Cigarette in hand, exhaling smoke nonchalantly towards the Walker Cup trophy, Bobby Jones doesn’t exactly cut the established image of a supreme sporting athlete.
Jones was of an average height and stature but had a clean-cut, boyish manner and an honesty that endeared him to golfing fans. It is said he didn’t like to practise, and on average played just 80 rounds of golf a year.
Jones is one of the greatest players in history, and it could be argued that without the giant trophy standing behind him, Jones’ indelible record and the crowning glory of his 1930 Grand Slam, comprising the US Open, Open, US Amateur and Amateur Championship, would never have materialised.
In choosing to maintain his gentleman, amateur status, Jones walked a tightrope. Balancing his expenses and earnings so as not to incur the wrath of the USGA.
With the cross-Atlantic transport to an away Walker Cup in May 1930 laid on by the USGA itself, Jones took full advantage of the opportunity and while he was in Britain participated in the Open and British Amateur, both of which he won.
Who knows, but without the opportunities afforded him through participation in the Walker Cup, Jones may not have been in the position to design a certain Augusta Country Club, where a new tournament was to be hosted.
1930 was Jones’ final year as an amateur and he retired from competitive golf aged just 28, having won 13 majors and five Walker Cups.