The Bobbj Jones story
0246 8502 |
from the writings of O. B. KEELER
by GRANTLAND RICE
TUPPER & LOVE
^ o o
A TUPPER AND LOVE BOOK
Copyright 1953 by Mrs. O. B. Keeler
Printed and bound in the United States of America
BY FOOTE & DAVIES INC., ATLANTA
urithout whose love and untiring efforts
this book would not have been possible
O. B. KEELER AND I ENJOYED A VERY REAL PARTNERSHIP
for the better part of twenty years. We traveled thou-
sands of miles together, we lived our golf tournaments
together, we wrote a book, did a radio series, and two
motion pictures series, all in the closest and most har-
monious collaboration. I doubt if ever such a relation-
ship existed between performer and reporter in sport or
The ebb and flow of a player's confidence is one of the
strange phenomena of competitive golf. I have discussed
this angle with all the great players of my own and later
eras and none deny or can explain the periods of uncer-
tainty that occasionally come in the midst of the most
In the first qualifying round for the Amateur Cham-
pionship at Minikahda in 1927 I posted a 75. I never
wanted to win qualifying medals a sort of superstition
I suppose and I had tried to coast along and do a mod-
est, comfortable score. But I had slipped a stroke here
and there and perhaps had been lucky to score 75. Sud-
denly I began to see that another slack round with a
stroke or two more gone might leave me out of the
So I set out to find Keeler.
"O.B.", I said, "the only way for me to get out of
this thing is to go out this afternoon and try to win the
medal and I need you to walk with me for a few holes
until I get calmed down. 55
I wanted just the satisfaction of having an understand-
ing soul with me to get over that feeling of aloneness
The Bobby Jones Story
which comes when your confidence is gone. It worked
like a charm. I let O.B. go after the fifth hole, finished
the round in 67 for a course record and the medal, and
went on to win the championship.
This is just one of the things I owe to Keeler. The
bigger thing no one knows better than I or than the
boys who were writing sports in those days. To gain any
sort of fame it isn't enough to do the job. There must
be someone to spread the news. If fame can be said to
attach to one because of his proficiency in the inconse-
quential performance of striking a golf ball, what measure
of it I have enjoyed has been due in large part to Keeler
and his gifted typewriter.
I am asked now to say that I am willing to leave the
record of my golfing activities to the words this man has
written. Why in Heaven's name shouldn't I be? He never
once gave me anything but the best of any argument.
ROBERT T. JONES, JR.
THE STORY OF BOBBY JONES IS ONE OF THE GREAT STORIES
It is a story of youth, beginning at five years of age and
ending competitively at twenty-eight a story packed
with raw drama from beginning to end.
It is the story of a great player, a great competitor, who
was and is a scholar, a gentleman, and a sportsman of the
It has been written for you by a master craftsman,
O. B. Keeler, who shadowed Bob at almost every stroke
from journey's start to trail's end. No one in the history
of golf writing is better equipped to tell the story of Bobby
Jones' amazing career.
One of the star features of this career is that Bob in his
early youth had a keen temper, almost a fiery one, when
applied to golf. He was naturally a friendly, sunny young
fellow off the course. At the age of fourteen he was about
as fine a hitter of a golf ball as you would care to see. He
stood then with only one opponent to beat - himself. From
the age of fourteen to the age of twenty-one in tournament
play he fought a long and desperate duel with one R. T.
Jones, Jr. Bob finally won.
From that point on he was a tornado turned loose - a
For the next nine years he ran 1-2 in the U. S. Open
eight times. He won the U. S. Open four times and tied
for top place twice. He won the British Open three times,
the U. S. Amateur crown five times, and the British Ama-
teur crown once. Here was a marvelous amassing of
thirteen national golf crowns between 1922 and 1930, the
greatest sweep in the history of the Ancient Green.
The Bobby Jones Story
Bobby Jones was well equipped for this magic record.
As a kid he was powerfully built, with big, strong hands.
Mentally he was far above the general average, with ab-
normal power of concentration and unbreakable courage
and determination. Concentration and determination are
golfs two best assets. He had a vast capacity for making
friends. And above all he had a golf writer named O. B.
Keeler, a super-Boswell, with him to tell the story of his
great years before he retired in 1930 from the competitive
field. He played in the Masters at Augusta later but he
was more host than anything else at this famous tourna-
It was a strange thing for sport - where anything can
happen. A strange thing to see this young amateur meet-
ing and beating the best professionals of his time.
And Bob happened to come along where I think the
greatest played. Among his strongest rivals were the
brilliant Walter Hagen-the able Gene Sarazen - Long
Jim Barnes - Tommy Armour - Light Horse Harry Coop-
er-Wild Bill Melhorn-Wee Bobby Cruickshank-Mac-
donald Smith, the magnificent shot maker - Willie Mac-
Farlane- George Von Elm -Chick Evans -Francis Oui-
met- Johnny Farrell - Craig Wood -Jock Hutchison -
Horton Smith. These and many others who were stars.
Bobby Jones came along at one of the strongest periods
How many golfers of today have won the U. S. Open,
the British Open, and the P. G. A.? Hagen, Sarazen,
Barnes and Armour won all three. This was the high spot
of golf in this country.
When you read again Jones' record from 1922 to 1930
you will be amazed. In 1922 he finished a stroke behind
Gene Sarazen in the U. S. Open at Skokie. In 1923 he
won at Inwood. In 1924 he ran second to Cyril Walker
at Oakland Hills. In 1925 he tied with Willie MacFarlane
at Worcester. In 1926 he won at Scioto. In 1928 he tied
with Johnny Farrell. In 1929 and 1930 he won at Winged
Foot and Interlachen.
In those days stray bookmakers accepted a few wagers.
Jones was always around 2 to 1. Most of the others were
20 to 1. After 1922 neither Hagen or Sarazen, two of the
finest players in all golf history, were able to lead until he
finished nine years later.
In addition to other tournaments covered, this book also
contains the stories of thirteen winning performances.
Reading these famous stories of Bob's famous days is
absorbing. It is a different story, something the world of
sport had never produced before.
It might be said that O. B. Keeler was lucky to have
Bobby Jones appear on the scene while he was writing
golf in Atlanta. Bobby was just as lucky to have Keeler
around. O. B. Keeler was a magnificent reporter. He
could cover any assignment given him. But golf was his
big love. He knew golf thoroughly, so none was better
equipped to write of achievements that surpassed any-
thing the game had ever known. It took a combination of
all the many things that happened to Bobby Jones to have
the miracle come true.
In the early thirties Bobby Jones and his associates
founded the Augusta National Golf Club, and in 1934
inaugurated the Masters Tournament.
Today Bobby Jones is a prominent Atlanta attorney
with a distinguished war record earned in World War II.
Bobby played his last Masters Tournament in 1948 and
that was - coincidentally or otherwise - about the end of
O.B.'s career. He retired as golf writer for the Atlanta
Journal in 1950 and died that same year.
Hence, as Randy Russell wrote in The Augusta Chron-
icle, "He wasn't there in person but the spirit of O. B.
Keeler was looking over the shoulder of President Eisen-
The Bobby Jones Story
hower at the Augusta National Golf Club in the spring
of 1953 when the Chief Executive presented Bobby Jones
with a portrait of the great Atlanta golfer, done by the
President's own hand. It wasn't the sort of thing O. B.
would miss. His c boy' was being presented a portrait done
by the President of the United States."
Bobby Jones is not one in a million persons. I should
say he is one in ten million - or perhaps one in fifty mil-
lion. The combination of Jones and Keeler is one in a
I think in reading this story you will find that it stands
alone, for it happens to be fact beyond fiction any imagi-
nation could ever dream.
A Preface by Bobby Jones vii
1 LITTLE BOB 1
2 THE FIRST TOURNAMENT 4
3 THE BIG SHOW 10
4 SEVEN LEAN YEARS 15
5 THE RUNNER-UP YEAR 19
6 THE FIRST BIG DISAPPOINTMENT 24
7 THE FIRST OPEN 27
8 INVERNESS 32
9 THERE IS A DESTINY 39
10 FAR AFIELD 52
1 1 HOME AGAIN AND TO THE BATTLE FRONT 56
12 OLD GLORY AND THE UNION JACK 60
13 THE LAST OF THE LEAN YEARS 65
14 A MIRACLE ROUND NOT BOBBY'S 7 1
15 THE LONG LANE TURNS 78
16 CHAMPION 84
17 FLOSSMOOR 90
18 OAKLAND HILLS DETHRONED 95
19 A WEDDING 106
20 THE FIRST AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP 110
2 1 ALEXA STIRLING 117
22 A MARATHON 122
23 MORE GLORY FOR OLD EAST LAKE 128
24 WAY DOWN SOUTH IN DIXIE 133
25 THE TIDE SETS IN 137
26 INVASION 145
27 FIRST AMERICAN TO WIN THE BRITISH AMATEUR 151
28 BACK TO THE HOME OF GOLF 166
29 T. STEWART 173
30 THE FINEST ROUND OF GOLF 178
31 RETURN VICTORIOUS 184
32 THE BATTLE OF BALTUSROL 191
33 INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY 195
34 THE BLACK SCOT 202
35 THE SECOND BRITISH OPEN 207
36 THE SILENT SCOT 220
37 THE CUP RUNNETH OVER 224
38 OLYMPIA FIELDS 230
39 AFTER BRAE BURN 235
40 THE GREATEST THRILL 240
41 AN UNEXPECTED RECORD 244
42 A CHARMING GUEST 251
43 THE BIG YEAR OPENS 255
44 MEN CALL IT FATE 261
45 THE DOUBLE 277
46 THE D'ARTAGNAN OF GOLF 284
47 THE IMPREGNABLE QUADRILATERAL 291
48 THE END OF THE TRAIL 297
1908. Bobby, aged six, and Alexa Stirling. 41
Bobby and Alexa - 1920. 41
Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet and Ted Ray. 42
Bobby, aged fourteen, in the 1916 National Amateur. 43
O. B. Keeler begins his career as a golf writer. 44
Bobby poses for a fan at the Merion Cricket Club. 44
Harry Vardon and Bobby Jones in the 1920 National Open. 45
Edward Ray, winner of the National Open in 1920. 46
Stewart Maiden and Bobby Jones. 47
Gene Sarazen, winner of the "double" in 1932. 48
Bobby Cruickshank at Inwood Country Club. 97
George Von Elm at Merion Country Club in 1924. 98
Bobby and Willie MacFarlane in the 1925 National Open. 98
Bobby Jones and Watts Gunn in the 1925 U. S. Amateur. 99
Bobby playing a short pitch at St. Anne's. 99
Bobby in the British Open at St. Andrews in 1927. 100
Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, James Braid, and Bobby in 1926. 100
Tommy Armour in 1927. 101
Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. 102
Bobby winning his first British Open in 1926. 103
Jones shooting out of the whins St. Andrews. 104
Bobby driving from the first tee at St. Andrews, 1927. 104
Jesse Sweetser in the final round at Muirfield. 153
O. B. driving from the first tee at St. Andrews. 153
Playing out of a bunker, Brae Burn, 1928. 154
Joyce Wethered, the greatest of the English women golfers. 154
An impression of Bobby Jones' perfect swing. 155
Bobby finishing an iron shot. 156
Bobby's grip for all shots except the putt. 157
The Road Hole at St. Andrews. 158
The weapons that carried Bobby to the top. 158
Over 200 Atlantans met Bobby on his return in 1927. 159
Bobby's return from winning the British Open in 1926. 159
Scenes on Peachtree Street in the 1927 ovation. 160
Bobby glaring at the ball as the club sweeps through. 209
The Jones-Wethered gallery-1930 British Amateur. 210
Chick Evans and Roland MacKenzie at Pebble Beach. 210
Bobby as he returned from the "double" in 1930. 211
Bobby sinks the last putt of his golfing career. 211
Bobby with his last championship trophy. 212
O. B.'s favorite picture of Bobby. 213
Lt. Col. Robert Tyre Jones. 214
Bobby congratulates Ben Hogan and Charles Coe. 215
The home green during a Masters' tournament. 215
Johnnie Goodman at Pebble Beach in 1929. 216
The British Amateur champion, Cyril J. H. Tolley. 265
Portrait of O. B. Keeler. 266
Bobby jumping over the Swilken Burn at St. Andrews. 267
Maiden, Stirling, Jones, and Adair. 267
Sir Walter steps into a drive. 268
Hagen sinking the winning putt at his home club, Pasadena. 268
Bobby and Thomas B. Paine. 269
Chipping out of trouble on the sixth at Pebble Beach. 270
"The most important shot Jones ever played". 271
The Cups representing the Grand Slam 272
NOWADAYS GOLF GOMES NATURALLY. THE YOUNG BOY
starts out as a caddy, or he is started out by an enthusiastic
parent with Bobby Jones or Jess Sweetser in mind; or he
just starts naturally as he takes up baseball, or as he did
take up baseball a generation ago. But nearly half a cen-
tury before there were motor cars and movies and radio
broadcasting and a number of other things now regarded
as essential to existence, golf was a waif word - an odd
little four-letter stray in the typography of the United
States, something as yet unclassed as sport.
Specifically the author of this narrative in the beginning
of the good year 1897 possessed a mind as innocent of golf
as of the Einstein Theory of Relativity; a mind much
taken up with serious matters such as baseball and the
chance of making the "third team" in the town of Mari-
etta, Georgia to which my father and mother, with my
brother Milton and me, had moved from Chicago when I
was four years old, and in which city I was born. There
were the approaching examinations of the third year in
high school, a new bicycle, the exploits of the heroes of
old, "Pop" Anson and "Bad Bill" Dahlen, and "Little
Eva" Lange, and my own pet club in the old National
League, Anson's Colts; all most absorbing as is the habit
of youth in its fifteenth year.
But nothing of golf. A few months before I was fifteen,
I stumbled on an article in a magazine about golf and fell
flat. I do not remember the name of the magazine and of
course I did not realize that this was Destiny. I vaguely
recall some pictures that caught my attention with the
idea that here was some sort of game, played out of doors,
in which a ball, not in motion, was struck with an imple-
The Bobby Jones Story
ment. The passivity of the ball, contrasted with the ac-
tion of the ball in tennis or baseball, relegated the sport at
once to the same class as croquet, palpably a game for
But I read the article carefully which had to do with
the expanding interest in the old, old game of golf, new
to this country and beginning to spread rapidly. I would
like to read that article again to see if I could find what
was in it that arrested and held the attention of a typical
American boy, devoted to baseball and football, with a
strong tincture of tennis in season. There must have been
some germ of heroic enthusiasm that caused me to do
something I kept a strict secret from my mates. I studied
the picture diligently with my brother, who became lan-
guidly and rather cynically interested. We made ourselves
each a weapon that we fancied resembled a golf club, a
whippy green wood shaft that more or less fitted into a
wooden head. In default of a golf ball (they were made
of gutta-percha the article had said) we used a hollow
rubber ball, trying to propel it into a hole we made in
And that was the first time I heard of golf.
The scene then moved northward to the southeastern
corner of Wisconsin and the charming little village of
Lake Geneva, where my mother took us to spend our va-
cations at the home of our grandparents. As we left the
bright yellow train, nothing apparently was further from
my mind than golf, that strange new-old game that had
dealt me a single sage wink from the pages of a magazine;
but before we had reached my grandparents' home, I saw
a boy in a yard with an implement that I recognized with
a start as a golf club. He was waving it back and forth
over something in the grass, and as I watched, he swung
the club back a little farther and struck. Up rose the ball,
smaller than I had imagined, and flew along twenty or
thirty yards, then hopped and rolled. Immediately I
wanted to lay hold of that golf club and show him that I
could do whatever he was trying to do better than he
was doing it.
The first thing I asked my friends, kids we called each
other in those days, was if anybody played golf around
there. Gee, yes, they told me. Over on the south shore of
the lake were regular links, the Walworth County Country
Club. And there was money to be made caddying over
there. Caddying? It was a new word. Sure, easiest thing
you know. Carrying clubs for the players and watching
the balls. Thirty-five cents a round. "Round?" Sure,
eighteen holes. That was a round. It was mysterious and
baffling, but I was going to get into this game or know the
reason why not.
The Sabbath Day interposed between my new ambition
and its realization. In our family there was a stiff Presby-
terian prejudice against either gainful or sportive activity
on the Seventh Day. But bicycling was permitted and my
brother and a cousin and I rode around the rirn of the lake
southward and after five or six miles of pedaling we ar-
rived at the links. As long as I live, I will never forget how
bewilderingly beautiful that settling appeared to me even
as a kid with my mind bent on the adventure of searching
out a new sport. The lake was below us, its waters blue
and sparkling through the trees on the bluff. I had never
seen such turf as the closely cropped fairway presented, a
lush carpet of vivid green spread up a gently sloping hill-
side to - why - that must be the hole in that even smooth-
er and more closely cut space, with a little flag sticking out
We were about to approach it cautiously when up the
fairway toward us came a Golfer, all by himself - the first
Golfer I had ever seen. He was carrying his own clubs as
the caddies did not work on Sunday and was not garbed in
The Bobby Jones Story
the scarlet coat and white trousers that I discovered later
to be a sort of uniform for the sport. A ball had preceded
him, unnoted by us, and lay within a few yards of this
small but absorbed gallery.
The Golfer put down his bag, selected a club, squared
off at the ball and swung. Very likely he was embarrassed
by our concentrated stare; anyway he missed the ball and
it scurried up the hillside forty or fifty yards. I was ab-
surdly excited and oddly enough not at all contemptuous
of this failure. Conceivably I had a premonition right
then that there was more to this hitting a golf ball than
appeared superficially. But the Golfer apparently felt
humiliated and I gathered from his next move that he
wanted the gallery to appreciate the difficulties of the
game and the unseeming treachery of the innocent looking
He turned toward me as the largest of the group, held
out a wood club, and asked pleasantly if I would like to
try a shot. I accepted in mute astonishment. Immediately
the flag seemed to retire an amazing distance, it looked
easily twice as far as when I had discovered it. The club
was strange and awkward in my hands. I do not recall
my feelings distinctly, only that I was not comfortable and
was morally certain that my brother and cousin were all
set for a hearty guffaw. True to the tradition of the sport,
I whacked the ball squarely on the roof. I recall this with
a ghastly distinctness, propelling it not as far as our Golfer
had on his last effort. And I must say for my relatives
that they forebore to laugh. This episode put us all quite
at ease and the Golfer put down another ball and we all
whacked at it with varied and indifferent results, taking
turns trotting up the slope and throwing the ball back.
After awhile, the Golfer played on up to the green, one
of us carrying his clubs respectfully enough, and we
looked over the layout solemnly. Patently this was a Mag-
nificent Game, and no child's play. I went home con-
vinced of that and in the next quarter century, I became
more and more certain.
On January 4, 1909, 1 definitely gave up trying to be a
business man after a steadily losing struggle of ten years,
walked up a long flight of stairs to the editorial rooms of
the Atlanta Georgian and reported for duty at 7:30
o'clock of a Monday morning, my first day's work on a
newspaper. My contract at the moment was to work for
nothing per week and furnish my own typewriter. It was
my own proposition. I had never done any newspaper
work. I had never been in a newspaper office but twice,
once as a visitor and once to conclude the terms of the
contract just started. I did not know whether I could be
a successful reporter, neither did Dudley Glass, then city
editor of the Georgian, or Edwin Gamp, managing editor.
But anyway there I was with my typewriter, no experience
of newspaper work whatever, a profound ambition to be
a reporter and the most ghastly assortment of forebod-
ings mixed with stage fright I had ever imagined.
Percy Whiting was sports editor of the Georgian at that
time, and in 1908 I started shooting poetry - sports verse
anyway - at him and he had been kind enough to print
some of these. One day, when I was cashier in a fire
insurance office, I suddenly decided that bookkeeping was
not my forte, and that I would just go out to the Chatta-
hoochee River and throw a rock off the bridge, not turn-
ing loose the rock. But that I reflected would be that, so
why not have a try at the newspaper game first. If I
flopped, there would still be the good old river. So I went
over and talked to Percy about it. He tried to talk me out
of it, but when he found he couldn't, said, all right, come
on over and try it. And this I did on January 4, 1904.
I've been lucky. I was lucky right from the jump and
I've been lucky ever since. That first morning Dudley
The Bobby Jones Story
Glass sent me out to the regular Monday morning meeting
of the Baptist Minister's Alliance.
On this historic occasion, Dr. Len G. Broughton, then
the flaming firebrand of Dixie ministry, elected to deliver
an address on therapeutics -psychic healing of physical
illness, if you please, a return to the laying on of hands in
churches for sickness. Green as I was I knew this was a
sensation in that gentle era, so I galloped back to the of-
fice and told Dudley about it, asking him how much I
should write. I have never forgotten Dudley's reply:
"As much as you can make interesting," said he.
I have never picked up a more valuable piece of advice.
I have written yards more than was interesting many and
many a time since -but I knew it. That story went on
Page 1. Lucky? When you make the Front Page with
your first story - well, I was sold on the newspaper game
then and there. The first day I was in this game, I knew
surely that I would never leave it as long as I lived.
William Howard Taft, President-elect, came to town
before my two weeks' trial was up, and when he departed,
I was on the payroll. At the beginning of the baseball
season, I went over to sports. I was writing baseball but
thinking most about golf, which was just then beginning
to emerge from the chrysalis, you might say, as a game to
be written about. Talk about luck. There was a kid named
Perry Adair, and a younger one, named Little Bobby
Jones, beginning to be talked about, in a golfing way; and
a redheaded girl named Alexa Stirling at East Lake, was
precisely three years before winning her first of three na-
tional championships. Since then I have attended forty-
five major or national championships, seven of them with
Alexa and twenty-seven with Bobby. I have travelled over
120,000 miles with Bobby, to Europe, to California, all up
and down the United States. I saw him win all of his
major titles. I wrote for the Associated Press the first
interview with Bobby published in 1926 and for this the
Associated Press made me an honorary member of their
staff. I wrote the first interview the Prince of Wales. ever
gave out on golf at the international Walker Cup matches
at Sandwich in 1930, and did not realize that it was any-
thing unusual until the next day when the English papers
all published it. Luck. Nothing else.
A telegram caught up with me in Rome, Italy, in 1930
and on that break, I was the first person to broadcast a
sporting event across the Atlantic, the British Open golf
championship of 1930, for the National Broadcasting
I could go on and on breaking Dudley Glass's prescrip-
tion for columns and columns, but I won't do it. I have
met the greatest fellows in the world in this game, the
newspaper game that Rudyard Kipling once called "The
Press - the greatest game that all of a man can play." I
found the best newspaper in the world in the Atlanta
Journal, and in Major John Cohen the finest boss in the
world to work for. So I'll just renew a pledge I've made
many and many a time all to myself.
It's 'til death do us part.
O. B. KEELER
TOY CLEEK WAS THE START OF A CAREER
in golf for "Little Bob' 5 Jones; beginning
A^ with a tow-headed little chap hammer-
ing a battered golf ball about a home-
o o made course in his front yard. Bobby was
o a tiny, spindling figure in rompers at that
time, just past his fifth birthday. He
was in the yard of his home watching a
friend, who was a member of the East
Lake Club, putting and puttering about
the yard as golfers will do when they
are off duty.
"Like to try a shot?" he asked Bobby.
Bobby nodded solemnly. He would.
It must be recorded here that this first
effort of the future champion was a
distinct failure. The club was approxi-
mately the same length as Bobby and
poked him woefully in the stomach so
that he missed the ball altogether.
"That won't do," said the golfer. He
chose a discarded cleek from his clubs,
sawed off the shaft below the leather, and
presented it to Bobby with three some-
what used balls - treasure indeed.
In the neighborhood was another boy
The Bobby Jones Story
about Bobby's age. The youngsters laid out for themselves
a golf course about the front yard, five holes that criss-
crossed in defiance of golfing convention and at the risk of
youthful pates; four holes in the yard and a "long hole"
- all of sixty yards down the street outside, with a fairway
of hoof -prints and wagon ruts and a rough of ditches full
of stones. This was the ragged little homemade course on
which Bobby Jones first played, with a fair prophecy of
the rough trail, thick with the bitter dust of disappoint-
ment and defeat, on which he travelled to glory.
Such was Bobby's beginning in golf. Utterly untram-
melled by advice or instruction, except he was told that a
ball must be played wherever it lay and all strikes must be
counted, he began his career - a career that progressed to
the top of American golf with an orderliness almost as
immutable as the orbit of the stars.
So Bobby Jones did not begin by cutting his teeth on a
niblick or taking a Vardon grip on his first rattle. His first
battle, too, was not on the links but a grimmer affair - a
battle for life itself which golf helped him win.
Robert Tyre Jones was born in Atlanta on March 17,
1902, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Jones. He
was named for his paternal grandsire, a sturdy North
Georgian, who cared nothing for sports. The first five
years of his life, Bobby was about as unpromising a pros-
pect for a competitive athlete as could have been selected.
About this time, his father, remembering his own rugged
boyhood in the mountains of North Georgia, decided to
give Mother Nature a chance.
The little family moved out from the city to a suburban
town, East Lake. There they removed Bobby's shoes, and
turned him out to grass. That was Bobby's first battle, the
battle for life and it may be that some hardy inherent
fighting quality in the frail little chap asserted itself, for in
a very short time, he was eating anything he could bite,
and his dental equipment was adequate. Fatefully it may
be that Bobby won his first fight at the very gate of the
East Lake golf course; a tiny spindling figure in rompers
pattering about the red old hills of Georgia, and peering
curiously through the fence at white-clad grown people
hitting a little white ball in a game just beginning to be
popular in Atlanta.
The little boy in rompers was looking at historic ground
- for him. It was there he was to acquire in this oddly fas-
cinating game the style that later was to make him the
glass of fashion and the mold of form wherever golf is
And not too long after this came the first big event in
Bobby's golfing career - the biggest event perhaps. Stew-
art Maiden, a stocky little Scot from Carnoustie, came to
East Lake to take the place of his brother. Jimmy Maiden,
as golf professional. Late one afternoon, Bobby and his
mother walked over to the gate of the club to meet Big
Bob, and there they were joined by Jimmie Maiden and
his brother, Stewart, who was to have so profound an
influence on the little boy, just past six years of age.
Bobby's father and mother and Jimmy Maiden did all
the talking. Stewart did not say a word. And Bobby just
stared at him -wondering in a vague sort of way if
Stewart could talk.
Stewart Maiden's conversational style was always mon-
osyllabic -but his golfing style was as fine and sound as
ever came out of Scotland. And it wasn't a week before a
little boy was following Stewart solemnly about the East
Lake course, never minding in the least that the imper-
turbable Scot paid him not the slightest attention, but
watching - watching - watching.
That was the way Bobby Jones began to play golf.
The First Tournament
HE GENERALLY ACCEPTED IDEA THAT
Bobby's first association with Stewart
Maiden was in the role of pupil is quite
wrong. Stewart never gave him a regular
lesson in golf. After Bobby acquired
something of a game and began playing
in tournaments, and finally achieved the
position of a national figure in golf, Stew-
art was accustomed to coach him at
times, when a club wasn't working for
him, and he went with Bobby to a num-
ber of important tournaments. With his
own perfect style and his unusual un-
derstanding of the fundamentals of the
game, Stewart was almost invariably
able to straighten out the kinks in Bob-
by's method, so exactly modeled on
But that was years later. In those early
days Bobby picked up his game as imi-
tatively as a monkey, watching the man
who played the best game at the club.
Yet this gift of mimicry, as Bobby recalls
it, never was suggested as a means to the
end of developing a golfing style. It was
often exploited by Bobby's father for the
THE FIRST TOURNAMENT
entertainment of his own friends on the veranda of their
home on Sunday afternoons when Bobby was encouraged
to get out on the lawn and perform imitations of this
player and that - usually some one in the gathering. But
Bobby's best imitation was always of Stewart Maiden.
That paid off. And it was on one of these occasions that
he caused great amusement by inquiring :
"Dad, what do people do on Sunday who don't play
In the mild winter before he was seven years old Bobby,
more or less equipped with a job lot of abbreviated clubs,
was given permission to use the East Lake course except
on Saturdays and Sundays. It is a curious fact that this
amateur golfer began his career in practically the same
way as the professional golfer begins. When he came from
school in the afternoon he would take his little mashie and
putter and a large cap full of balls, go down to the sunken
thirteenth green back of the house, and there, all the after-
noon, he would pitch to the green and putt out, pitch to
the green and putt out.
He often played No. 1 on the old East Lake course, a
one-shot hole of 160 yards with a wide grass trap a little
more than halfway to the green. Swinging his small driver
with all his might Bobby could carry this trap, about
ninety yards, and with a reasonable run on the shot, he
was left with a fairly easy pitch to the green. Big Bob said
it was surprising the number of 3's he made on this hole.
So Bobby traveled along the pathway of golf on a regu-
lar course and Stewart made for him a real set of juvenile
clubs, and a little bag in which to carry them. He also be-
gan to play regularly with Perry Adair, son of George
Adair, close friend of Big Bob's, a great sportsman and a
true gentleman and the man who did more for golf in
Atlanta than any other man ever did or ever will do.
There began one of the most remarkable competitions in
The Bobby Jones Story
the annals of golf. And there was Alexa Stirling, another
pupil of Stewart Maiden's, who also lived beside the
course. At times the three youngsters played together.
Bobby and Perry met at home and afield in invitation
tournaments and friendly matches, and there is no way of
knowing just how much this long and brilliantly contested
struggle meant to Bobby's future development and career.
But it is certain his association with Perry and his father,
the encouragement given him by the latter, and the sharp
battles accorded him by the former, were leading factors
in his development.
The first championship won by Bobby Jones was at the
age of nine years, and it was, as you may guess, not a very
large or important one. Still, it was a formal tournament
regulated in all respects like grownup tournaments; the
Junior Championship of the East Lake Country Club. He
did not meet Perry in this tournament as they were in
In the summer of 1913 Bobby shot an 80 on the old
course for the first time. It may be explained that the old
course at East Lake was an exceedingly tough scoring
proposition. It was an odd affair, laid out by Tom Ben-
delow. There were only two par 3 holes on it, the first and
the third; so after shooting three holes, a back-breaking
stretch of fifteen holes confronted the golfer, without a
single short hole. You can understand that cards close to
90 were astonishingly good for a little boy of ten.
On this summer day, he was playing with Perry as
usual, but for once -and for the first time -he wasn't
paying any attention to what Perry was doing. He was
scoring better than he ever had scored before and he had
no room in his mind for anything else. At the last
green, faced with a four-foot putt for an even 80, he
must have wondered why his skinny little chest was so
tight and why his hands were trembling as he stood up to
THE FIRST TOURNAMENT
that putt, not to beat Perry but just to score an 80. Down
went the putt and on the card went the 80, with the sig-
nature of Perry Adair on the attested line.
And away across the golf course went Bobby Jones,
setting off .at a brisk trot to find his dad. He found Big
Bob at the fourteenth green, and he walked solemnly up
to him and held out the card - without a word - his hand
still trembling. Big Bob took the card and looked at it.
Then he looked at Bobby. Then he put his arms around
him and hugged him hard. And so before he was a dozen
years old, Bobby Jones had discovered a new adversary in
golf, the Great Opponent whose tangible form is only a
card and a pencil. He had played his first round against
the toughest foeman of them all - Old Man Par.
In 1915 Bobby had gained in weight and strength and
Big Bob deemed him good enough to play in the Southern
Championship which came that year to East Lake. His
qualifying round was epochal. Bobby's own idea was that
he was playing terribly, but he came in with a card of 83,
a single stroke back of the medalist. Whether or not he
was satisfied with his showing in this his first grapple with
the iron certitudes of Old Man Par, his score had won the
team trophy for his club and he was second only to the
man who was to win the title. At the age of thirteen years
and three months, he was in the championship division
and he had established for himself a precedent - though
he certainly did not suspect it at the time - of never failing
to qualify in any tournament which he ever entered.
In the second round he encountered a famous figure in
southern golf, Commodore Bryan Heard of Houston,
Texas, the oldest man in the tournament - a rugged and
experienced veteran of a hundred tournaments, a hard
man for anybody to beat, although at that time he was
well past fifty. Indeed, he proved quite too hard for Bobby,
though the youngster put up a desperate battle which
The Bobby Jones Story
went to the seventeenth green, where the Commodore,
grim and impassive as a Chinese idol, ended the bout with
a victory, 2-1.
Bobby started one of his most eventful years, 1916, by
achieving the age of fourteen and acquiring a good many
pounds in weight. He met Perry in the semi-final round of
an invitation tournament at Montgomery, Alabama, one
of the most spectacular of their many matches and partic-
ularly interesting because it was in this season that Bobby
gradually caught up with Perry to share with the little
blonde gamecock from Druid Hills, the ranking of Kid
Wonders of Dixie.
In the Montgomery bout Bobby played the first nine
holes in 33 strokes, a brilliant burst of golf which had
Perry 3 down, and caused Bobby not unreasonably to feel
that he had the match well in hand. What happened on
the last nine was another notable contribution to Bobby's
long education in golf. Perry came back in 33, including
a stroke lost by a stymie at the sixteenth green, and won
the match 1 up. There is nothing in the world like the
fierce glare of competition to take the early dew off the
turf. It was very likely the greatest match ever played up
to that time in the south and it was played by boys of
fourteen and seventeen.
The first Georgia State Championship was played that
year at the Brookhaven Country Club in Atlanta and
there was unusual interest since the Boy Wonders were
entered. The stage was set for a great show at Brookhaven
and the boys proceeded in an orderly manner to the final
round of 36 holes. Bobby now was larger and stronger
than Perry, but there was little to choose between their
games and I am sure no two golfers ever met who were
better matched in courage and determination. Bobby dis-
played greater power but Perry's superior accuracy in the
morning round brought him in 3 up at noon. Starting the
THE FIRST TOURNAMENT
afternoon round, Bobby lost the first hole to be 4 down;
and with that calamitous start, he buckled down to shoot
a level 70 and to win on the last green to become Georgia's
first amateur champion.
rrrin TTft OH
The Big Dhow
* FTER SUCH A FINE SHOWING DURING
* * the summer, the two Kid Wonders of
A Dixie traveled up from Atlanta to play
in the United States Amateur Cham-
^ ^ pionship at the Merion Cricket Club
^ near Philadelphia in the fall of 1916.
Such a magnificent and undreamed of
game did this fourteen-year-old lad, Bob-
by Jones, play that the gallery, pressing
eagerly over the links, went mad over
him. Sports writers all over the country
acclaimed him the Boy Wonder and
prophesied without hesitancy that soon
he would take his place with the greatest
of the stars. Who could blame the boy,
if he kept hidden in his strong but unob-
trusive boyhood the dream that one day
he would win the amateur crown of the
The spindling youngster of seven,
reaching twice that age, had grown into
a powerful, chunky, somewhat knock-
kneed boy, five feet, four inches tall,
weighing 165 pounds; blue-eyed, rather
towheaded; wearing long pants - he car-
ried only one pair with him to the tour-
THE BIG SHOW
nament, and one pair of shoes, his wardrobe being of the
simplest and his mind untroubled with apprehensions of
rain - and he regarded this expedition as the greatest lark
of his life.
Until he got to Merion, Bobby had never seen anything
but the comparatively coarse and harsh Bermuda greens
of the southern courses, which by contrast made the Mer-
ion surfaces resemble billiard tables. And the change in
speed was bewildering to the youngster, accustomed to
rapping the ball firmly and decisively over the slower Ber-
muda. His first experience on these new greens included
a most embarrassing episode. The sixth hole of the West
Course was a short pitch to the green over a brook, the
slope facing the player. In a practice round Bobby's ball
was some thirty feet beyond the hole, which was in the
middle of the green. Forgetting for the moment all about
the faster pace of the Merion surfaces, Bobby struck his
putt firmly with the little center-shafted Travis putter he
used in those days, and was horrified to see the ball roll
past the hole, and apparently gathering momentum,
trickle over the green and into the brook.
At the end of the morning round on qualifying day it
was suddenly discovered that Bobby's card of 74 was the
best in the field. Word got about that the Kid from Dixie
was breaking up the tournament, and when Bobby ap-
peared to start his afternoon round, practically all the
spectators had assembled at the first tee to watch him.
Now came the first lesson in the Big Show - the gallery,
always a factor and often a terrific hazard in major cham-
pionship play. Always the gallery follows a favored star, a
leading contender, or a new phenomenon - as in this in-
stance. The first gallery at Merion was watching Bobby
and behaving in a very orderly and proper fashion. But
the concentrated stare of so many eyes, all focused on
himself afflicted the youngster with a stagef right, a ghastly
The Bobby Jones Story
and palpitant misery to which he was a perfect stranger.
His fine power swing and his smooth putting touch sud-
denly and hopelessly tightened up; his shots strayed hither
and yon; short putts declined to drop; and to his exem-
plary 74 of the morning round, he added a terrible 89 in
the afternoon. The total of 163, however was easily good
enough to place him in the charmed circle of the cham-
pionship. The highest score to qualify was 167. Perry
Adair was tied at that score, won in the play-off, and lost
his first match.
Bobby's first match was with Eben Byers, a former na-
tional champion. He went to the first tee that morning in
a frame of mind that caused him before the match was a
minute old to encounter what he regarded at the time as
a rebuff. As Mr. Byers and Bobby walked off the tee after
their drives, Bobby in the same spirit as he would have
used in a casual match at home, offered the former
champion a piece of chewing gum. Mr. Byers declined -
without thanks. And Bobby, whose motive was entirely
hospitable, felt somewhat abashed. This seemed to be a
new way to play golf. He also wondered why Mr. Byers
did not chew gum.
But he soon began to feel quite at home. Despite the
absence of the gallery, due to that ghastly 89, he was play-
ing badly. Mr. Byers was also playing badly and they
had an exciting time. They missed shots frequently, and
though Mr. Byers was one of the oldest contestants in the
field, and Bobby was the youngest, they expressed their
chagrin in exactly the same way. With the perfectly nat-
ural reaction carried over from early childhood, Bobby
followed a badly missed stroke by throwing the club after
the ball as far as he could. Mr. Byers did the same thing.
Players in the match directly behind them said later it
looked like a juggling act on the stage. At the twelfth hole,
Mr. Byers hurled a club over the hedge and out of the golf
THE BIG SHOW
course and would not allow his caddy to retrieve it. Bobby
explained whimsically that he had defeated Mr. Byers
only because he had run out of clubs first.
Bobby's second match was against Frank Dyer, a state
and district champion. Dyer started fast against his school-
boy opponent, winning five of the first six holes. Just here
the Georgia boy displayed a faculty that was to be the
determining factor in later years on many a hard-fought
field - the ability to take a staggering blow on the chin
and come back for more; the ability, in the slang of the
game, to stand the gaff. Bobby buckled down and reeled
off the next twenty-eight holes in better than an average
of 4's, better than the figures of Old Man Par himself.
He set a pace that Dyer, even with his big lead and
greater experience, could not stand. Bobby won 4-2 with
the finest stretch of golf that the 1916 championship
This victory revived the interest of the gallery and a
huge crowd was at the first tee as he drove off in the
quarter-final round against Robert A. Gardner of Chi-
cago, defending champion, who was working under the
handicap of an infected finger. Having gone through his
baptism of fire, Bobby had got over his stagefright before
the gallery and he rather outplayed Gardner in the morn-
ing round of their 36 hole match, shooting a 76 to be 1 up.
