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Bobby Jones (golfer)

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Subject: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, List of U.S. Open (golf) champions, Tom Watson (golfer)
Collection: 1902 Births, 1971 Deaths, 20Th-Century Lawyers, Amateur Golfers, American Instructional Writers, American Male Golfers, American Military Personnel of World War II, American Roman Catholics, Burials in Georgia (U.S. State), Emory University School of Law Alumni, Georgia (U.S. State) Lawyers, Georgia Institute of Technology Alumni, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Men's Golfers, Golf Course Architects, Golf Writers and Broadcasters, Golfers from Georgia (U.S. State), Harvard University Alumni, James E. Sullivan Award Recipients, Men's Career Grand Slam Champion Golfers, Neurological Disease Deaths in the United States, Sportspeople from Atlanta, Georgia, Warner Bros. Short Films, Winners of Men's Major Golf Championships, World Golf Hall of Fame Inductees
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Bobby Jones (golfer)

Bobby Jones
— Golfer —
Jones, c. 1921
Personal information
Full name Robert Tyre Jones Jr.
Born (1902-03-17)March 17, 1902
Georgia, U.S.
Died December 18, 1971(1971-12-18) (aged 69)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11.8 st)
Nationality  United States
Spouse Mary Rice Malone Jones
(m.1924–1971, his death)
Children Clara Malone Jones Black (1925–1994)
Robert Tyre Jones III
Mary Ellen Jones Hood
(b. 1931)
College Georgia Tech
Harvard University
Emory University
Retired 1930
Professional wins 9[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 9
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 13)
Masters Tournament T13: 1934
U.S. Open Won: 1923, 1926, 1929, 1930
The Open Championship Won: 1926, 1927, 1930
PGA Championship DNP
U.S. Amateur Won: 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930
British Amateur Won: 1930
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1974 (member page)
James E. Sullivan Award 1930
Hall of Fame
Georgia Tech Athletic
Georgia Tech Engineering
Hall of Fame

Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession. Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club, and co-founded the Masters Tournament.

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."[4] 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). In all Jones played in 31 majors, winning 13 and placing among the top ten finishers 27 times.

After retiring from competitive golf in 1930, Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club soon afterwards in 1933. He also co-founded the Masters Tournament, which has been annually staged by the club since 1934 (except for 1943–45, when it was canceled due to World War II). The Masters evolved into one of golf's four major championships. Jones came out of retirement in 1934 to play in the Masters on an exhibition basis through 1948. Jones played his last round of golf at East Lake Golf Club, his home course in Atlanta, on August 18, 1948. A picture commemorating the event now sits in the clubhouse at East Lake. Citing health reasons, he quit golf permanently thereafter.

Bobby Jones was often confused with the prolific golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones, with whom he worked from time to time. "People always used to get them confused, so when they met, they decided each be called something different," Robert Trent Jones Jr. said. To help avoid confusion, the golfer was called "Bobby," and the golf course designer was called "Trent."[5]


  • Early years 1
  • First majors 2
  • 1930: Grand Slam 3
  • Sportsmanship 4
  • St Andrews, Scotland 5
  • University, family, career 6
  • Golf films, golf club design 7
  • Augusta National Golf Club 8
  • Masters Tournament, health worries 9
  • Incapacity and death 10
  • Major championships 11
    • Wins (13) 11.1
      • The Opens (7) 11.1.1
      • The Amateurs (6) 11.1.2
    • Results timeline 11.2
    • Other records 11.3
  • Films 12
  • Books 13
  • Honors 14
  • Bobby Jones Golf Company 15
  • U.S. national team appearances 16
  • See also 17
  • References 18
  • External links 19

