In Slazenger Heritage we love remembering grate players as we did with William Renshaw, and today we are going to talk about Bobby Jones. He is considered one of the best golfers of all time although he was not proffesional. He thought that golf was a pleasure or hobby, not his job. Nowadays, it is not easy to find someone who thinks this way because of the media, sponsors and, of course, money. That is why most of the good players play professionally. The mayor merit of Jones was to remain the faithfull to the old sport mantality.
Bobby Jones’ Life
Robert Bobby Tyre Jones was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 17, 1902. Jones spent his life combining his career as a lawyer with his passion, the sport he practiced in his free time: golf. As a consequence, he had to coexist with hight stand athletes who lived only for playing golf in a professional way. Nowadays, this is almost impossible bacause of the number of training hours that are needed to became a major player. The situation makes it quite difficult for players to combine it with a job. In fact, being a high-level athlete in our society is considered a job, one of the best-paid jobs in fact. It seems unreal that things have changed so much in just 100 years. Bobby Jones’s innate ability manifested itself as a child and he never took golf lessons.
He won his first tournament when he was only 6 years old at the East Lake Country Club. After that, he won several more titles and became the youngest player of the US Amateur Championship at the age of 14. As we mentioned before, he never took golf lessons. This fact also clashes with the current concept of sport, in which having enough technic and tactic skills is essential from a very early age. To resume, he became one of the best golf players in history by observing, imitating and practicing most of the time in an autonomous way. He was an example of self-learning, constancy and effort.
Jones was very perfectionist with his game and he himself was subjected to great psychic pressure, he even lost several kilograms of weight due to stress in some tournaments we took part of. Another of his qualities was bad temper, so it was common to see him furiously throw the clubs during tournaments. On one occasion he was suspended for a while from the tour. It may seem contradictory that, even considering golf a pleasure, it was subject to so much pressure becouse of the competitions.
Another way to consider the competition
In addition, it is important to mention that although he did not want to get money for playing his favourite sport, Bobby Jones did want to get other aspects as prestige or social recognition, as well as ame and being remembered as the best. Moreover, victory was important to him as it was for the rest of the people who took part of the competition. The difference was that he considered victory as the greater end and not the money he could obtain. Jones was fully aware that it was the best of its time and that it could be the best in the history of golf. That’s why he was such a perfectionist and put such pressure on himself.
The stress and self-training turned against him because he got to the point that he could not control himself properly. His greatest victories were won between 1923 and 1930, winning in 13 of the 21 (62%) national championships in which he performed. He won three times the British Open, four times the US Open and once the British Amateur. In 1930, Jones conquered the four majors of that time (US Open, US Amateur, British Open and British Amateur) in a year winning the Gold Grand Slam and went down in history retiring at the age of 28.
If you want to feel like one of the great golf players of the past, you can start by visiting one of our jumpers from the collection of golf sweaters.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any doubt, and hope to see you again in the next post.