In the afternoon, the match was still even as they went to
the sixth tee and here Bobby learned another valuable
lesson in his golfing education. After being in serious trou-
ble on the next three holes, Gardner pitched close enough
to get down in one putt for a half on each of these holes.
Ten years later it might have been a different story. Ten
years later Bobby had learned the lesson he started to
learn that day - that the iron pressure of par golf must
break through the most spectacular procession of brilliant
recoveries, even when an opponent's run of breaks seems
The Bobby Jones Story
endless. But this was not ten years later. This was Bobby's
first appearance in the Big Show and he had kept the
iron pressure on his opponent as long as he could. And it
was Bobby who broke. He lost the next seven holes and
was beaten 5-3.
Early in life, early in his golfing career, Bobby learned
to face defeat with a smile, and to take a beating as a
sportsman should. Long afterward he told me that he
never had learned anything from a match that he had
"I've learned what I know from defeats, 35 he said.
Seven Lean Years
O BOBBY JONES WAS DEFEATED IN THE
third match of his first national cham-
pionship, but in less than a week the
Georgia school boy had become famous;
more famous than he realized at the
time. At fourteen, he became the out-
standing youngster in the world of golf.
And in a way this was a difficult situa-
tion. Never again did he present himself
at a major tournament unheralded. The
fierce glare of the spotlight was upon him
as he went to the first tee of the first
round. He was the pet of galleries and
golfers alike. He was accorded a good
chance to win every competition in which
he took part. He was ranked higher and
higher in the list of favorites ; and through
seven years, beginning at Merionin 1916,
he played in ten major championships
without winning one. These "seven lean
years," as they have been called, consti-
tute a chapter in the history of a world
champion which very likely is without a
counterpart in any sport; certainly in
golf. Seven years of unvaried defeat in
the Big Shows, and all the time regarded
The Bobby Jones Story
as one of the leading performers, would have broken the
heart of any but a champion. The seven fat years, which
came later, reversing the Scriptural order, bore no finer
testimony of a real champion who first of all was able to
Attending the tournament at Merion was the late Wal-
ter J. Travis, who had won the U. S. Amateur Cham-
pionship three times, and the British once; a remarkable
golfer who took up the game at the age of thirty-five and
reached its front rank by accuracy and intelligence, and
the deadliest putting stroke of his generation. Mr. Travis
took a great interest in Bobby's performance at Merion.
When asked what he thought of Bobby's prospects in the
way of improvement, Mr. Travis replied :
"Improvement? He can never improve his shots, if
that's what you mean. But he will learn a great deal more
about playing them. And his putting method is faulty."
A few years later during an exhibition match in Au-
gusta Mr. Travis was in the gallery and saw Bobby do
some putting which was even worse than usual. After the
match I was privileged to be present when Mr. Travis
gave Bobby, in the guise of a lecture, a lesson which so
changed his putting in a single season that from one of the
worst performers among the champions, he became one
of the finest and most consistent putters the game has seen.
So that was all of golf for the eventful year of 1916, and
the next spring, our country was in World War I, and
no national championships were played in 1917 or 1918.
The only important event that Bobby won during those
years was the 1917 Southern Championship at the Roe-
buck Country Club in Birmingham. He was the youngest
competitor ever to win this event.
In his second southern championship Bobby trundled
along like a little juggernaut through the field of 64, tak-
ing them as they came. Louis Jacoby of Dallas was the
SEVEN LEAN YEARS
final victim. Trailed by a larger gallery than he had ever
seen except at Merion the Atlanta youth shot a 76 and
went into luncheon comfortably up on the stubborn and
combative little man from Texas, always rated one of the
best fighters in southern golf. Jacoby rallied in the after-
noon but could not break Bobby's stride, the match end-
Bobby had won his first important championship.
Suddenly the cool, determined little golfing machine
turned into a red-faced, perspiring schoolboy, under the
blast of cheers from the gallery. And when Jacoby, smiling
broadly, extended his hand with a most cordial congratu-
lation, all Bobby could think of to say was, "Much
During these years, the Wright and Ditson Company
arranged a tour of golf exhibition matches for the war
chest of the American Red Cross, inviting four young
players to take part - those inseparable friends, Bobby and
Perry; Alexa Stirling of Atlanta, playing from East Lake,
and Elaine Rosenthal of Chicago, two of the best of the
feminine golfers of America. Miss Stirling had won one of
her three U. S. championships in 1916 at Boston. And
then came a series of matches which Bobby and Perry
played against the leading amateurs. After that in the
historic War Relief matches, Bobby found himself pitted
against professional golfers in real earnest for the first
time, which afterwards became so pleasant and fasci-
nating a part of the game for him.
In all, however, Bobby did pretty well in this series of
brushes with the professionals, and was the only member
of the amateurs who escaped a defeat.
One important thing he learned in 1918, playing before
great galleries in many states. The report of his club-
throwing at Merion two years before had followed him;
his temper was by way of becoming proverbial; and when
The Bobby Jones Story
he indulged occasionally in this method of blowing off
steam after missing a shot inexcusably, the golf scribes
took him to task -not always too kindly nor with the
reflection that after all this brilliant golfer was only a boy
of fourteen or fifteen. They saw him play golf that any
man would be proud of and that few could equal, but they
also expected him to present to the gallery the impertura-
ble front of the casehardened veteran - which by the way,
the casehardened veteran does not always present in time
of stress. It struck me as a bit unreasonable that so much
should have been written on the gusty vagaries of one
He was the most thorough sportsman as far as his op-
ponents were concerned. It was not an easy matter getting
his turbulent disposition in hand. The sports writers loved
to depict him as a hot-blooded southerner long after he
had taken their criticisms to heart and had mastered his
emotions, so far as any outward symptoms were con-
cerned; a conquest which was an important part of his
development in golf and otherwise. Bobby's later great
poise and control on the links are all the more marvelous
when you consider that a championship golf match is the
most nerve-racking - physically and mentally - devastat-
ing sports experience that exists. Such a match is far more
strenuous even than a great boxing bout because the strain
is constant and is pitched for hours at a time.
It is to be hoped that the uninterrupted rush of incident
and action in this narrative will not engender in the read-
er's mind the idea that Bobby Jones did little or nothing
except play golf; that impression would be greatly in
error. His tournament season really was a brief affair. So
keen a mind did he possess that all through his school work
he made almost as enviable a record as he did on the golf
The Rumner^Up Year
OBEY PLAYED IN FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
tournaments in 1919 - two sectional and
two national events - without winning
any, and because he finished second in
three of them, this period was known as
his "runner-up 55 year. He was runner-up
in the Southern Open, the Canadian
Open, and the United States Amateur
Championships. At New Orleans in the
Southern Amateur, he was stopped in
the semi-final round by Nelson Whitney,
many times winner of this event, so his
defense of his holdover title from 1917,
came to a somewhat sudden conclusion.
In the Southern Open, played at East
Lake, Bobby came to grips with the pro-
fessionals, this time for keeps. The young
Georgian, at the age of seventeen, had
been gaining inches and losing pounds.
He was three inches taller and fifteen
pounds lighter than at Merion. His nu-
merous bouts in the last two years had
given his game a finish and an added
consistency, and playing on his home
course, the young amateur was consid-
ered a worthy rival of the professional
The Bobby Jones Story
experts, who assembled to play for a purse which was
regarded as an important one in those days.
The confidence of the critics was not misplaced. Bobby
proved to be the only amateur in the field capable of
matching shots with the professionals in this lively and
spectacular event. At the end of the second round of the
72-hole competition, Long Jim Barnes was leading the
field by a single stroke - and Bobby Jones was running
second. He and the tall Cornishman fought it out down
the stretch but at the end of the 72 holes Jim Barnes was
the first Southern Open champion. But Bobby was still
just one stroke behind and this in spite of Long Jim's eagle
3 on the long 620-yard fifth hole, the only one ever accom-
plished on this difficult hole, in competition.
An incident that occurred at New Orleans is now one
of the classic anecdotes of golf, and has been told many
times, often inaccurately. Bobby's very first shot in this
championship showed that, however the preceding two
years had improved his golf, there was something left for
him to learn about rules. The first hole of the New Orleans
Country Club is a one-shotter of 150 yards. Bobby's mash-
ie pitch from the tee was pulled off to the left of the green
and the ball landed in a wheelbarrow, left there by some
workman. Worse than that it landed in an old shoe, beside
which the wheelbarrow contained another shoe, a lawn-
mower, some greasy rags and a quantity of cut grass.
The rule of "upkeep" applied of course. A player in this
or similar position is entitled to lift the ball and drop it,
not nearer the hole, without penalty, the wheelbarrow not
being a part of the golf course. But Bobby did not know
this rule, or at any rate he was not sure of its provisions and
was taking no chances on disqualification. He studied the
situation which appeared remarkably gloomy. The only
ray of light was the the condition of the shoe, which was
old and did not look as if it would hold together under a
THE RUNNER-UP YEAR
determined attack with a niblick. And indeed, Bobby did
take a niblick, planted himself as firmly as possible on the
ground beside the wheelbarrow, and walloped the shoe as
hard as he could. To his immense relief, the shoe was pro-
jected onto the green, where the ball rolled out, and he
got a 4, losing only one stroke to par.
Thereafter I cannot recall a single predicament in his
career in which he did not know exactly what the rules
permitted and did not permit.
The story of the Canadian Open at Hamilton, Ontario,
was that of J. Douglas Edgar, a little English professional,
who had come to the Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta
early that spring. Bobby, Perry Adair and Douglas Edgar
and Willie Ogg, then professional at East Lake, Stewart
Maiden having gone to the St. Louis Country Club for a
time, played many matches in Atlanta, and the four of
them journeyed to Hamilton together. Bobby went to the
tournament playing very good golf, and he played very
good golf all through it, winding up in a tie at 294, an
excellent figure for a national open championship, with
the same Long Jim Barnes, who had beaten him by a single
stroke in the Southern Open. Bobby came to the last green
with two strokes left to become runner-up all by himself,
but he took three putts !
But they were tied for second place, sixteen strokes back
of the amazing Englishman. Edgar's cards in the order of
their performance were 72-71-69-66, for a total of 278,
which remained for years the lowest aggregate score ever
returned in a national competition in any country. Edgar's
finishing round of 66 stood up for eleven years until 1930,
when Tommy Armour in this same tournament and on
this same course, five strokes back of the lead as he went
into the fourth round, went mad and touched off one of
the lowest scores ever returned in important competition
- 64. With two holes left to play, Tommy was actually
The Bobby Jones Story
nine strokes under 4's, and after a 32 going out, he started
home 3-4-4-3-3-3-3, but he finished with a 5 and a 4, and
had to be content with eight under 4's.
And so little Douglas Edgar's cherished record went
down under the scoring frenzy of this frenetic era, but his
performance at Hamilton remains to this day the most
conclusive drubbing ever administered to a crack field of
contestants in an important open championship. He told
me some funny things about his training for that famous
tourney: how getting into Canada after a long dry spell
in Atlanta, due to certain then prevalent prohibition laws,
he went to a highly enjoyable party, remained in bed the
next day until noon, then went out to the golf course and
hit six shots with a jigger.
"Then my hands felt thin," he said with a slow smile,
"and I knew I was 'right'. So I put up my clubs."
And he was "right" next day.
Edgar was the most temperamental of golfers. When in
the mood - when he felt "right," he could play incredibly
beautiful golf, a remarkable exhibition of perfect control
and fancy golf, which rarely was played straight - often
he was bending the shots this way and that, fading the
ball, drawing the ball, and obviously amusing himself as
a great musician exploits his fancies on violin or piano in
lighter moments of practice.
His style was individual and somewhat unorthodox, in
that he kept the club hooded, or with its face turned as
much as possible toward the ball, during the stroke. The
cardinal principal of his teaching was keeping the right
elbow compactly tucked up against the right side until the
ball had gone. Amplifying this tucked-in right elbow a
trifle, Edgar's idea in keeping the right elbow close was to
compel the player, easily and certainly to bring the club
head against the ball from inside the line of the shot.
A great many years ago, bewhiskered teachers of the
THE RUNNER-UP YEAR
game, with no reference whatever to hitting from the
inside, directed loose-armed pupils to put caps under their
right arms and hold them there while the stroke was being
made and until the ball had departed. That was the
fashion for compelling a pupil to keep the right elbow
close to the side in the days when the gutty ball, hats
teed too high, hips, and peg-top pants were in vogue.
"Hitting through the gate," Edgar called it. And he
made and patented a little device, and a book to go along
with it, both very simple, known as "The Gate to Golf."
This is still available in some sport shops.
Edgar met a tragic and mysterious death two years
after the Canadian Open of 1919. So far as was known, or
at all logically surmised, he was struck down and killed
by a speeding motorist in front of the house where he was
living in Atlanta. I wondered if the ghost of J. Douglas
Edgar was not flickering around the fringes of the Hamil-
ton golf course when Tommy shot that miraculous score.
And when Douglas Edgar was "right," I have yet to see
the man who could step with him.
nr*n IT* ,,
I he Jrirst
HE LAST TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR SAW
* * Bobby Jones again in the Big Show, his
T^ second appearance in the United States
Amateur Championship on the great
o ^ course of the Oakmont Country Club,
o near Pittsburgh. In spite of the fact he
had not won a title that season, Bobby's
showing had been so good, especially in
the Southern and Canadian Opens
against the professionals, that he was re-
garded at Oakmont as having nearly as
good a chance as the favorites, Chick
Evans, holdover champion from 1916,
and Francis Ouimet, winner in 1914.
Bobby had not been satisfied with his
driving all season, and Big Bob had been
even less pleased. So as the date of the
championship drew near and Bobby con-
tinued to spray his big shots all over the
place, Big Bob sent him out to St. Louis,
for his first model and mentor, Stewart
Maiden, to straighten him out. And for
the first, and I think, the only time in
Bobby's career, Stewart seemed unable
to help him. After a couple of days of un-
mitigated and unsuccessful toil, Stewart
THE FIRST BIG DISAPPOINTMENT
decided to go with Bobby to the championship, and Big
Bob joined them there.
The Oakmont course was a tremendous test of golf, and
the first qualifying day was complicated further by the
most impressive hail storm I have ever seen on a golf
course, and resulted in the highest qualifying scores since
the second annual championship, and never duplicated
during the era of qualifying at the scene of the tourna-
ment. Davidson Herron, playing on his home course, was
tied for the medal with two others at 158, Bobby was sec-
ond with 159, and from there they soared all the way up
to 172, the top figure to get in.
Bobby's driving had failed to improve, and after a seem-
ingly fruitless session on the practice tee, Kiltie's advice
was to go out on the course and hit the ball as hard as he
could. "It will go somewhere," said Kiltie philosophically,
"and if you get off the fairway, you'll be nearer the green
But in spite of his erratic driving, Bobby had a fairly
easy journey to the final round where he met Davy Her-
ron, who also had not met very stiff opposition, and who
had been playing the best golf of the week. Bobby seemed
at last to have found his game and at the end of the morn-
ing round, they were all square. In the afternoon, how-
ever, Davy's superior accuracy on the greens began to pay
off, and on the twelfth tee, Bobby was 3 down. On this
historic twelfth, a gigantic hole of 621 yards, Bobby for
once was well out in front, and Davy had an indifferent
recovery when his drive found a trap. But Bobby's second
found a trap, he too recovered badly and went on to lose
the hole and the match 5-4. It was on this "Ghost Hole"
that Bobby turned back Watts Gunn in the amateur
championship of 1925, when it looked as if Watts had him
beaten in the final round. Destiny does seem to play no
favorites in the long run, if the run is long enough.
The Bobby Jones Story
The feature match of the 1919 championship was the
amazing battle between those classic rivals. Chick Evans
and Francis Ouimet in the second round. Both were ill,
and the terrible weather of the qualifying rounds had not
helped them. Playing with superb nerve and courage, they
traveled the morning round in a stroke better than par.
Bobby's match was over early that day and he went out to
watch the afternoon round of this battle of the giants,
popeyed with interest and excitement. Francis went out in
34, and was only 1 up. Eventually they reached the
eighteenth green all even, Francis 5 putt went down and
Chick missed. Next day he lost to Woody Platt on the
This was the first really bitter disappointment that Bob-
by had met. Through 1919, his "runner-up" year, he had
played in seven minor and two major events, but begin-
ning with 1920, he played only in the major tournaments.
I have always regarded his debut in the open champion-
ship at Toledo as his real entrance on the world-stage of
sports. And before the "fierce white light" that plays upon
a world figure should focus attention on Bobby Jones, the
Champion, I have tried to give you a picture of Bobby
Jones, a sturdy American schoolboy, through his formative
years of study and play, of lighthearted battle and bitter
disappointment, which went into the making of world
champion, and what is far more worthy, the building of a
The First Open
* S THE TOURNAMENT SEASON OF 1920
opened, Bobby was eighteen years old,
^ had completed his sophomore year at
Georgia Tech, and was the leading mem-
ber of its golf team. Early in the summer,
he captured the Southern Amateur
Championship at Chattanooga, with
such an impressive performance, he de-
cided to go on to Memphis the following
week and play in the Western Amateur
Championship. Chick Evans, perennial
champion of the Western Association,
filled the role of favorite. Bobby started
the week of play as brilliantly as he had
concluded in Chattanooga, setting a new
qualifying record in the Western Associ-
ation with rounds of 69 and 70. All the
Dixie delegation were sure Bobby was set
to win as he was more at home on the
Bermuda greens than Evans. But Chick,
an experienced veteran, the first golfer
to win the U. S. Amateur and Open
titles the same year in 1916, and on his
way to another national title this year,
stopped him in the semi-final round, 1
up in 36 holes. Bobby's education in
. 27 .
The Bobby Jones Story
competitive golf contained few better lessons than this
engagement, and he often said he never enjoyed one
more. But Big Bob, when he met us at the station, lacked
something of enjoying at least the result of the bout.
Meditatively he uttered a prophecy, which lasted down
the years. He said :
"Well, Chick will never beat him again."
Chick and Bobby met twice more in national champion-
ships and Chick never beat him again. It is a somewhat
curious fact that, as many times as Bobby was beaten in
championship competition, the same man never defeated
him twice. In the list are three champions who beat him
once, Chick, Bob Gardner and Francis Ouimet. He beat
Evans twice, Gardner twice, and Ouimet three times.
The Open Championship of 1920 was held late that
year, August 10-13, at the Inverness Club, Toledo. The
club house and course were simply crawling with distin-
guished professionals and amateurs. Whichever way one
turned, he could get an eyeful of something worth looking
at - Ted Ray, who weighed no small part of a long ton,
Harry Vardon, Chick Evans, Walter Hagen, the defend-
ing champion, Jock Hutchison, Bob McDonald, Leo Die-
gel, a young professional playing in his first open. The Cal-
edonian bur-r-r-r in the talk about the course resembled a
battery of buzz saws working in a "wee hoose among the
On qualifying day, the spotlight of the sporting world
inevitably picked out to touch with its brightest beams the
most romantically cast pairing of all the host - Harry Var-
don of England and Bobby Jones of Atlanta; the classic
golfer of this generation - and perhaps of all time, as his-
tory will see it - and the college boy who had come to be
rated the peer of American amateurs; one playing with all
the richness of a vast experience, the other with the rare
power of young blood back of his perfect swing; one play-
THE FIRST OPEN
ing with his face toward the westering sun, yet at its
brightest on him, the other on the morning side of the hill,
his feet in the morning dew.
There was a singular appeal in this pair, the oldest and
the youngest golfer in the tournament, were not age an
ungracious fling at Harry Vardon's graceful and perennial
youth. Harry was in his fifty-first year, and before Bobby
was born, had twice set this country aglow with his perfect
golf played with the old gutta-percha ball. Bobby and the
lively ball arrived coincidently, one might say in the year
1902, but Vardon had been the master of the gutty, as he
was master of the rubber-core. Had he played with the
"featheries" with a shepherd's crook (craftily shortened,
no doubt) Harry Vardon would have pitched round peb-
bles to the green with an accuracy more beautiful than
all his rivals -and missed many of the putts, possibly.
Rain slowed up the Inverness course but the sun came
out and shone on a large gallery that watched Vardon and
Bobby play an even round of 75 strokes each in the morn-
ing. Bobby went out in a fine 34, while Vardon was four
over par with 40, but affairs changed at the turn, Vardon
striking a fast pace with a 35 in, while Bobby dug sand
from traps and hooked his drives, finally taking three putts
on the last green for 4 1 .
Bobby was leading the veteran in the second round
when they came to the seventh hole, an interesting, even
exciting affair, laid out to be played around an angle of
tall trees, which the bolder and stronger contestants were
carrying with a towering drive from the tee, to place the
ball in front of the small green. They both made the big
carry successfully, and the balls lay some forty yards short
of the green, Bobby slightly ahead. Vardon played a con-
servative run-up shot, close to the flag, and Bobby, though
there was nothing in the line, elected to pitch delicately
with a niblick - a pretty shot, when it works. In this in-
The Bobby Jones Story
stance it did not work. He half-topped the ball, which
scuttled over the green like a rabbit into much trouble be-
yond. He played out with the loss of a stroke to par, and
his ears flaming with embarrassment, walked along beside
Vardon toward the next tee. Vardon always was a silent
competitor when engaged in serious play. He had not
spoken thus far in the round. Bobby, with an idea of
breaking the ice, and at the same time alleviating his own
embarrassment, decided to open a conversation.
"Mr. Vardon," he said bashfully, "did you ever see a
worse shot than that? 3 '
"No, 55 said Harry. It was a simple answer but explicit.
The incident was closed and no further conversation
In the first round of the championship Bobby, having
qualified easily, started five over par in the first six holes.
He was not playing championship medal golf, where you
plod along in pars with here and there a stroke worse and
here and yon a birdie to get it back. He was shooting the
first part all right, but neglecting the second. It was a new
strain bearing down on him of course, and he wound up
with a lamentable 78, far down the list. In the next round
he did much better with a 74, but at the halfway mark,
still seemed well out of the chase.
With 152, he was seven strokes back of the leader, Jock
Hutchison. He naturally concluded that he had no chance
at all, and his mind thus relieved of the curious strain of
the first two rounds, at the end of the third round, he had
shot a fine 70. There is a lot of psychology in golf and most
of all in the grim progress of a major medal play cham-
pionship. Bobby looked over the board as his score of 70
was posted, Vardon was now leading the field with 218.
Diegel and Hutchison were a stroke behind and Ted Ray
was next with 220. Bobby at 222 was only four strokes out
of the lead. With only one round to play, he had a chance.
THE FIRST OPEN
He did not know then as he learned later how the terrific
pressure of the finishing round of an open championship
can break down the game of even the best golfers and the
most courageous competitors. He could not imagine that
in the last round at Inverness every one of the men who
were leading him would slip away from Old Man Par to
a 75 or worse.
He had a chance ! Now he told himself he must go out
and do another 70 - or better. And now the strain was on
again. Once more his shots unaccountably strayed; once
more the putts refused to drop. A misguided ambition
brought in a card of 77. Bobby's real chance, though he
was far from knowing it, lay not in a final round of 70 or
better. It lay in stepping along with Old Man Par, while
the pressure was breaking the leaders. A score of 72, even
4's, in the mode of Old Man Par, to total 294 would have
won for him in the last round of the first national open
championship he entered. But said Bobby years later:
"It was as fine a thing as ever happened to me. If I had
won that first open, I might have got the idea that it was
an easy thing to do. Better to have finished in eighth place
DWARD RAY OF OXHEY, ENGLAND, WON
the Open Championship of 1920 because
he stood the gaff best. He finished first of
the half dozen leaders, who had a chance,
because he cracked least under the ter-
rific strain of the bitterest finish ever wit-
nessed in an open championship. Golfers
will argue that medal tournaments do not
supply the thrills of match play but heav-
en preserve me from anything more dev-
astating than the last hour of the Open
Championship at Toledo. Somewhere in
his huge system, the big Oxheyman car-
ried the ultimate ounce that supplied the
final punch - the single stroke by which
he led Harry Vardon, his partner in the
quest; and Leo Diegel and Jock Hutchi-
son and Jack Burke. Had Ted Ray blown
one more putt, missed one drive or one
approach, there would have been five
men in the most remarkable tie in the
history of golf.
Ray finished with a 75 for a total of
295, the other four had 296. Under the
final strain they cracked wider than Ray.
That was the answer. Going into the last
round, Ray was two strokes back of Vardon, who was
leading the field with 218, Diegel and Hutchison, 219.
And the tremendously dramatic ending -first Vardon,
blowing to a depressing 42 on the home stretch; then Ray
making a perfect 4 to go one under Vardon; then Diegel,
having a twenty-foot putt for the 3 that would have tied;
and in five minutes more, little Jock Hutchison with ex-
actly the same length putt for a 3 that would also have
given him a tie for first place. More than 7,000 fans
watched those heartbreaking, nerve-shattering finishes on
the home green.
Never will I forget the manner in which Ted Ray took
the news that he had a putt of four feet to beat Vardon.
The big fellow was out in 35, but had gone 4 over at No.
17. He strode up to the last tee and banged out a tremen-
dous drive of 300 yards down the fairway, but even Ted's
smashing blow failed to reach the 322-yard green. He
pitched on the green well away from the cup and his ap-
proach was short, leaving him more than a yard from the
hole. It was here that he got the news that this putt car-
ried the championship as far as Vardon was concerned.
He was preparing to putt when he got it. He promptly
handed his club back to his caddy; removed the habitual
pipe from his mouth; and while the assembled thousands
fairly sweated blood with anxiety, he calmly refilled his
pipe, lighted it, puffed away two or three times, took back
his putter from the caddy, and without any more to-do,
sent down the putt that made him champion.
Ray demonstrated again and again his right to the rep-
utation for long driving which he enjoyed. In fact, it might
be said that he won the championship on one hole -No. 7,
as figured in all of his rounds. This is a trick hole, a dog-
legged affair bending to the left around a clump of high
trees. The distance to the green via the fairway is 320
yards. A powerful driver who can hit both high and far
The Bobby Jones Story
can straighten out the distance to about 290. It is a terri-
fic hole for the average golfer with a steep bluff at the left
of the well-trapped green, but it was a sinecure for the
mighty Edward. The big fellow never failed to pick up a
stroke on this hole, getting a 3 every time he played it.
Once his tee shot hit a foot from the cup and he almost
got an eagle. He was easily the longest walloper in the
tournament and there were many long hitters there. His
longest shot was on No. 9, 492 yards, where he let out all
he had, carried a tree at the corner of the boundary and
went far past the road, 240 yards away -a shot of 340
to 350 yards. He was home with a mashie-niblick.
It was a gale of wind that blew Harry Vardon back
from a certain championship. The grand old boy started
out on the last round, leading by one stroke, and played
like the worldbeater that he was. He always shot par and
let the field come back to him and exactly par he shot for
the first nine. He started home with a 4 and a 3, and we
were all sure he was set for his second United States
Championship, just twenty years after he had won his
first. But the Old Master's gallant effort failed by a gust of
stormy wind. As he played No. 1 1 with a beautiful birdie
3, a dense dark cloud was gathering in the west and a
strong and rising wind straight out of the north began
tearing at the neighboring trees. A fair gale was blowing
straight against him on the tee of the twelfth, a 522-yard
hole. This did not bother him too much as he had played
against many a stronger breeze in his own country, but it
cut his length and, when he came to his second shot, he
saw that he could not carry the stream which flowed
through the valley about 400 yards from the tee. His per-
fectly hit iron third, also held short by the wind, failed to
reach the green and he finished with a 6.
He still was working on a surplus of four strokes on those
last half dozen holes - but he blew them all, and one more
which would have tied for first place, and finished in a tie
with Jack Burke, who had posted 296 several hours before.
"I couldn't get the distance against that breeze," he said
later, uncomplainingly - just in explanation. Harry Var-
don was more than fifty years old, an old man for athlet-
ics. A championship makes the most severe demands upon
physical and moral strength - in a word, upon the soul -
of a golfer. Its exigencies are many and trying. Vardon
was tired and the physical strain did what the mental
strain could not do - unsteadied him. And as I judged by
Harry Vardon's face, this either leaves a man a failure or
a philosopher. Vardon's face was the most patient I had
ever seen. It seemed rather the face of some quiet, placid
old minister, resigned to the not too kindly usage of this
world; thoughtful and reflective -and patient. Never a
flicker of resentment crossed Harry Vardon's face, the
natural resentful feeling that follows a bad break to a
perfectly hit shot. No impatience was to be found there,
when the play was slow and the course jammed. No trace
of worry when his opponent was up and the end was
near. Vardon was master of himself - thus he was master
of the greatest of all games and I fancy his other contests
with life were played out with the same quiet, patient
fortitude that he exhibited in the game of his profession.
Twice on the last two holes of the final round, Leo Die-
gel had a chance to win the championship, a ten-foot putt
on the seventeenth, and a twenty-foot one on the last
green, or either would have given him a tie. I picked up
Diegel coming up the terrible twelfth, word having got
around that he was out in 37, and coming back in par.
Chick Evans was caddying for him and a tremendous gal-
lery was pulling its multitudinous head off for him to come
through and keep the championship in this country. One
glance at Diegel showed that he was in a fighting mood
and very cheerful. Withal he was nervous, one fan avow-
The Bobby Jones Story
ing that a farmer in an adjoining field pulled an ear of
corn, and sent Leo into hysterics, but it seemed not to af-
fect his play.
On the fourteenth came a calamitous break. I am sorry
to say that it was a well-meant but very stupid intrusion
by a good friend of his that cracked him just when he had
a grand chance to win. A frantic computation showed that
he had a couple of strokes to spare on the last five holes to
beat Vardon, and that par would, in all likelihood, beat
Ray. It looked fine for Leo. His tee shot just cleared a
bank that confronts the fourteenth green, leaving him a
long brassie shot down the wind. As Leo was getting set to
play this critical shot, a friend came running up to him
"Leo, Harry Vardon just got down a 4 for a 78."
Down went Diegel's own club on the ground and up
went his arms toward the sky.
"Good Lord," he said, "Don't tell me things like that."
Keyed up as he was, the smash of this startling informa-
tion shook him fearfully. He took a 6 on the hole and his
margin was wiped out. To pass Vardon he still had one
stroke to spare over par, but Ted Ray was looming menac-
ingly. That is the savage thing about medal play. It is not
only the one opponent that you must beat but all those still
out on the course. He played badly on the next two holes
and lost a shot on each. After his drive on seventeen, which
caught the rough, word came that Ray had finished a
stroke under Vardon, and this meant that Diegel would
have to get a 3 and a 4 to tie.
It must be said that this information stimulated Diegel
to a supreme effort. Out of the rough he came with a full
iron shot ten feet from the cup, and 3,000 fans held their
collective breath as long as they could and then gasped,
and held it again as long as they could as Leo and Chick
walked over the ground and stopped and consulted before
Diegel took his stance. It was a perfect putt. Unwavering-
ly it ran to the edge of the cup - then switched as it hit the
rim and stayed out by three inches. Leo again threw up his
hands in a gesture that was mcxre sincere than dramatic.
Then he trudged slowly up the hill to the tee for his last
effort - to get a 3 on the 332 yard home hole.
The gallery now consisted of everybody on the course,
ranging from the tee to the green and banked solidly
around both. Diegel drove down a lane of thousands of
persons - getting a perfect shot. Then his approach came
floating up, dropping lightly on the green, twenty-feet
from the pin, with a slope down which to putt. Why draw
out the agony? He missed the putt by an inch. He did all
he could. He gave it a chance. After one long sigh, the
hand-clapping crashed out and rolled and echoed through
the green valley of the eighteenth fairway and about the
club house veranda for a game finish and a close call.
Within five minutes came Jock Hutchison, the fiery lit-
tle Scot shooting the last six holes in even 4 J s, banging out
a 300 yard drive down the eighteenth fairway with a 3 to
tie for the title, the last contestant with a chance. We went
through it all over again with Jock. He, too, was twenty
feet from the pin but it was not down hill. Walter Hagen,
far out of the running, was playing with him. He ran down
a putt from the edge of the green and the gallery laughed.
Hagen laughed, and said.
"Wish I could give it to you, Jock."
Jock gave the ball a chance, but it ran just past the hole.
At that Jock had the best last nine of the day - 38. And
again came thundering applause for the little fighting
Scot who had failed so narrowly -and such a gallant
The memory of this, the greatest of the open tourna-
ments, holds hundreds of sharply cut reminiscent pictures,
outlined with all the clearness lent by the most absorbing
The Bobby Jones Story
interest. I can shut my eyes and see again scene after
scene, or crisis after crisis, pass in swift review; the perfect
swing of Harry Vardon; the tremendous lunge of Ted
Ray; the well-cut pitches stopping dead to the pin; the
billiard table putting greens, framed with a thousand
eager faces. Memories we carried away from Inverness.
There is a
ESS THAN A MONTH AFTER THE STIRRING
battle at Inverness, Bobby Jones went to
play in the U. S. Amateur Championship
at the Engineer's Country Club on Long
Island. This was his third appearance in
this tournament and I think the last time
he engaged in any major competition
with the carefree and lighthearted atti-
tude of his earlier boyhood in golf. After
1920, Bobby took his major golf engage-
ments more seriously.
Our British cousins like to criticize us
good-naturedly on the serious attitude
of Americans toward competitive sports.
They say we try too hard to win; that we
make too much of a business of our prep-
aration; that our efforts are of so severe
and even grim a determination as to rob
the sport of all or most of the enjoyment
it is designed to afford. It is true that
Americans tend to specialize in sport,
rather than to play a number of games
acceptably; and I fear that it is also true
that sometimes American competitors
give the impression of being too eager to
win. After all, no cosmic catastrophe im-
The Bobby Jones Story
pends, no national calamity, even, should our crack relay
team take second place, or even third in an Olympiad; or
should some alien discobolus hurl a spinning platter a
whole yard farther than our best endeavor.
But certainly I am not apologizing for any American's
giving his best efforts to win in any competitive event,
against other Americans or against international adver-
saries. Rather, I think, there is a measure of discourtesy to
a worthy f oeman in giving less than the best. A true sports-
man can never appear offensively eager in his quest of vic-
tory, or to gloat on its attainment; or to brood too much
upon defeat. This, of course, is nothing but proper
How much good manners in sport may temper British
criticism of American keenness to win is shown by the
astonishing popularity of Bobby Jones in the British Isles,
where he got away on the wrong foot in one of his first
appearances and later went on to win four major national
tournaments and to help win for the American side, two
international matches. Certainly no competitor, American
or British, or of any other nationality ever tried harder to
win championships in Britain, or with more uniform suc-
cess. Yet on the replica of the great silver cup emblematic
of the British Amateur Championship, presented to him
by fellow-members of the Royal and Ancient Club of St.
Andrews, after he announced his retirement from compe-
tition, this legend is engraved :
"A Golfer Matchless in Skill, and Chivalrous in Spirit."
The Amateur Championship of 1920 offered a marked
international aspect. Among the entrants were Cyril Tol-
ley, Amateur Champion of Great Britain, Roger Weth-
ered, and a clever Scottish amateur, Tommy Armour,
who, it turned out, was the only one of the trio to qualify.
Bobby qualified in a tie for low medal with Freddie
Wright of Boston at 154, and they agreed to let this ride
1908. Bobby, aged six, and his neighbor, Alexa Stirling.
1920. Bobby congratulates Alexa on winning the National Amateur for the
Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and Ted Ray in the play-off of the National
Open at Brookline in 1913. This event is credited with putting golf on the
front page of newspapers for the first time.
Bobby, aged fourteen, in the 1916 National Amateur at Merion Cricket Club
O. B. Keeler begins his career as a golf writer.
Bobby poses for a fan at the Merion Cricket Club.
Harry Vardon and Bobby Jones, oldest and youngest contestants in the Na-
tional Open at Toledo in 1920.
Edward Ray of Oxhey, England. Winner of the National Open in 1920.
Stewart Maiden and Bobby Jones. It was from "Kiltie the Kingmaker" that
Bobby learned his golfing method.
Gene Sarazen also won the "double" -the U. S. and British Opens in 1932.
THERE IS A DESTINY
on the match when they met in the quarter-final round.
They were both about the same age, both rather cocky
youngsters, but I do not recall another match in which I
beheld as many 3's as these two boys produced in this
morning encounter. Mr. Wright committed the fatal error
of getting a 3 on No. 1, and winning the hole. He would
have done much better to have taken a 7. Mr. Jones
liked the looks of that 3, and forthwith set about collecting
threes for himself. Beginning with No. 2 over a stretch of
fourteen holes, Mr. Jones collected seven threes - just half
the fourteen. Four of these threes came in the stretch of
seven holes immediately following Mr. Wright's misguid-
ed effort on No. 1. Had not Mr. Jones interspersed these
remarkable holes with several fives and one six, all records
would have gone by the board. Bobby was 5 up at noon,
and although there were no fireworks in the afternoon,
he won handily.
This victory put him in the semi-final round against
Francis Ouimet, and Francis, in the most solemn and
kindly manner imaginable, gave him a thorough work-
manlike spanking. It was at the seventh green of the after-
noon round that the boyish spirit of the Jones boy cropped
out for the last time, so far as my observation went, in an
Ouimet had finished the morning round 3 up, and Bob-
by, playing desperately, was unable to close with the tall
Bostonian. Ouimet's ball lay above the flag at the seventh
green, some twenty feet away, Bobby's somewhat farther.
There was also a bee on the green. He was penned in by
the assembly of human beings and did not know how to
get out. Bobby was the only person who was moving so the
bee decided he was the cause of it all and came zooming
over to him, just as he was getting ready to putt. Bob
shooed it away. As he stood up to putt again, back came
the bee. He shooed it away again. The persistent insect
The Bobby Jones Story
then settled on the green a couple of yards from the ball
and in the line of his putt. The referee then took a hand
and cleverly covered the bee with a megaphone.
The gallery was beginning to giggle and it roared lustily
when the bee at once emerged from the small end of the
megaphone, and began looking for Bobby once more.
Bobby, laughing, took off his cap, swung at the bee vigor-
ously and chased it off the green. Everybody in the gallery
was laughing. I think even Francis smiled a bit, but I am
not sure. Anyway, Bobby, his concentration fairly de-
stroyed, took three putts, and lost the match 6-5. The bee
of course did not cost Bobby the match, but I have always
fancied that insect flew away with a lot of Bobby's juvenile
attitude toward what we are pleased to call serious golf.
The next day, Chick Evans gave Ouimet the most se-
vere beating the Boston star ever received in a champion-
ship event. Chick was 2 up at the end of the morning
round, but in the afternoon, he cut loose with all the golf
that reposed in his remarkable system, and fairly rushed
the usually steady and reliable Ouimet off his feet. He
went out in 34, increasing his lead to 7 up and ended the
match on the twelfth green, not very dramatically. Evans*
golf had left little or nothing to chance or for a climax.
The object lesson for Bobby in this tournament came in
the second round. His match finished early, and the mar-
shals gave him a pretty yellow flag and sent him out to
help with the gallery following Chick Evans and Reginald
Lewis. In spite of his front name, Mr. Lewis, the plaintiff
in the case, caused Mr. Evans to look very much like a
defendant for several highly critical lapses. He was playing
strong and aggressive golf and on the thirty-sixth tee,
stood 1 up and 1 to play. Lewis had fairly outplayed his
opponent toward the finish and Chick must have feared
being put out by a comparatively unknown kid from
Greenwich. For once his perfect swing flickered and his
THERE IS A DESTINY
drive was trapped. Reggie was straight down the fairway.
