth round as well. He firmly stated his dislike for The Old Course and the town reciprocated, saying in the press, "Master Bobby is just a boy, and an ordinary boy at that." Later, he came to love the Old Course and the town like few others. When he won the Open at the Old Course in 1927, he wowed the crowd by asking that the trophy remain with his friends at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club rather than return with him to Atlanta. He won The Amateur Championship (British Amateur Championship) over The Old Course in 1930, and scored a double eagle 2 on the fourth hole (then a par-5, now a par-4), by holing a very long shot from a fairway bunker. In 1958, he was named a Freeman of the City of St Andrews, becoming only the second American to be so honored, the other being Benjamin Franklin in 1759. Today, a scholarship exchange bearing the Jones name exists between the University of St Andrews and both Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. At Emory, four students are sent to St Andrews for an all-expenses-paid year of study and travel. In return, Emory accepts four students from St Andrews each year. The program, the Robert T. Jones Scholarship, is among the most prestigious scholarships offered by any university.


University, family, career

Jones was highly successful outside of golf as well. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1922, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and played for the golf team. He then earned a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College in 1924, where he was a member of the Owl Club. After only one year in law school at Emory University, he passed the Georgia bar exam. While attending Emory University, Jones became a member of Phi Delta Phi. After passing the Georgia bar exam, Jones joined his father's law firm in Atlanta.


Jones was married in 1924 to the former Mary Rice Malone. They had three children — Clara, Robert Tyre III, and Mary Ellen. When he retired from golf at age 28, he concentrated on his Atlanta law practice. That same year, 1930, he was honored with the first James E. Sullivan Award, awarded annually by the Amateur Athletic Union to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.


Golf films, golf club design


In addition, Jones made 18 instructional golf films in Hollywood in the early 1930s, where he coached well-known stars with golf pointers. The films were very popular, and Jones gave up his amateur status while earning lucrative contract money for this venture. These films were put into storage and were unavailable for decades, but were later resurrected by Ely Callaway, who was a distant relative of Jones's, and were made available in digital format for purchase, some 60 years after their original release.


Jones worked with A.G. Spalding & Co. to develop the first set of matched clubs in the early 1930s; the clubs sold very well and are still considered among the best-designed sets ever made.


Augusta National


Following his retirement from competitive golf in 1930, and even in the years leading up to that, Jones had become one of the most famous athletes in the world, and was recognized virtually everywhere he went in public. While certainly appreciative of the enormous adulation and media coverage, this massive attention caused Jones to lose personal privacy in golf circles, and he wished to create a private golf club where he and his friends could play golf in peace and quiet. For several years, he searched for a property near Atlanta where he could develop his own golf club. His friend Clifford Roberts, a New York City investment dealer, knew of Jones's desire, became aware of a promising property for sale in Augusta, Georgia, where Jones's wife had grown up, and informed Jones about it. Jones first visited Fruitlands, an Augusta arboretum and indigo plantation since the Civil War era, in the spring of 1930, and he purchased it for $70,000 in 1931, with the plan to design a golf course on the site.


Jones co-designed the Augusta National course with Alister MacKenzie; the new club opened in early 1933. He founded the Masters Tournament, first played at Augusta in March 1934. The new tournament, originally known as the Augusta National Invitational, was an immediate success, and attracted most of the world's top players right from its start. Jones came out of retirement to play, essentially on an exhibition basis, and his presence guaranteed enormous media attention, boosting the new tournament's fame.

World War II


During World War II, Jones served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces. His superiors wanted to him to play exhibition golf in the United States, but Jones was insistent on serving overseas. In 1943 he was promoted to major and trained as an intelligence officer, serving in England with the Ninth Air Force, where he made the acquaintance of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Landing in Normandy on June 7, 1944, Jones spent two months with a front line division as a prisoner of war interrogator, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. During the war, Jones permitted the U.S. Army to graze cattle on the grounds at Augusta National. Later, in 1947, he founded Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta and co-designed the course with Robert Trent Jones.