Early years

Jones at age 14

Born in

External links

  1. ^ Jones was an amateur in his nine wins in professional tournaments.
  2. ^ a b c "Bobby Jones". Georgia Tech. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations. Skyhorse Publishing.  
  5. ^ Mayo, Michael (June 16, 2000). "Course Designer Jones Dies".  
  6. ^ "The Legend - Historical Timeline". Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Shwartz, Larry. "Bobby Jones was golf's fast study".  
  9. ^ Barclay, pp. 298–9, 329
  10. ^ Gone With The Swing, by Steve Eubanks, excerpted from To Win And Die In Dixie, by Eubanks, Sports Illustrated Masters Preview 2010, April 2010
  11. ^ a b  
  12. ^ "The Southern - A Tradition". Southern Golf Association. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Fimrite, Ron (April 11, 1994). "The Emperor Jones".  
  14. ^ "Chick Evans Biography".  
  15. ^ a b c The Grand Slam, television program produced by the Golf Channel, part of "Classics" series
  16. ^ Povich, Shirley (January 29, 1991). "Grange's Appellation Was No Exaggeration". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  17. ^ Sampson, Curt (June 19, 2005). The Slam: Bobby Jones and the Price of Glory. Rodale.  
  18. ^ Lowitt, Bruce (December 21, 1999). "Bambino's curse begins as Red Sox trade Ruth".  
  19. ^ Smith, Jason B. (April 8, 2002). "Jones statue joins golf gardens".  
  20. ^ "Interstate 520 Georgia / South Carolina". Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Infamous Rules Mishaps". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ Lambert, Craig (March–April 2002). Bobby" Jones""".  
  23. ^ "1925 Men's US Open". Worcester Country Club. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ Trex, Ethan (June 12, 2008). "Fun and sick facts about U.S. Open".  
  25. ^ "U.S. Open History – 1926 – Bobby Jones". USGA. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  26. ^ "U.S. Open Champions – 1926: Bobby Jones". NBC Sports. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ "The Robert T. Jones Jr. Scholarship Program". Emory University. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Bobby Jones (1902–1971)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Clara Jones Black". Find A Grave. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Bobby Jones is proud of these". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press photo. July 9, 1929. p. green sheet. 
  31. ^ "Bobby Jones' children thrilled as famous father makes debut as golf speaker on radio chain". Evening Independent. Associated Press. January 15, 1931. p. 11. 
  32. ^ a b "Bobby Jones dies after long illness". News and Courier (Charleston, SC). Associated Press. December 19, 1971. p. 2B. 
  33. ^ "Bobby Jones has a new daughter". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. January 29, 1931. p. 10. 
  34. ^ Litsky, Frank (December 19, 1971). "Bobby Jones, Golf Master, Dies; Only Player to Win Grand Slam". The New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b c Owen, David (April 2, 2003). The Making of the Masters: Clifford Roberts, Augusta National, and Golf's Most Prestigious Tournament. Simon & Schuster.  
  37. ^ O'Connor, Ian (2008). Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry. Houghton Mifflin.  
  38. ^  
  39. ^ "About the Masters - The Founders". Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Bobby Jones Buried In Private Services".  
  41. ^ "Bobby Jones".  
  42. ^ "Son of famous golfer Jones dies". Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal. Associated Press. December 22, 1973. p. B2. 
  43. ^ USGA Championship Database
  44. ^ "Bobby Jones". Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  45. ^ Anderson, John G. (June 4, 1921). "You Can Still Hear the Lion's Roar" (PDF). The American Golfer: 24. 
  46. ^ "Sweetser Smashes the Barrier" (PDF). The American Golfer: 58. July 1926. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 16, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Jones Wins: New British Amateur Golf Champion". The Glasgow Herald. June 2, 1930. p. 11. 
  48. ^ "Past Winners & Results". 
  49. ^ Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us".  
  50. ^ Golf Magazine, September 2009.
  51. ^ "Bobby Jones (III) (1902–1971)". Internet Movie Database. 
  52. ^ Classics of Golf Library.
  53. ^ "American Sports Personalities". United States Postal Service. Retrieved October 2013. 
  54. ^ "Bobby Jones Golf Company website". Retrieved October 17, 2013. 


See also

  • Walker Cup: 1922 (winners), 1924 (winners), 1926 (winners), 1928 (winners, playing captain), 1930 (winners, playing captain)


U.S. national team appearances

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.[54] The craftsman is Jesse Ortiz.

Bobby Jones Golf Company

In 1981, the U.S. Postal Service issued an 18 cent stamp commemorating Jones.[53]


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.

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.

Jones authored several books on golf including Down the Fairway with Oscar Bane "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.[52]


Jones was the subject of the quasi-biographical 2004 feature film Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius in which he was portrayed by Jim Caviezel. 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 fictional protagonist, Rannulph Junuh.


  • The Grip (April 17, 1933)
  • Position and Backswing (May 15)
  • Hip Action (May 20)
  • Down Swing (The Downswing) (May 29)
  • Impact (July 15)
  • Fine Points (August 5)

How To Break 90

  • The Putter (April 26, 1931, Film Daily review)
  • Chip Shots (April 26)
  • The Niblick (May 31)
  • The Mashie Niblick (June 5)
  • Medium Irons (July 5)
  • The Big Irons (July 12)
  • The Spoon (July 19)
  • The Brassie (August 1)
  • The Driver (August 30)
  • Trouble Shots (September 13)
  • Practice Shots (September 27)
  • A Round of Golf (September 4)

Title list of the shorts: How I Play Golf

Jones appeared in a series of short instructional films produced by George Marshall.