Chick came out with a powerful iron punch, but the ball
hit a tree and rebounded, lying in the edge of the fairway.
It all looked to be up with the great Chick, but his pitch
played with superb nerve and judgment caught the bank
to the left of the green and trickled down to within ten
feet of the cup, a magnificent shot. Lewis was a trifle
strong with his pitch shot, which ran over the green and
half a dozen yards up a steep bank, but he got a fine run-
ning shot down the hillside, inside of Chick. It all hung on
the putts and Chick never looked better than he did sink-
ing that curling sidehill putt that hit the cup fairly and
dropped. He staggered off the green and dropped to the
turf. He was that close to disaster - the ultimate champion
was dangling on the turn of a ten-foot putt. But he was
still in the match when Lewis just failed to get down the
Thus began the longest extra hole match in the history
of the U. S. Amateur Championship. On the extra holes, it
was Chick who was inside every time and Reggie who
made the desperate recoveries. On the fifth extra, Lewis
finally exploded and Chick won.
I think it was in this match that Bobby began to feel
that there might be a destiny that shapes the ends of golf.
The professionals have a way of saying:
"It was his tournament."
* N THE SPRING OF 1921, BOBBY JONES, IN
> * a happy and excited frame of mind, set
I sail for Britain with a jolly party of
American amateurs, to play in the British
> ^ Amateur Championship at old Hoylake,
o and in the British Open at St. Andrews.
It was the first really organized invasion
of the British championships by Ameri-
can amateurs, and the informal team
match played before the tournament and
won by the Americans was the forerun-
ner of the Walker Cup international
matches now played biennially in alter-
Up around Liverpool were plenty of
new things to see, and not a few new
things to learn about golf. At the Royal
Liverpool course, which was astonish-
ingly dry for that tournament, Bobby
learned that they did not have a system
of water-works about the great British
courses. Links they are called when be-
side the sea on real "links land"; inland
courses are not properly termed links. He
also learned that the huge greens were
dry and lightning fast or wet and slow at
the pleasure of the elements. He learned that one must
have a variety of golf, to cope with British conditions; the
sweeping sea breeze bothered him no end; his beautiful,
steep pitch shots bounded from the baked putting sur-
faces as if from cement; and he had not acquired the deft
and useful run-up approach that is an absolute necessity in
dry and windy weather. The visitors were so dismayed by
the greens that, as a concession, several buckets of water
were poured about the pin on some of the dryest surfaces,
so a ball might be eased up and stopped somewhere near
the hole until the water was absorbed.
Bobby was the first to start in the first round, purely
coincidental as in Britain the pairings and starting times
are drawn impartially from a hat. Bobby remembered less
about the match, which he won easily, than the way the
old cab-horse's hooves clop-clopped along the pavement
in the very early morning air, as he went out to Hoylake.
His next adversary was a Mr. Hamlet, and so far as
Bobby could tell, he was not a melancholy Dane and he
was not at all a good golfer - at any rate on this occasion,
which happened to be good luck for Bobby. It may inter-
est a good many well-informed golfers to know that Bobby
won this match in a national championship with a score
of 86, defeating the hapless Mr. Hamlet 1 up on the home
green, Mr. Hamlet's score being 87. Bobby played well the
next day against Robert Harris, one of the best British
amateurs, and was defeated in the fourth round. So old
Hoylake, where Bobby won the last of his three British
Open Championships in 1930, taught him in 1921 that he
really knew very little about playing golf in a wind; or
getting the ball on the greens baked hard and glassy; or
putting on such greens when he did get there. All in all
he did pretty well to get as far as the fourth round before
After watching Willie Hunter win the British Amateur
The Bobby Jones Story
Championship, mentioned especially because he and Wil-
lie had a prime argument to settle at St. Louis before the
year was out, Bobby journeyed over to the Auld Grey City
of St. Andrews, there to play in the British Open Cham-
pionship over the Old Course, as they call it, alongside
the North Sea under the changing skies and the yet more
variable breezes of Fife.
If, as the great and wise Maurice Maeterlinck has sug-
gested, the present and the future really are co-existent,
Bobby Jones should have stepped out reverently upon the
silken turf of the most famous golf course in the world. He
should have loved it at once - for he was to love it beyond
all other courses. And certainly he should never have be-
haved as he did in the British Open of 1921 ; for there in
the future, superimposed upon the smooth pastel of the
eighteenth green, is the same Bobby Jones carried high on
broad Scottish shoulders above a gallery of cheering,
scrambling thousands -winner of the British Open cham-
pionship with the lowest score yet recorded.
Bobby couldn't have enjoyed the faintest prevision of
this glowing scene. For what he did on the occasion of his
first visit to St. Andrews was to hate the course enthusias-
tically; use up 46 strokes on the first nine holes of his third
round; start the inward journey with a ghastly 6 at the
tenth - and pick up his ball, withdrawing from the compe-
tition. This is the only instance in Bobby's entire career of
giving up play in a formal competition before he was elim-
inated or the competition was ended. Of course there is no
stigma attached to the withdrawal of a competitor in a
medal play event when he is playing against the field. Ev-
ery major open championship has withdrawals of contest-
ants off their game and scoring hopelessly. I think it is the
only real regret of Bobby's golfing life that he didn't play
out the string in that first venture at old St. Andrews. And
this is the only major competition or golfing event of any
importance in all his career of which the record is not
Yes, Bobby learned a lot from that first journey so far
afield. He was playing with Jock Hutchison, the brilliant
Scottish- American, born at St. Andrews, in the first round
when Jock had an ace on the 142-yard eighth, and then
smacked a huge drive, with a beautiful draw down a
quartering wind, clear on to the ninth green, a wallop of
303 yards, the ball touching the rim of the cup and stop-
ping three inches away for an eagle -so near it was to
being two aces in succession !
And the last round that the "Hutch" did in this tourna-
ment will forever be ranked with the favored candidates
when the traditional debates begin as to which was the
greatest round of golf ever played. Jock was set like a
piece of flint to win this tournament. And he shot some
miraculous golf, and some terrible, and he came up to the
last round just as Roger Wethered had finished, con-
fronted with the terrific problem of doing a flat 70 on the
par 73 course to tie. And that problem is the very toughest
in all golf; to know what you have to do, a whole round in
advance, especially when the mark is better than par.
Jock did just that. He did a 70 where par is a solemn 73
with only two par 3 holes on it -perhaps the greatest
round of golf in the history of open championships. And he
won from Wethered next day in the playoff.
So Bobby learned something from Jock, and something
from Wethered, and something from St. Andrews. A lot
from St. Andrews. He did not, it must be confessed, learn
to love St. Andrews then. But he learned to respect it. And
that, we are told, is the best foundation for true love.
Home Again and to the Battle Front
HE BRITISH EXCURSION OF 1921 COM-
* * pleted one phase of Bobby Jones 5 experi-
Tence in the Big Show. He had now played
in all the four championships which com-
^ ^ pose it. At the age of nineteen years, he
^ had competed in three United States
Amateur Championships, one United
States Open, one British Amateur and
one British Open. And the golfing year
of 1921 was only half over. Before Bobby
was nearly through telling the home folks
about his visit to Britain, he was starting
out again on the long trail, this time to
the Columbia Country Club, Washing-
ton, for the U. S. Open.
This tournament was remarkable for
two things. Long Jim Barnes won it by
the widest margin of modern times - nine
strokes ahead of the field; and for the
first and last time, a qualifying test of a
single eighteen hole round was played.
Thereafter, until the present system of
sectional qualification was adopted, the
contestants met at the field of battle and
played a test of thirty-six holes, the best
sixty and ties qualifying. This was the
HOME AGAIN AND TO THE BATTLE FRONT
only time Bobby Jones ever was close to failure in the
qualifying round of any important competition. He got in
but with not a single stroke to spare.
The battle for the U. S. Open Championship at Colum-
bia developed into a parade with Long Jim Barnes of the
Pelham Country Club, New York, doing the parading. He
started off with a 69 and was never headed. He played
well - grandly. And it was his time to win. Year after year,
the tall, quiet Cornishman had been knocking at the door,
and his entrance was a popular one. He shot the best golf
of the tournament, if not the steadiest. His total of 289 was
only three strokes above the record, and he spread-eagled
the field by nine strokes.
Seated in a box at the eighteenth green, as Long Jim
came up to sink his last putt for a final round of 72, were
President Harding, an ardent golfer, and Vice-President
Coolidge. The camera men were torn between conflicting
emotions. They wanted to get Jim Barnes, sinking his last
putt, and they wanted the President in the picture. It
being ethically impossible for the President to descend to
the green and make a background for Long Jim's putt,
they moved the battery down to where they could shoot
Jim sinking the putt, which he did very obligingly, and
then they coaxed the new open champion over to the Pres-
ident's box, and shot them shaking hands and smiling. I
stood within three yards of the President and after a mild
altercation with a Secret Service man, I made a very good
picture of him myself.
In a pleasant and graceful little presentation talk, Mr.
Warren Harding, President of the United States, and a
confirmed golfer, presented the gold medal and the cup.
He congratulated Barnes on his victory and commiserated
with him on the sad six he had taken on the eleventh hole
-asking him all about how it happened. Then Jock
Hutchison was brought up and the President said he wax
The Bobby Jones Story
proud of Jock for bringing the British Open Champion-
ship to the United States, and thanked Barnes for keeping
the United States cup from making another trip across
And once more Bobby Jones dashed madly up the
heights of golf and fell back repulsed. On the last day
he began the most brilliant round of golf seen in the tour-
nament. He was going at top speed. He never looked bet-
ter. He was hitting with tremendous power and confi-
dence. He looked set for a record round, that might even
catch Barnes, if he should falter. Three 3's out of the first
four holes. He laced out a fine long drive on the distant
fifth, 560 yards. I knew just what happened then. Bobby
was in high feather. He was feeling right. The ball was
rolling for him. He was master of his game, and he lashed
into that second shot with the full intention of getting it
on the green, 275 yards away, or so close he could get an-
other birdie. Hence the hellish hook which pulled out of
bounds. Now he must make up the distance, so he put his
back into another - and hooked out of bounds. In the face
of this smashing upset that left his friends speechless, Bob-
by kept his temper and regained his better judgment. Not
a flicker of anger did he show. He eased up on his next
shot, it was his sixth, played straight down the middle of
the fairway, pitched on in seven and took two putts. The
path of glory led but to a 77 and a tie for fifth place.
Bobby had used very bad judgment and had learned
something from it. I firmly believe that this tournament at
Columbia was the ultimate closing of one chapter in the
development of this remarkable young golfer. Bobby
gained final control of his temper. That is a blunt way to
put it; but it is just as well to say it that way, by reason of
the number of things that had been written about this
failing in the past; too many comments I always have con-
sidered, and too severe. Bobby had got a name for club-
HOME AGAIN AND TO THE BATTLE FRONT
throwing, and as everybody knows, any kind of a reputa-
tion constitutes a colored lens through which the future
performance of any celebrity is viewed. Did Bobby but
toss his putter to a caddy after taking three putts, it was
immediately said he was throwing his clubs again. Did he
but pick up his ball and retire from the British champion-
ship and it was heralded afar that Bobby should be fur-
nished with an indestructible score card for his next start.
Infinitely less comment was made on the retirement of
Abe Mitchell, a famous British professional, under the
same circumstances at the Columbia tournament. And it
gave me great pleasure that not one glimmer of annoyance
marred Bobby's whole performance at Columbia. Bobby
had control of his temper now. The critics would have to
dig up something else to criticize.
And when you come right down to it, fifth place in the
National Open Championship is not to be scorned. Four
men ahead of him Barnes, Freddie McLeod and Walter
Hagen tied for second place, and Evans, one stroke behind
Jones; Alex Smith, another former open champion, tied
with him at 303. And back of him a long line of the best
golfers in the world: George Duncan, 1920 British Open
Champion; Jock Hutchison, current British champion;
and Joe Kirkwood, current Australian champion.
I rode back to the city that last day with Walter Hagen.
"Bobby was playing some great golf in spots. He's got
everything he needs to win any championship, except ex-
perience; and maybe, philosophy. He's still a bit impetu-
ous. But I'll tip you off to something - Bobby will win an
open before he wins an amateur."
This was a prophecy.
OBBY JONES WANTED VERY MUCH TO WIN
the Twenty-Fifth Amateur Champion-
^ ship at the St. Louis Country Club. This
was the fifth Amateur in which he had
o ^ played, also three National Opens. He
o was now a veteran at the age of nineteen.
It was time he won something that
counted. He started blithely enough,
qualifying in 151, seven strokes back of
the medalist, Francis Ouimet; won his
first two matches handily; and in the
third round met Willie Hunter, British
Amateur Champion. Willie had won ear-
lier in the season at Hoylake, where Bob-
by had been the victim of a bewilderingly
dry course and British breezes.
Old Glory and the Union Jack floated
above the first tee as they drove off, and
the fore caddies were armed with flags
to mark their drives, Jones' caddy with
Old Glory and Hunter's, as a pretty com-
pliment, the Union Jack.
On the first eight holes of the morning
round, Bobby shot exactly par figures,
and on the long ninth got a birdie. He
was out in 34, but was only 2 up on Hun-
OLD GLORY AND THE UNION JACK
ter with 36. He was outranging the little Englishman from
thirty to sixty yards from the tee, was out in front on ten
holes of the morning round and eight in the afternoon.
Hunter was hanging on with true British tenacity and was
still only 2 down at noon.
In the afternoon round par golf gave way to a fighting
brand in which each alternately was good or bad, but
fighting every inch of the way. The heat was terrific after
a fairly cool morning and the gallery, growing like a
snowball, was reasonably well controlled on a golf course
where the American eagle screamed and the British lion
roared. Still only 2 up at the twenty-sixth hole, Bobby had
a brilliant idea. The hole was played from a very high tee
on a hillcrest to a small green hidden behind tall trees in
a sharp angle to the right, 347 yards.
In practice, Bobby had been experimenting with a long,
towering drive straight over the trees toward the green,
and several times had been on the putting surface for an
easy birdie. It was an extremely perilous maneuver, as a
deep, wide ditch guarded the green on the side toward the
tee, and the ball had to go all the way in the air. Bobby
knew that Hunter did not have the range for such a shot,
and insensibly irked by the Englishman's persistence, he
tried the big jump, a towering drive straight over the tall-
est tree in the angle. Caught at the peak of its flight by the
topmost branch of the tree, the ball came down like a
wounded bird into a ditch full of stones and underbrush.
Jones gave the ball a mighty wallop and dislodged a show-
er of stones, called rocks south of the Mason and Dixon
line, but no ball. He studied the situation and took another
poke. Out came the ball straight on the green, and out also
came a frightened brown rabbit, ears turned back, scut-
tling across the course and out of bounds. The gallery
cheered and laughed. Bobby laughed merrily but Hunter
contented himself with a wan smile. Bobby then took three
The Bobby Jones Story
putts, and naturally lost the hole. It was suggested that to
the terms "eagle 55 and "birdie/ 5 be added "rabbit/ 3 mean-
ing two strokes over par. Hunter also won the next hole,
while Bobby was still reflecting on the mutability of for-
tune. The match was square and Bobby's play never re-
gained its smooth mechanical precision.
On the long thirty-first, 545-yard, back-breaker and
score-wrecker, Bobby went out in front again, in this
gruelling match of many changes, in which Jones had
never been down and it looked as if he might be on his
way, 1 up and five to play. On the short thirty-second,
Hunter sank a thirty-foot putt for a par, after neither
drive had been on the green, and Bobby's putt had
rimmed the cup. On the fatal thirty-third, Hunter out-
drove Bobby for once and had a fine second just short of
the green. Bobby's iron second, usually one of his strongest
shots, broke off to the right, and only stayed in bounds by
hitting a spectator in the dense line along the road. He
played a good shot to the green from the rough and putted
up within eighteen inches of the hole. It was a fatal
moment although we did not realize it for the time.
Hunter on in three sank another long putt, this time ten
feet. Bobby missed and there went the ball game for fair.
Until this thirty-third hole, the little Briton had never
been up and never more than 2 down. But now he was up
to stay. Another long putt on the thirty-fourth for a par,
and an uncanny pitch on the thirty-fifth a foot from the
pin, and Bobby had been overhauled and beaten by the
plugging little Englishman and his deadly putter.
No excuses and no alibis from Mr. Jones.
"I blew a short putt, and there went the match/ 3 he
Low moans of anguish from the gallery broke into a
storm of applause for a well-earned victory by the lone
invader. The British champion played like a champion, 72
OLD GLORY AND THE UNION JACK
in the afternoon round, and fought like a champion. Bob-
by started the morning round with a rush of golf that was
enough to send any man out of the tournament with the
smallest weakness in his game or any base metal in his
That night I told Bobby he had lost the match on the
twenty-sixth hole, when 2 up, he had taken a chance. His
reply was :
"I can play this game only one way. I must play every
shot for all there is in it. I cannot play safe."
Bobby liked the old maxim :
"When you get him 1 doon, get him 2 doon; when you
get him 3 doon, get him 4 doon."
In this tournament, Bobby learned another theory of
the game. At St. Louis, as on many another field, his bold,
dashing play endeared him to galleries and critics alike.
He was the D'Artagnan of golf, the fiery young cavalier
ignoring his guard to drive home the finishing thrust. He
was defeating many a worthy foe brilliantly, but he was
not winning any championships. But he was beginning to
learn and take deeply to heart, the wisdom of an older
cavalier, who told him:
"The best shot, Bobby, is not always the one to play."
Big Jess Guilford, the Siege Gun of Boston, brought the
title back to the East which had been without one since
Francis Ouimet, also from Boston, won in 1914. Jess
played against Bob Gardner as a champion should, win-
ning 7-6. Jess 5 opening nine holes would have closed out
anything human; four birdies in a row; one putt per
green on four successive holes, putts of incredible
lengths. On ten of the thirty holes played, he used only
one putt. The putting he threw at the hapless Bob in the
afternoon has probably never been equalled.
In the semi-final round, Guilford and Gardner were a
sort of combination of Oliver Cromwell and the French
The Bobby Jones Story
Revolution. They took a couple of golf kings out and on
the thirteenth and fourteenth greens respectively, chopped
off the heads of those kings in a most emphatic manner.
The notable regicides in the roll of victims were Chick
Evans and Willie Hunter.
In all golfing history there has been no day in which
more royal blood was shed, nor more rain fell upon the
sodden multitudes. Thunder roared as the morning round
got under way. Lightning sparkled against the drab sky
at dazzling intervals, and over near the fifth green struck
like a celestial snake, knocking over an inoffensive police-
man and his friend who was holding an umbrella over
him. Uninjured but badly jolted, the officer said he
thought Jess Guilford had hit him with one of his gigantic
The wildness of the day abated somewhat with the
coming of the gray evening across the low, green hills, and
against the weeping skies, the blood red Union Jack, defi-
ant to the last, went down before Old Glory and the new
champion would be an American.
HEN THE SEASON OF 1922 - THE LAST OF
the lean years - opened, the curtain rose
on a scene in an Atlanta hospital. Bobby
Jones, tired of the painful annoyance of
sundry patches of swollen veins in his
legs, which had given him much pain for
several years, went for an operation less
than a month before the tournament pro-
gram opened for him with the Southern
Championship at East Lake, Bobby was
an extremely busy young man at this
time. He was graduating from the Geor-
gia School of Technology, and planning
to enter Harvard in the fall in quest of a
Bachelor of Science degree. In all prob-
ability he would not have entered the
southern tournament, even at his home
club, had it not been for the George W.
Adair Trophy, put in play for the first
time. This great silver trophy had been
given by the Atlanta golfers in memory
of George Adair, a great gentleman and
a great sportsman, who had done incal-
culable service for golf in Atlanta and
in the south, and had encouraged Bob-
by's career from the beginning. Bobby
The Bobby Jones Story
wanted very much to have his name on this trophy dedi-
cated to his dear friend.
His practice for the tournament consisted of four hours,
spread over suitable intervals, and one excursion of nine
holes. If this unusual preliminary training was responsible
for what happened in the tournament, we could think of
a number of other events where an operation and a hos-
pital sojourn would have been beneficial. He went on to
win the championship without being threatened in a single
round and his name was the first to go on the trophy.
Bobby never played in the Southern Championship again,
but the next year at Birmingham, Perry Adair won, and
through the golfing generations to come, side by side, will
stand the names of the two young golfers that George
Adair loved best.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
than are dreamed of in your philosophy. " Perhaps so.
Perhaps no. But there was something back in the hot sum-
mer of 1923 at the Roebuck Country Club of Birmingham,
which will forever give me a long, long pause, when the
skeptics insist that every result beneath the sun is due to a
direct material cause. Perry had gone to the final round,
battling for his life in every match. His iron nerve and his
deadly putter had saved him, taking up the slack of a long
game, which was never of great range. Frank Godchaux
had also reached the final round and he was one of the
longest wallopers in the game of that era; a powerful chap
who had played football at Vanderbilt and was playing
spectacular and brilliant golf in this tournament. This was
the one round in Perry's life when inspired golf would
count the most. He was devoting more and more time to
his family and to business and would not be playing serious
golf very much longer.
Godchaux went out in front at once, and at the eight-
eenth tee he was 4 up. Perry won the eighteenth hole, but
THE LAST OF THE LEAN YEARS
the little gamecock from Druid Hills was 3 down and
seemed hopelessly beaten. What happened in the second
round that afternoon is outside of and beyond golf. I will
merely say this -par on that long first nine at Roebuck
was 37, and little Perry was out in 33. From a position of
3 down he proceeded in twelve holes to go to a position
of 6 up, and to win on the next green, 6-5. I will always
think that some supernal hand touched the blond head of
Perry Adair. Such miracle golf is shot only once in a life-
time. And Perry was fighting not alone for the champion-
ship but that his name should be graven on the cup dedi-
cated to his illustrious father.
At the dinner at Druid Hills, honoring Perry, I told the
story of another dinner in that lofty hall, this time for the
Georgia Tech football team. George Adair was speaking
for the moment of Buck Flowers, a member of the varsity
team who was a great football player but very light. That
season Buck had tackled a giant speed man of the opposi-
tion and had been taken from the game with a fractured
arm. George told of a man who fancied game chickens,
especially the strain from a certain Blue Hen, and more
than all of the others, the smallest and gamest, the Blue
Hen's Little Baby. In the little battler's first fight, he had
been terribly gaffed, and the handler of the other bird,
advised that he be taken out. He was apparently beaten.
"Take him out! Never!" was the reply. "That bird is
never beaten. That is the Blue Hen's Little Baby."
George Adair, who idealized courage, said an order
should be formed, the "Order of the Blue Hen's Little
Baby," and that Buck Flowers should be the first member.
And at Perry's dinner, I asked to name another member
for the mythical Order of the Blue Hen's Little Baby-
Perry Adair, champion by virtue of as bright a flash of
golf and of golfing courage as ever gilded a championship
crown; and whose name added luster to the silver trophy.
The Bobby Jones Story
A few weeks later Bobby, Stewart Maiden and I set out
for the U. S. Open Championship at the Skokie Country
Club outside of Chicago. On the train Bobby was plugging
away at Cicero's Orations against Cataline, getting ready
for Harvard. Once he said :
"This bird Cicero was a long way from hating himself.
I wish I could think as much of my golf as he did of his
statesmanship. I might do better in these blamed tourna-
At Skokie, it was little Gene Sarazen, who finished one
stroke in front of him, and won the twenty-sixth National
Open Championship, with a score of 288, two strokes back
of the record 286, shot by Chick Evans in 1916.
Bobby's game was right at Skokie. He shot the first
three rounds in 74-72-70, and going into the last round
was tied with Wild Bill Mehlhorn with 216. John Black, a
California Scot, a grandfather and one of the finest shot-
makers who ever came out of Caledonia, after leading at
the halfway mark, had slipped to a 75, and a total of 217.
Hagen who had just returned from winning the British
Open Championship was 219, and Gene Sarazen, four
strokes back of the leaders, seemed pretty well out of it.
Bobby felt sure that he could do a 68 in the afternoon to
bring his score down symmetrically. And that he was
warrantably certain would be good enough to win. It was.
But it was Gene Sarazen who shot the 68. A 68 - that
meant 288. Gene finished early and his score went on the
board just as Bobby was turning with a 36 out. That
meant that Jones must hit a 35 on the last nine, one under
par to beat Gene. He was hitting his shots marvelously
well, but a 35 on that long side of Skokie, with two mean
finishing holes was not an assignment over which to give
three rousing cheers.
This is where the iron certitude of medal competition
bears down. You know what you have to do in that last
THE LAST OF THE LEAN YEARS
round. It is not one man whom you can see, and who may
make a mistake at any moment, with whom you are bat-
tling. It is an iron score, something already in the book.
Bobby lost a stroke at the tenth where he needed so des-
perately to pick up one, and then another at the twelfth
by pitching over the green. Stewart Maiden and I looked
at each other under the long moaning sigh that the gallery
exudes on such occasions. Bobby was working as hard as
he had ever worked in his life, and as I was trudging de-
jectedly down the fairway, some one came up behind me
"Don't let your chin drag. It is not as bad as all that."
And there was Bobby, grinning bravely, and I did my
best to grin back. His face was gray and sunken and his
eyes looked an inch deep in his head.
The seventeenth hole of the afternoon round, the thirty-
fifth of the match, ruined Bobby, as it stopped John Black,
and as it stopped Walter Hagen, the lion-hearted. That
tragic link had much to be blamed for in that tournament;
a grim table-land in a desert of trouble, on which hope
after hope went down. A slightly elbowed two-shotter on
which a big, bold drive straight over a towering mound
and bunker would be rewarded by a simple shot to the
green. Bobby needed 4-4 to tie Gene as he stood on the
seventeenth tee and par on these holes were 4-5. As always
Bobby went for the bold shot and brought it off perfectly,
the ball carried well over the bunker and disappeared as if
on a ruled line toward the green. It was one of those fatal-
istic shots where luck plays you false, and the ball wound
up in a sort of dim roadway under a tree. That was the
break. A 5 there left him with an eagle 3 on the last hole
to tie. He went for it fearlessly, ending in a tie for second
place with John Black, who, apparently headed for glory
with a 33 on the first nine, found ruin on the miserable
seventeenth as Bobby had.
The Bobby Jones Story
In this championship, the old guard went down before
the rush of youngsters, and the gallant veteran from the
Golden State. Hagen, Barnes, Hutchison, Duncan, names
to conjure with; only Hagen finished in the first five. The
rest were trailing far behind. It was in this championship,
too, that Bobby Jones forged definitely to the front among
the amateur contestants in open competitions. Chick Ev-
ans, who nosed him out by a stroke at Inverness and again
at Columbia, was thirteen strokes behind at Skokie; Jess
Guilford, National Amateur Champion, thirteen strokes
behind; and Willie Hunter, seventeen. No amateur ever
finished ahead of Bobby again in any open competition.
Bobby was also moving up slowly in the open cham-
pionships. In 1920, he was in eighth place; in 1921, fifth,
and now he was in second. But there is a lot of difference
between second place and a championship. This cham-
pionship quest was getting a bit thick. And we all felt tired
and discouraged as we rode back to Atlanta. In every open
championship there would be more than three hundred
entered. And of these, maybe two or three, or even half a
dozen, would be shooting at top form. And there was only
one of Bobby. If he wasn't at top form, he was out of luck;
and if he were at top form, there were also others at top
form, and the breaks would settle it.
The new champion had made his debut in the Big Time
at Toledo in 1920, at the same time Bobby made his, and
they were the same age. Gene, an Italian ex-caddy, was a
remarkable young golfer; chunky, five feet five inches tall,
bold and tremendously confident. He played a fine game,
supported by good nerves and determination, and showed
clearly the masterful golfer he was to become, for many
long and successful years.
F ALL THE JOURNEYS HOME AFTER GOLF-
ing pilgrimages, the dreariest one was the
long journey back to Atlanta from Boston
in September, 1922. Oddly enough it was
the last homeward journey from defeat
in the last of the seven lean years, in
which Bobby Jones had played in ten
major championships without a victory.
The next time he started back to Atlanta
from a tournament in the Big Show he
would be bringing a large gold medal
and an old silver cup, emblematic of the
Open Championship of the United
States. But of course Bobby didn't know
this when he boarded the train at Boston.
What he did know was that in his fifth
start in the National Amateur Cham-
pionship, Jess Sweetser had given him
the most decisive beating of his career.
With all his indubitable talent for
catching golfers at the very top of their
game and being stopped in a national
championship, Bobby had never caught
one like Jess before. I doubt if there ever
was another like Jess. As long as it has to
be told, we will get it over with. Bobby
The Bobby Jones Story
Jones turned 6 down in the first nine holes, something I
never saw before, something I had never expected to^ see
at all, and certainly would never see again. And right
here Bobby started an achievement in golf that is un-
matched. Six down to an opponent who was a stroke bet-
ter than par, his own game not going well, and the breaks
black against him. Bobby set his jaw and started out to do
the impossible - to catch up with par in twenty-seven
holes and be 6 up on him. And he shot the next nine
holes two strokes under par. Seven holes he shot in par
figures and two birdies - and he gained back one single
hole. The next seven holes were halved, five in par figures
and two in birdies. Hole by hole Jess Sweetser stepped
with him for seven mortal holes and an eternity in strain
until the seventeenth, where, showing the first and only
symptom of strain, he took three putts. Jones had traveled
sixteen holes before winning one. The rest is briefly told
but not easily. Bobby went out in the afternoon to break
Jess if he could ? but all Jess did was to step eleven holes
in par figures for every hole. In short, Bobby rammed his
bloody but unbowed blond head against the brick wall
that had risen across the fairway in every major cham-
pionship in which he had played; and this time it was
Jess Sweetser playing in an unbeatable style.
Jess was the youngest amateur champion of modern
times, a month younger than Bobby Jones. Francis Oui-
met was twenty-one when he won the National Amateur
in 1914, after winning the National Open the year before.
I think Jerry Travers was younger than either of them
but that was long ago. Jess Sweetser of New York and the
Siwanoy Club, and Yale University, where he was their
star golfer in his collegiate days, blond, handsome and
cocky, was the most complete amateur champion ever
crowned. He won through the greatest field ever assem-
bled by defeating the stoutest opponents that could be
A MIRACLE ROUND NOT BOBBY'S
expected to oppose him. And to realize what a worthy
champion he really was, take a look at what he was called
on to beat in the order named: H. E. Kenworthy, 10-9;
Willie Hunter, 11-9; Jess Guilford, 4-3; Bobby Jones, 8-7;
and Chick Evans, 3-2. Any golfer who could beat these
last four on successive days over the 36-hole route deserves
to be a champion.
.My old eyes were hopelessly dazzled by his brilliance.
He won by playing better golf than anybody else in the
tournament or possibly better than any amateur had ever
played. He had smashed more course records that year
than any other amateur ever had, and he added that of
Brookline to his string with the 69 he shot against Bobby
in the morning round. Deadly ability to keep the line in
pitching was Jess' strongest point at Brookline. The course
suited his game exactly, half the holes were of the drive-
and-pitch variety, and Jess 5 pitches were so amazingly
accurate that he was hitting the flag staff frequently. In
all, Sweetser was credited or charged, according to how
you see it, with holing six shots from off the green, during
the week; the longest of which was against Jones early in
their match. He was consistently inside of Jones and Ev-
ans, who were by no means the two golfers one ordinarily
would pick out to beat on the greens.
Sweetser's favorite pitching club was a heavy, ample
mashie-niblick on the spade pattern for short and steep
pitching. He pitched from all sorts of distances and places,
including an occasional though infrequent trap and patch-
es of rough. I never did get the complete story of the two
miracle shots Sweetser uncorked against Willie Hunter in
the first few holes of their match. Jess is a reticent chap
as to his own achievements, and Willie was still speechless
at the end of the round.
"He holed one from the rough and another from a
trap," said Willie manifestly aggrieved.
The Bobby Jones Story
"What can you do against that sort of thing?''
Jess was also accounted a remarkable stymieist. He laid
Jones three, the last one on the sixth green of the matinee
round, giving the Atlanta boy the chance to win undying
fame with the large gallery that was following them.
Jones' ball was about fifteen inches from the cup and
Sweetser's putt left his an inch from the cup, each lying
three. The stymie was mathematically perfect. Jones
sighted it closely and then exchanged 'his putter for a
mashie-niblick. He electrified the crowd by playing the
shot with the beautiful accuracy displayed by Joe Kirk-
wood in his trick exhibitions. The ball, crisply struck,
jumped over the intervening ball and landed plump in the
cup. This probably was the prettiest stroke of the tourna-
ment although it had no bearing on the general result.
And I shall always believe that the Jones-Sweetser
match was settled on the second hole of the morning
round. After a half on the first hole, Jones slightly outhit
Sweetser on the second hole, the balls being in about equal
position. Sweetser, eighty yards from the pin played his
favorite mashie-niblick. It pitched just right. It ran just
right. It dropped into the cup for an eagle 2. The roar of
applause had hardly died away, when Jones, his nerves
like chilled steel in spite of the jolt, played his pitch and
It pitched just right.
It ran just right.
But it stopped ten inches from the cup.
And there was another roar of applause for a great
effort and a birdie 3 that was not good enough to cope
with the birdie's daddy, the old Eagle himself. Now I
shall never be able to settle which was the greater shot.
It is a great thing to play a perfect shot that drops for an
eagle from many yards away. And it is a very great thing
to play a shot after such a shot that wants less than a foot
A MIRACLE ROUND NOT BOBBY'S
of the reward of the first. They were two great shots and
I never hope to see their like again.
When Bobby came back from the long eleventh hole,
where the match ended, I saw something that made my
eyes sting. The gallery had gone chasing off after the vic-
tor, as galleries have done since time immemorial. All but
thirty little boys, caddies at the Brookline club. They were
trooping along with Bobby as they always did wherever he
played and whether he won or lost; some of them squab-
bling over which should carry his clubs.
And one more champion lost his chance to make it two
in a row when Sweetser defeated Jess Guilford. Guilford,
who had won by his putter the year before at St. Louis,
lost by it at Brookline. Guilford told me that Jess had laid
him eleven stymies in all, either complete, or partial, so he
had to putt wide. It should be borne in mind when getting
excited about the crime of the stymie, that it usually is the
man who is playing the best golf up to the green that lays
the stymies. And it is a fact that Sweetser was consistently
inside all his opponents. Had he been as consistently on the
outside after reaching the green, he might well have been
as greatly stymied against.
And these stymies were repaid with interest the next
year at Flossmoor.
In the final round, Chick Evans, the coolest, craftiest
amateur in golf, nine times a semi-finalist in the National
Amateur Championship, and twice a winner, went behind
at the first hole and never was square but once, pulling
level at the tenth hole of the morning round with a fine
birdie only to fall away at the terrible eleventh with a
wretched six. Three down at luncheon, the play was ex-
actly even in the afternoon, Jess just retaining his lead of
the morning. Sweetser's golf was utterly destructive.
When Bobby went up to congratulate Sweetser on his
victory, Jess said a very kind thing.
The Bobby Jones Story
"Thank you, Bobby, I beat the best man in the field
But it hurt Bobby. The thorn was beginning to rankle
in earnest. There was that increasing insistence - a great
golfer but it was time he won something. What was the
matter? Was he a great golfer? He could hit the shots
well; everybody knew that. But was he one of those hap-
less mechanical excellencies known as a great shot-maker,
who cannot connect the great shots in sufficient numbers
to win? Nothing seemed any use. Big Bob and I agreed
thoroughly on that on the way home in the gloom of the
Shortly after we got home, Bobby was playing at East
Lake with his father and two friends. On this waning
September day, the patron saint of golf, St. Andrew, took
a good look at Bobby as he started out, and he said, said
the good saint :
"Bobby, this is your day."
The course record at East Lake had been set by Bobby
at 66. Four times he had equalled it but he never could
And as night drew round about the match, Bobby stood
on the last tee with a par 3 to make a 63. A 63. Nine under
fours. Nine over threes, if you prefer to put it that way. A
miracle round. It was Bobby's day. St Andrew was right.
And so was Bobby. And I think the good old saint himself
must have smiled, as he rarely had smiled before, as the
youngster with the tousled hair above his steady young
face tapped the ball into the cup. Here is the card
Par (out) 434 553 435-36
Jones 324 443 434-31
Par (in) 434 455 443-36-72
Jones 433 454 333-32-63
A MIRACLE ROUND NOT BOBBY'S
Nine birdies. Nine holes in par. Not an eagle. Not a
bogie. A little pitch, a bit too strong on the fourteenth,
costing his only five of the round. On this long and diffi-
cult 6, 700-yard course, the toughest in the southland, he
shot the lowest score he had ever made on a full-sized
course. And it remained to the end of his career the lowest
score he ever shot.
All Bobby said was:
"The place for that round was at Brookline - or Sko-
A few days later, Bobby entered Harvard in quest of a
B. S. degree and his golf was over for the last of the lean
Perhaps it would have been just as well not to let Jess
Sweetser know that he was going to Harvard that fall.
This might have excited Jess 3 Yale spirit to a marked de-
gree. Chick Evans was more diplomatic. Playing Rudy
Knepper, the slashing, brilliant youngster of Sioux City
and Princeton, Chick donned an orange and black necktie,
and naturally Rudy couldn't be awfully rude to any one
wearing his colors.
* HE PREMIER GOLFER OF THE SOUTH, AND
* * indeed of the country for the nonce, Rob-
Tert Tyre Jones, Jr. returned to Atlanta in
* February, 1923, from Harvard Univer-
^ ^ sity, having finished his B. S. course
o there, and acquired his degree, along
with a Harvard sweater with a large
"H" thereon, voted him by the Athletic
Council, despite the fact that he was not
permitted to play golf for Harvard inas-
much as he had previously played for
He was placed at the top of the ath-
letic role of honor, only four other names
appearing on this distinguished list, all
the others being three-letter men.
On March 1, Bobby entered the office
of the Adair Realty Company of Atlanta,
where he found his old partner of the
links, Perry Adair, ready to stand gal-
lantly beside him while he studied the
new business with his customary patience
and intelligence, as he started out on his
And in June Bobby and I once more
set out for the National Open.
THE LONG LANE TURNS
They said Bobby Jones could not win because he didn't
have the punch. They said he was the greatest golfer in
the world but he lacked the punch. We had heard it a
thousand times, but we never had to hear it again. One
stroke settled that little matter for ever and ever. At the
same time it settled the crown of the United States Open
Golf Championship on Bobby's blond head. On the eve-
ning of July 16, 1923, Bobby sat on top of the world at
the Inwood Country Club on Long Island, as the sun
sank into Jamaica Bay, off the marshy coast of Far Rock-
away. And it was one punch that did it; the greatest
punch ever seen in a golf championship. Out of the rough,
a full iron bang of 190 yards to six feet past the pin, with
the score a tie, and the last hole guarded by water on two
sides, traps and bounds on the other. That was the punch.
And it settled the championship, and the most spectacular
play-off of a tie yet seen in the United States.
