Yale graduate Robert Trent Jones, Jr., a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, is a chairman of the board for Robert Trent Jones II LLC in Palo Alto, California. He has designed more than 240 courses on six continents in forty-one countries, including Chateau Whistler Golf Club in British Columbia; The Links at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, California; Princeville Golf Resort courses on Kauai, in Hawaii; Pine Lake and Golden Valley Golf Clubs in Japan; Alcanada Golf in Mallorca, Spain; Turning Stone Oneida Nation’s Kahluyat Course in New York; Windsor Golf Club in Florida; and Chambers Bay near Tacoma, Washington, a future U.S. Open site. He is the son of the late Robert Trent Jones, a world renowned golf course architect.
Some of my best memories have to do with my early days: apprenticing with my father at Mauna Kea in Hawaii and Spyglass Hill in California in the 1960’s. Twenty-five years later, we went back to Spyglass Hill and recalled our many debates about the site where he, of course, made the final decisions.
One particular day we were visiting Spyglass to do some hole-by-hole videotaping and Dad, sitting in a golf cart, accidentally released the brake and somehow it got going down the hill at full speed. Fortunately, before accelerating into a steep ravine, it stopped abruptly by running into a Monterey Pine.
I was not in the cart at the time, since I had gotten out with the videographer. We raced down to Dad; he had a bloody forehead.
The first thing Dad said was, “Bobby, I told you we should have taken that tree out when we built the course!”
My dad had a great sense of humor and could turn anything into fun and glib comments. He loved the game of golf and he was not only my father but my mentor in golf course architecture. I now have wonderful professional memories of my times with him.