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Bobby Jones

Biography, career facts and trivia for the legendary golfer

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Bobby Jones with the Claret Jug in 1927

Bobby Jones holds the Claret Jug after winning the 1927 British Open.

Kirby/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Bobby Jones in 1930

Bobby Jones in 1930, the year of his fourth US Open victory.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Bobby Jones is one of the giants in golf history. He is the only golfer credited with a single-season Grand Slam, and was the dominant player of the 1920s.

Date of birth: March 17, 1902
Place of birth: Atlanta, Ga.
Date of death: Dec. 18, 1971
Nickname: Bobby is the nickname; his full name was Robert Tyre Jones Jr.

Major Championships:

Professional: 7 (click to view scores/recap)

Amateur: 6
• U.S. Amateur: 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930
• British Amateur: 1930

Awards and Honors:

• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Named to 5 U.S. Walker Cup teams
• Captain, U.S. Walker Cup team, 1928, 1930
• Cofounder, Augusta National Golf Club
• USGA's annual award for sportsmanship is named the Bobby Jones Award

Quote, Unquote:

• Bobby Jones: "The secret of golf is to turn three shots into two."

• Bobby Jones: "Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears."

• Writer Herbert Warren Wind: "In the opinion of many people, of all the great athletes, Jones came the closest to being what we call a great man."

More Bobby Jones Quotes

Trivia:

The putter that Bobby Jones used throughout much of his career was nicknamed "Calamity Jane."

Bobby Jones Biography:

An argument can be made that Bobby Jones is the greatest golfer who ever lived. But there can be no doubt that Jones is the greatest part-time golfer who ever lived. Because Jones usually only played competitive golf for about three months of the year, traveling to the biggest tournaments during the summer.

Jones was born into a well-to-do family in Atlanta. But he was, according to bobbyjones.com, "such a sickly child that he was unable to eat solid food until he was five years old."

The family bought a house on Atlanta's East Lake Country Club and Jones' health improved as he got into sports, including golf. Jones never had formal lessons, but developed his swing by studying the East Lake pro.

He began winning tournaments at age 6, and by age 14 Jones was playing in national championships. Jones' career is sometimes divided into two segments, the "Seven Lean Years" and the "Seven Fat Years."

The lean years were from ages 14 to 21, the fat years from ages 21 to 28. Jones was a prodigy, and playing in national championships at a young age, his fame grew. Yet he rarely won anything of significance. At the 1921 British Open, frustrated with his play, he picked up his ball and walked off the course. His temper was well-known and there were many club-throwing incidents.

But when Jones finally broke through by winning the 1923 U.S. Open, the "fat years" began. From 1923 to 1930, Jones played in 21 national championships ... and won 13 of them. His brilliance culminated in 1930 when he won the Grand Slam of the time: the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open and British Amateur all in the same year.

And then, at age 28, Jones retired from competitive golf. In 1931, Jones started working on the first golf instructional videos, movie shorts entitled How I Play Golf (Compare Prices) that played in theaters. He helped design the first-ever set of matched clubs. He practiced law. He cofounded Augusta National and the Masters Tournament.

In 1948 Jones was diagnosed with a rare disease of the central nervous system and never played golf again. He spent most of his later years in a wheelchair, but continued to host the Masters. He died in 1971 at the age of 69.

Bobby Jones was among the first class of inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

More info about Jones:

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