A column by Ivan Morris
Bobby Jones has by no means revealed precisely why he retired from competitors at the age of 28 after profitable what was then referred to as the “Grand Quadrilateral” in 1930: that’s, the American and British beginner championships, the US Open and the (British) Open Championship, all performed in the similar yr.
I assume his spouse wished him extra at residence so he may settle into an actual household life in addition to his career as a lawyer linked to varied enterprise pursuits.
Bobby Jones had additionally signed on to make a collection of tutorial movies for Warner Brothers in Hollywood and had began designing golf golf equipment for the Spalding Company: do not forget that he additionally had a level in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. At the similar time, he was about to begin writing a profitable golf column and a number of books as properly. Activities that solid doubt on his beginner standing: notice that he by no means declared himself a professional however he by no means once more competed as an beginner both.
In 1932, Jones started work on his favourite undertaking of a lifetime: the building of the Augusta National Golf Club, which opened in late 1934 and led to the first group of a event he (modestly) named The Invitational. It wasn’t till 1939 that Jones’ accomplice, Clifford Robertsmanaged, towards Jones’ needs, to rename it The Masters Tournament.
Although utterly retired from skilled tournaments, Jones performed twelve Masters between 1934 and 1948 (no tournaments had been held in the years 1943-1945 due to World War II). It was the solely event (other than occasional exhibition matches) by which he participated.
Considering the lack of observe, it may be mentioned that he performed very properly, ending thirteenth at the 1934 Masters. He performed one other 11 instances however by no means managed to end higher. Here are Jones’ scores and scores yr by yr at the Masters:
1934: 76-74-72-72—294, tied for thirteenth
1935: 74-72-73-78—297, tied for twenty fifth
1936: 78-78-73-77—306, thirty third
1937: 79-74-73-77—303, tied for twenty ninth
1938: 76-74-72-75—297, tied for sixteenth
1939: 76-77-78-73—304, tied for thirty third
1940: 79-76—155, dropped.
1941: 76-74-78-79—307, fortieth
1942: 72-75-79-78—304, tied for twenty ninth
1946: 75-72-77-78—302, tied for thirty second
1947: 75-79-78-80—312, 56th
1948: 76-81-79-79—315, thirty ninth
Another little identified reality is thatAlister Mackenzie was not Jones’ first alternative as a course designer. Even Mackenzie did not know that. Sir Guy Campbell was the favourite. Although born in London, Campbell had attended St. Andrews University and spent a lot of his life there the place he was a outstanding member of the R&A – profitable a number of of the membership’s prestigious medal tournaments. A common competitor in the Amateur Championship in addition to being a superb cricketer and rower, Campbell was the great-grandson of Robert Chambers, golf historian and co-designer of the first 9 holes at Hoylake.
Campbell joined the workers of The London Times in 1920 as a particular correspondent and later grew to become one of its editors. At the similar time, he launched into the design of golf programs in partnership with Cecil Hutchinson and SV Hotchkin. His course designs (and renovations) embrace some beauties: Ashridge Park, Leeds Castle, Southdown, Prince’s, Royal Cinque Ports, Rye, Felixstowe, Seacroft, Shoreham, West Sussex (all in England), The Haagsche (Netherlands), North Berwick (West Links) and East Lothian (Scotland), Killarney and Royal Dublin (Ireland).
Bobby Jones and Sir Guy Campbell had a number of mutual buddies and acquaintances on either side of the Atlantic, together with: J.Victor Eastthe clubmaker of alternative for each males and Bernard Darwin. Campbell’s native information and architectural philosophy of the programs made a very good impression. It is probably going that they mentioned the Jones’s Dream undertaking even earlier than the Berckman’s Fruitland Nursery property was recognized.
Pensacola trial lawyer and Jones household archivist, Sidney Matthewrevealed an article in the September 2021 concern of Follow Through (the official publication of the British Golf Collector’s Society, edited by the St. Andrews-based Irishman, Roger McStravick) by which he states that he’s in possession of correspondence which may show that Campbell was supplied the place, topic to touring to America to survey the floor and finalize the phrases. Despite a number of enthusiastic letters again and forth, it seems that “complications” at residence prevented Campbell from crossing the Atlantic in a well timed method. This alternative to obtain golf immortality was misplaced endlessly to Campbell.
During the presentation of his undertaking, Mackenzie all the time spoke of “finality”, however Augusta’s drawing didn’t maintain this promise. It has additionally undergone continuous modifications over the many years. The Club’s annual Media Guide exhibits that eleven completely different architects have remodeled 60 modifications to important holes since its inception! Not a lot “finality” in all this!
It is feasible that Sir Guy Campbell would have anticipated some of these modifications from the begin if he had been chosen as a substitute of MacKenzie: we are going to by no means know!
In the previous twenty years alone, the size of the course has grown from 6,985 yards to 7,475 yards, tree planting has continued apace, and the roughs have pushed by way of the course like by no means earlier than.
How would anybody have imagined all this in 1932?
To discover Bobby Jones, learn right here our article devoted to the stunning ebook revealed on him
ebook revealed by Templar House who has additionally simply launched a ebook on Walter Hagen “The King and his Crown”.
See web site Templar
Photos: AFP (Photo by Michael HEIMAN / Getty Images through AFP), Templar