I thought that would be the easiest story I had ever
written. But it seemed an impossible story to write. I did
not know just what to say. Bobby himself had little to say.
"I don't care what happens now, ever," he said as he
sat on the steps of the Inwood club house, waiting for the
presentation of the trophy of the Open Championship,
and the gold medal that only four amateurs had won:
Francis Ouimet, Jerry Travers, Chick Evans, and Bobby
himself. Bobby did not need to care what happened. I
knew what he meant when he said it.
"The greatest golfer in the world," they had been say-
ing, "but he can't win."
From the fastest field ever assembled on the hardest
course over which the championship had been played,
Bobby Jones broke through; tied for first place, and then
beat* game little Bobby Cruickshank in the playoff, as
conclusive a victory as could have been arranged. And
Bobby Jones beat more than Bobby Cruickshank at In-
The Bobby Jones Story
wood. He was good enough to win any of the four cham-
pionships in which he had played. He was good enough to
win this one. But he was playing against something be-
sides famous professionals and amateurs, and narrow fair-
ways and terrible traps. He was playing against a grim
fate that in every start had ridden him and crushed him
to the turf in tournament after tournament when it
seemed his time had come.
When little Bobby Cruickshank, as courageous a little
golfer as ever stepped on a golf course, finished the seven-
ty-second hole of die tournament with a birdie 3, when it
was a 100 to 1 shot that he could not do it, and shot him-
self into a tie with Bobby, my hat came off to Cruickshank,
and my heart caved in before the inevitable tramp of fate.
I am as certain as possible that no other golfer but Bobby
Jones, the greatest and unluckiest golfer who ever lived,
would have been caught by a finish like that of Cruick-
shank. It was the tramp of fate on the hollow floor of the
halls of doom. Bobby had finished eighth at Inverness. He
had finished second at Skokie. There was only one place
left - and that was first place - and when he reached it,
there was Bobby Cruickshank with him, on the wings of a
miracle 3 on a long and perilous two-shot hole.
The gods of golf used all they had to keep Bobby Jones
from winning. Three times they managed it, and it had
also taken a miracle round at Skokie to bar the door the
year before. This time Bobby stood up under a smash of
fate that would have sent a weaker man into the discard,
and he met the gods of golf at their own game and de-
feated them. I shall never feel that it was Bobby Cruick-
shank that Bobby beat in that last round. It was fate itself.
And it takes more than a great golfer to do that.
And now that he- had won I could say things that had
been locked up in my heart for four long years. I could
not say them before. They would have been misunder-
THE LONG LANE TURNS
stood as alibis by those who did not know Bobby as I knew
the boy. And one of the things I had wanted to say was
this. All those years he had been the victim of too keen a
mind and too fine an imagination. It was never his heart
that was at fault. In his breast beat the heart of a lion.
And the world knew it now. But to me, Bobby Jones was
no greater on that day than he was the day before, or
than he was last year. He had showed the world -that
was all. And so long as the records of golfing champions
endure, the world will never forget.
And now it is time to write something of how it hap-
Bobby Jones, his greatest chance just ahead, was three
strokes in front of the field as he started his last round
Saturday afternoon. He went out in 39, nicked a birdie 3
at the tenth hole with a six-yard putt, and began a tre-
mendous run of pars and birdies that carried him through
the dangerous fifteenth hole two under par, leaving him
4-4-4 to finish with 72, and shut off all chance of being
caught at the wire. Not once had he taken over twelve
strokes on these holes and I fancy this circumstance let
down the tension under which he was playing. He swung
his iron second out of bounds on the sixteenth, and fin-
ished 5-5-6, with a card of 76, and a total score of 296,
leaving the door wide open for the one pursuer who
might be going at a par clip.
"I'm afraid I finished too badly/' said Bobby, as he
walked off the green, "I had a great chance to shut the
door, and I left it open."
And once more, just as at Skokie the year before, a fast
flying contender started up from behind, and for a time
it looked as if Bobby Cruickshank would breeze in. I told
Bobby I felt sure none of the others could shoot the golf
needed to catch him, but back in my mind was the recol-
lection of this same Bobby Cruickshank in the St. Joseph
The Bobby Jones Story
tournament in 1921, when with eight holes to play, Hutch-
ison had a lead of nine strokes over him, Barnes a lead of
eight, and he caught both of them in a triple tie and beat
them in the play-off.
I set out to find Cruickshank and Hagen and to learn
the worst or whatever it was. It was none too good. The
little Scot was coming with a rush. At the turn he was a
stroke under par, and at the twelfth hole, he had a margin
of two strokes to waste on par and still win. This was seri-
ous. He looked fearfully like a winner. The breeze that
had started to blow an hour before had moderated; the
sky was bright; and I was good and sick and utterly
empty. I had passed up breakfast and luncheon and was
rattling like a gourd. Also my feet hurt. If there was any
less happy person in the world than I, he inevitably was
looking for a red barn with a rope over his arm.
But the strain was taking its toll from the wee Scot too,
and he cracked on the thirteenth, again on the fifteenth
and blew wide open with a six on the sixteenth, leaving
himself a 4 and 3 to tie Jones, on holes measuring 405 and
425. 1 felt as if the burden of the world had rolled off my
shoulders. I walked to the club house, dead tired all of a
sudden, and went up to Bobby's room. Ouimet and sev-
eral others were already there congratulating Bobby. I
asked Ouimet if he thought Bobby was safe.
"Absolutely," said he. "No man on earth could play
those two holes in seven shots under these circumstances.
Bobby has earned at last what he has been deserving a
And then came a U. S. Golf Association official and
told Bobby to get ready to come down and be presented
with the cup. 35
"Not me, 33 said Bobby ungrammatically, but emphati-
cally, "I'll wait until the last putt is down."
Bobby Cruickshank had broken under the cumulative
THE LONG LANE TURNS
strain and had fairly collapsed on the sixteenth. And yet
- and yet - 1 decided to go down and watch the finish. I
heard Cruickshank had his par 4 at the seventeenth. They
had already driven from the eighteenth and Cruickshank
was preparing to play his second shot. He used a mid-iron
as they were called in those days, and it came on a ruled
line, splitting the pin all the way, hit twenty feet short of
the cup and stopped six feet from it. The cheer of the gal-
lery crashed out like artillery. Bobby Cruickshank had a
chance. The 100 to 1 shot had dwindled to an even bet. I
knew Crunckshank was going to sink that putt. I saw it
going into the cup before he hit it - and after it, too. And
then came the roar for as gallant a finish as ever was made
in a golf championship, and Bobby Cruickshank de-
So the two Bobbies were tied, the first tie between a
professional and an amateur since the famous triple tie in
1913 between Francis Ouimet, Harry Vardon and Ed-
ward Ray. Each had broken in the last few holes and
tossed the title away, only to get an even grip on it again,
when the grinning gods of golf, for their own delectation,
ordained a dogfall.
Saturday was a day of fasting and prayer and blas-
phemy, and I told the Rev. Plato Durham of Atlanta that
very thing, and he understood and never even shook his
head in reproof.
FTER THAT HORRENDOUS SATURDAY,
* * when Bobby Jones dragged his sagging
A^ frame from the last green, and I went out
to watch Cruickshank make his bid, it
^ o was hard to tell which was the greatest
4 ordeal, watching Bobby in the last round,
or watching Cruickshank catch him, or
watching the duel Sunday with a raving
mob of 8,000 insane golf fans.
Francis Ouimet had Bobby in charge
and Sunday morning he reported that
Bobby had slept well, but when I saw
him my heart sank, stopped for a second.
The boy's face was drawn and pinched
and his eyes were far back in his head,
and introspective, with the look of a chess
player exerting all the powers of his
mind. He said he was feeling all right,
but he always said that.
I was not feeling all right nor any-
where near it. I was sick with a nervous-
ness that had my stomach gripped in a
vise. I could not sit still and my legs
shook when I tried to walk. I got Francis
Ouimet and Francis Powers and Sol
Metzger and suggested that we go out on
the links somewhere and sing; or something. We sat on the
bank by the third green and we talked a little and tried
singing, but it wasn't much of a go. It was silly of course.
But there was an utterly indescribable tension in the close
air; the sky was overcast. I could not get it out of my mind
that fate was closing in. I felt numb and idiotic. My
thoughts were in a curious jumble and in my head a line
from one of Kipling's poems kept repeating itself, over
and over and over.
" I'm dreading what I've got to watch/ the color ser-
Over and over again. The reiteration was maddening.
It is impossible in cold type to depict the strain and ten-
sion of that round. Nothing could exaggerate its impor-
tance to either player. To Cruickshank it meant a fortune.
To Jones, something dearer still - he must clear himself
to his own rigid satisfaction of the memory of how he had
left the door open when he could have closed it, for Bobby
is the last golfer in the world to deceive himself as to how
he lost or won a match or a championship. If Cruickshank
had not made that wonderful birdie 3, and Bobby had
been left champion, it would have been less winning the
title than Cruickshank losing it. So the game young Geor-
gian set himself for a battle that he welcomed as a chance
to get square with his own severest critic - himself. I knew
better than anybody else what that round meant to Bobby.
Maybe I knew better than Bobby.
It seemed that 2 o'clock would never come. The gallery
began to assemble early and got thicker and thicker. Any-
thing might happen. The general opinion was that the
strain promptly would prove too great for one or the
other; that one would blow early; that the round would
be a parade. Yet - under the fiercest strain that can be
laid on any competitive athlete, both golfers were so far
from blowing that they stepped the first nine holes in ex-
The Bobby Jones Story
actly par. It was the first time that Jones had gone out in
par since the tournament started. It was Bobby Ding and
Bobby Dong all the way around, and the gallery nearly
expired with hysterics as Jones closed with the flying Scot
and passed him, going two strokes in front with a birdie
2 at the twelfth, that was within inches of a hole-in-one.
Losing them back to brilliant play on the fourteenth,
where Cruickshank nearly holed an eagle 3, and at the
fifteenth. Jones gained a stroke lead again at the sixteenth
and lost it at the seventeenth, where Cruickshank made
another grand recovery, and was down in one and they
were all square again.
All square just as they had stood on the first tee nearly
three interminable hours ago - the two young gladiators
stood on the last tee of the play-off, and the fairway, 425
yards to the home green, was banked with an enormous
gallery, and around the green was a mass of humanity, a
blur in the distance.
It was Cruickshank's honor and he missed his tee shot
for the first time since the tournament began, and a low,
half-topped hook went shooting through the rough to a
roadway so far from the water hazard in front of the
green that there was no chance to carry it or even to reach
it from where the ball lay.
It looked as if fate had voted for Jones for once.
But his own drive, evidently hit with flagging muscles,
wheeled off a bit to the right and stopped in the rough, at
least 190 yards from the pin, and a water jump in be-
tween. The decision was up to Bobby. From a somewhat
dangerous location he could play safe with Cruickshank
and try to out-pitch him or out-putt him, with the most
probable result a drawn round and another play-off. Or
he could go for the green, risking the championship on
one bold shot, almost certain to win, if the shot came off;
perfectly certain to lose if the ball found the water. It was
a terrible gamble; the question of a championship; the
question of a lifetime ambition. What would he do? Play
it safe or go for it?
If there was the least hesitation in the mind of the boy
from Dixie, his actions did not betray it. He took one look
at the ball, drew an iron and without a single flicker of
hesitation or uncertainty, he spanked it out against the sky
as perfectly hit and as bold a shot as ever came off a golf
club. From the gallery came a rustle and a murmur and a
cheer, and then one crushing roar. For the ball, climbing
up the pathway of its own backspin hovered over the big
water hazard - over the green and dropped and curled up
six feet from the pin.
I knew at last the long, long lane had turned; that the
quest for the golden fleece was over, and that the gallant-
est young Argonaut of them all had come into his own.
Bobby Gruickshank did his best. His pitch found a trap.
His fourth shot was far over the pin and when he putted
and missed, that great little sportsman walked over to
Bobby and held out his hand. There was an odd solemnity
on Bobby's face back of the smile it wore.
It was all over.
Bobby Jones had come through.
And the man he had defeated had this to say:
"Bobby Jones is the greatest of them all. Man! It was a
bonnie shot. There never was such a golfer, and I'm proud
to have stepped so close to him. He is now what Harry
Vardon was at his very best - the greatest golfer in the
It was a grand and glorious feeling coming home with
the championship, especially since it was the first time it
had ever come to the South. And the cup looked mighty
good sitting up in a corner of the drawing room. Bobby
had brought home many cups and bronze medals, and
silver medals, and honor and esteem and love and affec-
The Bobby Jones Story
tion. But this time it was THE CUP. Every now and then I
would catch Bobby cutting his eyes around at it and a grin
spreading itself over his face, which hadn't been smiling
much in the last ten days. And every now and then I
would surprise Stewart Maiden - Kiltie, the King-maker
-taking a peep at the cup, and, while Kiltie wouldn't
exactly loosen up enough for a smile, he wore an expres-
sion similar to a cat that had just swallowed a pet canary.
"Kiltie," I said, "what were you thinking when Bobby
stood up to make that iron shot out of the rough that
meant victory or defeat?"
"I didn't think," said Stewart.
"Well, 55 I insisted, "why did you bust your new straw
hat over Bobby's caddy's head when the ball hit the
"How the should I know."~
Stewart's contributions to the conversation were not nu-
merous but emphatic.
And then that beautiful, roaring reception at Brook-
Nobody there will ever forget it. It was Atlanta taking
Bobby Jones straight to her heart, almost as Bobby's
mother took him to her heart as he jumped off the train,
and as his father Big Bob embraced the boy who had so
honored the fighting blood of all the Joneses from John
Paul Jones down to date. And by their side stood Mary
Malone, Bobby's boyhood sweetheart, and his future wife.
Bobby hesitated just a second and then he kissed her too.
And there were speeches and smiles and laughter and
more than a few tears the next week as this man and that
spoke at the great banquet at the East Lake Club. And
Bobby himself, when they gave him a wonderful silver
service as a token of the club's appreciation for the honor
he had done it - Bobby, in his little speech of acknowledg-
ment, came out in one line that rang like a deep silver bell
with the sincerity he put into it. "You gentlemen have said
some beautiful things about me and what I Ve been fortu-
nate enough to do. But one thing they all have abso-
lutely wrong. They spoke of my honoring the Atlanta Ath-
letic Club. No man can honor a club like this. The honor
lies in belonging to it. I am prouder of being a member of
this club than I could be of winning all the championships
And Big Bob said much the same thing :
"It wasn't all for the boy that I dreamed this dream and
had this vision years ago when he was trotting about this
golf course. It wasn't all for the boy, and certainly it
wasn't all for me. Some way it is, and always has been,
inseparably mingled with this dear old club, forever in my
* VERYTHING PROCEEDED AS USUAL AT
* * the Twenty-Seventh National Amateur
E Championship at the Flossmoor Coun-
try Club, outside of Chicago. Bobby
+ 4 Jones ran up against a brace of miracle
o rounds on the third day and bounced
back and out. The tournament thus far
was entirely conventional.
Max Marston's march to the cham-
pionship after twelve years of unavailing
struggle had all the hallmarks of a pre-
destined victory. He reached this position
over the prostrate forms of three of the
greatest golfers in the world; Bobby
Jones, Open Champion; Francis Oui-
met, who had won both the open and
amateur titles; and capped the climax by
beating Jess Sweetser, defending cham-
pion, in an unparalleled final round that
went to the thirty-eighth green. It was a
great record, greater if anything than
Sweetser made at Brookline the year be-
fore in beating Willie Hunter, Jess Guil-
ford, Jones and Evans. It was a big year
for Marston, thirty-one years old, after
years of thwarted endeavor, mixed with
spasms of champion busting. He shot some magnificent
golf and some ragged golf, but he always matched his
opponent and a bit more. And that is the answer in match
play. He never had a bad round against a good one.
So Bobby passed out of the championship rather earlier
than usual, but at the instigation of another of those in-
spired golfers, who went perfectly mad at the very name
of Jones, and shot their heads completely off. To the list
that included David Herron, Willie Hunter and Jess
Sweetser, we now add the name of Max Marston. Sweet-
ser was only two under par to beat him at Brookline.
Marston was four under at Flossmoor. The performance
apparently was progressive.
For a little while in the morning round I was foolish
enough to fancy the jinx had been busted. Even when
Marston with a brace of birdies took back two of the four
holes he had lost and went into luncheon only 2 down. I
felt that Bobby had at least an even chance. But no. All
Bobby had done was to shoot a round of 70 on a par 74
course and all he got by it was 2 up. Still 2 up was 2 up. At
least it was 2 up until Max began running off birdies in the
afternoon. The match broke on the sixth, seventh and
eighth holes, where Max fired 3-2-3 at Bobby, all birdies,
and suddenly Jones was 2 down and was beaten, 2-1,
just as Max had stopped the great Jerry Travers at De-
troit in 1915 with a run of five birdies, two more than he
had against Jones, when Travers was grimly trying for the
In the play-off for the qualifying medal, for which Bob-
by and Chick Evans had tied at 147, Bobby shot a delect-
able 72, two strokes under the somewhat liberal par of
74, to win by four strokes. This brought on the reflection
that if Bobby Jones ever was to win a national amateur
championship, we would just have to call it medal play
and start the lad out playing the card instead of his
The Bobby Jones Story
opponent. When Bobby was playing the card, his concen-
tration rarely wavered. He has a grim and implacable
opponent before his eyes, and as has been suggested, Old
Man Par makes no mistakes. He never gets down in one
putt and he never takes three. Human opponents make
their own mistakes and they seemed to influence Bobby.
And lest I was so pestered by mosquitoes and other
things as not to do Max justice, permit me to say that
beginning after a bad sixth hole in the morning round,
Max shot the next thirty holes to the end of the match
six strokes better than par. It was the best golf that I had
yet seen in an amateur championship. Does it strike you
odd that this super golf should be shot so often against
Bobby? Well, I was getting used to it.
The only bright spot in that drab day was the discovery
of a guy with a bottle of citronella. Up to the luncheon
intermission, the mosquitoes had been working on me
until I was lopsided. If they would only fight man to man,
or rather mosquito to man, it would not be so bad. But
they ganged me. I slew them by the hundreds and there
were thousands ready to take their places. Weak from loss
of blood and temper, I welcomed the boy with the cit-
ronella like an angel from heaven, though I fancy he
smelled differently. He said it would keep the mosquitoes
away. I begged to be anointed with it, and he obliged
copiously. That afternoon I went about the course practi-
cally alone. The only joy that came into my harassed life
during that terrible round was watching brigades of man-
eating mosquitoes charge me furiously until within the
citronella zone and then recoil and retreat with screams of
mingled rage and horror. Through clouds of mosquitoes
all afternoon I walked like the Israelites through the Red
Sea and they parted before me. I should like to see a cit-
ronella before they extract the oil from him, but I should
like to see him in a glass case.
Marston beat Ouimet with a combination of mediocre
and miraculous golf, mixed with the ministrations of the
angels and the intervening forms of several Boy Scouts,
who must do a good deed every day, the flagpole on No. 9,
and Ouimet's own putter.
The gallery was swarming all over the place as the
other important matches of the day had finished, when
this match turned in the afternoon round, Marston 1 up.
Boy Scouts supposedly used in herding the spectators out
of the way and usually contriving to be underfoot at all
critical junctures, were rimming the green of the thir-
teenth hole, a pitch of 115 yards. Ouimet was evidently
set for a finishing punch and his shot hit four feet beyond
the cup with a drag that pulled it back to thirty inches -
apparently a safe deuce. Marston cracked under the strain
and his shot was long and out to the right. It looked as if
it would not hit the green at all, but it just touched the
edge and was hopping cheerfully over the bank of a trap
when it struck the legs of one of the trusty Scouts and was
deflected back onto the green. Still the break seemed im-
material. Francis was up there for a deuce, and Marston's
ball was forty feet away with a down hill putt. The match
was square and Francis was coming up like the traditional
finisher that he was. Max started the long putt on its way
and stepped back. Six thousand hearts skipped a beat as
the finger of destiny guided the ball straight into the cup.
This of course was the break. Before the startled applause
had ceased to echo, Ouimet stepped up to the cup, tossed
the ball to Max, and without wiping the mud from his
own ball, putted hurriedly and the ball rolled off line.
Marston won 3-2.
Three separate and distinct times during the final
match, did each man break, fairly collapsing and missing
shots that indicated an utter loss of nerve control. And
every time after losing a hole or two, each rallied like a
The Bobby Jones Story
game though groggy pugilist and came back. It looked
three times as if Marston had Jess Sweetser on the run,
and three times as if Max had broken past repair. And
yet, reeling under the strain, they came up after Marston's
final break by which he lost the fifteenth and sixteenth
and went from 1 up to 1 down with two to play, they
played incredibly brilliant golf on the two long finishing
holes. Max getting a birdie 4 on each, and Jess being
stymied out of a 4 on the seventeenth and having to sink
a dangerous curving putt for a 4 on the last hole to stay in
"He who lives by the stymie shall perish by the stymie"
was the refrain in the press tent that night, remembering
the five stymies Jess had laid Guilford at Brookline and
the two he laid Bobby Jones the next day. And truly it did
have a smack of retributive justice when on the thirty-
eighth green, Marston ran his putt straight at the cup,
taking care not to go past it up a slope. The ball curled
off right at the rim and stopped four inches from the cup
in a mathematical line with Jess' ball - a dead stymie, full
in the face, cut Jess off completely from the chance to
drop a six-foot putt for a half. Marston had outplayed him
from the tee, driving to sixteen feet from the cup, while
the tired champion of 1922 sliced his spoon shot off to the
right of the green.
It was Marston's tournament. It was in the book.
HE SEASON OF 1924 BEGAN FOR BOBBY
Jones, National Open Champion, in June
when he set out for Oakland Hills in an
attempt to win two open champion-
ships in succession. This he did not ac-
complish, but he did prove himself the
worthiest wearer of the crown since far
back in 1911 and 1912 when the ill-
starred Jack McDermott achieved the
incredible feat of winning the Blue Rib-
bon twice. It was not quite so much of a
show in those days, and latterly, a man
wins one year and the next he is out of
the running, but Bobby retained his en-
viable reputation as a medalist by finish-
ing in second place at Oakland Hills,
three strokes behind the winner, Cyril
Walker, a little English-born professional
of Englewood, New Jersey. Bobby won
like a sportsman and a gentleman at In-
wood, and he lost like a sportsman and a
gentleman at Oakland Hills.
All hail Cyril Walker! A wizened little
Englishman, who weighed (me hundred
and eighteen pounds, soaking wet, and
who outfinished a great field with the
The Bobby Jones Story
four steadiest rounds of golf yet seen in an open cham-
pionship. His steady pace stood out as the marvel of the
tournament. He shot 74 in the first round, 74 in the sec-
ond, 74 in the third, and with the great prize blazing in
his eyes and a powerful wind whooping about his ears, he
shot his way to fame with a 75 in the final round. Any
golfer who could finish 3-3-5 on that course in that situa-
tion was a real champion.
Oakland Hills, twenty-tw;o miles out of Detroit, was the
largest golf course I had ever seen. It was 6,880 yards
around from the tournament tees, with a par of 36-37,
and with all this territory in play, the surroundings were
so ample that in only two places was it possible to go out
of bounds, and there was no excuse for such a misadven-
ture on either. There were eleven holes of more than 400
yards, the most difficult length on which to get a par. The
vast ranges of the course, and the prevailing winds, fa-
vored Bobby. He had the distance and he was in good
physical condition. We all thought that a card of 300
would be good enough, but Cyril was going too well, even
for Bobby. Yet it is hard to say he lost when only one man
finished ahead of him out of eighty who sought to supplant
Cyril was a methodical, thoughtful little Briton from
the windswept downs of Lancaster, and the brightest ex-
emplar of modern times of the old Scriptural adage that
the race is not always to the swift. The slowest golfer in
the world, the wonder was that he had not been slaugh-
tered long before, by a niblick in the hands of an infuri-
ated opponent. It was as if each hole presented a problem,
the only problem of the day, of the tournament, of his
Driving with a wonderful snap in his full shots that
gained distance, and with no breaks in luck, he came in
with a par 37 for that perilous last nine, a finish not de-
^raaWii'^'FtWlftaWrf^fei HiA, 4, ..,.,* *<;,' -.k.* a. i';^f<&X^^l*'rP'S*KPa*'-.Ti -A^I,*,,PJ''*WM T <(',.;>' m-^^m
Bobby Cruickshank, who lost to Jones in the play-off of the National Open
Championship at Inwood Country Club on Long Island.
mumaaaai^^aammaeeamaassmm wamsaa, tmsuem ~- 1 " - - ^.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ifflmmfl
Bobby and Willie MacFarlane in the play-off of the 1925 National Open at
Worcester Country Club near Boston.
George Von Elm, putting on the eighteenth green of the morning round in
the National Amateur at Merion Country Club in 1924. Bobby Jones is
Bobby playing a short pitch to the green in his final round at Lytham and
St. Anne's, where he won his first British Open Championship.
Bobby Jones and Watts Gunn both of the Atlanta Athletic Club in the final
match of the 1925 U. S. Amateur Championship. This is the only time two
club-mates have reached the final round of this championship. Bobby won 8-7.
Bobby waits on the tee in the final round of the British Open at St. Andrews
in 1927, while the marshals clear the fairways.
Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, and James Braid with Bobby at St. Anne's, in 1926.
Tommy Armour won the National Open at Ol^SpilrFkMs in a play-off with
Lighthorse Harry Cooper in 1927.X
Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen just before their historic home and home
match in Florida in 1926.
Bobby sinking the last putt on the seventy-second green at St. Anne's, winning
his first British Open Championship in 1926.
Jones shooting out of the whins British Amateur, St. Andrews.
Bobby driving from the first tee at St. Andrews, 1927.
OAKLAND HILLS DETHRONED
void of courage or even reckless boldness. His last real test
was on the sixteenth, a par 4 hole of 380 yards, with a
lake edging the front of the green, and a huge, yawning
bunker behind, leading as he was by three strokes. If he
plumped his second in the lake, as Hagen had done a few
minutes before, he might easily take a six and have a fight
on his hands. His drive was a good one against the wind,
but it left him a long iron shot over the water, if he
wanted to shoot for the green. He did. Like a champion,
he squared away, and after deliberation that left the gal-
lery ready to drop in its collective tracks, he let fly. Back
came the crackling rattle of applause, louder and louder
as the climbing ball fought its way into a head wind, and
dropped on the green. Cyril Walker had won.
When he came to Oakland Hills, Cyril had said:
"I could not win this tournament. This course is too big
for me. Twenty-eight thousand yards of slugging would
be too much for my game. I haven't the physical endur-
ance, and I only hope to play well."
All hail Cyril Walker!
* MPRESSIONS AT BOBBY*S WEDDING. CALL
it Bobby's wedding in this book because
1^ it's his book. On the society pages, the
best the groom gets is a little less than an
^ even break. Golden lights across a dark
^ lawn. How heavy green grass looks in the
glow. There's a moon, too. There would
be a moon, when Mary and Bobby were
married. And the golden glow over the
dark green lawn. What a pretty idea.
The wedding on the lawn. And the lights
on the broad veranda. Orchestra starts
an arrangement of that lovely old love-
song in "Samson and Delilah." "Wop"
Roman is in the orchestra. "Wop" has
been connected with Georgia Tech for
twenty years or more, Bobby was a Tech
student - not very long ago.
House filled and a million more people
on the lawn and on the veranda, waiting
for the wedding march. Folks beginning
to close in on the white ribboned lane.
Fve got my place. I can just see Big Bob's
face. He looks pretty solemn. Dr. Plato
Durham comes in. He explains why he
was not at Oakland Hills -he simply
could not get there. You may be sure of that. He was at
Inwood all right. Until the play-off which was on Sunday.
Must be tough to be a minister. Still, I don't know. I never
want to see another play-off.
Eight twenty-five. Everybody here now. Glad I got here
early. Gee, it's a great crowd. Feminine voice: "I never
saw so many MEN at a wedding in my life." Come to
think of it, neither did I. There's Perry Adair. How young
he looked under the glow.
Eight thirty. Lady in front of me makes a frantic ges-
ture at the orchestra leader, and the wedding march be-
gins. Here comes the bride. Only it isn't. One of her
attendants. How slowly they march. Must be quite intri-
cate, keeping time so slowly. Here she is now, on her
father's arm. They say that a girl looks more beautiful
at lier wedding than at any other time in her life. It must
be true. It's easy to understand at one glance why Bobby
always was the loyalest sweetheart.
Wedding march stops. Ceremony begins. Everybody on
tiptoes. Queer what vagrant thoughts get in your mind at
times. I catch myself thinking it is a well-behaved gallery,
but packed awfully close. Will the players have room to
swing! A glimpse of Bobby's face. I have looked at him
many times over other people's heads, and I've seen him
look pretty serious, too. But not like this. Happy and sol-
emn at the same time. Another vagrant thought. At Oak-
land Hills, all Kiltie Maiden would say about his pupil's
"He's studying well."
Bobby seems to be studying well now.
A short man hasn't much chance here, but there's one
trying mighty hard to see. Kiltie himself! Of course he
would be here. Hard man to find. I did not see him four
times during the championship at Oakland Hills. But he
seemed to see every shot. He looks as if he is just about to
The Bobby Jones Story
cry now. I thought only women cried at weddings. And
here is old Tess Bradshaw - that wasn't your noble brow
you were mopping, Tess. You know darned well it wasn't !
And now my glasses have gone and fogged all up.
Orchestra again - it's all over ! Crash of music and con-
gratulations, and the gallery is all over the green -no,
confound it all. Not so unlike that home green at Inwood
at that. I was afraid they would kill Bobby there when
that last putt went down. I got to him first at Inwood but
not this time, not by several hundred. Hard gallery to get
through. But I can see them standing there, young and
radiant and beautiful, both of them. What a wonderful
couple. Takes a long time to get to them. Wonder what
I'll say. Wonder what Bobby will say. Old friends always
say something supremely foolish at important junctures.
That's foolish enough. And:
"Say, O. B. I found you? belt in my trunk when I was
unpacking. It just got there."
That's true sentiment for you.
I know it is customary to congratulate the groom and
wish the bride happiness, but this is one of the exceptional
instances where it is essentially proper, if not conventional,
to congratulate both, and to be certain of their happiness.
And looking from Bobby to Mary standing there together
-really together, under the flowers -I wished I knew
words delicate and happy and graceful enough to say
something fitting of the culmination of this charming ro-
mance. There is something beautifully old-fashioned and'
tender about it; something of a quiet garden and the
fragrance of roses.
Bobby deserves his great fortune. He is so much, so very
much, more than a national open golf champion. There
have been many champions; there will be many more.
There has been only one; there will be only one Bobby
Jones. And here the few feeble words run out, that pre-
sented themselves with so little hope of expressing the love
and esteem of the thousands of people all over this coun-
try, all over the world, to^ whom this wedding is of deep
and sentimental interest. It is not a matter for words,
perhaps, but rather for the thoughts and hopes and emo-
tions that never are spoken but lie deep in the heart. God
bless them both!
First Amateur Championship
* OBEY JONES GAME BACK TO THE MERION
* * Cricket Club in 1924 where in the au-
tumn of 1916 he had made his modest
bow to the world of golf -came back to
Merion, longer and more beautiful and
with a hundred more traps, "White
faces/' Chick Evans named them, bunk-
ers faced with glittering white sand to
the very brim, staring every time a shot
was off line; staring menacingly; ready
to catch a missed shot.
Dreams began for Bobby at Merion.
Eight years they took to come true, but
at last they did come true, as dreams sel-
dom do, and Bobby won his first national
amateur championship at Merion. Look-
ing back, it seems that winning a na-
tional amateur championship was, and
should have been, the easiest thing
Bobby had ever done. But looking far-
ther back, along the way is one of the
ruggedest trails in the history of sport.
A great golfer and a great sportsman had
come into his own at last. As the profes-
sionals say, it was his turn and his tourna-
ment - the lucky seventh in which he had
FIRST AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
played; the tournament that found him ready and fit,
physically and mentally. All through it some way he was
set to win. And no champion ever traveled to glory in as
steady a march or by as decisive a series of victories.
Not a close match did he have in his rush to the top:
Thompson, 6-5; Corkran, 3-2; Knepper, 6-4; Ouimet,
11-10 and Von Elm, 10-8. The only time a finalist had
been so largely defeated as Von Elm, was thirty years
before in the first amateur championship ever played,
where C. B. McDonald beat C. E. Sands, 12-11. Bobby
was never down after the first round.
Persistent par, that invisible, immaterial, terrible op-
ponent that never eases the pressure, was what Bobby
gave his opponents to fight all through the tournament.
The great medalist of his time shot medal golf at last, and
the great match-players of his day were as children be-
In the evening following his match with Knepper, Mr.
Jones announced a discovery:
"I have discovered," said he, "that if you just keep
shooting pars at them, they will all crack, sooner or later. 35
And this, by the way, came as near being an immodest
statement as I ever heard that young man make. At this
exact juncture, I began to feel that Bobby was on his way.
Because you see it is no small trick to keep shooting par at
them. Bobby meant that you did not have to make birdies ;
that the old card was good enough. Besides birdies have
a way of coming home to roost. At last he had the
idea. At last he had begun to realize the power of his
own game, to believe what I had tried to tell him at
St. Louis in 1921:
"Bobby, you will win championships just as soon as you
come to believe that when you step out on the first tee
with any golfer in the world, you are better than he is. 5 *
But Bobby was too modest. He still was too modest to
The Bobby Jones Story
believe that, but he had come a bit closer to the realization
than ever before, and he had won his first amateur
The night before Bobby played Francis Ouimet, his
dearest friend in golf, he was miserable. He could only say
that he hoped the man who won, would win the tourna-
ment. I told him:
"Try to forget that you are playing Francis. Remember
that you are playing the card. Play it as close as you
Francis was not on his game. Weary and worn, he won
only two holes all day, one the eighteenth of the morning
round, which left him 8 down. With his luminous honest
smile, he said:
"Bobby, you could affo'rd to lose that one."
Bobby looked less like a victorious golfer when this
match was over than any one I had ever seen. He looked
far more like a man who had just been notified that his
bank balance was overdrawn.
Maybe it was inevitable that Bobby should come back
to Merion, eight years later, and win his first amateur
championship. He was the most formidable looking
golfer I ever saw as he walked out on the first tee; bulky
and powerful and trim; cool and confident and business-
like; even before his perfect swing began operating, it
must have been a severe test of nerve to walk out there as
his opponent. I never saw him look just like that before.
George Von Elm, a formidable golfer himself, broke and
fell under the fire, and on the tenth green of the afternoon
round, he stopped Bobby as he was about to putt, held
out his hand and said :
"Don't putt that one, Bobby, I've had enough."
When asked what was the greatest match he has ever
seen, Bobby Jones always includes the match between
George Von Elm and Roland McKenzie at Merion in
FIRST AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
1925. George was making his first great bid for the ama-
teur title at Merion and in the first round, he met Roland
McKenzie, a seventeen-year-old lad from Washington,
D. C. Von Elm, playing airtight golf, was 7 up at the end
of the morning round. In the afternoon, Roland started by
winning the first hole with a par. George promptly retali-
ated with a birdie at the second 5 23 -yard hole. He also
won the third which put him 8 up and fifteen to play.
Consider this as an abstract proposition. George Von Elm,
ranked as one of the greatest match players in the world,
making a bid for his first amateur championship, is 8 up
on his first round opponent after the third hole of the aft-
ernoon -8 up and fifteen to play. What are the chances
that the opponent, a seventeen-year-old lad, will square
the match and carry it to the thirty-sixth hole? Not much
of a chance.
From what George told me later, his face drawn from
the strain after the thirty-seventh hole, he must insensibly
have eased up; but Roland, insensible or otherwise at the
same juncture, began to shoot superb golf. At the after-
noon turn, Von Elm was only 4 up, having dropped the
fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh holes in dizzy succession.
He was fighting desperately now to regain command. He
took back a hole at the eighth, but an 8-foot putt for a
deuce at the ninth left Roland with half his deficit ac-
counted for, and George was struggling.
Iron par was all Roland shot on that last nine, par at
every hole. And George slipped ever so little at the tenth
and fourteenth by taking three putts, and at the seven-
teenth where his tee shot missed the green. And at every
slip, the tall kid from the capitol snapped up another hole.
At the home hole, Roland, 1 down and 1 to go, half
missed a drive at last and the ball, hit low, plumped into
the steep bank across the quarry, and stopped in a fairly
cocked up lie, nearly 300 yards from the green. George
The Bobby Jones Story
had a good drive and could easily get home with his sec-
ond. And Roland? That boy hit a wood shot that I am
sure had never been quite equalled under the circum-
stances. I'll never forget it. I was far back of him, and saw
him slash into the shot with all his tall, lithe frame. I
could not see the green but I could trace the flight of that
Homeric shot by the rolling roar of applause from the gal-
lery, terminating in a sudden furious crash, as the ball
rolled onto the green.
After that historic shot, George took three putts and the
match was square. Frenzied fans in the gallery began
shouting to Roland that he was a sure winner; they even
started to cheer "the new champion.' 5
The rest is history. The rampaging gallery, the sudden
news, the foolish slaps on the back, all took their toll,
along with the furious strain of a last round. George won
and deserved to win at the first extra hole. Roland had
done enough for fame.
"Don't take any credit from the kid," said the Utah
tiger. "He shot great golf at me. A 71 on this course will
step out with anybody. I must have eased up a bit after I
was 8 up and then I couldn't get going again. But I
learned my lesson. The next time I ease up will be when I
shake hands with my opponent."
Of course Atlanta did just what Atlanta would have
been expected to do when Bobby came home, wearing the
Blue Ribbon of American amateur golf, with Tom Paine
carrying the grand old trophy of championship. The last
dozen miles of the journey, with No. 37 a bit behind and
roaring along at better than sixty miles an hour, the ring
of the wheels blended in the tune of an old operatic chor-
us, The Soldiers 5 Chorus in Faust, and the words began to
sort themselves out:
"Now home again we come, the long and fiery strife
of battle over; rest is pleasant after toil as hard as ours
FIRST AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
beneath a stranger sun " Pleasant was right. And there
we came, with old No. 37 swinging along in the gray dusk
with a spatter on the windows, and the big welcome
awaiting at Brookwood Station.
At Brookwood, this young man, the cynosure of all eyes
at Merion - heralded as the greatest golfer who ever
lived, became a palpably embarrassed and blushing, but
happy withal, boy. I wish everybody who had seen Bobby
on the golf course, could have seen him under the fire of a
welcome like that at Brookwood; and that everybody who
saw him blushing and speechless at such a welcome could
have seen him walk out on the first tee in a championship,
with acres of tip-toeing spectators lining the fairway from
tee to green, thousands of faces turned on him. Both pic-
tures would have had to be seen to realize how many
sides there were to this remarkable Bobby Jones.
A few days later, three hundred guests gathered at the
East Lake Club to honor the man who had brought the
National Open Championship to his club in 1923 and the
Amateur Championship in 1924, the only time either had
been south of the Mason and Dixon line. Twenty-eight
names were already on the Havemeyer cup, but they fit-
tingly found a place for Bobby's at the very top, before
they added a base for future names. Bobby and Mary
were given a dozen silver dinner plates in the same design
as the silver service presented the year before.
