Robert Trent Jones

Full Name
Robert Trent Jones
Website:
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Year of Birth
1906
Year of Death
2000 (aged 93)
Place Born
Ince-In-Makerfield, Wigan, England
Place Died
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 1987: Jones spent his final years confined to a wheelchair. After having one stroke, he awakened in his hospital bed to see his two sons at his bedside. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “You had a little setback. You had a stroke,” he was told. “Do I have to count it?” he replied.

Robert Trent Jones arrived in New York harbor aboard the steamship Caronia from the port of Liverpool on Monday, 29th April 1912, exactly two weeks after the Titanic had sunk on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. He, along with his mother and younger brother, was soon reunited with his father who had arrived nine months earlier to work as a carpenter with the New York Central Railroad building freight cars in Rochester.

As a boy, Robert caddied at the Country Club of Rochester, while Walter Hagen was still the club professional. It’s said that he saw The Haig drive to the club one day in a white Packard roadster and as the vehicle swept past him carrying the great man in his usual grand style, Jones vowed there and then to “somehow get involved with golf in some big way”.

He entered a 36-hole tournament aged sixteen, shooting a 69 course record score for his afternoon round and finishing as the low amateur, only one stroke behind the winning professional. Thoughts of broadening his horizons as a player soon evaporated though when a duodenal ulcer landed him in hospital for six months, killing off any thoughts of making it big as a player.

Instead, having dropped out of the eleventh grade at East Rochester High School in 1922, Robert started as a draughtsman with his father’s company, though he still hankered for a job in golf. Three years later, while working in a summer job as a golf instructor, he played an exhibition match for the opening of Sodus Bay Heights Golf Club and was offered the all-in-one job of greenkeeper, professional and manager at the club.

One of the wealthy Sodus members arranged for Jones to visit Cornell University, his alma mater, a...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Robert Trent Jones

Adare Manor

Gem Ireland - Best in Area

Following J. P. McManus’s acquisition of Adare Manor in 2015, the old RTJ-designed parkland course has gone, replaced by a new Tom Fazio layout which opened in May 2018.

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Arcola

32nd New Jersey - Best in Area

The course at Arcola Country Club is largely the product of three English-born architects. In more recent times, Florida-based designer Steve Smyers has been involved in a renovation project at the club.

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Aronimink

3rd Pennsylvania - Best in Area 85th USA Ranking 98th North America Ranking

The course in play today at Aronimink Golf Club opened in 1928 and Dornoch’s most famous son, Donald Ross, originally designed it. Gil Hanse restored the old classic ahead of the 2018 BMW Championship.

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Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside)

13th Georgia - Best in Area

Host to the 1990 US Women’s Open, the Riverside forms one of two great golf courses at the 36-hole Atlanta Athletic Club. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr, the layout was renovated by his son Rees in 2003.

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Bellerive

2nd Missouri - Best in Area

The golf course at Bellerive Country Club is routed round a winding creek, which is a feature on nine holes. With large undulating greens and bold bunkering this is certainly a firm tournament favourite...

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Black Hall

22nd Connecticut - Best in Area

The Robert Trent Jones Snr golf course at the Black Hall Club occupies heavily wooded terrain on a tight, 160-acre tract of land that lies less than a mile inland from Long Island Sound.

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Bodensee Weissensberg

13th South East Germany - Best in Area 55th Germany Ranking

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and unveiled in 1987, the woodland course at Golfclub Bodensee Weissensberg lies close to Lake Constance, in southern Germany. With more than a hundred bunkers in play, it’s renowned as a tough track.