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Golfing Legacies: Bobby Jones

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The Life And Career Of The Legendary Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones was an American golfer who lived from March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971.

He is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of American Golf. He was responsible for the founding of  Augusta National Golf Club and he co-founded the legendary Master’s Tournament.

You can find golf betting odds on the next Master’s Tournament here.

Jones played in the amateur era of golf and is by far the most successful American amateur golfer of all time. The Master’s Tournament has gone on to be one of the most influential tournaments in the sport. With nearly every tournament since copying it in some way.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at the life and career of Bobby Jones.

Life Before Golf

For Jones, there wasn’t really any life before golf.

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Jones was born on March 17, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia. After being seriously unwell as a child, Jones was prescribed golf as a way to build up his strength and he started to play it with his father.

Jones comments that he fell in love with the sport on the first day that he played it. He practiced a lot and became somewhat of a prodigy. He won his first tournament at the age of six at his home course at East Lake Golf Club.

He won his first major tournament at 14, it was the inaugural Georgia Amateur Championship.

While Jones was growing up, there was another prodigy at the East Lake Golf Club – Stewart Maiden. Maiden was 5 years older than Jones and was his hero.

Jones was not old enough to sign up for the American Army in World War 1, so instead, he toured the country and took part in exhibition matches to raise money for the war effort.

After the war, the great golf writer  J. Douglas Edgar moved to America and Jones spent some time training with him in Atlanta.

He won the Southern Amateurs for the first of three times at the age of 16 and qualified for the US Open for the first time in 1920, aged 18.

Jones played varsity golf for Georgia Tech where he earned a Mechanical Engineering degree. He did a Master’s in English Literature at Harvard, where he played in the Owl Golf Club, and then he went on to get a law degree from Emory University School of Law before joining the family law firm.

Breaking Records As An Amateur

After qualifying for his first open in 1920, Jones played for another 10 years and retired in 1930.

During this time he won the US Open 3 times and the Open Championship 4 times. He also won the US Amateurs 5 times. He won the Amateur Championship once in 1930.

It was that year that he won all four of the (then) major tournaments – the Open Championship, the US Open, the Us Amateurs, and the Amateur Championship all in one year. This is known as the Grand Slam.

He still is the only amateur to win all four tournaments in one year.

Jones never played in any PGA tournaments because he was an amateur player. He worked for the family law firm all through his golfing career.

After Retirement

While there is no arguing with the success of Jones’ playing career, he made his biggest impact on the sport after he stopped playing.

The first big thing that Jones did for golf was building the Augusta National Golf Club. He built this club so that he could have somewhere private to play golf with his friends without being bothered by the press.

It was at this course that Jones had the idea to create the Master’s Tournament – perhaps his biggest contribution to the world of golf.

When creating the tournament, Jones differed from how tournaments were being run at the time. He thought about the years he had spent as a player and what he would have changed if he could.

The tournament was a huge success. It was so successful, in fact, that nearly every tournament now follows the same format as the Master’s Tournament. This tournament has also become one of the four major tournaments in the golfing world.

In World War 2, Jones served in the  U.S. Army Air Corps. During his time in Normandy, he met and became friends with General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Jones passed away on December 18, 1971.

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