Telegrams were read from all over the world; from
Jerry Travers, four times Amateur Champion and once
Open; from Charles Blair McDonald, first Amateur
Champion, and many others. After the speaking had died
away, the lights were dimmed and on the screen appeared
brilliant studies of the master players in golf, a triumph
of the ultrarapid cinematograph. Bobby and Alexa Stir-
ling, who was present, were shown, the two who had
brought five national championships to East Lake; Perry
The Bobby Jones Story
Adair, Bobby's first golfing pal, who was also at the din-
ner; then shots taken at Merion. Between these shots,
flashes of the scurrying galleries at Merion were seen, and
once or twice I saw a somewhat lanky figure in gray limp-
ing after a gallery and I knew that Bobby was in that
match. I could feel my collar getting tight and by hands
beginning to sweat as they always did when Bobby walked
out on the first tee.
It was great to be young and a champion and to live in
Atlanta. And it was great to come home with a champion
- and the Big Cup - when you lived in Atlanta.
LEXA STIRLING, DAUGHTER OF DR. ALEX-
ander W. Stirling, British consul in At-
lanta, was the first golfer to win a nation-
al champion from the town that was
later to be known as the Golfing Capitol
of the World. The little red-haired Alexa
was three years older than Bobby Jones
and was winning her first United States
title in 1916, the same year that Bobby
won the Georgia State Championship
and went on, at the tender age of four-
teen, to play in his first United States
Amateur at Merion. This quiet little At-
lanta girl won her three successive nation-
al championships in 1916, 1919 and 1920
before Bobby had broken the spell of the
seven lean years.
Alexa was a neighbor of Bobby's at
East Lake and they played together in
their first tournament with Perry Adair
and Frank Meador, four kids from six to
nine years of age. Frank's mother ar-
ranged the tournament/ six holes at
medal play for a silver cup, three inches
tall. Bobby always has believed that
Alexa won that tournament, but since
The Bobby Jones Story
Frank's mother was putting on the show, the kids con-
sidered Frank as having something of a plenary connec-
tion, so the cup went to Bobby.
I saw Alexa win her first U. S. championship at Bel-
mont Springs just out of Boston. That was the first time I
had seen the Atlanta star in competition, although she
had played in two previous nationals. Then came the first
World War, and three Atlanta kids, Alexa, Bobby, and
Perry Adair, and Elaine Rosenthal of Chicago, toured the
country, playing exhibition matches for the Red Cross
War Chest. This charming young mixed quartet turned in
a large amount of money for the cause, and Alexa and
Bobby naturally acquired a lot of golfing experience that
was useful in their subsequent careers.
Alexa won her second national in 1919 at Shawnee-on-
Delaware and her third at Mayfield Country Club in
Cleveland. I saw her win that one too, her third in a row,
counting out the war years, and Bobby himself never was
able to pick off three U. S. amateur titles in succession,
though he had two chances. A particularly bright memory
of the little Alexa ranges back to this Mayfield tourna-
ment. It was one of those curiously brilliant midwestern
seasons in the early autumn, when the woods sparkled
with crimson and orange against the first touch of Jack
Frost. Alexa was playing the finest feminine golf yet pro-
duced in America. Without the power of the great Glenna
Collett or Helen Hicks, slight of stature, and rather frail
of hands, her shots were the finest I had ever seen a
woman present. Her irons especially, prima facie evi-
dence of Stewart Maiden's influence, were as crisp and
as firm as Stewart himself ever let fly. She was winning
matches smartly and handily until she reached the semi-
final round, where she encountered a traditional rival,
Mrs. Clarence Vanderbeck.
Starting as smoothly as a Rolls-Royce, Alexa went
quickly along to a position of 4 up through the seventh
hole. The eighth hole at Mayfield was a firm five iron
shot for a woman, a good pitch for a man. Both girls were
well on the green, and Mrs. Vanderbeck, with that curi-
ous air of certitude that characterizes the predestined
strokes in golf, stepped to her ball and holed it for a deuce.
And starting with that deuce, she clicked off the next nine
holes with a total output of eleven putts ! This was rather
drastic in any competition, and was enough to take up the
margin and catch Alexa at the fifteenth green.
From 4 down, Mrs. Vanderbeck was square. And Alexa,
as game a little golfer as ever planted a set of hobnails in
the turf, had been compelled to see a commanding lead
wrenched from her, the most devastating thing that can
happen to any golfer. But instead of folding up under this
unexampled attack, Alexa hit the ball harder and harder,
and smacked the irons closer and closer as Mrs. Vander-
beck's putts went down. Waiting for the break, if it ever
The sixteenth at Mayfield was a par five for women
and a tough one. Mrs. Vanderbeck, feeling at last the grim
pressure of Alexa's increasing power, was on in four,
twenty-five feet from the pin; Alexa was on in 3, twenty
feet from the flag. I had not seen Mrs. Vanderbeck miss a
putt in so long that I had become hypnotized and was cer-
tain that she could not miss. I whispered to Bob Harlow,
who was with me, that she would hole this one, too.
"If she does," whispered Harlow, "it's in the book that
Alexa will sink hers."
Now that is the plain truth, call it coincidence, if you
please. Mrs. Vanderbeck did sink that putt of 25 -feet, and
so help me, St. Andrew, Alexa did sink hers for a win, and
ended the match on the eighteenth green. She went on to
win handily next day from Mrs. Dorothy Campbell Hurd.
This was Alexa's most brilliant win of a national cham-
The Bobby Jones Story
pionship. She went to the final in 1923 at Westchester-
Biltmore. Then she was married to Dr. W. G. Fraser of
In 1925 at St. Louis, out of a not very distant past,
stepped a little auburn-haired woman with the very finest
golfing style in all the feminine world, and over the long
and arduous course of the St. Louis Country Club, Alexa
Stirling Fraser, showed the way to a great field in the
qualifying round of the national championship with a
card of 77, a new record. It was the second time a score
under 80 had been recorded, Glenna Collett, having had a
79 the year before. Thinner than I had ever seen her, and
prettier, too, I found the matchless crispness of her iron
play as fine as ever, the same power in her woods, and ap-
parently a recently acquired putting touch and confidence
about the greens.
Alexa and that Stewart Maiden swing marched on gal-
lantly to the final round, winning one close match after
another, until she was in the final round with Glenna Col-
lett. And there Miss Collett shot the greatest round ever
played in the United States Championship, up to that
time. She had a card of 75, four over men's par. Alexa did
not have the endurance, but despite Glenna's amazing
golf, she was still in the running up to the last two holes
of the morning round. She began to slip on those holes,
finished with a card of 81 and was 4 down. Glenna started
the afternoon round with three birdies on the first three
holes, and the match ended on the tenth green.
I saw Alexa play in eight national championships, the
last one at Cherry Valley in 1927, where she was beaten
in a great match in the semi-final round by the ultimate
winner, Marian Burns Horn.
In a stretch of fifteen years, from 1916 to 1930, Alexa
had led the way for Atlanta to hold at least one golfing
championship in every one of those fifteen years, except
1921 and 1922. Alexa won three and Bobby thirteen in
fifteen years, which is a record that no other city in the
world can approach. And certainly no other club. Atlanta
was indeed the Golfing Capitol of the World.
* N THE FIRST THIRTY-SIX HOLE PLAY-OFF
* in the history of either the United States
I Open Championship or the British Open
Championship, Bobby Jones and Willie
^ MacFarlane were all square after one
o hundred and seven holes of play at the
Worcester Country Club; Jones, losing at
the thirty-sixth green of the double play-
off by his bold and determined effort to
end the proceedings right there; Mac-
Farlane coming back on the last nine in
33 strokes after being four strokes behind
at the turn. What can you ask of drama?
One thing must be said about golf pro-
fessionals. They decline to part with an
open championship in favor of an ama-
teur without a struggle. For the second
time in three years, Bobby Jones' name
was at the top of the board after the last
hole had been played in a United States
championship, and for the second time,
he shared this position with a profes-
sional. This time, it was Willie MacFar-
lane, a Scotsman, thirty-five years old,
born in Aberdeen.
Of all the supernaturally and exasper-
atingly persistent Caledonians that ever practiced the
Scottish national industry, this MacFarlane was the most
persistent. He never seemed to realize that Bobby Jones
could beat him playing golf.
When Bobby was four strokes up and nine holes to play
on the last lap of the marathon and Willie had lost these
four strokes by weak and erratic putting, we thought Bob-
by was in. And I have never yet seen a golfer, so evidently
weakening, get such magnificent hold of himself, and haul
down four strokes and one more, against such a golfer as
Jones. The weakening Willie slapped in a ten-foot putt
for a deuce on No. 10, and another of the same length on
No. 13, and came in in 33. The tall, lean pedagogical Scot
played himself a strip of royal golf to win his crown, and
I have never counted another Scot out as long as he was
on his feet.
Bobby missed only two shots in that last round, and he
paid for both of them. Only one stroke ahead at the long
fifteenth, 555 yards, after a prodigious drive he set out to
reach the green across a wooded angle with his second.
It was a good shot and had plenty of length, but he was
bunkered for his boldness, and Willie gained back the last
Going down the seventeenth fairway, waiting for Willie
to play his second shot, Bobby came over to me and said:
"This thing is getting funny. Still tied after one hundred
and six holes."
I could not deny it.
"Looks like a third play-off," I said.
His face hardened a bit:
"There won't be another play-off," he said, "I'll settle
it one way or another in this round."
He did. They halved the seventeenth. The eighteenth
was a drive and pitch hole of 335 yards, uphill, to a small,
shelf -like green notched into a hillside with a steep bank
The Bobby Jones Story
behind and a deep bunker in front, the pin was very near
the front edge. Bobby hit a big drive far in front of Mao
Farlane, who played a safe, conservative pitch to the back
of the green for a safe par. Then Bobby, as he had said,
settled the play-off. Staking all on a brilliant thrust, the
shot was aimed to pitch a mere foot beyond the front edge
of the shelf, so the ball might trickle up close enough for
a birdie 3. It missed - by four inches, and rolled back into
the bunker. He had made the magnificent gamble just as
he did at Inwood, but this time the gods of golf turned
their backs, and Bobby was runner-up for the third time
in four years in an open championship.
Bobby said reflectively, "One trouble with me is I seem
always wanting to gamble on the shots and go for more
than I really need. However, that is the best way to learn.
You can't learn anything from a tournament that you
win. Then everything you have done seems right and justi-
fied. It's from the ones you lose that you learn.' 5
Bobby had not started well at Worcester. He had been
greatly pleased with his qualifying scores at the Lido
Country Club on Long Island, a seaside course that is able
at all times to protect its maiden reputation against the
rough assaults of brutal golfers accustomed to ravish
scores of 67 and 68 from tender links. In his first round,
under a sunny sky with the gentlest of zephyrs blowing, he
turned in a card of par 72 with eight 3's on it. But in the
second round, with slashing rain on the wings of a biting
wind, it was grim, hard unremitting work, and only a
great workman could have scored. Bobby does not talk
much about his rounds, but after he had fought the Lido
course for three mortal and bedrenched hours, and came
in with a card of 70, he said he had never played so fine
It was surprising and not pleasant to see him in the
first round at Worcester with the game on top of him and
about to pin his shoulders to the turf. With a card of 77,
he was perilously near disaster in a championship in which
he had never been as high as 80. Another round of 77
would put him out, and he would have failed to qualify
for the first time in his life. His driving was superb, his
pitches were fine, and his putting was good enough, but
his irons were ruinous. On the eleventh hole, a sour iron
cost him two strokes, one of which he called on himself.
The ball was in long grass to the left of the green, and as
he prepared to shoot, the ball moved out of position.
Neither the officials nor the spectators thought he had
caused the ball to move, and it was generally felt that he
was too harsh on himself. But at his insistence, a meeting
of the U. S. Golf Association officials was called. He said
he had touched the grass with his club and the penalty
was imposed. I said that day if it turned out that one
stroke stood between Bobby and the championship, I
would be prouder of him than if he had won. It happened
exactly that way. With that stroke off his card, there
would have been no play-off. There are things in golf
finer than winning championships.
At the end of the first round, he stood thirty-sixth; at
sunset of the second day, he had pulled up to tenth place
by a tremendous burst of golf that netted a 70. After an-
other 70 in the third round, he was in a tie for fourth;
and at six o'clock his name was leading all the others,
except only Willie MacFarlane. Bobby was pretty lucky to
get into the second play-off. He had to execute some mira-
cle shots to catch up with the lanky Scot in the first play-
off. Right at the start, Willie showed how he could make
scores of 31 and 33 on nine holes by ramming down a ten-
foot putt for a par on the first and one of exactly sixty-
nine feet for a 3 on the third hole. Coming to the eight-
eenth hole all square, Willie missed a putt of five feet with
the championship in his pocket.
The Bobby Jones Story
All square again in the Turkish bath temperature which
New Englanders call summer, and the galleries were near-
ly dead, and the players too. After the two hottest days on
record in seventeen years, Worcester decided to show her
guests what a really hot day could be. As Bobby and Mac-
Farlane trudged down the blazing fairway starting the
second play-off, Bobby said :
"The papers say it is over 100, in the shade."
"Yes," said Willie, "but fortunately we do not have to
play in the shade."
When the count was once more squared at the fifteenth
hole of the same round, Willie quipped:
"Marcus Loew would give us a lot of money for this
thing as a continuous performance."
"For my part," rejoined Bobby, "I'd rather we got a job
as a couple of ice men."
Reams of ecstatic copy could be written concerning the
finish of this most furiously close of all U. S. open cham-
pionships, with even more competitors having a chance to
win than in the legendary tournament at Toledo in 1920,
when Ted Ray won, and Vardon, Burke, Diegel and
Hutchison were tied for second. The gracious hillsides of
Worcester echoed and reechoed on that last day with
reverberations of exploding golf stars as candidate after
candidate, under the deadly tension and the heat, blew
apart at the seams and lost the precious shots that would
have brought any one of at least ten striving experts to
It was left to Walter Kennon, locker-room boy at East
Lake these many years, and probably the most idolatrous
of Bobby's admirers, to give the best definition of the
United States open championship as it had appeared
for the last four years. After the news came in of Bobby's
defeat at Worcester, Walter sat brooding in a corner as
only one of his race can brood. Then he wandered over to
a group of club members and spoke respectfully, but
"You-all want to know what this here 'Open Cham-
pionship 3 really is?" he inquired.
Seeing he had something on his mind they told him yes,
they did want to know.
"Well, I'll tell you," announced Walter. "This here
'Open Championship 5 ain't nothin 5 but a great big invita-
tion tournament, which they has every year, and invites all
the big professionals to come to it and see if one of them
can beat Bobby Jones."
In New York the next day, the heat was intolerable.
Sixty-seven persons died, and I was ready to make it sixty-
eight, when Patterson McNutt, playwright and producer,
invited Bobby and me over to the Players Club. There aft-
er a fine luncheon, we sat in the wonderful library, sur-
rounded by statuary and paintings and rare first editions
of books and plays, framed old play bills, and the original
letter written by Edwin Booth to the people of the United
States regarding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by
his brother, John Wilkes Booth ... a most wonderful
And so to home. Bobby had lost twelve pounds in the
last three days so he had a neat and trim waistline to take
back to Atlanta with him; but I did want him to take that
big round gold medal back to little Clara Malone Jones to
cut her teeth on.
More Glory for OH East Lake
REAMS DO SOMETIMES COME TRUE. THE
impossible does sometimes happen. The
beautiful plans we formulate in the early
hours of the morning, between waking
^ and sleeping, usually go to smash like the
o iridescent bubbles -too lovely to last-
that we blew from the clay pipes of hap-
py childhood. But once in a lifetime, they
may come true and crystalize into a real-
ity that makes up for a lifetime of disap-
pointment. Sure, there is a Santa Glaus
and a pot of gold at the end of the rain-
bow, and very possibly Easter rabbits lay
An all- Atlanta final. I can believe any-
thing now that Bobby Jones and Watts
Gunn went to the final round of the
Twenty-ninth U. S. Amateur Champion-
ship at Oakmont. Robert Tyre Jones, for
the first time in a dozen years, repeated
as national champion, and retained the
crown he won in 1924 at Merion Cricket
Club; and Watts Gunn, Georgia Tech
student, playing in his first national
championship, dipped his mashie in the
golden sunlight, somewhat tinctured by
MORE GLORY FOR OLD EAST LAKE
Pittsburgh smoke, and inscribed his name in imperishable
letters in the annals of golf.
The giant Oakmont course stretched its perfectly
groomed and barbered length along the peaceful valley of
the Allegheny among hills that are fair to see, 6,900
yards. Two hundred and seventy-three bunkers in grim
array festooned the fairways, and keen, sloping, deceptive
greens challenged the contestants with its par of 72, the
severest test yet devised to settle the question of champion-
ship. And to add to its already insuperable difficulties, for
the first and only time, the U. S. Golf Association tried an
experiment at Oakmont - the qualification of sixteen com-
petitors instead of the customary thirty-two. Two rounds
of eighteen holes each were played. Bobby qualified with
a satisfactory 147 that went into second place when Ro-
land McKenzie, an eighteen-year-old schoolboy from
Washington, finished with 145. Watts Gunn was tied with
George Von Elm for fifth place with 154.
When the two Atlanta boys were drawn in separate
brackets, a staggering thought came up, the brilliant
mathematical possibility that Atlanta might supply both
finalists. Let the welkin reach out and ring for ice water
- the millenium could be on our heels.
It seems odd writing a story of golf and not writing it
about Bobby Jones. I have never done it before in an im-
portant tournament, but this time the little dark Atlanta
pony, Watts Gunn, who suddenly grew overnight into the
dark horse, must be the basis of this astounding narrative.
Watts Gunn, a Georgia Tech student, and former state
champion, had never played in a big championship be-
fore, and had never tackled the fast, keen greens of the
eastern courses, and yet in his first flight from the old
home had gone to the finals. Watts was a quiet youth, who
always appeared to be exceptionally well balanced. I do
not blow what got into him at Oakmont. The boy's game
The Bobby Jones Story
simply defied any description at my feeble command. He
played that fearful golf course like a man in his sleep; he
seemed not to be aware that he was shattering precedents
and records and stouthearted opponents. After watching
a brilliant round of golf in the state championship, Bobby
and I had called on Judge Will Gunn, Watts' father, and
urged that Watts be allowed to go to the U. S. Amateur
Championship. Judge Gunn did not think him good
enough but yielded to our importuning.
In his first match with Vincent Bradford, West Penn-
sylvania Champion, Watts shot the first nine in a sorry 42
and was 2 down. With a great chance to win the long 621-
yard twelfth, he had deftly steered his third shot into a
trap. It was at this precise juncture that young Gunn was
spiritually renewed, or in some manner, made over from
a nervous little neophyte, sputtering shots about the scene,
into a cold, precise, grim and implacable golf machine,
clicking off birdies and pars to the utter destruction of
Bradford, and Jess Sweetser, and Dicky Jones, and finally,
giving Bobby the hardest run he had in the tournament.
He devastated the luckless Mr. Bradford by the unprec-
edented method of winning fifteen consecutive holes, go-
ing from 3 down to a 12-10 victory -a record that still
stands in match play competition. At that, Vincent was
not so hopelessly bad after the first few holes of this ap-
palling onslaught. He was simply hypnotized. Outdriven
on every hole from twenty to fifty yards, if his second shots
were on or near the green, Watts' irons were banged like
rifle bullets straight for the pin, hopping backward as they
If you want my honest opinion, I think Watts was
hypnotized too. You may take it from me, St. Andrew had
touched with the tip of his wing the brow of the dark boy
from the south, and if I ever saw inspired golf played, it
was in those fifteen holes against poor Vincent Bradford.
MORE GLORY FOR OLD EAST LAKE
Three years before at the Country Club of Brookline, I
had seen Jess Sweetser on his way to the championship
trample all over the prostrated form of Bobby Jones, turn-
ing the first nine 6 up. I saw Bobby, his face set like
bronze, reel off the second nine in 34 and gain back only a
single hole. I saw him go out on the eleventh hole of the
afternoon round in the most crashing defeat he ever met.
At Oakmont, I saw this same Jess Sweetser, blond and
handsome and debonair, go out with this kid from Geor-
gia, and I saw him go down to the severest defeat of all his
brilliant record. I saw him fighting like the game golfer he
was, going farther and farther down against the dark little
juggernaut that we had called the Atlanta pony. I saw
him 7 down at the end of the morning round, and in the
afternoon, saw him fighting courageously but helplessly
against an invincible foe, who shot his way through par
after par to a final birdie on the twenty-seventh, where
Jess smiled and held out his hand.
At the end of the morning round, I asked Watts how
he was feeling. He looked at me a moment, the curious
faraway look slipping from his deep eyes, and as specula-
tion returned, said:
"Gee, I'm hungry. I am so hungry my pants are about
to fall off."
Bobby asked Watts questions about the play on four
different holes and he did not get one' of these holes
properly located. He remembered only one thing -that
the wind was against him on the long twelfth. As a matter
of fact, the wind was directly with him all the way on this
hole. In 31 holes, he had won 17, lost 2 and halved 12, and
had brought in die greatest match player in amateur golf
7 down. But what he realized was that he needed food.
In his semi-final round with Dick Jones of New York -
odd how these Joneses seem to take to golf - Watts began
to regain consciousness and was continually having to fight
The Bobby Jones Story
for the pars that had come so easily in his first two match-
es. He was only 1 up as they went into lunch. This was
evidently preying on his mind, as Jess Sweetser met him
on the stairs.
"Hello,, Watts/' said Jess cordially, "how are you com-
"Gee," said Watts, "I got a tough one today. I am only
This to Sweetser, whom he had brought in 7 down the
day before, and who as a club mate of Dicky's, was accus-
tomed to start him 3 up.
Jess got a big laugh out of this bit of naivete.
After Watts came off the thirty-third green where his
match with Dicky ended and he knew he was to play
Bobby next day, his guide, philosopher and friend, he
spoke as follows :
"I'm scared stiff. I'm awfully hungry. This Dicky Jones
is a tough one. I enjoyed the match. I am tickled stiff to
be playing Bobby. He gives me four strokes in our matches
at home, but I reckon he won't do that here,"
Odd, whimsical and greatly attractive was Watts Gunn.
And how the galleries admired him, as much for his per-
sonality as for his golf. Unobtrusive and modest to a de-
gree of bashfulness, so quiet in his manner and in his
dress, he won the esteem of 10,000 golfing fans and scribes.
After this match, Watts, who had been standing around
in somewhat of a daze, suddenly spoke up :
"Say, I ought to telegraph Dad that I am in the finals. 33
"Don't bother," said Bobby. "He knew it long before
As for Bobby's trek to the final round, he was never
pushed. In his match with Von Elm, their second encoun-
ter, one single comment will tell the tale. Von Elm, the
youthful Uhlan, won only five holes in the match, four
with birdies and one with an eagle.
Way Down South, in Dixie
N ALMOST FLAWLESS COMBINATION OF
rhythm, power and perfect style, the ini-
mitable Bobby Jones still wore the coro-
net which he won at Merion in 1924. For
the first time in twelve years, since the
double victory of Jerry Travers at Chi-
cago and Garden City, an amateur
champion had successfully defended his
title. The first time in the history of the
championship two golfers from the same
club met in the final, in fact, the first
time two contestants from the same city.
"Atlanta uber Alles" was the word, as it
never was before. No wonder the joy
bells rang out against the red clay hills
of Georgia. No wonder Atlanta pressed
her claim as the golfing capital of the
A hundred times we answered ques-
"How do they get that way in At-
"What sort of town is it that produces
"Why didn't they play this at East
Lake and save carfare?"
The Bobby Jones Story
Bobby Jones versus Watts Gunn, as they had been on
display so many times at East Lake when nobody bothered
to go out to watch. As thousands of fans scrambled after
them at Oakrnont, I thought of what this match meant to
each of them -these great battlers from East Lake. To
Watts, it was his maiden effort; a new and interesting
excursion into untried and unfamiliar fields. He could
shoot the works. He had nothing to lose. He had reached
the final round of his first Amateur Championship, and
he could bang away at a blazing chance for incredible
And what of Bobby, with his enviable reputation at
stake, playing this match against a boy to whom he was
accustomed to give four strokes; the spectacular kid he
had coached, played with and brought to the tournament.
There is nothing sure or safe in golf. There are too many
slips twixt the ball and the lip of the cup. For the first
twelve holes of the forenoon, Jones had faced a tidal wave
of pars and birdies with young Gunn moving at a terrific
pace. And I could not help feeling that after all these
years of careful preparation and gallant courage and ini-
mitable shotmaking,, Bobby Jones was in grave danger of
losing to this strangely able youngster, who did not realize
how hard a thing he was doing. After eleven holes had
been played, Bobby was a stroke better than par and still
1 down. Also he was up to his neck in the bunker to the
right of the twelfth green, the long "Ghost Hole 53 at Oak-
mont, 621 yards, with his third shot, and Watts was neatly
on the green for a sure par 5.
Bobby said afterwards :
"I could not help thinking, as I climbed down into that
trap, of the eloquent speech I had made to Judge Gunn,
begging him to send Watts to Oakmont And here he was
taking the championship away from me. He was playing
inspirational golf of the most devastating kind. He should
WAY DOWN SOUTH IN DIXIE
have been 2 up at the eleventh, for I have never seen a
putt come so near to dropping. He was playing better golf
at the long twelfth. And if I had not managed to get that
pitch up and the putt in, the chances are that I would
never have seen Watts again. He would have gone away
from there in a cloud of dust."
Bobby squared on the next hole, and calling out the ulti-
mate resources of his game, he stepped off the next six
holes, 3-3-4-3-3-4, running him out to a lead of 4 up at
noon, and a card of 70, a record for match play in this
In the afternoon, Jones started with two birdies and
Watts responded with two to cut down the lead again but
he couldn't shoot birdies on every hole. Gunn held on
firmly and bravely through the first seven holes, but no
man could face the unbelievable fusillade that Jones laid
down and the battle ended on the twenty-ninth green, 8-7.
The presentation was a scene not to be forgotten. The
spectators were banked in solid masses, row above row on
the sloping terraces. And Watts' little speech when he
was called up, wriggling with embarrassment, to get his
silver medal. In effect, he said:
"When I came up here, I didn't expect to qualify, and
everybody was so good to me that I wanted to stick
around as long as I could. So I did stick around as long as
I could; that is, until I got to Bobby. You know nobody
can beat our Bobby."
In the locker room, Bobby said:
"I don't think I will urge Judge Gunn to send you to
another championship, Watts."
And in a boyish imitation of the eastern links, Watts
"Jones, you ,are a tough kid."
And they shook hands all over again with no movie
The Bobby Jones Story
Scott Hudson, president of the Atlanta Athletic Club,
wired us to stay on the train until it reached the Terminal
Station. That was totally unnecessary. I personally would
have obstructed any movement to block a mob scene. I
love mob scenes and the larger the mob, the better. These
two young heroes deserved all the mobbing and all the
tumult and shouting that could be given them.
It was the greatest sporting achievement any city in the
land had ever accomplished.
It was after this tournament that Bobby told me, in
strictest confidence, of his ambition in competitive golf.
"If I could be a national champion of the United
States, either open or amateur, six years in succession," he
said, "then I'd feel that I could hang up the old clubs."
Of course it did not seem possible, though he had al-
ready accomplished half of that ambition. And we didn't
speak of it again for years. It seemed the dream of a
D'Artagnan, who, you remember, was a Gascon,
o 3 o
The Tide Sets In
* HE YEAR 1926, WHICH WAS TO BE THE
biggest year of Bobby Jones 5 career up to
^ / TT f ^ this time, started inauspiciously with a
JL severe drubbing and ended on the same
o o sad note. Walter Hagen gave him the
o first drubbing and the most complete.
Bobby was in the real estate business at
Sarasota, Florida, and Hagen was pres-
ident of the Pasadena Golf Club, a few
miles away. Bobby, regarded as the lead-
ing medalist in golf, was amateur cham-
pion of the United States, and Hagen,
rated the leading match player of the
game, was Professional Golf Cham-
pion of the United States, having won in
1924 and 1925. A 72-hole match was
arranged between the two champions,
thirty-six holes to be played at Whitfield
Estates Golf Club, and the other thirty-
six at Pasadena; thus to be settled the
much discussed question as to which of
the two was the better golfer.
The admirers of these two great golf-
ers had been wishing for just this en-
counter for a long time. Probably never
in the history had the same interest been
The Bobby Jones Story
aroused by a set match. This was easily understood in
view of the widespread popularity of the principals; the
fact that Bobby was rated the greatest amateur in the
game, and Sir Walter, the greatest professional.
The margin was somewhat absurd, considering the
known merits of both golfers. Hagen won 12-11, stopping
Jones with a half in a birdie 3 on the twenty-fifth hole at
Pasadena, which half of the match he started 8 up as a
result of absolutely marvelous play on the last nine of the
Whitfield section. The explanation of the outcome is by no
means hard to reach. Hagen played superb golf. He was
more on his game, especially about the greens, than I had
seen him in six years. He finished the match four strokes
under par on two severe courses and he deserved to win.
I think, indeed, that Hagen would have defeated any
other golfer in the world in that match, playing as he did.
And this is not the shadow of an excuse offered as an alibi
for Bobby. The only thing I would say is that Bobby was
badly off his irons, and that looseness there and at times
about the greens, caused the margin. Cards of 76-74-73
were not exactly Jones' regular game, any more than
cards of 71-70-69 were Hagen's. The extreme happened
to coincide in this one match; the 12-11 margin was the
The Florida encounter of these two champions afforded
a curious study in the psychological differences between
the problems and tactics of a golfer confronting a single
human opponent, and a golfer competing against the
grim specter of the card and pencil, whose opponent is
that unalterable opponent - Old Man Par.
Incidently, it is unfair to both Sir Walter and to Bobby
to intimate that either was lacking in proficiency at either
style of golf. Walter had won the United States Open
twice, and the British Open twice, both medal competi-
tions. Bobby had won the United States Amateur Cham-
THE TIDE SETS IN
pionship twice in succession; yet Hagen was persistently
regarded as a match player and Bobby as a medalist.
In the last six United States Opens in which both had
competed, Hagen finished ahead of Jones once and Jones
ahead of Hagen five times. The inference is, then, that
Jones was a better player than Hagen against the card
and pencil. But Hagen's impressive record of losing only
four set matches in the last five years, topped by his sec-
ond consecutive win of the Professional Championship,
and his sound drubbing of Bobby in their one formal
match should establish him as our greatest match-player.
There is much in golf besides mechanics; even besides
the patient courage and undaunted morale needed to play
under the shadow of the card and pencil, generally re-
garded as the highest type of golfing competition. Walter
Hagen unquestionably had something in his game beyond
the ability to stroke a ball correctly. Indeed up to the
vicinity of the green, a dozen players might be adduced
who were his equal, but around the greens, within chip-
ping and putting range, Hagen very likely was the great-
est. Hagen was also celebrated for his recovery shots,
which reputation collaterally implied an inclination to
wildness. This implication is accurate. Walter was one of
the wildest of all the front-rank golfers, and this disposi-
tion to wallop the ball off the visible confines of the course,
not to mention the fairways, cost him more than one
medal play championship. Hagen was a hard man to beat
in match competition for two principal reasons, and one
oddly enough, was this very tendency to wildness. The
other was his super showmanship; his histrionic talent;
and for making of some special shot a ceremony on which
the gallery hangs with hypnotic attention - and which his
hapless opponent regarded with a distinctly disadvan-
tageous concern, not to say exasperation.
On the sixth hole of the afternoon round at the Whit-
The Bobby Jones Story
field course Bobby, who had just won the fifth hole and
cut Hagen's lead to 3 up 3 had a beautiful drive down the
alley. Walter, who had missed every drive but one in that
round, shoved his tee shot out to the edge of the rough,
where a tall pine stood inconveniently near the line of his
pitch to the well-trapped green. He hit as wretched a shot
as can be imagined, topped it so that it fairly rolled along
the turf straight to a wide sand trap guarding the front
of the green.
See now how the complexion of a hole and the match
can change and change again in a few seconds. As Hagen
missed that shot any sane spectator would have concluded
that Jones had won a hole, was only 2 down, and about
to stage a rally. But the topped ball ran on through the
trap, wriggled up on the green a dozen feet from the pin.
Jones' perfect pitch left him a couple of feet away, and
his putt rimmed the cup and stayed out, right on the edge
and almost a complete stymie for Walter. Now it appeared
that Walter had a lucky half - instead of which, putting
with incredible daring and accuracy, he tricked the ball
delicately past Bobby's and it toppled in for a birdie 3.
Bobby was 4 down instead of 2 down. That was the turn-
ing point of the match, I shall always believe.
Sir Walter could never be counted out, even with trees
in the way. At the thirty-sixth hole at Whitfield, and the
fourteenth at Pasadena, Hagen hit a tree with his drive
and the ball bounded out into the fairway and each time
he won the hole with a birdie against a perfectly played
par. These shocking upsets do not effect the card and the
pencil; but they do work havoc with the equilibrium of a
single human opponent - which is one of the reasons Sir
Walter was accounted so formidable at match play.
Willie Park, a long generation ago, said that the man
who can putt is a match for any one. And Hagen could
putt. In this match, he used 27 putts in the first round,
THE TIDE SETS IN
and 26 in the second. Bobby, a fine putter himself, took
31 putts in the first round, and 30 in the second; eight
more than Walter and he was 8 down at the end of the
36. Bobby needed 1 1 more putts than Walter as far as he
went, though it should be explained that Walter also was
playing his irons better than Jones; and in justice to them
both, in Bobby's last rally at Pasadena, he shot the con-
cluding twenty-five holes in par and went 4 down to Ha-
gen's amazing golf.
Now for the other factor - showmanship. The gallery
had no effect whatever on Bobby, so long as it kept out of
his way. It didn't bother him and it didn't inspire him.
He didn't care if its component members hung with bated
breath on his next shot or read a newspaper, so long as
they did not walk about nor talk when he was making a
Not so Sir Walter. If Hagen were not a great golfer, I
fancy he would have been a great actor. He loved to do
his stuff for the gallery - and for an opponent when it was
match play. His cold, confident, deliberate personality
impinged on a single human opponent with such effect
that so good and game a player as Leo Diegel said to a
friend in the gallery following the match between him
and Diegel in 1925 in the Professional Championship,
where Hagen picked up a deficit of five holes and won
on the fortieth green:
"Bill, I never want to play him again; he's killing me."
I remember once when Sir Walter was playing a quiet
practice round the day before a tournament. On the last
hole, his second shot went into a simple sand trap by the
green. Without an instant's consideration, he picked a
mashie-niblick from his bag, went down into the trap,
chipped the ball from a clean lie to a couple of feet from
the pin. The next day, his ball behaved in precisely the
same way, hopping into the shallow trap with a clean lie,
The Bobby Jones Story
almost in the same place. But this time there was a gal-
And Sir Walter did his stuff.
Walking slowly into the trap, Hagen studied the posi-
tion of the ball carefully, and considered its relation to
the position of the pin. Then he chose a mashie-niblick
and returned to the ball, which he inspected again with
the utmost care. Then he went back to the bank of the
trap and exchanged the mashie-niblick for a niblick, re-
turned to the ball and resumed his study. The gallery by
this time was on the verge of hysterics and on the outskirts
frantic units were semaphoring to distant friends to hurry
hither and see the sights.
After another painstaking examination, Sir Walter re-
gretfully shook his polished head and went back to the
caddy for the third time, changing the niblick for the
mashie-niblick he had chosen at first. Armed with the
original implement he returned again- to the ball, once
more studied the situation, took his stance, addressed the
ball - and played exactly the same shot he had executed
in three seconds the day before. And the gallery, con-
vinced that it had witnessed a golfing miracle split the
welkin up the back like a patriarchal locust.
In the match with Jones, on the way to the ninth green
at Whitfield. Hagen's drive was in the short rough in a
sort of valley below the green, resting against a twig
about the size of a pencil. The twig could not be moved
without moving the ball and incurring a penalty. But
Walter, with the gallery close about him, and Bobby
standing none too well at ease after an indifferent second
shot, consumed all of a minute that seemed an hour,
studying that twig. At last he got up from his knees and
played the shot, a very good one that won the hole.
Sir Walter's golf, plus showmanship, plus psychology,
had pretty well flattened out the opposition those last few
THE TIDE SETS IN
years so far as match golf was concerned. Bobby's own
pet system went to smash against the Hagen psychology
in Florida. After Marston had defeated him at Floss-
moor, Bobby discovered that by playing the card in
match competition as well as in medal, he could win
matches - and he won nine of them in succession, includ-
ing two championships. But in Florida he made the fatal
mistake of going back to his original plan and playing
Hagen instead of the card. Walter was a calamitous op-
ponent, when you tried to match shots with him. He made
such odd shots from the tee -and he took so few shots
about the green! He could be so shockingly wild and so
distressingly precise, all playing the same hole. He was the
great match player, was Sir Walter !
The old Haig was keyed up. There has never been any-
body with Hagen's ability to rise to the most tremendous
situation; to produce according to the difficulty of produc-
tion; to meet the toughest problem with the coolest head,
the steadiest nerves and the most masterful shots. Neither
golf nor any other sport has produced a champion with so
invincible a reserve of nerve, gameness and sheer, cold
determination as Sir Walter. He was the greatest com-
petitive athlete I have ever encountered. And one other
thing, Walter never forgot for one instant what he owed
to the public. I have seen many a lesser champion become
snobbish in the moment of opulence and glory; but never
the old Haig. Winning or losing he was just the old Haig
himself. And that is sufficient. There are worse epitaphs
than that in Carrara marble and bronze.
I think the greatest line ever spoken on a golf course
was what Walter Hagen said, on the way to winning his
first of four British Open Championships. His beautifully
placed drive on one of the trickiest fairways at Sandwich
took an utterly reasonless bound into the deep gorse-a
shot, maybe two shots gone.
The Bobby Jones Story
Somebody in the gallery was moved to offer sympathy:
"Gee, Walter, that's tough luck!"
Chin up, grinning away, Walter Hagen said :
"Well, that's where it is!"
That's where it is ! Whether a bad shot or a bad break
put the ball there, that's where you play the next one.
Game of golf - Game of Life, it's the breaks that count.
The breaks and how you take them. That above all.
HE UNITED STATES WALKER CUP TEAM
* * for 1926 left New York in a blaze of
T^ glory and bunting, under the blended
emblems of Old Glory and the Union
^ ^ Jack, the most ambitious invasion ever
o undertaken by American golfers. Uncle
Sam's favorite sons, setting forth to emu-
late the quest of the Golden Fleece on
battlefields somewhat complicated by la-
bor strikes and other complexities. The
boys who were going to play for the Stars
and Stripes against the British Lion
were: Bobby Jones, the champion, the
cynosure of all eyes, red-faced and a bit
uncomfortable; Watts Gunn, the boy
wonder, looking as if he wished he were
back at Georgia Tech, standing an exam-
ination in whatever Watts had to stand
at Tech; Francis Ouimet, easy and
graceful and gracious; George Von Elm,
composed and smiling and handsome;
Roland McKenzie, the Washington
schoolboy, a fair match for Watts in
modest demeanor; Jess Guilford, calm,
sleepy, maybe a bit suspicious; Jess
Sweetser, confident and debonair. There
The Bobby Jones Story
you had the finest array of golfing talent that ever took the
field since the first Scottish shepherd swung his crook at
a round pebble among the hills and vales of St. Andrews.
