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Half a Century of Championship Golf Designs

  

In a career spanning over four decades, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. has designed more than 270 golf courses in more than 40 countries. The Trent Jones golf legacy began with Robert Trent Jones, Sr., who emigrated to Rochester New York in 1911 and was in- troduced to golf as a caddie. He developed a course of study at Cornell University (includ- ing such subjects as landscape architecture, agronomy, horticulture, hydraulics, surveying, and economics) that provided him with the ideal background to launch a career in golf course architecture and to pave the way for RTJII.

Tommy Armour, who not only taught Jones the techniques of good golf but also captured his imagination with the folklore surrounding the game. After studying geology and majoring in history and American Studies at Yale, and attending a year of law school at Stanford University, Jones, Jr. graduated into the family business. His earliest experience was working beside his father on the legendary Spyglass Hill in the 1960s.

After apprenticing with the senior Jones for several years, becoming vice president of the company, and assuming control of west coast operations, Jones, Jr. eventually expanded the company’s business to Asia. This foray across the ocean represented the first of hundreds of international course designs he would create in the ensuing years as he matured into a great artist. In 1972, the son left his father’s firm and set out on his own by founding Robert Trent Jones II golf course architects.

 

“ THE HALLMARK OF A GREAT COURSE RESIDES IN A GOLFER’S ABILITY TO REMEMBER AND VISUALIZE THE HOLES AFTER PLAYING THE COURSE ONCE.”

 

Jones has proved this at courses from California’s The Links at Spanish Bay to The Mines Resort and Golf Club, built on a former tin mine in Malaysia. Jones describes his own architectural style as “Complex, eclectic, and wide ranging. It’s got hints of Tillinghast, McKenzie, and Ross, but it’s still my own”. In creating his well-loved courses, Jones likes to present golfers with a blend of penal, strategic, and heroic golf puzzles that it is up to each golfer to solve for himself—often by determining the best position from which to attack the holes. His focus is on shot values and fine aesthetic appearances. An RTJ II design is challenging, memorable, and well crafted, blending in with the surrounding topography as if it has always been there. Jones is also an accomplished author writing insightful books on theories and secrets of the golf architect’s art. He has also expressed his views many times as a journalist on topics such as course ratings, whether to remodel or not to remodel, and “fairway robbery”—about development encroaching upon golf courses.

His passion for writing continues as a poet. In fact, he is the author of hundreds of pub- lished poems. Jones finds a connection between golf course architecture and poetry and has observed that “there is poetry in the land”. Jones adds, “the very best courses are those where nature has provided the canvas and my job is to discover her secrets and reveal them. I try to design golf courses that will fascinate people so they’ll want to play them many times and learn the depths and meanings of the courses’ stories, their subtext, their poetry.”

Swing by the Golf Shop or call us at 703-729- 4071 to book your tee time on our Robert Trent Jones Jr. course. Find a deeper challenging passion for this masterfully designed 18-hole course!

 

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