1933 Goudey Sport Kings card


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 place him second all-time with Sam Snead and Nicklaus. Phil Mickelson holds the dubious record with six (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013) second-place finishes. 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. Nicklaus was first, Hogan second, and Snead third.[49] Jones was ranked as the third greatest golfer of all time in a major survey published by Golf Magazine, September 2009. Nicklaus was ranked first, with Tiger Woods second, Hogan fourth, and Snead fifth.[50]

Other records

Sources for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur,[43] British Open,[44] 1921 British Amateur,[45] 1926 British Amateur,[46] 1930 British Amateur,[47] and The Masters.[48]

LA = Low amateur
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which Jones lost in amateur match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Tournament 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948
Masters Tournament T13 T25 33 T29 T16 T33 WD 40 T29 NT NT NT T32 56 49

Jones retired after his Grand Slam in 1930, playing only his own tournament, The Masters. As an amateur golfer, he was not eligible to compete in the PGA Championship.

Tournament 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930
U.S. Open DNP NT NT DNP T8 T5 T2 LA 1 LA 2 LA 2 LA 1 LA T11 LA 2 LA 1 LA 1 LA
U.S. Amateur QF NT NT 2 SF QF SF R16 1 1 2 1 1 R32 1

The majors of Jones' time (those for which as an amateur he was eligible) were the U.S. and British Opens and Amateurs.

Results timeline

National Amateur championships were counted as majors at the time. Jones' actual major total using the standard in place in his lifetime was 13.

Year Championship Winning score Runner-up
1924 U.S. Amateur 9 & 8 George Von Elm
1925 U.S. Amateur 8 & 7 Watts Gunn
1927 U.S. Amateur 8 & 7 Chick Evans
1928 U.S. Amateur 10 & 9 Philip Perkins
1930 British Amateur 7 & 6 Roger Wethered
1930 U.S. Amateur 8 & 7 Eugene V. Homans

The Amateurs (6)

1 Defeated Bobby Cruickshank in an 18-hole playoff: Jones 76 (+4), Cruickshank 78 (+6).
2 Defeated Al Espinosa in a 36-hole playoff: Jones 72-69=141 (−3), Espinosa 84-80=164 (+20).

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1923 U.S. Open 3 shot lead +8 (71-73-76-76=296) Playoff 1 Bobby Cruickshank
1926 The Open Championship 2 shot deficit (72-72-73-74=291) 2 strokes Al Watrous
1926 U.S. Open 3 shot deficit +5 (70-79-71-73=293) 1 stroke Joe Turnesa
1927 The Open Championship 4 shot lead (68-72-73-72=285) 6 strokes Aubrey Boomer, Fred Robson
1929 U.S. Open 3 shot lead +6 (69-75-71-79=294) Playoff 2 Al Espinosa
1930 The Open Championship 1 shot deficit (70-72-74-75=291) 2 strokes Leo Diegel, Macdonald Smith
1930 U.S. Open 5 shot lead −1 (71-73-68-75=287) 2 strokes Macdonald Smith

The Opens (7)

Wins (13)

Major championships

His widow Mary died less than four years later in 1975 at age 72, following the death of their son in 1973 at age 47.[42] Daughter Clara died in 1994 at age 68.[29]

In 1948, Jones was diagnosed with syringomyelia, a fluid-filled cavity in his spinal cord which caused first crippling pain, then paralysis; he was eventually restricted to a wheelchair. He died in Atlanta on December 18, 1971, three days after converting to Catholicism.[32] Jones was baptized on his death bed by Monsignor John D. Stapleton, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, and attended by the Jones family[40] was buried in Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery. Jones was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.[41]

Incapacity and death

Jones played in the first dozen Masters, through 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.[36]

Jones' grave in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery
with putting green, golf balls, and mementos.

Masters Tournament, health worries

In 1966, the governing board and membership of Augusta National passed a resolution naming Jones President in Perpetuity.[39]

During World War II, Jones served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces. His superiors wanted 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 84th Fighter Wing, which was part of the Ninth Air Force. While in England, 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.[38] 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.

