Bobby Jones. Essay

2043 words - 8 pages

On St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1902 Robert Tyre Jones Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Bobby was the only son of Colonel Robert P. Jones, a well-known Atlanta lawyer. Until the age of five, Bobby was so sick that he could not even eat solid foods. When he was six years old, his family moved to a summer home near the East Lake Country Club where young Bobby grew stronger and began playing golf.It was at this young age that Jones developed a love for golf, showing unusual natural ability from the beginning. His first golf club was a cut-down cleek, an early version of a one-iron, given to him by a neighbor. Although he started playing at such a young age, Jones never had any formal lessons. Instead, he learned the golf swing by mimicking East Lake's Scottish professional, Stewart Maiden. Following Maiden around the course during 18-hole rounds with club members, Jones developed the natural, fluid swing that would become his trademark.Encouraged by his father to try competitive golf, Jones immediately displayed skill beyond his years. At age six, he won his first tournament against three other children at East Lake. At nine, he won the Atlanta Athletic Club junior title, defeating a 16-year-old opponent. When he was 13, he won an invitational tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. As a pudgy 14-year-old, Jones won the East Lake Invitational and the Georgia Amateur, defeating his good friend Perry Adair in the 36-hole final. Adair's father had already made plans to take his son to the 1916 U.S. Amateur to be held at the Merion Cricket Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. With the Jones family's permission, he took Bobby along too, making him the youngest player ever to qualify for and play in a U.S. Amateur Championship. Although he didn't win, Jones stunned 1906 U.S. Amateur champion Eben Byers and Pennsylvania Amateur champion Frank Dyer before losing in the third round to defending champion Bob Gardner. The "new kid from Dixie" had become an overnight sensation.Unfortunately, Jones' rapid rise to stardom and the public expectations that came with it would initially prove to be more of a burden than a blessing. The public placed tremendous pressure on Jones to win. He would have to live with this pressure throughout his playing days. Although he played with as much skill as any man, the young Jones was still a boy who would first have to conquer himself before turning his efforts on the golfing world. Jones was an inwardly driven perfectionist and placed tremendous pressure on himself, often losing up to fifteen pounds during a tournament because of the stress. He also struggled early on with a volatile temper. Legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice once said Jones had the "face of an angel and the temper of a timber wolf." This reputation brought Jones to perhaps his lowest point as a player, during the 1921 British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews.Bobby Jones made his first visit to Great Britain in 1921 at the age of 19. He traveled as part of an...

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