Golf great Robert Tyre Jones (1902-1971) won his first match, a neighborhood tournament for kids, when he was only six years old. He went on from there to become America's greatest golfer.
Bobby Jones was born March 17, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia. By the time he was 12 he was the Georgia state champion, and in 1921 he became the youngest member of the U.S. Walker Cup team when it journeyed to England. Between 1923 and 1930 he won five U.S. amateur titles, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens, and one British amateur title. He won the "Grand Slam"— four separate tournaments consisting of amateur and professional championships in the United States and England—in 1930. Meanwhile he earned a law degree from Emory University, following degrees from what is now Georgia Tech and from Harvard University.
After 1930 Jones gave up his amateur standing and made a series of instructional films. He practiced law, and in 1934 he founded the "Masters Tournament," a yearly event held in Augusta, Georgia, at the Augusta National Golf Club, which he had helped establish.
A spinal injury suffered in 1948 made it increasingly difficult for him to move about, but Jones continued to make yearly visits to the Masters to drape the green jacket, symbol of the event, around the shoulders of the winner.
In 1948 Bobby Jones was granted the "freedom of the burgh" of St. Andrew's, Scotland, traditional birthplace of the game of golf and one of the world's most famous courses. The only other American to have been granted that honor was Benjamin Franklin.
When he died on December 18, 1971, he was known as the greatest player who ever lived. Good looking and well educated, he was the personification of the all-American boy.
No book about golf would be complete without considerable space devoted to Bobby Jones. The reader needs only to pick up a book about golf to read more about Bobby Jones. His biography, Golf Is My Game, was published in 1960.