Rees Jones was born into the game of golf. He learned to play as a youngster and competed as a junior golfer, in college and while in the Army. He grew up traveling with his family to golf courses all over the world and in the summers worked for his father, renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones.
After college at Yale and graduate studies at Harvard, Rees went to work in 1964 as a principal in Robert Trent Jones, Inc. Ten years later he founded his own design firm, Rees Jones, Inc., headquartered in his hometown of Montclair, N.J.
In the last 30 years, Rees has become renowned in his own right, designing and redesigning more than 225 courses, primarily in the United States. He is also well-known for his redesign of courses in preparation for major championships, so much so that his nickname is "The Open Doctor." His remodeling skills have been applied to seven U.S. Open venues, five PGA courses, three Ryder Cup sites and one Walker Cup redo, plus an original design for the 2001 Walker Cup. His redesign of East Lake has become the permanent site of the PGA Tour's "Tour Championship."