Robert Trent Jones: Six under

Golf architect Robert Trent Jones died Wednesday night (following a stroke, ironically). He was among the most prolific and best course designers in the world. He designed or redesigned 14 of Golf Digest’s top 100 U.S. courses.

His love of big bunkers, lots of water and undulating greens made him a frustration to pro golfers and a sadist to duffers. But he always designed his courses with the integrity of the game in mind. He saw himself as defending par against the onslaught of technology in golf equipment.

Once, called upon to defend a redesign of the 4th hole at Baltusrol that touring pros called unfair, Jones stepped up to the tee box and shot the fall 165 yards over a pond for a hole in one. He said, “Gentlemen, the hole is fair.”

Robert Trent Jones was 93.

Was he any relation to Bobby Jones, the famous 1920s golfer?

No, but they collaborated on the Peachtree in Atlanta, and Bobby hired Robert to redo two holes at Augusta.

And on the eve of the U.S. Open too. How sad.

Robert Tyre Jones (the architect) adopted the middle name Tyre, which he took from the Tyre river in England, in order to prevent confusion with Robert Trent Jones (the golfer).