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.[36]

[37] and he purchased it for $70,000 in 1931, with the plan to design a golf course on the site.[15] plantation since the Civil War era, in the spring of 1930,indigo and arboretum Jones first visited Fruitlands, an Augusta [36] had grown up, and informed Jones about it.[35] 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 sports figures 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

Augusta National Golf Club

In the early 1930s Jones worked with J Victor East (an Australian) of A.G. Spalding & Co. to develop the first set of matched steel-shafted clubs; the clubs sold very well and are still considered among the best-designed sets ever made.[11]

Jones made 18 instructional golf films in Hollywood between 1931 and 1933 in which he coached well-known film stars with golf pointers. The films were 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 a surviving print was located 60 years later and put into video format for preservation by Ely Callaway, a distant cousin of Jones's.

Golf films, golf club design

When he retired from golf at age 28, he concentrated on his Atlanta law practice.[34] That same year, 1930, he was honored with the first James E. Sullivan Award, awarded annually by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

Jones married Mary Rice Malone in 1924, whom he met in 1919 while a freshman at Georgia Tech. They had three children — Clara Malone (1925–1994),[29] Robert Tyre III (1926–1973), and Mary Ellen (b. 1931).[30][31][32][33]

He then earned an A.B. in English Literature from bar exam and subsequently joined his father's law firm, Jones, Evins, Moore and Powell, in Atlanta.[13]

, and the Georgia Phi chapter house at Georgia Tech is named in his honor. fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon Jones was a member of the [28][2] Jones was highly successful outside of golf as well. He earned his B.S. in

Plaque on Georgia Tech campus

University, family, career

[27] Jones had a unique relationship with the town of

St Andrews, Scotland

The USGA's sportsmanship award is named the Bob Jones Award in his honor.

A similar event occurred in the next U.S. Open, played at the Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. In the second round, after his opening round put him in second place, Jones was putting on the 15th green in the face of a strong wind. After grounding his putter during address to square up the club face, the ball rolled a half turn in the wind when Jones lifted the club head to place it behind the ball. Although no one else observed this movement of the ball either, again Jones called a penalty on himself, but this time Jones went on to win the tournament, the second of his four U.S. Open victories.[25][26]

Jones was not only a consummately skilled golfer but exemplified the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. In the first round of the 1925 U.S. Open at the Worcester Country Club near Boston, his approach shot to the 11th hole's elevated green fell short into the deep rough of the embankment. As he took his stance to pitch onto the green, the head of his club brushed the grass and caused a slight movement of the ball. He took the shot, then informed his playing partner Walter Hagen and the USGA official covering their match that he was calling a penalty on himself. Hagen was unable to talk him out of it, and they continued play. After the round and before he signed his scorecard, officials argued with Jones but he insisted that he had violated Rule 18, moving a ball at rest after address, and took a 77 instead of the 76 he otherwise would have carded. Jones' self-imposed one-stroke penalty eventually cost him the win by a stroke in regulation, necessitating a playoff, which he then lost. Although praised by many sports writers for his gesture, Jones was reported to have said, "You might as well praise me for not robbing banks."[21][22][23][24]

Bobby Jones circa 1917


Jones is considered one of the five giants of the 1920s American sports scene, along with baseball's Interstate 520, named for him.[19][20]

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 lifelong 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 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.[15]

  1. The Amateur Championship, Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland
  2. The Open Championship, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England
  3. U.S. Open, Interlachen Country Club, Minnesota
  4. U.S. Amateur, Merion Golf Club, Pennsylvania

Jones is the only player ever to have won the (pre-Masters) Grand Slam, or all four major championships, in the same calendar year (1930). Jones' path to the 1930 Grand Slam title was:

1930: Grand Slam

As an adult, he hit his stride and won his first U.S. Open in 1923. 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.[13] Jones was the first player to win The Double, both the U.S. and British Open Championships in the same year (1926). He was the second (and last) to win the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in the same year (1930), first accomplished in 1916 by Chick Evans.[14]

External images
Jones with Grand Slam Trophies
British Open win 1930

First majors

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.[11] He won the Southern Amateur three times: 1917, 1920, and 1922.[12]

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 traveled 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.[9] 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.[10]

He was influenced 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 Alexa Stirling, five years older than Jones but also a prodigy, at East Lake around the same time.[7] Jones played frequently with his father, a skilled player himself. The younger Jones sometimes battled his own temper on the course, but later controlled his emotions as he became more experienced.[8] Jones toured the U.S. during World War I from 1917–18, playing exhibition matches before large crowds, often with Alexa Stirling and Perry Adair, 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.


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