It's quite a business this sailing. The shores of your
native landing fading into the darkness, and the lamp of
Liberty, enlightening the world, traveling back along its
own path of brightness and disappearing into the night.
After a number of sailings, it probably gets to be an old
story. But there is only one first time.
Cason Callaway brought me down to the boat and
there I promptly found Watts Gunn. We wandered
around and finally got up on the boat deck, which cor-
responds to the roof of the ship, and there we stood, high
above the dock, and waiting for the time to come to shove
off. It was dark up there and the Aquitania stood up like
an office building above the mass of people down on the
dock. Watts and I stood up there in the dark, at the
witching hour of midnight, fifty feet above the milling
crowd, and their voices rose steadily in waves of sound.
One thin voice, a child's, intermittently kept sounding
above them all. There was an odd, plaintive note in it,
and suddenly I was homesick.
The steam whistle above us let loose its mellow roar,
profound and of a soul shaking timbre, and Watts
"Gee," he said, "what's that?"
"Twelve o'clock," I said, "here we go.'
As I say, one doubtless gets used to it. But this was our
first trip away from the old native land, and we both got
an unforgettable thrill out of the splash of the line cast off
from the pier, and the boiling water about the propellers,
as the Aquitania backed slowly away, so steadily that it
seemed it was the big dock and the piping crowd that
were moving. Five minutes and the engines turned the
other way and we really were going ahead.
And there was the Statue of Liberty, a great light up in
the sky, the figure beneath only a darker shadow, the
path of the lamp coming to us across the smooth water,
and growing long and longer and longer. That was our
last impression of America, the stretching and dimming
pathway, leading to the Statue of Liberty. It was cold
on deck and in some way my eyes were stinging. We went
down to C-deck and to bed. I suppose I should say
turned in, being now at sea.
Our gallant ship made a disappearing light blue fur-
row across the Atlantic at the rate of approximately 530
miles every day, or every twenty-three hours, which seems
to constitute a day on a trans-Atlantic voyage eastward.
We kept setting the clock up as we steamed along the
cobalt trail toward the rising sun -hour after hour we
lost out of our existence. Personally I did not miss the
vanishing hours. An hour more or less per day was an
easy matter on the Aquitania. Up on the boat deck was
one of those cute little devices installed with a tethered
golf ball, which flew around and around a registered con-
trivance when struck. And when the members of the golf
team wearied of driving golf balls into the Atlantic, they
amused themselves with this contraption. The ships pop-
ulation gradually assembled on the roof in such numbers
to watch this performance that I began to have apprehen-
sions of the Aquitania becoming top-heavy, especially aft-
er learning that she burned fuel so rapidly as to raise her
out of the water about seven inches a day, this lightening
including food consumed by passengers who were not sea-
sick of course - but nothing happened.
I became accustomed to life on shipboard amazingly
fast. I learned to buy Bass' ale in British. It cost 8d. A
florin is 2s. An 3 arf-crown is an overgrown florin and
comes to 2 and 6. One pound and ten shilling notes were
of convenient size and slippery, especially about the bar,
The Bobby Jones Story
and notes of five, ten or twenty pounds reminded you of
miniature paper towels - a use which their value rendered
virtually prohibitive. At that, they were the size of note
paper, but I did not make any notes on them.
How could any one ever weary of the ocean and its blue
A flat world with a rim; a flat world of tumbling water
with a bowl over it for a sky. And the water changes from
cobalt to purple, and again to gray but the cobalt is the
loveliest of all - Lord, when the rich blue is churned off
the side of the ship into the glistening white spray with a
stain of blue through it, you can stand looking down into
it for hours, hypnotized. And what is below - what moun-
tain peaks and deep valleys. What Spanish galleons with
tall decks and rustling anchors, and bars of gold that will
never rust, nor again see the light of day. What skeletons
of tall ships and white bones of brave men, who went
down with them, all deep and dark until the Judgment
Day - under the cobalt blue sea. The overwhelming desire
to go down to the sea in ships had been in my heart since
I started remembering, and this was the first time. . . .
The Atlantic edition of the London Daily Mail, printed
on the ship, gave us the newsrfrom the strike every day.
W. C. Fownes, Jr., president of the U. S. Golf Association,
cabled the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews,
that if it were inexpedient to carry out any or all of the
golfing program, The U. S. Golf Association wished only
to be helpful in this time of stress. The Royal and Ancient
Golf Club, after true British deliberation, responded in
true British fashion:
"Shall try to carry out all of the program."
Those Britons - of all the nations, they stand the gaff
best. The Daily Mail informed us that immediately after
putting down a riot of rowdies with their batons, London
police donned football apparel and played football against
a team of strikers. A strike must be especially interesting in
a country where they do things like that.
Looking out over the blue sea at sunset, a channel of
glory to the rim of the world, a strike of five million men,
or a revolution or a golf championship, seems little and
inconsiderable. . . .
A hopelessly sentimental idiot I confess it now - after
having stayed up all night just to get a sight of a foreign
shore as soon as it became visible. Of course there were
mitigating circumstances. The Aquitania was an easy ship
on which to stay up all night, especially the last night out.
There were many people willing and able to stay up most
of the night, but when it simmered down to the dogwatch,
waiting for Cherbourg to come up out of the dark, there
were just four of us. I had never before seen a strip of
beach, or a tree, or a mountain top that was not a part of
the United States of America. Once I had stood on the
shore of Lake Erie at Cleveland and gazing northward, I
had been assured that I was looking at Canada, but it was
too far away to see, miles and miles over the curve of the
earth. And that was the nearest I had come to seeing a
And now I was going to see France.
We went out on the sun deck. It was dark out there and
cold with a touch of mist in the air, and yet not a hint of
dawn in the east. Presently along the place where the rim
of the world had been for a week, were four blinking
lights, off and on, off and on. And that was France; four
winking lights along the rim of a dark world far across
the rush of black water. I'll never forget those four lights
and the way we stood gazing at them on the cold, dark
deck. Presently we were going along the English Channel,
but England was not the first foreign country I had seen.
There never will be another first one.
There was a growing air of concern as we approached
The Bobby Jones Story
the scene of the strike. We had been told that there would
be no boat train to carry the passengers to London. Off
the boat we came after a considerable wait, found our lug-
gage, got past the customs officers quickly enough, and
trundled away in a big motor coach. It was interesting to
be on land again, and a foreign land.
The first thirty hours we were in Britain, we saw great
happenings. We saw the British Lion at bay and we saw
him on top. We saw armored cars and tanks and helmeted
Grenadier Guards on the streets of London. We saw the
British people standing the gaff, silent and uncomplaining
under the stress of a portentious situation, silent and un-
demonstrative as the tension relaxed, accepting a solution
of the gravest political problem of modern times with the
same imperturbable patience and courage with which
they had faced the problem itself.
And then the big news. The strike was terminated, that
is the conservative British word. And our golf program
would be carried out, even to the restoration of St.
George's Vase competition. The Amateur Championship
at Muirfield, the Walker Cup matches at St. Andrews, the
Open Championship at St. Anne's - everything as sched-
The First American to
the British Amateur
OR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS LONG AND
honorable history, the 1926 British Ama-
teur Championship was won by a native-
born and bred American - Jess Sweetser
of New York. Sweetser, a star in his in-
tercollegiate days at Yale, and U. S.
Amateur Champion in 1922, defeated
Alexander Simpson, 6-5, on the historic
Muirfield course. Simpson, a braw Scot,
was too new in championship play to
bear up under the gruelling 36-hole test
against so fine a golfer and so relentless
a competitor as Sweetser. Only once be-
fore had America's frequent challenges
for this coveted trophy been successful.
Twenty-two years before, Walter J. Tra-
vis, a native of Australia, living in the
United States, had won.
This victory was a great triumph for
the young New York broker. More than
a score of Americans were entered, in-
cluding the eight members of the Walker
Cup team. It was the finest opportunity
Americans ever had to come through
with a long-sought victory, yet one after
another they fell and it was Jess, who
The Bobby Jones Story
carried America's standard and finally wrested the much-
desired trophy from British hands. And well indeed did
Sweetser bear the responsibility. Drawn in the more diffi-
cult half of the bracket, Jess had a savage battle with his
teammate, Francis Ouimet, which went the full route,
and then was forced to go twenty-one holes before de-
feating W. H. Brownlow, a ranking British golfer. Jess
had everything needed to win, his strong game was slowly
coming to the crest, a break, when he got a default in his
first match; and all the rest of the works, including a
lion's heart and a rabbit's foot which he picked up on the
The big gallery was delightfully fair and sportsmanlike.
They rushed in unprecedented numbers to congratulate
Sweetser, for a good golfer is a good golfer to these Scot-
tish crowds. Jess was hoisted to the shoulders of his Amer-
ican friends and carried back to the club house, a quarter
of a mile away through a lane of cheering fans.
In presenting the trophy., Captain S. Gillen, of the
Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, said:
"Our Amateur Championship has gone to a citizen of
the United States. There is no doubt that the best man
won, Mr. Sweetser is armed with every possible stroke a
golfer should have. I hope he will come back and defend
his title, and I hope we will beat him. My lords, ladies and
gentlemen, are we downhearted?"
Cries of "No, No," came back from the crowd.
"I will come back, and I will be beaten," said the new
And right here I want to tell you something of Jess
Sweetser's amazing courage and stamina in winning this
championship. He was reluctant to interrupt his business
career to make the invasion, suffered from a severe cold
while crossing the Atlantic, and two weeks of heavy wea-
ther in England was far from beneficial. He was not him-
Said to be the only golfer ever to visit St. Andrews who did not play a round,
O. B. did drive from the first tee,
Jesse Sweetser, first native American to win the British Amateur Champion-
ship, playing an iron shot in the final round at Muirfield.
Playing out of a bunker on the way to the third hole, Brae Burn, 1928.
Joyce Wethered, the greatest of the English women golfers.
This picture, made at East Lake at the height of his golf career, gives an
excellent impression of Bobby Jones' perfect swing.
Bobby finishing an iron shot.
Bobby's grip for all shots except the putt. This was the regular overlapping
or Vardon grip.
The weapons that carried Bobby to the top of the golf world.
The Road Hole at St. Andrews, perhaps the most famous golf hole in world.
More than 200 Atlantans went out to Quarantine to meet the Aquitania
when Bobby returned victorious in 1927.
After his triumphal parade down Broadway on his return from winning the
British Open in 1926. On Bobby's right, Joe Johnson, chairman of the recep-
tion committee; on his left, Major John Cohen, editor and publisher of the
Scenes on Peachtree Street as Atlanta vied with New York in the ovation given
Bobby in 1927.
THE FIRST AMERICAN TO WIN
self during the tournament at Muirfield. On the day be-
fore the matches began, he was near collapse on the
course. Only the withdrawal of his opponent the next day
saved him. A day of rest and he was able to carry on but
the nerve strain and illness gained steadily, and the night
before the final round, he suffered much pain from a wrist
sprained during the gruelling 21 -hole semi-final round
with Brownlow. He went into the final round with Simp-
son on courage alone, a great demonstration.
Then came St. Andrews and the Walker Cup matches.
Jess was greatly worried about his game and his physical
condition. But the British Amateur Champion, and the
former U, S. Amateur Champion, refused to lay down his
arms. He was on the edge of a dangerous collapse, which
indeed came within seven hours of the time he shook
hands with Sir Ernest Holderness, his opponent in the sin-
gles match. On the morning of the foursomes match, he
was suffering from severe nausea. He was not complain-
ing, just merely mentioned this to me as he was preparing
to start. Sweetser attended the cup presentation and for-
mal dinner for the two international teams that night but
he left early. About midnight he came into my room. He
was white as a sheet and holding a blood-stained handker-
chief to his mouth, but perfectly calm.
"What shall I do?" he asked.
Before I could reply he was seized with a coughing
spasm. I helped him to bed, and went out and found
some of the team, and a doctor. The doctor was pessimis-
tic and told us privately that Jess should not be moved,
nor should he think of starting home the next day. Next
morning we got a second doctor in consultation, and they
finally agreed that it might be best for him to start home.
Jess never had any other idea. He was set on going and
we thought the same courage that had carried him
through the tournaments would carry him safely home.
The Bobby Jones Story
On the train to London, Jess and I had adjoining
rooms with the door open between. He did not complain
or ask for anything and in the morning he seemed quite
himself. His iron fortitude never wavered, Sweetser's
courage on the golf course was proverbial, but it never
glowed so brightly as in this longer, grimmer battle. So
Jess Sweetser, the conqueror, returned home to be greeted
by only a few close friends, the coveted cup on its first
trip to America forgotten in the haste for a quick return
It is at times difficult to understand how Bobby Jones
managed to carry even across the ocean his uncanny fac-
ulty for catching opponents at the top of their game, and
for inspiring hitherto unknown competitors to shoot
rounds which left them more or less famous as the man
who stopped Bobby Jones.
I had never seen Bobby so highly keyed up as he was
for the match with Robert Harris, the British Amateur
Champion. I had seen him go out and play par golf like a
machine and crush his opponents with a ruthless pressure,
but I never before saw him flame with the brilliancy he
displayed against the luckless Scotsman. It was the first
time an American and British champion had ever met in
either country's championship, and Bobby went out and
destroyed Harris most spectacularly.
Andrew Jamieson, whom Bobby met the next day in
the sixth round, was an inexperienced lad, not in good
health, for which reason he had taken part in little formal
competition. He was a boy of pleasing demeanor and
somewhat eccentric golfing habits. He rode his bicycle
back and forth to the Muirfield course, and his brother
caddied for him. He spent three hours the night before
his match with Bobby putting on the practice green in
front of his hotel. And all this untried youngster shot at
the American champion was a string of thirteen pars and
THE FIRST AMERICAN TO WIN
one birdie, and Bobby, slack from his tremendous play of
the day before, could not meet the blast. Jamieson never
failed to get a chip close nor a putt down, and took the
great Bobby off in the ratio of 4-3.
Exhausted and with shattered nerves, Jamieson passed
out of the picture in the afternoon with a round of approx-
I had felt that Bobby was really going to win this one,
and after that long day's play in the sixth round, after his
defeat by Jamieson, I went out on the old Muirfield course
all by myself away from the tents and the players. The
gallery had all gone and there was only the towering gray
dunes with the gray and restless North Sea behind them;
and the plaintive sound of those strange little birds called
Peewits, from the cries they made, about the darkening
links. In all my life I have never heard anything as lonely
as the cry of the Peewit in that long English twilight on
the rolling Muirfield course, nor was I ever so lonesome.
But things changed in many ways and vastly, not long
Later in the international matches at St. Andrews, An-
drew Jamieson proved his mettle by defeating Robert A.
Gardner, the American team captain, handily in the sin-
gles. Fellows named Bob seemed to be his specialty. His
telegram to Bobby after he had won the British Open at
St. Anne's was a model of modesty and good taste. It was
written in Latin and as nearly as we could translate it,
"Congratulations from a small nobody (nemo parvo),
who was impudent enough to beat you. 59
It would be difficult not to like such a boy.
Winning of the British Amateur by an American was
not the only tradition that went overboard at Muirfield.
After due felicitations to Sweetser, an historic scene took
place in this old club house, where they have portraits
The Bobby Jones Story
hanging on the walls of captains before the American
Revolution, stately appearing old boys in scarlet coats,
with the oddest of golfing implements and stances. The
links are governed by the Honorable Company of Edin-
burgh Golfers, and they won't let you play on Sunday.
After I had written my story of Jess 5 epoch-making vic-
tory, I went over to the club house from the Press Typists'
tent in search of -well, what they have in the lounge,
which is entirely legal and proper over here. Long before
entering the sacred portals, I became increasingly con-
scious of strains of extremely close harmony, and some not
so close. And there they were - the Singing Americans, an-
nouncing to the world that the gang was all there.
And there were Frank Carruthers and George Green-
wood, British golf scribes, their eyes protruding, and mem-
bers of the Honorable Company, standing around in a
sort of daze, but looking rather pleased, I fancied.
"A tradition is shattered," said Mr. Carruthers. "I
never thought I should live to see this day. There never
was a note sung in this sacred edifice before."
"My God, no," exclaimed Mr. Greenwood. "The mem-
bers are supposed to wear felt slippers walking about this
place. I am not superstitious but at this extremely melodi-
ous and ribald moment, I can see the ancient dead of the
Honorable Company turning over in their graves. You
amazing Americans ! You win our championship, and then
you sing songs in the Honorable Company's club house!"
FI1 say they sang, awakening the echoes among the
Lammermoor hills. "Big White Moon," "My Honey that
I Love so Well," "Mandy Lee," "Show Me the Way to
Go Home," "Sweet Adeline," and in compliment to Jess
Sweetser, "The Sidewalks of New Yoi;k."
A member of the club asked me :
"Would you mind asking them to sing 'Drunk Last
Night 5 . It's quite the best thing they do."
THE FIRST AMERICAN TO WIN
It really was a wonderful picture and after all their fine
sportsmanship of a week that had gone rather against
them they now expanded their conventions to accommo-
date our troubadours and actually seemed to like it. They
stood for Bobby Jones playing without a coat; they
applauded Sweetser and gave him three rousing cheers
at the thirteenth green, and let us sing in their club house
that had never been sung in before.
With the arrival at Muirfield of Bill McGeehan, Henry
Farrell, Don Skene, Frank King, Bob Harlow and other
American newspaper men, we organized a great compan-
ion rival of the American Walker Cup team, entitled
"The American Johnny Walker Cup team," which played
its first match at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick. The
match was a Scotch foursome.
Back to the Home of Golf
* HE ROAD FROM MUIRFIELD TO ST. AN-
* * drews is eighty miles around the Firth of
T Forth and there was a Scotch mist, which
in the United States would be called rain
^ ^ with the utmost candor, as we came over
o in motors for the Walker Cup matches.
Rounding the turn of the Firth, I saw
the first Scottish scenery that blended
with rny long conceived ideas of what
Scotland would look like -the bald,
bleak hills with a fringe of gorse and an
occasional and wholly incidental little
forest climbing skyward only to slip off
the precipitious summit of black-rocked
hills against the rainy evening sky.
Writing of St. Andrews, Lord Cock-
burn said :
"There is no place in Scotland equally
full of historical interest, and no place in
this country over which the genius of An-
tiquity lingers so impressively."
Yet, I confess, my regard for St. An-
drews was solely as the Home of Golf;
the Cradle of Golf in the days when Par-
liament decreed that the game, which
had brought a great international com-
BACK TO THE HOME , OF GOLF
petition to St. Andrews in 1926 under the blended em-
blems of Old Glory and the Union Jack, should be "cryit
doun and nocht usit." The idea was that golf, upwards
of five hundred years ago, had become so strangely fasci-
nating that the people were neglecting the practice of
archery, and thus lessening the powers of defense.
Of course there is a rather well-known golf course at
St. Andrews, as well as the other historic points of interest.
The Old Course it is called to distinguish it from the New
Course, the Eden and the Jubilee, some fifty years young-
er. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club lives in a square and
solidly built stone club house by the first tee of the Old
Course. Here is the supreme authority in golf and I think
always will be. This is fitting. Golf is the game of the
Royal and Ancient Golf Club just as baseball is strictly
an American game. And I, a patriotic citizen of the
United States, am convinced that whatever clever im-
provements we fancy we can make in the old game, St.
Andrews should have the last voice. And be sure that St.
Andrews will have the last word.
Bobby Jones played so well in the Walker Cup matches
that he began to get a bit excited over playing in the
British Open. He was disappointed in his play at Muir-
field, he had left Mary and a little daughter, Clara Ma-
lone, at home, and frankly, he was homesick and had
about decided to sail on the Aquitania with the team the
day after the matches were finished. The Americans won
three out of four bouts in the foursomes, unexpectedly,
and even more unexpectedly lost four of the eight matches
at singles, and halved another, so it really was the gallant
play of George Von Elm against the gigantic Major Hez-
lett that saved a narrow victory for our side. That gave the
Americans 6 l /z points to 5J4. Bobby defeated Cyril Tolley
12-11 in the singles, and in the foursomes, he and Watts
Guam defeated Tolley and Andrew Jamieson, 4-3.
The Bobby Jones Story
Andra Kirkaldy, celebrated in song and story, most
famous of the Scottish professionals then living, held the
flag at the home green all day for both days, and at the
three-score-and-ten mark was one of the world's wisest
"Your boys won on their third shots/' he said. "We can
drive with you, hit long irons with you, but we cannot hit
third shots with you. That is the shot that wins, a pitch,
a chip, or a putt. You finish the hole better than we do.
The art of finishing a hole is an American development."
At that Andra did not see the longest putt of the tour-
nament. At the thirteenth green of the morning round in
the match between Gunn and Jones against Jamieson and
Tolley. Watts' long iron was just on the carpet of what is
probably the biggest green in the world. It is a double
green, containing both the fifth and thirteenth holes and
measures about 230 by 175 feet, with at least 40,000
square feet of putting surface. A ball can be on the green
and be 200 feet from the cup. Watts' ball was 120 feet
away. He hit it firmly and it rolled and rolled and rolled
and dropped into the cup for a birdie 3, probably the long-
est putt ever holed in formal competition. The gallery
But that was not the only dramatic incident in this
conspicuous foursome. I recall with peculiar distinctness
the seventeenth, or Road Hole. This famous, or infamous,
hole is 467 yards, a sharp dog-leg to the right. The bold
or reckless golfer can drive over the Auchterlonie drying
sheds and have a straight shot to the green, that is, if he
does not land in the drying sheds. Our side was comfort-
ably up when they stood on the tee of the seventeenth hole
in the morning round. Watts was driving against young
Jamieson and he essayed to go over the sheds, missed the
ball but luckily it got over into the fairway, from where
Bobby hit a good shot into a swale a short pitch from the
BACK TO THE HOME OF GOLF
green. Jamieson attempted a sliced drive around the angle
and went out of bounds. Tolley, playing three from the
tee hit a powerful ball well to the left and Jamieson
topped a brassie shot deplorably. Tolley, having no alter-
native, banged a great iron shot at the distant green and
went over into the concrete road from which the hole gets
its name, and which is not out-of-bounds. The Britons lay
5 and Bobby told Watts to kick the ball up on the green
as they would then have four putts for a win.
But no. Watts in some mysterious manner actually
shanked a chip shot and the ball scurried out into the
road, farther away and in a much worse situation than
the opponents. However, the Americans had played only
3 so Bobby decided to play safe and hammer the ball out
of a rut, as a wide yawning bunker made it inexpedient
to shoot for the green, leaving Watts another simple chip
shot. Jamieson played a fine recovery from the road, twen-
ty feet from the flag. Watts missed the pitch. Bobby, look-
ing serious now, ran an approach shot twenty inches from
the cup, their sixth shot, after circumnavigating the green.
Tolley missed the putt, and Watts, after a palpable strug-
gle, holed for a 7, and a win, probably the only hole ever
won in big time with such Pompeian fireworks.
This celebrated hole some years ago cost J. H. Taylor,
five times winner of the British Open Championship, not
only a flock of strokes but also a vast amount of esteem
among the Scots, who consider St. Andrews the world's
"It's the worst golf hole in the world," said J. H.
"Right," said Bobby and Watts.
But there it remains to this good day.
This wonderful course, in my humble opinion has been
much slandered of late years, and I came here in a criti-
cal mood. I had heard here and there that it was unlike
any other golf course or links in all the world; and that
The Bobby Jones Story
comment is meticulously accurate, so far as I know. They
said also that bunkers were scattered haphazard about the
place with none of our cherished American design for
what we call scientific trapping; that mounds in front of
many greens destroyed an opportunity for scientific play
of the American plan, and that all too frequently, the
obvious line to the hole was one of the worst ways that
could be selected.
Bobby Jones will tell you frankly and emphatically that
the old course is a classic and one of the very finest he has
ever played. He says :
"To an extent I have never found anywhere else you
must place your shots differently, round in and round out,
according to the wind. The fourteenth is 527 yards and
one of the two longest on the course. In one practice
round, I found a following wind at the tee, coming rather
from the right. Using the wind, I drove off line to the
left and got a big shot into the fifth fairway, where I was
in a position to play a little fade with a brassie fairly
against the slope of the green and stop well on for a
birdie. In the afternoon, the wind was slightly against me,
and from the right. No chance to get on in two, so I
banged the ball straight down the fairway and played the
brassie fifty yards off line to the left, which gave me a
simple pitch the long way of the green and against the
And so all the way around - St. Andrews changes with
the wind, and the wind bloweth where and when it listeth.
It may follow you all around the course, out and in, or it
may oppose you all the way around, turning just when
you turn. Or it may come across from the left or the
right, constantly, or with a baffling variety.
There are only two short holes on the Old Course, Num-
ber 8 and Number 11. With a total yardage of 6,572, this
means a lot of sound walloping if you would approach the
BACK TO THE HOME OF GOLF
par of 73. The greens are gigantic, providing plenty of use
for the severest shot in golf the long approach putt.
Some of the greens have two cups in the one surface, as
the combined fifth and thirteenth, where Watts holed
probably the longest putt ever made in formal competi-
Bob Gardner, captain of the team, said:
"When I first came to St. Andrews, I played one round
and considered it the worst golf course I had ever seen.
When I was here next, I played three days and decided
it was a good golf course. Next time I played all week,
and went away saying it was a great course. And now - 1
think it must be the most wonderful golf course in the
I also achieved distinction at St. Andrews. I determined
to be the only American duffer who ever came to St. An-
drews and did not desecrate the course by playing golf.
However, I did make my contribution to golfing history
by having my picture taken driving from the first tee.
The caddies occupied a lot of my attention during the
Don't overlook the caddies, gentlemen. They fight and
bleed and die for their "man." Some day I will write you
a story of Luke Ross, the boy just Bobby's own age, who
carried his clubs in a dozen national championships.
But this is of Jack Mclntyre, the Scottish boy who
would not admit that Bobby could be beaten even after
Andrew Jamieson had sent him out of the British cham-
pionship. There is something to be said for Caledonian
persistence, and Jack was a fair sample.
"I know he's the greatest of them all," said Jack Mc-
lntyre, tears streaming from his eyes after Bobby was beat-
en. "You'll find me waiting at St. Anne's to show them all
in the open championship."
Simple faith and maybe a bit of Scottish Presbyterian
The Bobby Jones Story
predestination ! Jack was waiting for Bobby at St. Anne's.
He carried his clubs like a conquering hero through those
four tremendous fighting rounds on a windswept course,
when Bobby, never in front of the field for a single round,
turned up two strokes ahead when the chips were all in.
I'll never forget the scene in the lobby of the Majestic
Hotel at St. Anne's when Bobby, British Open champion,
said goodbye to Jack Mclntyre. "Goodbye, Jack, old
man," said he. "We won it together !"
Jack tried to speak and failed. He shook Bobby's hand
hard and then suddenly let go and sat down on the floor
and sobbed like a child. Don't forget the caddies, gentle-
men. The players get the glory or the sting of defeat. But
they don't do all the fighting.
HE LARGEST FREIGHT SHIP AFLOAT GOULD
not carry in one cargo all the iron golf
heads that have come out of one cele-
brated little shop at St. Andrews, the T.
Stewart factory, entered through a sort
of alley that runs along the side of the
forge shop and the finishing room. Twen-
ty hardy Scots toil like a platoon of Vul-
cans in the forge room and sixteen more
at the finishing wheels next door. It is not
the American idea of a factory or work-
shop, this curious little place where the
T. Stewart irons are made, stamped with
a clay pipe symbol.
The little shop never catches up on its
orders, and of course a clever American
with a business of such fame would long
ago have had his efficiency experts and
his engineers working out quantity pro-
duction with the idea that every golfer
in the world should really have a set of
Stewart irons. And in place of the tiny,
grimy shop along the alley, a vast fac-
tory would spread across acres, humming
machines and modern ventilation and
lighting; and labor problems, and other
The Bobby Jones Story
annoyances would go into the manufacture of a produc-
tion that was once the T. Stewart irons.
Instead of which here was the hand-forged process
with a force of about forty men, and old Tom himself, his
eyes protected by black goggles, bending above a finishing
wheel. You cannot go into that funny little shop and pick
out a flock of irons. They make them to order at the T.
Stewart shop, and quantity production never has been
considered, if it had ever been heard of. And when old
Tom himself personally inspects a club head and finishes
it off there's a round dot punched in it. Bobby Jones had
a lot of copies made of his favorite clubs and they all bore
the little round dot.
Watts Gunn, Francis Ouimet and George Von Elm all
bought irons from the grimy little shop. You told Jock
Stewart, who looked exactly like any of the rest of the
hands, what you wanted, if on the heavy or light side, or
regular; and any little eccentricity as to pitch or angle of
lie. You went away and came back for the heads, all
polished and shiny at five shillings and six pence, or
about one dollar and a quarter. Hereafter when you see
on the back of a blade, the mark of T. Stewart, St. An-
drews, and the old clay pipe, you will know that this club,
be it yours or another's, was forged on order in a little
old shop innocent of efficiency or quantity of production.
But there undeniably was quality to the Stewart irons,
and no competitor need grow excited over this story for
T. Stewart would not forge one single more head than he
would otherwise have done. He had all he could do and
orders ahead meant nothing in his sturdy life.
At noon during the Walker Cup matches at St. An-
drews in 1926, when the singles were working to a fine
finish, I slipped over to the shop to get a picture of Tom
Stewart. Up to that time, none had ever been printed on
this side of the Atlantic. There I found not only Tom but
all the rest of the help getting out of overalls and into
street clothes. Evidently they were going somewhere.
Old Tom obliged with the picture after a bashful little
argument, and I photographed him standing by his little
factory, without waiting for him to get his coat. I asked:
"Where's everybody going this afternoon? Is it a holi-
"They are finishing up the Walker Cup matches. The
lads will be wanting to see your boys play/ 3 he replied.
"And you, Mr. Stewart? 55
"Aye, I'll be watching a bit of it, too. 55
Which may explain a bit more of the undoubted excel-
lence of the T. Stewart irons.
Of peculiar interest also was the old Tom Morris golf
shop near the eighteenth green on the Old Course at St.
Andrews. And there was Old John Morris, "Jack 55 Morris,
they called him affectionately, as old or perhaps older
than the famous Andrew Kirkaldy of St. Andrews. This is
a story of Old John, then seventy-six years old, and an
active professional at Hoylake, and a club which came
from his shop more than thirty years before.
The first club I ever owned was in 1897, when I was a
summer visitor at Lake Geneva, and at the age of fifteen,
worked as a casual caddy at the Walworth Country Club,
later the Lake Geneva Country Club. The first club I
purchased was a second-hand cleek, designed to handle
the gutta-percha ball then in use. It was long, narrow and
graceful in the blade, and on the back of the blade was
an oval line, and inside the line was stamped, "John Mor-
ris, Hoylake. 55
I have the original today. I had two copies made, cut
down to putter length in the shaft; and a few years before
when Bobby was worrying about his short chip shots, I
asked him to try this little club. He played tiny approach
shots from just off the green with such success with it,
The Bobby Jones Story
that he had Tom Stewart make up a dozen copies for him,
all marked with his autograph.
But the story of Old John. At Muirfield in 1926, when
Bobby was playing Robert Harris, British Amateur Cham-
pion, in the fifth round, at the first hole, a par 5, Bobby
was just off the green with his second and sent the ball into
the cup, a superbly delicate shot from seventy-five yards
away. John Morris was walking with me in the gallery.
When the ball rolled into the cup, he turned back
toward the club house.
"The match," said Old John, "is over."
What a thrill he got when I told him the shot had been
made with a copy of an old club from his shop, thirty
years before. Incidently, he was right about the match.
Bobby won 8-6.
In this shop you could see in a glass case the very clubs
used by Old Tom, the patriarch of the game, in winning
four British Open titles. And if you seem probable, they
will even let you take them out and handle and swing
them. His son, Tom Morris, Jr., "Young Tom," died at
the age of twenty-four with four British Open Cham-
pionships already behind him. Tom Morris, Jr. is the
first name on the beautiful old trophy, a pitcher that was
put into play in 1872. The reason for die pitcher was,
Young Tom had won the "Challenge Belt" three times
and retired it from competition as his personal property.
Often the question arises, how good was Young Tom
Morris? How would he have played under modern con-
ditions; or how would our present day champions have
held up under the conditions in which he won three con-
secutive British Open Championships by the time he was
twenty-one years old. It is a fascinating speculation, but
we have only the scantiest data on the subject, and for the
rest we have to conjecture, as always, when champions of
different eras are compared in any sport.
The Year Book of 1870 says Young Tom in winning
the "Belt" for the third time had a score of 149 for 36
holes on the old Prestwick course. This was only twelve
holes so had to be played three times. Par was 49, so
Young Tom was only two strokes over. The lowest score
ever returned in an open championship at Prestwick was
by James Braid in 1908, then at his best, with a score of
291, two over the present par. Jim Barnes in winning the
title at Prestwick in 1925 had 300, twelve over, in 72 holes
or six over in 36.
Young Tommy with the quaint, unwieldy weapons and
sluggish projectiles of forty years before, and the rough
and unkempt condition of the course, was only two over.
That he was a golfer of rare talent is unassailable even
with the scant history that we have, as great in his time as
any who came after him.
Not long after Young Tom won his fourth champion-
ship, thus equalling the record of Tom, Sr., his young wife
died, and six months later young Tom was laid by her
side. Since there was no previous history of illness, the
Scots have always said that he died of a broken heart.
In the old, old cemetery in the grounds of the great
ruined cathedral at St. Andrews, over against a wall, old
Tom who died in 1928 and young Tom lie buried and
there is a bronze effigy of Young Tom about to play a shot
in the game he began so brilliantly, played so well and left
Tte Finest Round of Golf
HE FINEST ROUND OF GOLF THAT BOBBY
* * Jones ever played was at the Sunningdale
TGolf Club, in Surrey, not far from Lon-
don, on June 16, 1926; his first round in
^ ^ qualifying for the British Open Cham-
o pionship at the Royal Lytham and St.
Anne's Golf Club course; 33-33-66, four
under the par 70 of the course, and six
under 4 3 s. There have been lower scoring
rounds, Bobby himself had scored better,
but this card of 66 was played with a
precision and a freedom from error never
attained before or after by the greatest
precisionist of them all; incomparable in
steadiness of execution. There was a sin-
gle error in the round. At the thirteenth
hole, a one-shotter of 175 yards, Bobby's
iron shot rolled into a shallow pot bunk-
er, from which he chipped and holed the
putt. The mistake did not cost him any-
thing but it was a single flaw in a perfect
He had no assistance from luck and
needed none. He played the first nine in
33 and the last nine in 33. He had 33
putts and 33 other shots. He had neither
THE FINEST ROUND OF GOLF
a 2 to bring his score down; nor a 5 to mar it. The course
is 6,472 yards around on the card, but it was a great deal
longer from some of the back tees used for this competi-
tion. It is especially lavish with long two-shot holes, the
toughest pars. Bobby used his mashie only twice and his
mashie-niblick once, his second shots continually requiring
a full iron, and occasionally a brassie. He holed only one
long putt of 25 feet, and to pay for it, he missed two putts
of five feet, each for a birdie.
Bobby had picked up a beautifully modeled driver
from Jack White at Sunningdale, and he seemed to have
found a sudden inspiration in it. Old Jack had named the
driver, Jeannie Deans. Anything in Scotland that is be-
loved or heroic, is Jeannie Deans, after the beloved hero-
ine of that name. Bobby never played with any other
driver in competition thereafter and he won ten major
championships with Jeannie Deans.
The next day Bobby shot a 68 - 134 total, a new record
for the British Open Championship. Ten under 4 5 s for
thirty-six holes; 66 and 68 at Sunningdale at fullest stretch,
one 5 and one 2, all the rest 4 s s and 3's.
The British critics were buzzing with admiration. Ber-
nard Darwin, the greatest of the British writers said in the
"After a reverential cheer at the final green, the crowd
dispersed awestruck, realizing that they had witnessed
something they had never seen before, and would never
Charley MacFarlane of the News said :
"It is probably the finest golf ever seen in Great Britain.
The boy's game was perfect and chaste as Grecian statu-
Sporting Life said:
"It would seem that in this qualifying, the limit of indi-
vidual effectiveness has been reached."
The Bobby Jones Story
Bobby said: "I wish I could take this golf course home
But Bobby and I were well worried about this amazing
display of golf at Sunningdale. We knew he had reached
the peak of his game and the championship six days away.
That night at the little Wheatsheaf Hotel, on the edge of
Windsor Park, he was still pretty well strung up and we
went with Archie Compston for a walk in the park. It is
nine miles around Windsor Lake and we went all the way
around. The luminous twilight still displayed the calm of
the huge rhododendrons; and the golden crescent of a new
moon hung in the sapphire sky. What a night it was - in
The betting at Lloyd's suddenly went down to the in-
conceivable odds of 3 to 1, for the championship, the
shortest ever quoted on such an event.
St. Anne's was a kaleidoscopic championship, the lead
changing with every round; but the dominant and per-
sistent impression was the brilliant duel fought all through
the last day by Bobby Jones and Al Watrous, the young
amateur, who won, and the young professional who was
so near to winning. A grim and exhausting struggle with
each other, which, it seemed, inevitably must kill off both
of them and leave Walter Hagen, starting an hour and a
half behind them, one of his finest openings. The plot was
complete; two great golfers in a death grip - and behind
them the Old Haig, set to knock them both off, when
they should have bled each other white, and drained the
last resource of nerve and courage.
They started the final round in a situation as chastely
simple as it was dramatic. The cruel sifting process was
over now; the magnificent gesture of Taylor; the steady
play of Von Elm and McLeod had not brought them
close enough to threaten, barring a ghastly collapse by the
three leaders. Watrous, due to his spectacular 69 of the
THE FINEST ROUND OF GOLF
morning round, led Jones by two strokes, and Hagen by
four. He was the pacemaker, and Jones to win must catch
and pass him - and all the while that implacable menace
in the rear; the dark shadow of Walter Hagen. All day
long, no more than two strokes separated these three men
from each other. It was a killing triangle.
Both Bobby and Watrous were out in 36, Al holding his
lead, but the youngsters had not left Hagen a very wide
opening on the first nine. At the fourteenth tee, Bobby was
still two down with five holes left to play. Here I truly
think he played the finest golf of his career, and won as
hard-fought a tournament. His magic putter had failed
him in the pinch, and he must win without it, if he was to
win. He played the last five holes 4-3-4-4-4, the toughest
five finishing holes I have ever seen.
He beat Al by two strokes, and arm in arm, they went
to the club house to await the verdict, Hagen being the
jury. Oh, those rumors! We knew Hagen had done the
first six holes two under 4's. He was greatly in the chase.
Another rumor came up. He was out in 34. He was tre-
mendously in the hunt. Another rumor. It was 33. An-
other. It was 32. I could not stand the suspense. I went
down to the press room. On the way a man told me Hagen
was 2 under for thirteen holes. That meant he could win
with a 71. In the press room a British reporter was wrang-
ling over the telephone much as we do in America, but
with a different accent. Finally he said Hagen was two
over 4 5 s at the fourteenth. I turned right around and went
back to the smoking room and shook hands with Bobby
Jones. Undeniably we had again witnessed the old Hagen
challenge. Four years in the last five Walter had given
battle and his share of third place at St. Anne's was the
lowest position he had occupied. And it is due the bronzed
soldier of fortune to explain that he had a simple par on
the last hole for second place. Walter Hagen does not play
The Bobby Jones Story
for second place. As at Worcester last year, he gambled
boldly - this time with utter abandon, for he was trying
to sink a mashie pitch - for top position.
