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Robert Trent Jones Sr.

- Published on this site: 20-10-2020 18:57:00

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Robert Trent Jones Sr. (June 20, 1906 – June 14, 2000) was an English–American golf course architect who designed or re-designed more than 500 golf courses in 45 U.S. states and 35 countries. In reference to this, Jones took pride in saying, "The sun never sets on a Robert Trent Jones golf course. He is often confused with the famous amateur golfer Bobby Jones with whom he worked from time to time. Jones received the 1987 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honor. Also in 1987, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Early life and education

Robert Trent Jones was born on June 20, 1906, in Ince-in-Makerfield, England, to Welsh parents (although this is contradicted by the 1911 census of Wales which states he was born in Denbigh, Wales). At age five or six, Jones emigrated with his parents to the United States, where they arrived in East Rochester, New York. Jones worked as a caddie at The Country Club of Rochester and accepted a job as golf professional at Sodus Bay Heights Golf Club in nearby Sodus Point, New York. He met Donald Ross as a youth and, taking up the game, recorded the best score of all the amateur golfers at the 1927 Canadian Open and set a course record at Rochester.

While working as a golf professional, Jones attended Cornell University, undergoing a customized course of study that would allow him to pursue his interest in golf course design, during which time he designed nine holes of the university's golf course, now known as the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University (he designed the other nine holes in 1954). While at Cornell, Jones joined Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) Fraternity.


The golf course at Green Lakes State Park in upstate New York was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1936.
Jones went into business with Canadian architect Stanley Thompson after concluding his studies at Cornell, and with him designed courses in Canada. Following his partnership with Thompson, Jones went into business on his own and began designing local courses in the United States in the 1930s. Many of these, such as the 1936 course at Green Lakes State Park (see photo), were built using labor provided by the Works Progress Administration.

Shortly after World War II, Jones got his first major assignment designing the Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta in collaboration with golf legend Bobby Jones. At Bobby Jones' request, Jones redesigned the 11th and 16th holes at Augusta National Golf Club. Despite the similarity of their names, the two men were not related. To make this distinction clear, Robert began using the middle name "Trent" shortly afterward.

In 1955, Gene Hamm helped Jones build the Duke University Golf Course in Durham, North Carolina. He moved from there to Delaware to continue work with Jones, and then in 1959 moved back to Raleigh where he began his own design career. During the 1950s, Jones' annual income was reported as being $600,000—according to Golf Digest, no one other than Ben Hogan earned more money from golf at that time.

Jones' clients included U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for a putting green at the White House and a single hole at Camp David, as well as the Rockefeller family, Aga Khan and Hassan II of Morocco, for private courses. He was commissioned in 1990 to design a set of 18 courses in Alabama, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the largest single golf design contract in history.

Jones was married to Ione Jones, who died in 1987 and with whom he had two sons: Robert Jr. and Rees, both of whom became golf course architects. Jones continued to design golf courses in his later years until health problems prompted him to retire to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he died on June 14, 2000, six days before his 94th birthday. His final course, the Southern Highlands Golf Club, was completed in 1999.

List of courses

  • Valencia Country Club, Valencia, California, 1965
  • El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, Los Angeles, 1964
  • Duquesa Golf CLub, Duquesa, Malaga, Spain
  • Royal Golf club du Bercuit [fr], Grez-Doiceau

Original designs

  • Durand Eastman Golf Club, Irondequoit, New York, 1933[1]
  • Valley View Golf Course, Utica, NY, 1939
  • Pauma Valley Country Club, Pauma Valley, CA, 1961
  • Alpine Bay Golf Club, Alpine Bay, AL, 1972
  • Luisita Golf and Country Club, Tarlac City, Philippines
  • The Springs Golf Course, Spring Green, Wisconsin
  • Pauma Valley Country Club, Pauma Valley, CA, 1961
  • The Golf Course at Half Moon,[2] a resort destination in Jamaica, W.I., 1962[3]
  • Midvale Country Club, Penfield, New York, 1931[4]
  • Punta Borinquen Golf Club, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 1940
  • West Point Golf Course, West Point, New York, 1946[5]
  • Speidel Golf Club, Jones Course Wheeling Wv
  • Point O'Woods Golf & Country Club, Benton Harbor, Michigan, 1958[6]
  • Bellerive Country Club, Town and Country, Missouri, 1960[7]
  • Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota, 1962[8]
  • North Hills Country Club, Manhasset, New York, 1963[9]
  • Hominy Hill Golf Course, Colts Neck, New Jersey, 1964[10]
  • Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach, California, 1966[11]
  • Firestone Country Club North Course, Akron, Ohio, 1969[12]
  • Mission Viejo Country Club, Mission Viejo, California, 1967[13]
  • Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, Bermuda, 1970[14]
  • Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande, Cadiz, Spain, 1964[15]
  • Valderrama Golf Club, Cadiz, Spain, 1974[16]
  • Country Club of North Carolina Cardinal Course, Pinehurst, North Carolina, 1981[17]
  • MetroWest Golf Club, Orlando, Florida, 1987
  • Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Gainesville, Virginia, 1991
  • Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York1940
  • Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama, 1992–2005
  • Adare Golf Club, Limerick, Ireland, 1995
  • Marshes Golf Club, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Cacapon Resort State Park, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia[18]
  • Southern Highlands Golf Club, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, 1999
  • Panther Valley Country Club, Allamuchy, New Jersey, United States
  • Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Kananaskis, Alberta, 1983.
  • River Shore Estates & Golf Links, Kamloops, British Colunbia.
  • Quinta da Marinha Golf Resorts, Cascais, Portugal, 1984.
  • Old Warson Country Club, St. Louis, Missouri, 1955.
  • Crag Burn Golf Club, East Aurora, New York, 1971.
  • Masterpiece - Tree Tops,Gaylord, Michigan, 1987
  • Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course, Amsterdam (city), New York,[19]1938
  • El Bosque Golf Club, Valencia, Spain, 1975[20]
  • Gordon Lakes Golf Club 1976
  • Greenville Country Club-Chanticleer Course, Greenville, SC, 1970
  • Hancock Golf Course, Hancock NY, 1941
  • Seven Oaks Golf Course, Hamilton, NY, 1965
  • St George's Golf Course, St George's, Bermuda
  • Centre Hills Country Club, State College, PA, 1965
  • Augusta National Golf Club (11th and 16th holes), Augusta, Georgia, 1947, 1950
  • Congressional Country Club Blue Course, Bethesda, Maryland, 1959, 1964
  • Country Club of North Carolina Dogwood Course, Pinehurst, North Carolina, 1980
  • Baltusrol Golf Club Lower Course, Springfield, New Jersey, 1952
  • Olympic Club Lake Course, San Francisco, California, 1954
  • Oak Hill-East, Rochester, New York, 1955, 1967
  • Firestone Country Club South Course, Akron, Ohio, 1960[21]
  • Broadmoor Golf Club West Course (7th–14th holes), Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1964[22]
  • Montauk Downs, Montauk, New York, 1968
  • Firestone-South, Akron, Ohio, 1969
  • Shady Oaks Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas, 1958
  • The Greens at North Hills, Sherwood, Arkansas
  • The Wigwam Resort Gold Course, Litchfield Park, Arizona, 1965[23]

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