Joined The Augusta Chronicle in 1996 after spending nine years at The Aiken Standard. Served as copy editor, South Carolina bureau chief and Metro Editor before being named Sports Editor in April 2000.
Posted September 23, 2010 01:56 pm - Updated September 23, 2010 01:59 pm

Bobby Jones' legacy endures


ATLANTA -- Eighty years ago, Bobby Jones achieved the unthinkable. He won all four of golf's majors at the time - the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open and British Amateur - to capture the Grand Slam.


The actual anniversary of Jones capturing the fourth leg at Merion Golf Club is Monday, but his family and others took time before the start of the Tour Championship today to recognize the feat. On the first tee of East Lake Golf Club, the four championship trophies that Jones won in 1930 were bathed in sunlight and in plain view for all to see.


His grandson, Bob Jones IV, hit one of the ceremonial tee shots, and a special tribute was given to the military.


Jones probably would have blushed at the fuss, but he no doubt would be pleased.


So much attention has been given to the revitalization of the East Lake neighborhood and the turnaround for the community, but the children (and adults) who were in attendance Thursday would do well to adhere to Jones' principles.


That is his true legacy, not the Grand Slam itself, Bob Jones IV said.


"He was an amateur, and to him his family always came first. His vocation came second," his grandson said. "And, as he used to say, golf came third, and never as an end in itself. He always kept those things in perspective. I like to think most of our family has kept those same values over the generations."


That Jones quit the game as a competitor at 28 and remained an amateur also set him apart. Of course, he then focused his energies on creating Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament and got to see both become extremely successful.


Jones was truly one of a kind. It would be hard to imagine an amateur who would resist the fortune that is available to golfers now.


"It would be so hard for an amateur to do that now," his grandson said. "I don't know if you'll do something like that while at the same time earning two college degrees, going to law school and raising a family."