It seemed that every great figure in British golf was in
that big room, coming over to clasp the hand of the young
American amateur, and not infrequently slapping him on
the back or hugging him in the most un-British manner.
"Bobby is the world's most lovable sportsman," they
said. "This is the most popular golfing victory ever seen
in Great Britain."
And there was John Morris of Hoylake, the oldest of
the professionals, shaking Bobby's hand as word came that
Hagen had to do two 3's to tie. And there were the mem-
bers of Britain's great triumvirate of the last generation,
Harry Vardon, James Braid and J. H, Taylor, with six-
teen British championships among them. Ted Ray, George
Duncan, the brilliant Scot, and Harold Hilton, the dis-
tinguished veteran of all the amateurs, who won the Brit-
ish Open in 1897, five years before Bobby was born. All
crowded about the quiet boy to do him honor. Forty na-
tional championships must have been around that table.
I couldn't help feeling sorry for those British profes-
sionals, with seven players from the United States and one
from South America in the first ten. They were taking
such an unmitigated lacing ! Sorry and sort of remorseful,
for they gave us the game and now we seemed to trample
In all the realm of sport, I never expect to see a more
affecting sight than old John Henry Taylor, 56 years old,
who had made a magnificent gesture for old England,
with a 71 in the third round, making his little speech at
the cup presentation; how he stood there, square and
solid and bald of head, and with the tears running down
his cheeks, congratulated the victors and said Bobby was
the greatest golfer who ever lived.
THE FINEST ROUND OF GOLF
And Bobby made the best speech of his career, which
has contained rather more actions than words; he told
them it was honor enough just to have his name on the old
cup with all those great names.
And tjie happiest part of the trip was the fifty mile ride
through a soft English twilight from St. Anne's to Liver-
pool where Bobby and I took the night train for London
and Home! Home with the Golden Fleece. I think Bobby
and I were not especially coherent on that ride. I suppose
we sat up and grinned idiotically at each other frequently;
and at times pounded one another on the back. And we
talked a lot about what the folks at home were doing at
that moment. That really was the best of all, thinking of
the folks at home.
* OME AGAIN! THE SWEETEST WORDS IN
the lexicon! After all, what are cham-
H^ pionships compared to being home again.
But undeniably it was great to be coming
^ ^ home victorious. New York did its best
o to welcome Bobby Jones, the conquering
hero, with a display of enthusiastic hos-
pitality that had never been surpassed
for princes or potentates or pugilists.
As the Aquitania came through the
Narrows, she was met by the municipal
boat, Macom, her decks filled with joy-
ous Georgians, a hundred of them who
had come to New York solely to greet
Georgia's first citizen. As the Aquitania
anchored, the Macom came alongside
with rebel yells and shouts for "Bobby, 59
the band playing "Glory, Glory to Old
Georgia," and then shifting to Dixie,"
as Bobby appeared. The first to greet him
was his beautiful wife, Mary; his father
and mother, Big Bob and Miss Clara;
and much to the surprise of everybody,
Robert Tyre Jones, his grandfather, for
whom he was named, the old Roman
' protesting that he just happened to be in
New York on business; Major John Cohen, publisher and
editor of The Atlanta Journal; Senator Walter George,
and dozens of others. Bobby and his party were taken
aboard the Macom, and given the courtesy of the port,
something rarely done except for visiting royalty or very
The little steamer M acorn blasted its way through the
shipping to Pier A at the Battery, with the harbor rocking
and reeling under the waves of sound from the whistles,
and just behind came a fire boat spraying the sky with a
dozen towering jets - a Brobdingnagian fountain. I had
never seen Bobby look so happy as he did when he stepped
out on the Battery to face all those movie cameras, and a
storm of cheers from the massed thousands in the street.
The marks of battle and strain still lingered in his young
face, despite the voyage and the rest, but he was a happy
boy under that hurricane greeting by his countrymen - a
prince of golfers and a prince of sportsmen - on top of the
world, the unspoiled pet of a nation.
Broadway was turned over to Bobby Jones and his
friends, a triumphal march with a solid gallery on each
side for three miles of earnest hiking; traffic stopped, the
snappy police force clearing the way, ticker tape flying in
white spirals from the skyscrapers, and a continuous roar
echoing like thunder through the canyon of down town
New York. Three solemn figures in front, Joe Johnson,
former Atlantan, later City Commissioner of Public Works
in Manhattan, and chairman of the reception committee,
Major Cohen, and between them, a stocky young sun-
burned boy, his blond head uncovered, more serious than
ever he had been when the eyes of the world were watch-
ing him battling over a golf course. And I think there must
have been a million Americans to welcome him back to his
native land, as he walked along Broadway back of the
band, to greet Mayor Jimmy Walker at the city hall.
The Bobby Jones Story
Other winners of foreign titles had returned bearing
laurels, but never in the realm of sport had a returning
champion been given such a welcome. And best of all, this
young boy from Georgia, about whom all this immense
ado was being made, had brought home with him not
alone the silver cup emblematic of the British champion-
ship, and the big gold medal, he had brought something
finer than medals and silver cups, and all the champion-
ships in the world - the love of the English people and the
esteem of a whole nation.
In his graceful speech at the City Hall, Mayor Walker
"I have just learned, Bobby, that you were born on the
seventeenth of March. If that fact had been made public
before you arrived, the safety of the City Hall would have
been imperiled, because the crowd would have flocked to
this building and would have carried it away."
It was like stepping off the Aquitania into one of the
Arabian nights; one of the very biggest nights of all. O.
Henry was right - calling it the Modern Bagdad. And still
a bit dizzy, Bobby and Watts and I set out for Columbus,
Ohio, and the Thirtieth Open Championship of the
United States. It takes something out of a man, that furi-
ous grind across the sea; something not accounted for by
mere physical weariness or loss of weight. And those who
know golf did not expect Bobby to win both of these
tournaments, certainly not in so brief a time. Golf is not
played so much by musculature and physique as deep in
the mysterious convolutions of the brain. Bobby and Wal-
ter Hagen, and George Von Elm and Watts - all were
frayed and stale mentally when they went to Columbus.
Bobby looked fit to the casual eye. He had got back the
dozen pounds he lost at St. Anne's, but the look in his eyes
was jaded and dull. And as he started out in his first
round, he said to me:
"I wish it was over."
And still so great was his game and so exemplary his
determination that he went out the first day and shot 70,
two strokes back of the inevitable 68 - this time by Wild
Bill Mehlhorn-and after taking his shower, walking
slowly back to his locker, all broken out with heat rash
across his broad young shoulders, he came up to me and
rested his weary, wet head on my shoulder whimsically,
"Why can't I play this darned game?"
I knew what he meant. That 70 looked good on the
board but it had been a struggle every stroke and every
inch of the way. Next day came the worst round that
Bobby ever shot in a National Open Championship - a
79, including everything in the name of trouble, from two
penalty shots, one imposed on himself, to a ghastly 7 on
the last hole. This put him six mortal strokes back of
Mehlhorn and four back of Joe Turnesa. On the fifteenth
green, Bobby grounded his putter in front of the ball,
squaring it on the line, and when he moved the putter, the
ball turned half over. Nobody else saw it, but Bobby said
it moved. Clarence Wolff, playing with Bobby, said:
"This action of Bobby Jones should be an example to
every American boy and every American competitive ath-
lete. Nothing finer has ever come under my observation. 5 *
Bobby had set his heart on winning the two big open
championships, but fate and nature and human endurance
all seemed to be against him. Turnesa had been moving
along at a relentless clip, and at the end of the third round
on the last day, Bobby was still three strokes back of the
flying Italian. In the afternoon, Turnesa started fifteen
minutes ahead of Jones, and stroke for stroke they played
the first eight holes, and then at the tricky ninth, which
had cost Bobby a 4 every day he had played it, Joe went
ahead another stroke with a par 3. Four strokes behind
The Bobby Jones Story
and nine holes to play. The young Georgian was on the
verge of disaster. It was not only a question of golf now
but of heroic courage. Bobby began closing the gap on
Turnesa at the long twelfth and stroke by stroke he
closed with an advance as immutable and as certain as
fate itself. On that wind swept last nine that had wrecked
so many scores that week, he gained back those four
strokes and one more - the winning stroke.
If ever I had a proper excuse for a panegyric, this was
the time. Starting the year as U. S. Amateur Champion
of 1925, Bobby added inside the space of three weeks -
seventeen days to be exact - the British Open and the
U. S. Open Championships, which never before had been
won in the same season by any man. He occupied a throne
on which no other golfer had ever sat. It was incredulous.
It was impossible. But it was true. But instead of boasting,
instead of shouting, "I told you so," and I had been telling
them for five years, I was extravagantly quiet and thank-
ful. A beautiful dream had come true, a dream we had
held on to through so many grim vicissitudes and so many
I remembered so well back in 1921 at St. Louis when
Bobby, apparently primed to win the championship, went
down in defeat before Willie Hunter, and the boys in the
press tent were shaking their heads. The idea was that
he couldn't win. I remember how I stood up before them
then and told them out of a full heart that was pretty
close to breaking that one of these days they would be sit-
ting before those same typewriters and writing the line for
all the world to read, that Bobby Jones was the greatest
golfer of them all. I would now let them do the panegy-
rics, and moderated and chastened by adversity, I would
not argue with them this time.
In his last six open championships, five in the United
States and one in Great Britain, Bobby Jones had won
three times, tied once and finished no worse than second
in the other starts. There is no use looking for expletives
to describe this showing in a game which is rarely consist-
ent. He had played the last nine holes at Scioto under
smashing pressure, through a driving, roistering wind in
eight 4's and one 3. What words are left to add anything
to the greatness and the glory of this achievement?
The last two days were the hardest possible tests of golf
at Scioto. The western sirocco struck on Friday afternoon
and Saturday the skies were gray with intermittent rains,
the wind fairly whistling.
The rough was a pet development of George Sargent's,
the pro and relative of the celebrated English landscape
artist who assuredly never painted anything more utterly
intriguing. Indeed, before the tournament started, stories
began to crop up about the rough, in the practicing
rounds. One was attributed to Jock Hutchison.
"I was in a little money match," said the Hutch, "and
on the second fairway, I knocked my ball into the rough,
which was the easiest thing you could do with it along that
slope. The caddy and I went over into the tiger country
to look for it. We couldn't find it. The other fellows got
tired of waiting. They said drop another ball without
penalty. I dropped a ball over my shoulder and lost that,
and while I was looking for it, I lost the caddy."
The Fourth Estate was looked up to at this tournament.
We were on the roof, perhaps the only cool spot about
the scene of battle, overlooking the grand stand and the
tenth tee and the eighteenth green. Perfect. On the eve-
ning of the first round, the sun was setting in a clear twi-
light over the golf course of the Scioto Country Club.
Every competitor known to fame was in. Every type-
writer was clattering like a machine gun. Clickety-click
went the typewriters; and clickety-click went the concom-
itant telegraph implements. The leads were all in and
The Bobby Jones Story
everybody was happy. Substantially the leads recited, plus
the decorative fancies of the various writers, that Wild
Bill Mehlhorn was leading with a par-busting 68; that
the inevitable Bobby Jones was second, with a brilliant
70; Joe Turnesa, third with 71.
Suddenly panic broke out. Here came a courier from
the front, galloping up, buckety-buckety, with the startling
report that on the last tee stood one John H. Junor of
Portland, Oregon, and that the hitherto unheralded Mr.
Junor needed a par 5 for a 70. There were howls of
wrath and dismay and frantic queries as to who was this
John H. Junor, and why. Especially why. Another 70 or
71 or even a 72 would utterly disrupt all the early leads
and smear a hundred thousand miles of telegraph wire
with corrections and explanations and revisions. But that
is precisely what John H. Junor did. Something went
wrong with his game and he shot a shocking 70, and all
the stories had to be recalled and rewritten and refiled.
And on the hapless and innocent head of the story wreck-
er were discharged ornate expletives and horrid ambitions
for his future state that would have appalled a thoughtful
person who had not already filed the front part of his
Not a correspondent at that tournament will ever forget
John H. Junor, or the little lesson he imparted concerning
the inadvisability of writing one's lead before all the re-
turns are in from Oregon, or China, or anywhere.
So Bobby came home in the highly technical position of
wearing one crown on his his blond head and one draped
on either ear. Home to another magnificent reception, all
the way from the Terminal Station to the new home of the
Atlanta Athletic Club. The roar of the crowd, the packed
streets. Such a welcome as only Atlanta can give, after all
. . . seemed to be worth anything or everything in the
world, just then. And Lord, how it made your eyes sting !
* OBEY JONES PASSED OUT OF THE PICTURE
of the United States Championship at
Baltusrol for the first time in three years.
He had won two championships in a row,
at Merion and at Oakmont, and four
matches in the third, but in the final
round with George Von Elm he was not
wearing the iron glove. Luck and the
breaks of the game had drawn him in the
same bracket with Chick Evans and
Francis Ouimet, two of the greatest golf-
ers who ever lived, and he had to shoot
no worse than par for two long and
stricken days to eliminate them. This
undeniably took its toll, and the iron grip
relaxed, and George Von Elm, a great
golfer and a great sportsman, came to
the crown he had sought so long.
Bobby had qualified with 143, one
stroke above the record, set by Clark
Corkran two years before at Merion.
George had played so miserably he had
to work desperately to qualify. In his first
match, Ellsworth Augustus had him
beaten at the eighteenth and again at the
nineteenth, only to let him get away.
The Bobby Jones Story
George had been coming on his game and Bobby had
reached the peak too soon.
Twice the Rose of the Rancho had travelled 7,000 miles
back and forth to be beaten by Jones; in the final at Mer-
ion, 9-8; in the semi-finals at Oakmont, 7-6; and now, the
third time, George was on his toes, intent with the glowing
fury of three years to win. In losing, Bobby showed the
greatest fighting spirit in all his career. Of all his cham-
pionships, I loved him best in that long and losing battle
as he fought his way to the thirty-fifth green, again and
again refusing to quit under the grimmest pressure he had
yet encountered in the amateur championship.
At the seventeenth hole, with Bobby 2 down and 2 to
play, Von Elm was out in front with two heroic shots,
which was a feat in itself, and played his pitch a dozen
feet above the pin. Bobby trying desperately to carry the
match to the last green, played a shot that he never sur-
passed, seven feet from the cup, wrung out of a game that
was wrong all day. It was his last punch and a good one,
swung from the canvas. He had not sunk a long putt all
day, and this one refused him in the crisis. He had shot
one over 4 5 s for thirty-five holes, but it was not good
enough for the master golfer from the West Coast. The
champion had passed from the picture and Von Elm had
achieved his greatest ambition, - Amateur Champion of
the United States.
Von Elm had the reputation of a cold-blooded match
player, a killer. When the handsome Uhlan went swag-
gering down the fairway, you could hear the sabers clink.
He looked like a German ober-lieutenant. But at the
seventeenth green of the morning round, there was a
beautiful demonstration of something which is finer than
golf itself - sportsmanship. Both were on this long par five
hole. George putted first, thirty inches from the pin. Bob-
by went boldly for his birdie, over ran, but sank coming
THE BATTLE OF BALTURSOL
back. The gallery applauded and started walking away.
George was left with a puzzling putt for a half, easily
missable. He hesitated and stepped back from his ball;
he was nervous and the motion of the gallery had upset
him. Bobby walked over and tapped the ball away, and
"Fll give you that one, George."
That was a pretty and gracious thing to do and not to
be outdone, at the next green, George gave Bobby one of
about the same length. In a match of such intensity, the
chivalry of these two reveals them as sportsmen, neither
killers nor cold-blooded match players. And Bobby said
in his speech at the presentation:
"You can't expect any one to go on beating as fine a
golfer as Von Elm. 3 '
Six years before Baltusrol, Bobby, then a lad of eighteen,
after winning his last Southern Championship at Chatta-
nooga, had gone on to Memphis to play in the Western
Amateur Championship. After qualifying with 69-70, a
new record for the tournament, he went on to meet Chick
Evans, perennial champion of the Western Association, in
the final round. Three down and seven to play, Bobby
won back those three holes in dizzy succession, and Chick
beat him with a birdie on the thirty-sixth green. They had
never met again until Baltusrol. Bobby had despaired of
getting revenge for Memphis until the draw brought them
together for the second time. Bobby shot a 70 in the morn-
ing round and was only 2 up. He was 2 up at the twenty-
seventh. He simply could not get away from the monarch
of yesterday. He was a stroke under par for thirty-four
holes on that awe-inspiring Baltusrol course, when the
holes gave out, and a great veteran of a hundred cam-
paigns slipped out of the picture. Great and sincere as my
admiration for Chick Evans had been for the last dozen
years or more, at Baltusrol it reached the peak.
The Bobby Jones Story
Here is the brief story of the semi-final match between
the Damon and Pythias of golf, Bobby and Francis Oui-
met. Francis had spanked Bobby decisively in 1921, at the
Engineer's club; Bobby, come to man's estate, had given
Francis the most severe drubbing of his career at Merion.
But that was a different Francis from the gaunt machine
that stalked around Baltusrol. Francis was himself again
and was shooting almost impeccable golf but Bobby picked
off six pars and three birdies on the first nine holes, against
par by Ouimet, was 3 up at the turn and the match ended
Bobby's mother, Miss Clara, followed Bobby's match
with Ouimet. She was either philosophical, or a grand
actress, or else she had never seen her young son in diffi-
culties. She was as calm and as placid as a morning in
May, but at the time I saw her, Bobby was winning the
ninth hole with a birdie 3, which gave him a 32 going out.
N RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM THE
general manager of the Associated Press,
Kent Cooper, to John S. Cohen, then
editor and publisher of the Atlanta Jour-
nal, I obtained the following "interview"
from Bobby Jones in July, 1926 -his first
and probably his last interview on how
to play golf.
Bobby Jones, open golf champion of
America and Great Britain, and amateur
champion of America, all at the same
time, is a difficult boy to interview. But
that is not at all because he is the first
official golfing champion of the world. It
is because he is one of the most modest
boys in the world. It required a deal of
convincing to gain his first, and very
likely his last, formal interview on golf.
I told him the greatest of press associa-
tions believed that many people wanted
to hear from him in his own words, how
he played golf -the "Master Stylist" -
and how he won championships. Bobby
at last blushed and gave in.
"All right," he said. "Where do we
The Bobby Jones Story
"Where you started golf," I suggested. "How did you
get your game?"
"Luck/ 5 he answered succinctly. "The biggest piece of
golfing luck I ever had was when the Atlanta Athletic
Club got Stewart Maiden for its professional. I was five
years old then 3 and lived opposite the gate of the East
Lake golf course. Next year Dad moved our family into a
little cottage on the club property, alongside what is now
the first fairway. I had taken up golf in a small way with
a sawed-off cleek one of the East Lake players had given
me. Stewart never gave me any lessons; I just followed
him around the course and watched him, I wanted to play
golf, and he was the best player about the club, and I imi-
tated his style, like a monkey, I suppose. The luck was in
the fact that Stewart had the finest and soundest style I
have ever seen. Naturally, I did not know this at the time.
But I grew up swinging like him. In the last ten, years I've
changed a good deal in some ways. My build is not like
Stewart's, you know."
"You're fatter," I suggested. Bobby's ears reddened.
"Never mind that. I'm not as fat as I was when I got
off the Aquitania ten days ago. I lost twelve pounds those
three days at Scioto. And Fm not fat anyhow. As I was
saying, I don't swing just like Stewart today. But that was
the foundation, and I can go out on a golf course any
time and swing exactly like him. He has a sound and or-
I asked what he meant by orthodox.
"In golf I should say it was a style which would suit
fundamentally any player unless he was anatomically
freakish. There is nothing odd or unusual about Stewart's
"Well, at times my methods seem unusually hard to get
along with. Maybe I haven't helped the original style by
INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY
changing it. Anyway, I can't help believing that is the best
way to acquire a sound game - imitation of a good player,
in childhood. If you don't get started in childhood, take
some lessons. A good professional can work out a style that
will suit you, if you will do what he says."
The subject of style-characteristics came up, Bobby now
being universally regarded as the glass of fashion and the
mold of form in golf. Bobby did not want to talk about
this phase. I insisted.
"Well, judging by the pictures I see of myself, 55 he ad-
mitted, "I keep my feet closer together in the full shots
than almost anybody else in the world. And, keep my
hands low and close to my knickers in addressing the
ball. My arms do not seem to get far away from my body
in the backswing, and I suppose this is what they mean in
saying my style is compact. My stance is very slightly open
for all shots except the putt; that is, the left foot is a hit
farther back from the line of the shot than the right. I do
not regard this as important. Sometimes I play shots with
my toes level, and I know fine players who employ a very
open stance, and others with a square stance -the toes
level - and still others with a closed stance, the right foot
being drawn back. The main point in my stance, as I un-
derstand it, is to play the ball opposite the left heel in all
normal full wood shots, and in most normal full iron shotk
for distance. Two or three years ago I was getting into a
lot of trouble, pulling and smothering, by carelessly letting
the ball stray back toward the line of the right heel. I play
many pitch shots and irons, when a low flight with much
backspin is needed, from between my feet or even toward
the line of the right heel. But to get a normal, well-
behaved shot with a full swing, I have found that the place
for the ball, for me, is opposite the left heel. Mind you, I
don't say that is right for everybody, but it certainly is
Stewart's method for practically all shots, and he even
The Bobby Jones Story
plays the ball as far ahead as opposite the left instep. I
think the idea is to keep the weight well back of the stroke.
When it gets in front, anything can happen, and usually
does. 5 '
I asked about hands, arms and grip.
"I never think about my hands. The regular overlap-
ping or Vardon grip seems to take care of that phase
pretty well. I think that grip is best, if your hands are
reasonably big and strong. The little finger of the right
hand overlaps the forefinger of the left, the left thumb of
the hand being buried under the right palm; a very com-
pact grip which tends to keep the hands from working
against each other save in the proper way. The club is
held strictly in the fingers, rather delicately. Don't squeeze
it. I can spoil a shot any time by tightening my grip con-
sciously. I use the same grip for every shot down to the
putt, where I reverse it. For me, the putt is essentially a
right hand stroke, and I put all the right hand on the
shaft and overlap the right little finger with the left fore-
finger. I take the putter back with the left hand and stroke
the ball with the right. It has worked very well at times,
as at Merion and Oakmont, and not so well on this last
trip. I putted like an old woman in that last round in the
British Open. Thirty-nine putts - it was terrible !"
Bobby needs only 31 or 32 strokes in his average round
of championship play, and in his first round at St. Anne's
he used only 29. His card of 74 in the last round of the
British Open, with 39 putts and only 35 other strokes in
it, was a wonderful achievement.
"The left arm should be kept straight on the backswing
and through every shot until the ball has been struck.
Except the putt, of course. I mean, my left arm is kept
straight; and I think any bending of that arm tends to
make a chop instead of a swing. And here is a point I am
just learning: the left hand should be regarded as the
INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY
master in the swing. I'm not sure it really is the master. I
know the right hand provides the punch, or most of it. But
if I get to thinking about the right hand, or ignoring the
left, the right seems to get in too soon and all kinds of
trouble results. By regarding the left as in control, I can
get a sort of 'feel 3 in the stroke; and the right, no matter
how ignored, comes in at the proper juncture. At Sunning-
dale, when I had those rounds of 66 and 68, qualifying for
the British Open, I felt as if I were literally making the
shot with my left hand. It seemed I could not get off
line. I felt as if I could spank that ball just anywhere I
wanted to. I'm going to study this phase seriously in the
next few months and try to improve my game, which cer-
tainly has not been consistent this year."
Bobby was at odds with most of the critics, but I
passed that up for the off-debated question as to how
much thinking a player could do while a stroke was in
progress, and what, if anything, he should think about.
"Do you ever think about more than one thing, while
making a shot?" I asked.
"If I do, I don't make the shot," he said emphatically.
"I don't know if I think of even one thing. I never seem to
remember. Maybe you recall that shot to the 18th green
at Inwood, in the play-off with Bobby Cruickshank."
I recalled it - well. That was the shot which won for
Bobby Jones his first major championship: a perfectly
executed iron shot of 190 yards, finishing over water, six
feet from the pin. A championship rode on that shot. And
next day on the train, Bobby had asked me, somewhat
shyly, if he took a long time over the shot, or played it
promptly; and if he took a full swing or a three-quarter
swing. He said he did not remember one single thing
about the playing of that shot, after he decided to go for
the distant green.
"What did you think about last Saturday when you
The Bobby Jones Story
stood on the last tee at Scioto, with a 480-yard hole on
which to get a birdie four to go ahead of Joe Turnesa?" I
asked. Bobby grinned reflectively. "I thought I'd sock this
one," he replied. "But that was before I swung. I didn't
think of anything consciously while I was swinging."
Well, he socked it 310 yards, with the wind against him.
And he got home with a spared mashie iron second, and
got the birdie four, and won the championship. This indi-
cates it pays not to think - while swinging.
"There's another thing/ 5 said Bobby. "I try never to
force a club any more. Rather than hit hard with a mash-
ie, I take a number four iron. It seems I can keep the c f eeP
of that left hand better, that way."
About the nerve strain in tournament play.
"There are two kinds of golf," said Bobby seriously.
"There is golf - and tournament golf. And they are not
at all alike, inside, I have found that out from experience,
much of it bitter. I'm more nervous before medal compe-
tition than match. In a match you have a single human
opponent, who may make some mistakes. In medal play
you are up against Old Man Par, who never gets down in
one putt and never takes three. The first round of an open
championship always causes me the most suffering. It's
worse than the last, oddly enough. You see, in starting, I
don't know how I'm going to be hitting my shots the first
few holes. The start at Scioto was torture, because I had
played wretchedly in practice and was uncertain if I could
hit the ball decently. I do not think nervousness hurts my
game. The more nervous I am, the better I play, usually.
I suppose it means being keyed up. Some of the sloppiest
rounds I have played I was not nervous at all. As to the
strain, I don't seem to be conscious of it during a round.
Afterward - well, I know something has been done to me.
I sort of collapsed at Columbus after getting back to the
hotel. I was all in."
INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY
This was after shooting the last twelve holes of the final
round two strokes better than par. Apparently the killing
strain did not affect his game detrimentally.
"I've another idea," said Bobby suddenly. "I think this
habit of grim concentration straight through the entire
round is a mistake; for me, anyway. If I walk along like
an Indian, concentrating desperately on the next shot with
an eighth of a mile to walk before reaching the ball, I feel
sort of fagged in my head when I stand up to the shot.
Lately I have found out that a word or two with the man
I am playing with, or the referee, or maybe some friend in
the gallery relieves the tension. Then when I get to the
ball I can snap on the concentration as hard as I need to."
"One thing more, Bobby. There is a lot of interest in
those penalty strokes you have called on yourself. At St.
Louis and Brookline and at Worcester - they say that one
cost you the championship - and the one at Scioto, in that
awful round of 79 when the ball moved on the green - "
Bobby held up a warning hand.
"That is absolutely nothing to talk about," he said,
"and you are not to write about it. There is only one way
to play this game."
Which is such an excellent finishing line that I am risk-
ing a violation of confidence to use it. Because there is so
much of Bobby himself in that estimate:
"There is only one way to play this game P s
GAIN THE BOYS CAME BACK TO OAKMONT.
And again the Big Course whipped them.
A^ In the most dramatic finish the U. S.
Open Championship had seen, Tommy
o o Armour, the Black Scot, and the confi-
o dent little English-born professional,
Lighthorse Harry Cooper, were tied at
301. In this all-British play-off, the Scot
won 76 to 79.
To add to the already numerous haz-
ards on this 6,900-yard-long, truly cham-
pionship course, the bunkers, or as we
say in America "traps," were furrowed.
Every morning the sand in every trap
was gone over with a curious sort of rake,
which arranged the sand in grooves and
ridges, the grooves about as deep as the
diameter of a golf ball. As far as possible
the grooves were set crosswise with the
line of play from any part of the bunker.
The fairways were side-guarded severely,
and if off line, the ball might take refuge
in the most scientifically placed traps a
golf architect could devise, perhaps 200
yards from the green. The boys did not
take a No. 2 iron and attack that ball
THE BLACK. SCOT
from a clear lie in the sand, with the idea of reaching the
green and saving a stroke. No, they took their trusty nib-
licks and excavated, grimly intent on getting the ball back
on the fairway. Nothing more. Oakmont's theory, of
course, was that the player was not forced to shoot into a
bunker, and when he did, "the punishment should fit the
crime." To save strokes at Oakmont it was imperative to
stay out of those furrowed bunkers.
Bobby Jones finished with the biggest score, 309, and
lowest position, in a tie for eleventh place, of his eight
open championships. He was never on his game, yet he
was never sufficiently off to indicate scores of 76-77-79-77,
never under 76. Six strokes back of the lead as the final
day dawned, Bobby was feeling confident enough, and we
decided that a couple of 72's would be good enough. After
which he came in with 79 and 77. Yet, as he stood on the
thirteenth tee in the third round, with all the trouble he
had found in the furrowed bunkers and all the dismal golf
he had played, he was in the best position in the field. He
was just one stroke behind Cooper, who was leading, and
looked set for no worse than 72. His shots were finally
going well; he was hitting the ball beautifully. That was
the only interval in the tournament when he was really
On the thirteenth, par 3, his drive was off line, winding
up in a narrow ditch. He was in an ugly place and had
little room to swing. He knocked the ball out into a big
bunker, failed to get out on his first try, finally reaching
the green on his fourth shot, eight feet from the flag.
"Then," said Bobby, "I carefully missed the putt."
How those par 3's punished him. On the four par 3's
in this round he had nineteen shots, and those seven extra
strokes were the championship.
Starting eight strokes back in the fourth round, he did
not work too hard, although he did not stop trying. He
The Bobby Jones Story
was not pleased with his game, neither was he grieving
about it. He was just out of Emory University where he
finished his law studies and was admitted to the state and
federal bars, as a junior partner in his father's law firm.
He had had very little opportunity to practice, and Bobby,
probably better than any man living, knew that no golfer
could stay on top of his game all the time, or even a better
part of the time. It was the first open championship in
years without an amateur threat at the finish.
So the debonair Black Scot, who started playing golf at
the age of six on his native heath at Edinburgh, who en-
listed as a private in the British tank corps, came out a
major, losing the sight in one eye, was tied at the finish
with Lighthorse Harry Cooper, twenty-two years old.
As at the historic championship of 1920 at Inverness,
three men came up to the last green with a putt to tie.
Cooper's score was already on the board, 301. Gene Sara-
zen came first, needing a birdie to tie. He hit his 50-foot
putt bravely, but failed and was a stroke outside. Armour
came next. He had started the round one stroke back of
Cooper. They had turned in 39 each. Armour started the
last nine with a wretched six and it looked as if he were
through. He picked up a birdie at the eleventh, but on the
long twelfth, the "ghost hole," which had wrecked so
many scores during the tournament, he took seven strokes.
Now he surely was through. But the Black Scot was still
fighting. He was now three strokes back of Cooper and
something of the old Jacobite cavalier spirit must have
come out in Tommy's heart as he started that final six
holes. He went 3-4-4-3-4, and now he had a birdie at the
eighteenth to tie Cooper.
I shall never forget that last hole. I sat at the edge of
the green to see what the Black Scot would do. He was the
best iron player that I had ever seen, as I have said more
than once. On this 460-yard hole, his fine drive left him
THE BLACK SCOT
180 yards from the green. This was the shot that would
tell the story - a chance to get the putt down - or not. Low
moans from the gallery marked the progress of his perfect
iron shot. It was exactly on line. It stopped ten feet, a long
ten feet short of the pin. A 10-foot putt for a tie! And his
first open championship !
Tommy could not stand still. He walked back and forth
out of range of his partner's vision. His face was gray, and
his black eyebrows were startlingly dark. The silence had
a tension that hurt. Suddenly I became conscious of a con-
versation behind me. Two men were talking, so low that
their voices seemed to be inside my own head -
"No man on earth could hole that putt under the pres-
sure that's on him now, 33 said the first voice.
"I would not say that, 33 came the reply. "Do you know
what he did in the World War? 33
"No, what? 35
"He got out of his tank and strangled a Prussian officer
with his bare hands. D 3 ye think he will miss that putt? 33
He sank it.
Hail, Black Scot!
In the play-off, the stern old course still resisted their
assault. Both were out in 39. Tommy again lost a stroke
at the tenth, and another at the eleventh, started his
come-back on the thirteenth and pulled up square with a
50-foot putt at the fifteenth. The treacherous sixteenth
gave him a mortgage on the title when he went up two
strokes, and the seventeenth foreclosed it. On the seven-
teenth Cooper had played a magnificent second shot,
eighteen inches from the pin. To shoot for the pin, Tom-
my had to pitch over a deep bunker that might cost any
number of strokes, but he shot boldly for it, and was a
few inches inside Harry. Tommy won less with his hands
than he did with his heart. The extra stroke gained on the
last hole was not needed.
The Bobby Jones Story
That very complete failure at Oakmont accounted for
Bobby Jones 9 trip to Britain in 1927.
Disappointed at his showing at Oakmont, Bobby wired
the U. S. Golf Association to see if it were too late to enter
the British Open Championship. His entry was cabled and
two weeks later, he sailed and arrived at St. Andrews with
five days left for practice before the tournament began.
HE TUMULT AND THE SHOUTING HAD
died. The captains and the kings had de-
parted. There was a brooding content in
the soft, long twilight over the Firth, and
the old turf of St. Andrews showed gray
in the foreground. The British Cham-
pionship of 1927 was over, and Bobby
Jones was champion again, the first time
a golfer had repeated successively in
twenty years. The "Unofficial King of
Scotland' 3 he was affectionately called.
If ever an athlete was set to win an
event, it was Bobby at St. Andrews. Six
strokes ahead of the field with a new rec-
ord score of 285 for the British cham-
pionship, one stroke better than the
American record held by Chick Evans.
He finished five strokes better than par
and was never over par for a single
round. In the good old Scriptural phrase,
his face was set like a flint on the goal,
and as the rounds went by the shadows
deepened beneath his eyes; as the strain
took its toll, more than one Englishman
asked if the boy were physically well. It
was simply unparalleled concentration
The Bobby Jones Story
on the work in hand. I have seen something like it on the
face of a chess player, pondering over some deep and vital
problem. Bobby was thousands of miles from the scram-
bling mob at St. Andrews. He was no nearer than China
to his playing companions. Bobby was entirely absorbed in
the shot he was playing at the moment.
I have never seen nor hope to see another such round
as Bobby played on the first day of the tournament. His
score of 68 was the first time he had ever broken 70
in an open championship in twelve starts, and was a record
score for St. Andrews in competition, shot from the tour-
nament tees. He was leading the chase from then on, a
rare achievement for one man to set the pace at the begin-
ning of a tournament and still be in front at the finish.
Coming off the last green, he looked at me with a vague
wonder in his eyes, and said:
"Did you ever in all your life see so absolutely crazy a
To elaborate. When I went up to his room in the Grand
Hotel, hard by the eighteenth green, Bobby was sitting in
one corner, still somewhat dizzy; Big Bob sat in another,
smiling solemnly; Jack Mclntire, Bobby's caddy, occu-
pied another corner, smiling contentedly; Stewart Mai-
den, Kiltie the King Maker, had the other corner, saying
nothing eloquently, but I thought I could discern a wee
twinkle in his eye. Bobby was talking : -
"It was the hardest decent score I ever shot. I have
played harder rounds, scoring worse, but I have never
scored so well in so hard a round. Kiltie was right. He
said if I ever got to missing my big shots, I might sink
some putts. I sank some today. It seems you can't play
the other shots and putt all at once. At least, I can't."
The cumulative luck of a dozen years was upon him
about the greens and the putts that had denied him in a
score of championships went down that day. He could not
Bobby glaring at the ball as his hands sweep through to send it on its hissing
Chick Evans and Roland MacKenzie at the 1929 National Amateur at Pebble
The gallery following the Jones-Wethered match in the finals of the British
Amateur in 1930 at St. Andrews, the first time Bobby won this event.
Bobby, with Mary and his mother and father, as he returned from the "double"
victory in 1930.
The officials of the U. S. Golf Association close in to protect Bobby as he sinks
the last putt of his golfing career, and Eugene Romans congratulates him.
Bobby with his last championship trophy, the National Amateur Champion-
ship won at Merion Cricket Club in 1930.
This is O. B.'s favorite picture of Bobby. It is his last look at the pin before
Lt. Col. Robert Tyre Jones with our army overseas in World War II.
Bobby congratulates Ben Hogan and Charles Coe at the Masters', Augusta
National Golf Club.
The home green during a Masters' tournament.
Johnnie Goodman, who defeated Jones, then at the height of his career, in the
first round of the Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach in 1929.
THE SECOND BRITISH OPEN
have putted on any other golf course in the world as he
did at St. Andrews for on no other course could he have
been on the green and so far from the cup. He had 28
putts, six of them more than 100 feet, did not miss one
under 12 feet, and on the fifth, sank one of 120 feet for
an eagle. This is the double green of the fifth and thir-
teenth holes, where Watts Gunn made his famous putt of
about the same length in the amateur championship of
1926. After this spectacular exhibition, Bobby was off on
a run that needed only seven putts on six consecutive
holes. He played the next nine holes in 30 strokes. He went
around the famous Loop, eighth through the twelfth, par
3-4-4-3-4, in sixteen strokes, opening a gap between him-
self and the rest of the field that was never closed.
I asked him how it felt to be leading the field.
"Don'tworry," he replied, "somebody will come in with
a 67, maybe a 66."
In his second round of 72, Bobby had 33 putts, four
more putts, four more strokes; in the third, his best played
golf of the tournament up to the greens, he had 73 with
36 putts; and in the final round, 72 with 34 putts; as
regularly mathematical in scoring and execution as golf
could possibly be.
Bobby started badly in the last round and I was sick
with fear that the great strain would kill him off at last
Big Bob confessed that he could not follow him. I con-
fessed that I had not intended to go all the way, only to
see him well started, then go back and rely on his lead of
four strokes and the fine golf he was shooting. But he had
not started well. He was three over 4's at the long fifth,
and a sort of morbid fascination had carried me along
until he reached the Loop, which he had entered with a
bad 4 on the eighth hole, missing a yard long putt. There
he arose in his might, took that Loop by the tail and jolly
The Bobby Jones Story
well twisted it He went 3-3-3-3, and the championship
was settled as a champion, should settle it.
Big Bob said he had heard that Bobby was three over
4's, which was discouraging; then he heard he was two
under 4 5 s and he knew that was impossible. As he stood
around the eighteenth green, wondering what was hap-
pening and waiting for the army to charge, somebody
jogged him in the ribs. It was Stewart Maiden.
"Let's go/ 5 said Stewart.
"Where and what for? 55 queried Big Bob.
"Let's go. It's all over/' persisted Stewart.
