Here is a list of facts about Bobby Jones that most golf enthusiasts probably don’t know:
1.) Jones had a very violent temper that sometimes got out of hand early in his golf career. He threw a stick in the 1916 US Amateur and hit a woman in the leg with another mid-air punch in the 1921 event. In fact, the USGA president at the time, George Walker (great-grandfather of George W. Bush ) told Jones that he would never play in a USGA event again unless he could control his temper.
2.) Jones had a lot of problems early on that kept him out of a few majors, 11 to be exact, for which he was eligible. Problems such as family and school, interruptions at work and lack of money. Despite these obstacles, he managed to win 13 of the 21 majors he entered between 1923 and 1930.
3.) “Big Bob” Jones, as his father was known, joined the Atlanta Athletic Club in 1902, the same year Jones was born. In 1908, the six-year-old played his first round of golf and just a few months later he won the first tournament he entered. He served on the club’s board of directors from 1928 to 1947. In 1971, before he died, he successfully petitioned the USGA to allow the club to host the 1976 US Open.
4.) Jones was addicted to education. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1922 and an English literature degree from Harvard in 1924. In 1926, he entered law school at Emory University. He passed the Georgia bar exam when he was in the middle of the program, and joined his father’s law firm in 1928. During these years, he earned eight majors.
5.) Jones worked hard to get a varsity letter from Harvard, eventually earning one as assistant manager of the golf team, several months before winning his first US Open. Jones was not eligible to play at Harvard because he had played at Georgia Tech.
6.) He played hard at the Masters. He played it 12 times from 1934 to 1948 and it never broke. He shot a practice round 64 in 1936 and his worst round was a nine over par 81. How ironic to see how he co-designed the course, along with Alister Mackenzie.
7.) Contrary to popular belief, Jones did not have a lot of money. He and his family had to move into his parents’ house for three years in the 1920s. He skipped many British races because he didn’t have money for the trip. In fact, his 1930 Grand Slam was made possible in large part because he was the Walker Cup captain and the USGA paid for his trip to Britain.
8.) He retired from golf in 1930, and at the same time, Warner Brothers paid him $120,000 to make How I Play Golf, a series of movies you’ve probably seen advertised late at night for sale on DVD. He also made some money designing spalding sticks. He spent most of the last two decades of his life battling syringomyelia, the neurological disease that left him paralyzed.
9.) Bobby Jones was not what you would call a very loving father. In fact, in 1959, his son, Bobby III, in his quest to win a US Amateur (and qualify for the Masters), faced 19-year-old Jack Nicklaus, and recalled that his father stayed home because he decided not to It was like that. it’s worth a trip to Colorado just to watch him play a game. Thanks for the support dad. Oh!
10.) In 1942, at the age of 40, Jones volunteered for the Army. He was commissioned as a captain in the Army Air Corps and trained in intelligence surveillance. He went abroad and interrogated German prisoners, despite having virtually no knowledge of the language. Any comments or facts that he would like to add? See you on the blog side.