Born Robert Tyre Jones on this day, St. Patrick's Day, in Atlanta, Georgia, legendary golfer Bobby Jones (1902-1971) won his first golf title at age nine. He majored in English at Harvard and passed the state bar exam after a year at Emory University.
"Golf," he said, "is the one game which becomes more and more difficult the longer one plays it."
The amateur golfer dominated the sport and made history by winning the Grand Slam of golf in 1930: the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Open, and U.S. Amateur. He retired that year with 13 major championships under his belt.
The popular southern gentleman observed: "Golf is assuredly a mystifying game. It would seem that if a person has hit a golf ball correctly a thousand times, he should be able to duplicate the performance at will. But this is certainly not the case."
Often called "the greatest natural golfer who ever lived," Jones nicknamed his favorite putter "Calamity Jane." Known for his powerful and controlled swing, he once said, "Nobody ever swung a golf club too slowly."
Jones co-designed Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, creating his "ideal golf course." In March 1934, the club hosted its first Annual Invitational Tournament, which became the Masters.
Historian Herbert Warren Wind wrote, "Golf without Jones would be like France without Paris -- leaderless, lightless, and lonely."
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