What A Champ
He is widely credited with popularising golf in America. He won the US Open for the first time in 1923 and repeated the feat in 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, and 1930. For several years he won the US Amateur Championship and the British Open championship. In 1930, he won the US Open and Amateur Championships, as well as the British Open and Amateur Championships, a feat that has never been matched. He competed for the United States in the Walker Cup between 1922 and 1930.
How I Play Golf
In 1931, he started producing a series of short instructional films for Warner Brothers Pictures titled “How I Play Golf,” which was a huge hit. These shorts, directed by the veteran filmmaker – and duffer – George Marshall, featured a slew of Hollywood golfing enthusiasts, including Leon Errol, Joe E. Brown, and W.C. Fields, who appeared in them for the chance to be instructed by a man widely regarded as the greatest golfer in the game’s history. Jones quit from golf soon after beginning these films—because he was getting paid, he could no longer claim amateur status—and, having been licensed to the Georgia bar in 1928 after he graduated from Emory University in 1927, he established an Atlanta legal practice.
Jones was instrumental in establishing the Augusta National Golf Club, and in 1934 he launched the annual Masters’ Tournament, which became one of the game’s most prominent events. In 1948, he had a spinal injury that rendered him wheelchair-bound, yet he continued to handle his numerous business interests from his Atlanta home. In 1958, he was granted the rare distinction of “burgh freedom” in St. Andrews, Scotland—the last American to earn that honor was American Revolutionary War hero Benjamin Franklin. Bobby Jones died on December 18, 1971, in Atlanta, Georgia.