Masters Tournament, health worries


Jones did play in the Masters every year it was held until 1948, when he was 46 years old. By then, his health had declined to the stage where this was no longer possible. But with his health difficulties, and being past his prime and not competing elsewhere to stay in tournament form, he never truly contended to win the Masters, although his scores were usually respectable. These were largely ceremonial performances, since his main duty was as host of the event. His extraordinary popularity, efforts with the course design, and tournament organization boosted the profile of the Masters significantly. The tournament, jointly run by Jones and Clifford Roberts, made many important innovations which became the norm elsewhere, such as gallery ropes to control the flow of the large crowds, many scoreboards around the course, the use of red / green numbers on those scoreboards to denote under / over par scores, an international field of top players, high-caliber television coverage, and week-long admission passes for patrons, which became extremely hard to obtain. The tournament also sought and welcomed feedback from players, fans, and writers, leading to continual improvement over the years. The Masters gradually evolved to being one of the most respected tournaments in the world, one of the four major championships.


Incapacity and death


In 1948, Jones was diagnosed with syringomyelia, a fluid-filled cavity in his spinal cord which caused first pain, then paralysis. He was eventually restricted to a wheelchair. He died in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 18, 1971, about a week after converting to Catholicism. Jones was baptized on his death bed by Monsignor John D. Stapleton, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, the church attended by the Jones family and was buried in Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.


Major championships

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Jones_(golfer)#Major_championships

Other records


Jones's four titles in the U.S. Open remain tied for the most ever in that championship, along with Willie Anderson, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus. His four second-place finishes in the U.S. Open also set a record, since tied by Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Phil Mickelson, until 2009 when Mickelson recorded his fifth second-place finish. His five titles in the U.S. Amateur are a record. Jones was ranked as the fourth greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine in 2000. Jack Nicklaus was first, Ben Hogan second, and Sam Snead third. Jones was ranked as the third greatest golfer of all time in a major survey published by Golf Magazine, September 2009. Jack Nicklaus was ranked first, and Tiger Woods was ranked second, with Ben Hogan fourth and Sam Snead fifth.


Films


Jones appeared in a series of short instructional films produced by Warner Brothers in 1931 titled How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones (12 films) and in 1933 titled How to Break 90 (6 films). Actors and actresses, mostly under contract with Warner Brothers, but also from other studios, volunteered to appear in these 18 episodes. Some of the more well known actors to appear in the instructional plots included James Cagney, Joe E. Brown, Edward G. Robinson, W.C. Fields, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Richard Barthelmess, Richard Arlen, Guy Kibbee, Warner Oland and Loretta Young. Various scenarios involving the actors were used to provide an opportunity for Jones to convey a lesson about a particular part of the game. The shorts were directed by the prolific George Marshall.


Jones was the subject of the quasi-biographical 2004 feature film Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius in which he was portrayed by James Caviezel. The film was a major box office flop, grossing only $1.2 million the first weekend and $2.7 million overall, against a production cost of over $17 million. The film was also littered with historical inaccuracies. The Jones legend was also used to create a supporting character in The Legend of Bagger Vance in 2000, portrayed by Joel Gretsch, and the event where he called his own penalty is used for the main character, Rannulph Junuh.


Books


Jones authored several books on golf including Down the Fairway with O.B. Keeler (1927), The Rights and Wrongs of Golf (1933), Golf Is My Game (1959), Bobby Jones on Golf (1966), and Bobby Jones on the Basic Golf Swing (1968) with illustrator Anthony Ravielli. The 300-copy limited edition of "Down The Fairway" is considered one of the rarest and most sought after golf books by collectors. To keep this book readily available to golfers, Herbert Warren Wind included a reproduction of "Down the Fairway" in his Classics of Golf Library.


Jones has been the subject of several books, most notably The Bobby Jones Story and A Boy's Life of Bobby Jones, both by O.B. Keeler. Other notable texts are The Life and Times of Bobby Jones: Portrait of a Gentleman by Sidney L. Matthew, The Greatest Player Who Never Lived by J. Michael Veron, and Triumphant Journey: The Saga of Bobby Jones and The Grand Slam of Golf by Richard Miller. Published in 2006, "The Grand Slam" by Mark Frost has received much note as being evocative of Jones's life and times.


A special room is dedicated to Jones's life and accomplishments at the United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in Far Hills, New Jersey.


Bobby Jones Golf Company


Founded in 2003, the Bobby Jones Golf Company designs, develops, and sells metal-woods, wedges and hybrid golf clubs. The company has an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with the family of Bobby Jones (known as Jonesheirs, Inc.) and the Hartmarx Corporation for the use of the Bobby Jones name for golf equipment and golf accessories. The craftsman is Jesse Ortiz.

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Bobby Jones's Timeline

1902
March 17, 1902
Atlanta, Fulton, GA, USA
1926
December 13, 1926
Age 24
1971
December 18, 1971
Age 69
Atlanta, Fulton, GA, USA
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