"What's all over," said the puzzled father.
"The show. He's in/ 5 said Stewart curtly.
Whereupon Stewart and Big Bob set out for the hotel.
Stewart had never been so confident of his famous pupil.
The night before the tournament began he had told trie
in a burst of confidence that he was certain Bobby would
win, that no man in the field could beat him when he was
hitting his shots as he was that week. It was the only pre-
diction that Stewart ever made in an important event, an
average of 1000 per cent
Bobby was carried off the eighteenth green on the
shoulders of a roaring mob, was rescued by six stalwart
Scottish policemen, who worked their way to the hotel.
Twenty thousand men and women and children were
cheering him. "Good boy, Bobby," they called as he
passed, and vied for an opportunity to pat him affection-
ately on his stained old sweater he had worn throughout
the tournament. "Good boy, Bobby/' they shouted, swirl-
ing acres of fans about the home green, the first tee, the
Royal and Ancient Golf Club, and the hotel. I have never
witnessed such an ovation in any sporting event, and they
say the British are not demonstrative.
At the door of the hotel, Big Bob was waiting, as he
had waited so many times for a tired little boy in rompers
THE SECOND BRITISH OPEN
to come in at dusk from a long afternon on the old course
at East Lake. I took off my glasses to wipe them about
this time but the mist was not on the glasses. If for no
other reason than that Big Bob had come all the way over
there to see it, it would have been Bobby's greatest tri-
Even old St. Andrews was benign for once. There was
practically no wind all week, and the North Atlantic was
placid as a mill pond. Rare behavior for this seaside bat-
tleground. Enormous crowds followed the players, and on
the last day, Bobby played through a narrow solid mass of
humanity from tee to green.
When Bobby went down to receive the most prized tro-
phy in Britain for the second year, before that vast throng,
stretching down to the Swilcan Burn, he made his most
graceful speech and becoming gesture:
"I had rather win a championship at St. Andrews than
anything else that could happen to me. You have done so
many things for me that I am embarrassed to ask one
more, but I will. I want this wonderful old club to accept
the custody of the cup for the coming year. 33
Harold Hilton replied :
"Bobby Jones has done a simply magnificent thing in
coming back to defend his title. It was a sporting thing to
do, and our people, who already loved him, now simply
adore him. He has won British hearts as well as British
Truly the Unofficial King of Scotland.
ARNOUSTIE IS A DEAR LITTLE SCOTTISH
town, whose name is not unfamiliar in
C^ my home town, Atlanta, which has had
upwards of a dozen golf professionals
o from this small, Caledonian village. One
o was Willie Mann, dear old "Wullie,"
who was the first professional that the
Druid Hills Golf Club had. There was
Alex Smith, Jimmie Maiden and his
brother Stewart, Kiltie the King Maker,
and Willie Ogg and Charley Gray; all
from Carnoustie, a town of 6,000 inhab-
itants and five golf courses; where an
inexorable law says you may not play
golf on the Sabbath day; and where the
inhabitants carry curious little walking
sticks on Sunday, the top fashioned in the
shape of a golf clubhead, which they
swing, meditatively, as they take their
Sabbath evening walks.
Sunday was the Sabbath in most of
Scotland. At St. Andrews, there was nae
gowf on Sunday. It was suggested that
there might be conceivably a bootleg sort
o'gowf ; a putting course, mind you, hid
out in the low hills among the heather to
THE SILENT SCOT
which steal unobtrusively certain desperate addicts of the
game, of a Sabbath afternoon; and jouk in amang the
heather for a roond or twa on the wee links. But naething
legal ! They played gowf on Sunday at Gleneagles, which
was an American and ungodly type of perfectly beautiful
golfing resort. I was there twice and approved it thor-
oughly, especially the day Mr. Jones shot a 67.
Our visit to Carnoustie was a sort of pilgrimage, es-
pecially for Bobby, the home of his friend and mentor and
the man who was responsible for his golf - Stewart Mai-
den. Bobby had just been crowned British Open Cham-
pion at St. Andrews for the second successive time, his
name was ringing through the land and he was going over
to play an exhibition round on his teacher's old home
course at Garnoustie.
Stewart was along of course, and George Low, who
arranged the event. In all my experience in golf which has
been certainly not brief and perhaps not inconsiderable,
there is nothing that quite compares with that pilgrimage
to Caroustie across the Tay river from St. Andrews. Even
Stewart, the taciturn Caledonian loosened up. We crossed
the Tay on a ferry boat, and Stewart, spying a Scottish
piper in full regalia, sidled off from the rest of the party,
and the next thing we knew, the piper was strutting up
and down the deck, and no true piper can pipe unless he is
strutting, blowing "Cock of the North, 59 quite lustily. He
made them skirl with a will. My ambition heretofore had
been to play a trombone or sliphorn, but right there, I was
a convert to the bagpipe. But it needs a lot of room. It is
strictly outdoor music.
At Dundee, the far side of the Tay, a thousand citizens,
mysteriously apprised, were waiting to salute Bobby Jones,
the unofficial King of Scotland. The way those people
loved golf and Bobby is beyond words. It was ten minutes
before his car could get started for Carnoustie. And there
The Bobby Jones Story
the mayor, or provost, awaited him with the key to the city
and after luncheon, Bobby went out to play golf. About
6,000 of the population, which is estimated at 6,000, went
along with him. I took a few pictures, then I found Stew-
art, and we turned back toward his old home.
I wished the boys from East Lake might have been
along on this pilgrimage to visit the town and the golf
course and Stewart's old home. We went along a substan-
tial sort of street, all the houses of Scottish stone on both
sides; low, solid, built for centuries. And we came to the
home of Stewart Maiden
Stewart's mother was out in the little garden in the
rear of the house and we spent an hour there. The dearest
lady I have seen was Stewart's mother and I took a pic-
ture of her and Stewart on a bench in the garden. They
thought a deal of Stewart, his mother and sister. And
Stewart loved them no less.
It was a wonderful thing to see the way Stewart's
fellow townsmen greeted him, as we were walking about
the golf course, or walking through the town.
Up came a big Caledonian who had not seen Stewart
in twenty years.
"Aye, Stewart," said he, as if it had been twenty min-
"Aye, Wullie," said Stewart in the same unexcited tone.
And they talked, Wullie doing most of the talking until
another Scot strolled up.
"Aye, Stewart," said the newcomer.
"Aye, Sandy," said Stewart and Sandy joined in the
Another with flaming red hair walked up.
"Aye, Stewart," said he.
"Aye, Red," said Stewart, and they all were talking,
although I would say Wullie kept up his end rather thor-
THE SILENT SCOT
In five minutes six of Stewart's old cronies strolled up,
unconcernedly. I gathered they had heard most com-
pletely the story of Stewart's success in America; and
certainly they knew accurately the triumphs of his fa-
mous pupil. But there was a curious lack of demonstra-
"Aye, Stewart," they saluted him in his home town.
And "Aye, Sandy," was the Silent Scot's rejoinder.
The Cmp Runneth Over
OBEY HAD GONE, HAD SEEN AND HAD
conquered Great Britain. At Minikahda,
he won his third national championship
by defeating Charles Evans, Jr., 8-7. The
> long, long trail was turning. I was curi-
o ously relaxed and happy. I would never
have to argue again in any press room.
I would never have to make any more
impassioned speeches about this young
man, who was now beyond all cavil or
question the greatest living golfer. The
other fellows were all agreed at last with
what I had been telling them for seven
long years. At Oakmont, the more cas-
uistical critics had said that Bobby was
slipping when he failed to win the open
championship, indeed shot the worst golf
of his career. Ten weeks later at Mini-
kahda, they were all saying that the
greatest golfer of all time had reached
Bobby was fortunate enough to know
the lash of misfortune in many years of
defeat. It is in the fire of failure that
great souls are made, not along the rose-
red path of victory. Jones, beaten year
THE CUP RUNNETH OVER
after year, acquired the needed seasoning under the black
shadow of depressing fortune. It was there he discovered
the jewel in the toad's head of defeat. In this tournament
he was like steel that had gone through the furnace.
Chick and Bobby, traditional rivals, had each won the
amateur championship twice, were now in quest of the
third. Here at Minikahda in 1916, Chick had won the
U. S. Open championship with a record score of 286,
which stood for many years. He had gone on to win the
amateur championship the same year, the first amateur
to achieve this honor. He had not reached the final round
since 1922 when he was defeated by Jess Sweetser, and
after the reversals of several years, fortune had smiled
and given him another opportunity. His return to first
rank competition had been welcomed by all true golfing
It is true the dauntless Chick had been defeated hither
and yon during the past few years, but nobody had ever
gone quite so fast against him as Bobby started at Mini-
kahda. From the first hole where he took a birdie, Chick
felt the cold iron grip upon his neck and the hand of a
master heavy in his collar. He won only four holes during
the match. Bobby had five birdies and an eagle for the
twenty-six holes that were played, a string of seven 3's in
the first eleven holes, was 5 up at the end of the morning
On the ninth hole, Bobby played the finest shot I have
ever seen him make, irrespective of importance. The hole
was a gigantic dog-leg, 512 yards long, with a finish up a
steep slope to a small elevated green, two enormous shots
to get home. Harry Vardon, the old master, said the most
difficult shot in golf was the pitched approach to the
green, meaning of course, the shot that carried to the
green with power to hold it. Bobby played a spoon second
with an eighth of a mile carry, or more, that stopped two
The Bobby Jones Story
feet short of the cup, toward which it trickled straight as
a ruled line, and wanted only a grasshopper's kick added
to the silken swing of Bobby Jones to have rolled in for a
deuce. The only eagle ever made on that hole. That was
the finishing touch.
Cold rain was pelting down as the gallery shivered
around the twenty-sixth green. Chick putted first about
four feet past the hole, and Bobby laid his putt up safely.
As Chick stood addressing his ball, knowing that a half
would only prolong the inevitable, he accidentally moved
the ball with his putter. Smiling, he picked it up and held
out his hand to Bobby. He had called the stroke on him-
self, and for a moment the gallery did not realize what
had happened. Then they sent up a resounding cheer for
Bobby's superb golf, and a tribute to the man who had
fought so bravely when there was no chance to win.
After Bobby had gone, the gallery gathered around
Chick to shake his hand. Chick, always willing to give a
victor his laurels, said :
"It was worth a good drubbing to see such a marvelous
exhibition of golf."
In the first round of qualifying, Bobby had shot a very
poor 75, and was worried. He decided the thing to do
next day was to shoot for the medal, in other words, shoot
the works. He reached the turn in 31, came home in 36,
and was medalist with a card of 142, a tie for the record,
that was only lowered twice before the adoption of re-
gional qualifying. In match play he had only one close
call. In the first 18-hole match against Maurice McCar-
thy, he won only 2 up. He reached the top of his game
in the 36-hole matches and trounced Harrison Johnson,
Ouimet and Evans decisively. More even than at Merion,
he held them in an iron hand, and the best of the ama-
teurs were as children before him.
I will never forget the face of Big Bob Jones as he
THE CUP RUNNETH OVER
walked slowly into the friendly little lounge upstairs in
the club after Bobby had shot a 67 in the morning round
and was 5 up. I had seen Big Bob's face set like a mask
under the punishment of seeing Bobby go down to defeat,
fighting; and again I had seen him at St. Andrews when
his son was coming in with a championship and a record.
But I had never seen quite the same look on the face of
the gallant old Roman as when he walked into the lounge
at Minikahda. Others came along presently, and there
was harmony, in considerable volume. Big Bob was sing-
ing bass and everything he sang sounded for all the world
like "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah," or "The Battle Hymn of
the Republic," or maybe "The Marseillaise."
My own heart wasn't so empty with all the boys coming
around, shaking hands and congratulating me, as we said
goodbye for another year until we would meet again at
the championships in 1928.
And though I never mentioned it to Bobby, or he to me,
this 1927 championship at Minikahda went into the
book as one more consecutive year in which Bobby was a
champion of the United States in the string he was trying
to stretch to six.
Minikahda made it five in a row.
All innovations are met by opposition hither and yon.
The new standard ball adopted by the United States Golf
Association in 1927 met furious opposition from the duf-
fers, who imagined with no very good reason that it would
curtail their range on the infrequent occasions when they
managed to get the club head and the ball in approxi-
mately correct contact.
The Royal and Ancient and other golf arbiters decided
something should be done about the golf ball -steps
should be taken; resolutions adopted, or something. It
The Bobby Jones Story
turned out to be measures, weights and measures, you
might say. And now we have the wretched ball in our
power at least in one direction. We have it standardized,
that is, it must not weigh more than a certain weight
(L62 ounces) and it must not be smaller than a certain
diameter, which I believe is about L68 inches.
The golf ball was not always thus, a lively and expen-
sive globule of rubber core and rubber strands. Before
Mr. Haskell, a man with a vision probably by no means
commensurate with what he actually accomplished for
and to humanity, devised the rubber-cored ball, the
sedate old "gutty" held sway. And before that was the
"feathery." I suppose prior to the "feathery" the hardy
Caledonian shepherds used round pebbles and drove, ap-
proached and putted with their shepherd's crooks, which
looked as much like golf clubs as some of the putters now
in alleged use.
The rubber-cored ball which made its appearance
about 1920 was opposed bitterly until old Alec Herd es-
poused it and won his first and only British open cham-
pionship with it, and thus established himself among the
The gutta-percha was opposed when it was first pre-
sented in the crude, handmarked form in the days when
Allan Robertson was king of the professional ranks in
Britain. Allan was born in 1824, and died at the age of
thirty-four, the greatest golfer of his day. He set two
records with the old "feathery." He was the first re-
corded golfer to break 80 for eighteen holes, which he did
with a 79 in 1857 ; and he was never beaten in a set match.
The Haskell, or lively rubber ball, proved to be the
most radical and revolutionary innovation the game has
known. It was directly responsible for the prodigious
growth of the game, which with the old gutty was re-
stricted in interest mainly to persons who were willing to
THE CUP RUNNETH OVER
study and work with it until they were at least decently
The fascination of the new ballistics was by no means
restricted to players of golf. The manufacturers, after
catching their breath, started out on an orgy of experi-
mental production. They put practically everything inside
the rubber strands from soft soap to some sort of acid that
ruined the eyes of inquisitive children who cut into the
missiles or bit them open. They made the balls smaller
and smaller and wound the strands tighter and tighter,
and Ted Ray and Abe Mitchell hit them farther and far-
ther until finally the legislative powers took hold of the
situation to prevent the standardized golf courses from
being scrapped and made over on the Great Plains of the
middle west or the Desert of Sahara; and for other pur-
poses as the conventional legislative bills recite.
/^if IT* if U
OR THE THIRD TIME IN FIVE YEARS, BOBBY
Jones was tied at the end of the Open
F^ Championship of 1928, and again he
lost in the playoff by one stroke. This
> o time he was beaten by handsome Johnny
o Farrell, in the most dramatic finish ever
seen in an open championship. To finish
with two birdies is so hectic an achieve-
ment that the fact that one man won
and the other lost fades into comparative
insignificance as we salute the greatest
finish in all golfing history. Not one man
alone made two birdies. They both made
them. Farrell finished 3-4, and Bobby
finished 3-4. The style in which they
played those last two holes must have
caused the gods of Olympus, if they were
paying proper attention to their earthly
Fields, to kick over the nectar pot and go
thundering down the slopes to get a wee
nip of a certain Georgia product.
One stroke behind as they drove from
the eighteenth tee, it looked as if Bobby
might catch his opponent when his sec-
ond shot was nicely in front of the green,
and Johnny was in the rough, sixty yards
away. He pitched on ten feet from the pin, and Bobby
chipped dead for a birdie 4. The fighting spirit of the
Irish was in a grim humor, and there was a curious steely
glint in Johnny's dark blue eyes as he stood up to this
long putt with his face set like a cameo. Just as he started
his backswing, a movie camera began to whir, a sound
beside which, to a tense golfer, the buzz of a rattlesnake
is bland innocence itself. Johnny checked the stroke,
stepped back from the ball and smiled. Then despite all
the strain, he struck the ball as smoothly and crisply as
the beat of a Curtiss engine. It rolled along a curving line,
beautifully predestined on the slanting green, drawn to
the cup as if by a magnet, and dropped in for the cham-
What a roar went up. It was as if some giant finger had
touched off a giant gun. Johnny smiled in his fine, boyish
way, and I knew why he was called the "beautiful Irish-
man. 35 A sort of flare of the spirit had Johnny. I had seen
Lou Tellegen in his blazing younger days when he was
leading man for Sarah Bernhardt, and was rated the
handsomest man in the world, but I think he was never
handsomer than Johnny was on this memorable occasion,
when he won his first and only open championship.
All honor to Johnny. And all honor to Bobby. He was
superb in defeat. There was no sting. Nothing but glory
in the finish.
On the thirty-fifth green, Bobby had a putt four times
the length of Johnny's winning one to keep him in the
hunt, and this too had clicked into the cup with the cer-
tainty of a natural phenomenon. True, he did not catch
the handsome Irishman, but it took a birdie to win against
a birdie, I am sure that no golfer who ever lived, not even
the mighty battler, Hagen, could have squeezed from a
slipping and uncertain game, the four rounds that Bobby
fashioned in his own miraculous manner at Olympia
The Bobby Jones Story
Fields, to tie, and then to carry the play-off to the home
Bobby started the tournament with a fair round of 73,
went into the lead at the half with 144, and was two
strokes ahead as he started the last round. His driver had
betrayed him and he had been struggling all the way with
difficult and sometimes impossible second shots with re-
markable recoveries, and was putting better than anybody
in the field on the bent greens. Olympia Fields was a
course which required above all else accurate tee shots.
In that final round, Bobby, with the championship in
his hands, kicked it away. He picked up two birdies at
the first and fifth holes, and there, as far as human reckon-
ing applied, he had the title in hand. He was past the
toughest part of the course and had a lead of at least five
strokes. And this happened. It is a sort of confession. Bob-
by was worn out fighting the course. He was tired of strug-
gling, and had a big lead. I think, after that fifth hole, he
looked more a certain winner than he had looked at the
same stage in any other open tournament, even at St.
Andrews. And he made the fatal mistake of telling him-
self that he would just coast in from there, the most dan-
gerous mood a competitive golfer ever encounteres.
Beginning with the sixth hole, par is 3-4-3-4-4. Bobby's
card for those holes was 5-6-4-5-5, Seven strokes lost to
par in five successive holes. That is what coasting can do
even to a Bobby Jones. The jolt came at the sixth where
he pulled his drive into a ditch and did well to get a 5.
The rest of the debacle came naturally, trying too hard.
After he had coasted out of a great lead, he began playing
golf once more and scrambled in with a card of 77. Ha-
gen and McDonald Smith had not taken advantage of
the opportunity he had presented them in the last round,
but Johnny Farrell with a fine round of 72 had picked up
five strokes on him and they were tied.
In the play-off, Bobby picked up his usual birdie at the
first hole and was never in the lead again until the thir-
teenth hole. Johnny played steadily and beautifully. Bob-
by would present him with a couple of strokes at a time,
work like a beaver to get them back in the next four or
five holes, and then present him with a couple more.
Johnny had a remarkable score of 70 in the morning
round and led by three strokes. In the afternoon, Johnny
started 5-5-5 and with 4-4-4, Bobby went into the lead
for the first time since the first hole in the morning.
Johnny squared with a deuce at the short sixteenth, his
third deuce of the match.
Johnny's score was 143 and Bobby's 144, in this first
scheduled 36-hole play-off in the Open Championship.
Olympia Fields had much drama in this tournament.
In the second round, Walter Hagen had 40 strokes on the
first nine, under lowering skies but no rain, and then in a
torrential downpour came back in 32. This 72 kept him
very much in the chase.
But it was Roland Hancock, a young professional, who
had both Bobby and Farrell beaten as he stood on the
seventeenth tee of the last round after a wonderful burst
of golf, scoring 33 going out. Par 4 and 5 on the last two
holes would have given him a card of 69 and the cham-
pionship by two strokes. A grim, bitter tragedy of golf
for this kid. Glory and fame lay ahead. A simple 4 and 5
were all that was in the way. The great Bobby had col-
lapsed. The great Hagen was back of Bobby. Farrell was
tied. Everything rested on Roland's broad shoulders and
the brightest coronet of sport was an inch above his brow.
But the strain, aided by a wildly enthusiastic gallery, was
too great. He finished 6-6. The kid had learned very young
what the murderous strain of a final round in an open
championship could be.
And Bobby Jones was left with a set of harrowing mem-
The Bobby Jones Story
ories of golden opportunities tossed away, more than in
any championship in which he had ever played.
After Brae Burn
A Look at the Records
* N HIS TRIUMPH OVER THOMAS PHILIP
Perkins, the British Amateur Champion,
^ IT ^ in the first real international champion-
JL ship ever played, Bobby closed out one
o e of his greatest years at the Brae Burn
o Country Club, in the U. S. Amateur. He
tied the old record of Jerome Travers in
winning four amateur championships,
and in all future battles, Bobby would
have to travel alone in unchartered terri-
tory. No golfer in the three hundred
years of the game had achieved the con-
quests of the boy from Georgia. Since
June 1923, his blond head had never
been without a national golfing crown.
In addition to the four U. S. Amateurs
that had fallen to his irons, he had twice
won the U. S. Open Championship, and
twice the British.
Although Bobby was still suffering
from wildness off the tee in his final
match, it was not as acute as earlier in
the week, and in most instances, he was
able to pull a club from his bag that
would nullify any mistakes his driver had
cost. He had 71 in the morning round,
The Bobby Jones Story
and after the first six holes, Perkins did not have a chance
until the seventeenth where Bobby went over par for one
of the only two over par holes of the day. In the afternoon,
he was out in 35, and could have beaten any golfer in the
field easily. His short game was more perfect than I had
ever seen it. Calamity Jane, his favorite and famed putter,
had been restored to favor, after having been in disuse for
some time, and he gave Phil a putting lesson he likely
would never forget. The golfing brigade was put on no-
tice that they had nothing to look forward to but years
Vanished were Perkins' great shots of the earlier
rounds, and the Lancashire lad was never close to par.
He said wistfully after the match was over:
"When one plays against Mr. Jones, he has only the
pleasure of being defeated by the greatest of all golfers
and the finest of all sportsmen." *
Bobby was over the peak when he reached Brae Burn
after playing in the Walker Gup matches at the Chicago
Golf Club, where he had led the Americans to their great-
est victory. A long string of sub-par rounds, a dozen in
all, seemed to have used up all the golf he had for the
time being. He qualified safely but not brilliantly, and got
by his first 18-hole match on "Red Wednesday," as George
Trevor of the New York Sun had called those calamitous
18-hole matches. In the second match, he met Ray Gor-
ton, who held the course record, and this turned out to
be the crucial match of the championship.
Against Gorton, Bobby went incredibly off his game,
taking forty-two strokes on the first nine holes, and still
was square for Gorton was equally wild. Then came the
fireworks. The tenth hole was 49J yards long. Gorton
smacked a brassie second twelve feet from the flag, and
sank an eagle 3, while Bobby was happy with his birdie 4.
The eleventh hole was 463 yards, par 4. Gorton was nicely
AFTER BRAE BURN
on with his second, twenty feet from the pin. Bobby's
drive was sliced into the deep rough with a small tree al-
most in his line, and a group of tall trees directly between
his ball and the green, 200 yards away. He had to get
elevation on the shot promptly, a niblick or spade shot,
for the ball was in deep grass. It looked as if he would go
2 down here. Bobby took out a No. 4 iron, swung as hard
as he could, tearing up a big strip of turf and long grass,
and the fascinated gallery saw the ball soar over the trees
and land fifteen feet from the flag. Bobby has always said
this was the finest iron shot he ever played, not excepting
the one at Inwood.
After which, Gorton, not in the least perturbed, holed
his putt for a birdie, and Bobby promptly holed his for a
half. Up and down they went to the seventeenth hole,
match square. This was a tricky par 3, 255 yards, with a
drive from a hilltop tee to a small green in the valley.
Neither hit the green but Gorton chipped up close for his
par. Bobby was bunkered and his blast left him a putt of
seven feet on the most deceptive green on the course.
Watching from the hillside above, I thought Bobby's ball
would never get as far as the cup, so slowly it traveled,
and when it finally dropped out of sight I surprisingly
found myself sitting on the ground. I had dropped too.
The eighteenth at Brae Burn required a tremendous
carry of 220 yards over a large mound and a brook. Bobby
was over but sliced behind a similar mound farther on. He
was on with his third, twenty feet from the flag and it
looked as if the match was over when Gorton's drive
sliced into the woods, and he had played out safely, reach-
ing the green in 4, five yards past the pin, but from this
elevation, he sank for a half. Again on the nineteenth hole,
he was in the woods, and again he almost sank a terrific
putt for a half. This match was the tournament for Bobby.
Nobody was ever close to him again.
The Bobby Jones Story
Former champions fell like leaves on this Red Wednes-
day: George Von Elm, Jess Sweetser, Max Marston and
At the close of 1928, Bobby had been national cham-
pion six years in a row. His ambition of 1925 had been
realized. I think perhaps we both at that time had the
hope that the string might be longer - but we did not say
so - lest we break the charm.
Preparing for the International Walker Cup Matches
at the Chicago Golf Club, Mr. Jones, being captain of the
American team which won, worked with more faithfulness
than he ever displayed in getting ready for an individual
competition. He felt his responsibility as team captain. He
went up to Asheville for four practice rounds, in which he
scored 69-71-69-68. In Chicago, at Old Elm, a beautiful
course, which he had never seen before, he set a new record
with 68. Then he moved over to the Chicago Golf Club
and broke the record of that great course with 68. Next
day he broke it again with a 67. Then another 68. This
seemed too good to last, and when he started raggedly at
Flossmoore in the Warren K. Wood Memorial tourna-
ment, everybody thought the natural reaction had set in.
He was 2 over par for seven holes. He then shot seven 3's
in a row, and one more, three 4 3 s, and the long last nine in
30 for a 67 and another broken record, 3-3-3-3-3-3-3-4-3-
Everybody was predicting a letdown in the Walker Cup
matches. Mr. Jones touched off a 70 under the hapless
Philip Perkins in the singles. He then went over to Boston,
and played a benefit match with Johnny Farrell, against
Hagen and Sarazen, shooting 69-67 at Woodland.
Including the very excellent 70, and counting the re-
hearsal affairs, we have one dozen rounds as follows :
A simple mathematical calculation reveals that this is
AFTER BRAE BURN
an average of 68 2/3 strokes per round on five different
courses, or forty strokes under 4*s for twelve rounds.
After Bobby's defeat by Johnny Farrell, one stroke in
108 holes, in the National Open at Olympia Fields, there
were those who said it was too bad Bobby was slipping.
Ah, yes, too bad.
The 1928 international golf matches played at the Chi-
cago Golf Club produced the most complete drubbing for
the visitors in the history of the event, 1 1 points to 1 ; a
clean sweep in the foursomes, and 7 out of 8 singles. It also
produced one of the greatest lines ever spoken on a golf
course or anywhere else in the realm of sport.
Tony Torrance, a tall, handsome Scot, playing in No. 6
position against Chick Evans on the American side, had a
fine battle through the morning round; and then with
Evans, suddenly slipping, at the turn in the afternoon,
Tony was 5 up. By this time it was certain that this was
the only match the British could win, but the match was
not at all certain. With a flash of courage and a return to
his normal form, Chick took back hole after hole until he
cut Torrance's lead to 1 up with two holes to play. A hard
par 4 on the seventeenth and Tony was dorrnie 1. Evans
made a great fight to the finish, planting his second shot
well on the final green, while Torrance was many yards
away, and his pitch left him a tough putt of nearly two
yards for a half.
One lone match for Britain of all the list -and the
tall Scot from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club must sink
that putt. He sank it, rapping the ball straight to the
back of the cup. As he walked off the green, a reporter
asked him how far the ball had been from the hole.
"I didn't see the hole, 55 said Tony, and there was a
tremor in his voice. "All I could see was the Royal and
Ancient club house in the background!"
The Greatest Thrill
FTER BEING MIXED UP WITH GOLF FOR
somewhat more than a quarter of a cen-
A^ tury, it still was easy for me to select the
greatest thrill I experienced in competi-
o o tive sport; as an observer, of course. The
o funny thing is that the great thrill pro-
ducer was a 12-foot putt, which I did
not see although I was entirely surround-
ed by several thousand gasping maniacs
who were looking right at it, and within
an arm's length was a tall stepladder on
which was balanced precariously a press
photographer, making a picture of the
performance, I have this photograph on
my study wall. But I personally did not
see the putt.
The time was an hour before sunset
on Saturday, June 29, 1929. The place
was the home green, West Course, of the
Winged Foot Golf Club at Mamaroneck,
New York. The occasion was the thirty-
third playing of the United States Open
Championship in 1929, the fourth and
final round in progress.
When Bobby Jones walked off the
twelfth green on that final round he had
THE GREATEST THRILL
a clear lead of six strokes over Al Espinosa, who had
blown himself to an eight on that hole. Now see what can
happen when the pressure comes off. Espinosa, convinced
that his doom was cemented, played the last six holes with
an incredibly brilliant run of four 4 3 s and two 3's for a
round of 75 and a total score of 294, and was on the
board, leading the field.
And now the pressure was on Jones. He lost a stroke at
the thirteenth, and then picked up a devastating 7 after
a sliced drive at the fifteenth. His lead was gone. He need-
ed 4-4-4 to win by a single stroke and the sixteenth was a
Pressure? After a great drive and iron, he was on the
sixteenth, twenty feet from the flag. His first putt was five
feet short and he missed the second.
Now it was 4-4 to tie.
He got the first 4 easily. His drive on the eighteenth was
good enough. His steep pitch was nearly good enough. A
yard, half a yard, more and the ball would have been
neatly on the undulating, puzzling putting surface. Instead
the shot just failed to carry the rim of a deep bunker at
the edge of the green, and rolled down, stopping short of
the sand in the long grass, leaving a tricky little pitch for
And he had to get down in two from there.
As suggested earlier, the last I saw of the Jones 5 play on
this hole was the result of that tiny, tricky pitch, leaving
the ball a dozen feet from the flag, with a borrow of about
a foot on the left; a curving, rainbow putt on a green as
fast as ice. ... A putt of a dozen feet for a par 4 and a
tie with Espinosa.
It was that or nothing. If he missed, it would be the
first time he had scored as high as 80 in the open cham-
pionship. He would have blown a lead of six strokes, and
one more, in the last six holes. I knew in a sort of bewil-
The Bobby Jones Story
dering flash that if that putt stayed out, it would remain
a spreading and fatal blot, never to be wiped from his
I just didn't try to watch it. Someway it seemed that
the ball could not sink if I were watching it. Bobby stood
up to putt and the gallery subsided into a strange, breath-
ing silence pressing into the ears; somewhere a long way
off, I could hear a bell ringing slowly, I heard the faint
thin click of the stroke, and the beginning of a sort of sigh
in the gallery. The ball was on its way!
Only a dozen feet to go! How long it took! The sigh
grew in volume, changed to a gasp -
The gasp changed to an exultant roar - the crash of a
thunderbolt. The ball had rolled slowly and more slowly
across the sloping green, fast as ice, to the rim of the cup -
hesitated - stopped - then dropped in !
I will always believe that the remainder of Bobby's
career hung on that putt and that from this, stemmed the
Grand Slam of 1930.
After a few drinks, I had recovered sufficiently to ask
Al Watrous, who had been Bobby's playing companion for
the day, to describe this putt to me, the same Al Watrous
who had played with Bobby in the final round of the Brit-
ish Open Championship at St. Anne's. Al said the putt
was twelve feet past the cup and the range was so nicely
gauged, if the hole had been a four-and-a-quarter-inch
circle on the green, the ball would have stopped in the
middle of it. Bobby was not accessible. The crowd had
Next day - the rebound. Al Espinosa, one of the finest
professionals had gone as far as he could at Winged Foot.
Jones played nothing but par against him until he was
hopelessly beaten. A par 72 in the morning, and a 69 in
THE GREATEST THRILL
the afternoon, stood out as the finishing touch of sixty-five
medal rounds in the U. S. Open Championship, in which
he had never been above 80. He had won his fourth tie
in the last seven open championships; the first at Inwood,
he won against Cruickshank; the second at Worcester, he
lost to Willie Macfarlane; and to Johnny Farrell the year
before at Olympia Fields.
Bobby established another record at Winged Foot.
After spotting his inveterate friend and enemy, Old Man
Par, a matter of four strokes on the first three holes of the
opening round of the championship he smacked the an-
cient and honorable duffer for seven blows the rest of the
way, finishing 3 up on the old gentleman and leading the
Big Parade for the first time in his ten seasons of play. I
mean, he did a 69 for the round. I mean he broke 70 for
the first time in a national championship on this side of
the Atlantic. I mean he equalled the lowest nine holes
ever shot in the open championship, by Willie Macf arlane
at Worcester. Bobby had played only ten rounds of golf
in the last six months before coming to Winged Foot, not
enough practice for a national open, and that accounted
for his collapse in the fourth round.
The old story of Walter Kennon came to the front.
After all, it's an invitation tournament, to see if any one
can beat Bobby.
And it all hung on that 12-foot putt!
OLF CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE A GOOD DEAL
like omelets. You cannot have an omelet
^ without breaking eggs, and you cannot
have a golf championship without wreck-
o ing hopes. Let us consider Pebble Beach
^ where the Thirty-Third Amateur Cham-
pionship of the United States Golf Asso-
ciation was played. Bobby Jones, Nation-
al Open Champion, went out to Peb-
ble Beach with four records in prospect,
if he could win. There was the record of
Chick Evans, who won the Open and
the Amateur the same year in 1916.
There was the record held jointly by Jer-
ome Travers and Bobby, four amateur
championships. And there was the rec-
ord also held jointly by Bobby and the
very distinguished Englishman, John
Ball, of nine major championships. Mr.
Ball won the British Amateur eight times
and the British Open, once. There was a
chance for Bobby to take the United
States Amateur title three years in a row.
And what did Bobby do at Pebble
He came away with one other record,
AN UNEXPECTED RECORD
which of course had been thought upon by a few of us,
but seemed to have been utterly unconsidered by the
Four Million of Golf. For the first time in his career,
Bobby was defeated in the first round of a national cham-
pionship. One lone record remained. Bobby never failed
to qualify in any tournament he ever entered. At Pebble
Beach he was tied with Gene Homans for medalist with
cards of 145.
His defeat by Johnny Goodman of Omaha obviously
was a shock to the gallery and to the golf fans of the
nation. But not so much to Bobby nor to me. Bobby had
in a way of speaking become a tradition in golf. In our
sudden American way, he had become a traditiop too
soon. I, who had followed his career from the beginning,
found something quite exasperating in the general idea
that he was invincible, the bland and childlike conviction
that he could win a major tournament whenever he chose.
Golf is not that sort of game, which possibly is why golf is
the greatest of all games. No man ever has had golf under
his thumb. No man ever will have golf under his thumb.
The game is greater than the man. Golf is like the -game
of life. No man ever will be its master. Up to this time, I
do not believe there were a half dozen persons in the world
who realized that Bobby Jones could be beaten at any
time in an 18-hole match. Bobby was one. I was another.
Bobby had engaged in exactly nineteen 18-hole bouts in
the last five years in British and American amateur cham-
pionships. He had lost two and won seventeen. He had
close calls, as close as the home green or beyond, half a
dozen times. In 1926 in the sixth round of the British
Amateur, young Andrew Jamieson beat him 4-3. And now
Johnny Goodman, equally young but considerably more
capable had beaten him.
Seventeen victories out of nineteen starts would hardly
indicate that the incomparable Bobby was a pushover,
The Bobby Jones Story
even at the shortest dashes. Also in the last five years,
Bobby had played ten 36-hole matches in national ama-
teur championships, winning nine and losing one, which
proved that it was possible for him to lose at the longer
The defeat of Bobby and George Von Elm in the first
round was by no means a bad thing for the game. For the
first time in six years, the tournament became an open
affair, a fine old-fashioned fight; now that George and
Bobby were on the side lines. The galleries were disap-
pointed but they saw a real golf tournament. The accept-
ed method of playing a championship called on a man to
play medal golf for two rounds in qualifying; short-route
golf in two 18-hole matches; long-route in the 36-hole
matches. A champion must be able to excel at all three,
and Harrison Johnson, affectionately known as Jimmie,
did just this at Pebble Beach and a more worthy cham-
pion had never been acclaimed. Jimmie, thirty-three years
old, was treated roughly in World War I. He was gassed
severely and had suffered from long periods of poor health,
which often kept him out of golf. He looked more rugged
at this tournament than I had ever seen him, and in win-
ning this, the sixth championship in which he had played,
he seemed very happy and a little puzzled. This quiet,
modest young man behaved just as a champion should.
Dr. Oscar F. Willing, of Portland, Oregon, the runner-
up, also behaved with great credit; so well indeed both
after and during the match, that many of us felt some-
what ashamed of the rather harsh criticisms we had hand-
ed him during the previous matches. His tactics were as
deliberate as ever, it is true, but he omitted his habit of
walking over to watch an opponent in trouble or playing
from a tough situation. Dr. Willing had done yeoman
service for his flag and for his country in the international
matches, was well esteemed as a foe, and a formidable
AN UNEXPECTED RECORD
golfer, but he was incredibly slow, especially around the
greens. That in itself gets a player in wrong with the gal-
lery, which wants action. That may have been the gallery's
fault and not Dr. Willing's, but it was a cold fact never-
theless. The gallery, as I know from long experience, this
curious cloud of witnesses, will think and do and say pret-
ty much what it pleases. When Johnston had Dr. Willing
down and was sure to win, I found myself feeling extreme-
ly sorry for the forty-year old dentist, who in all probabil-
ity would never reach the final of a national championship
Carrying the terrific burden of popular fancy, Bobby
started badly against Johnny Goodman, the villian in the
plot. He was very nervous before the match, but this was
not unusual. He always was nervous before an important
match, and the more nervous he was, the more brilliantly
he played. This time it worked in reverse. He missed every
shot on the first three holes and was 3 down. Under this
jolt, the slackness went out of his shots and he promptly
won back two of his losses. The seventh hole, I believed to
be the turning point. This was a beautiful hole, 110 yards
long to a small green, surrounded by white sand traps and
a background of the blue Pacific. Both balls were on,
Goodman inside. Bobby, 1 down, was ready to press his
fortune, went for the deuce and missed coming back. In-
stead of square, he was 2 down. Bobby thought the fatal
holes were the thirteenth and fourteenth. He got a half at
the thirteenth by lofting a stymie in a manner that sent
the huge gallery into the seventh heaven, but he should
have had a simple win after his great drive and Johnny's
excursion into a trap at the back of the green. Still they
were square on the fourteenth tee and Johnny was trying
hard to explode. Jones 5 drive was perfect down the center
of the angling fairway. Johnny was in the rough, was still
in the rough with his second, and had to play safely into
The Bobby Jones Story
the fairway. And this is where Bobby made his fatal error
in judgment. Still trying for a birdie, he cut the trap
guarding the green in front too closely, rolled back in, and
Johnnie with one putt, went 1 up and stayed 1 up to the
dramatic finish, where Bobby's putt on the eighteenth
curled up six inches from the cup, and Goodman had two
putts for victory.
Goodman was a fine golfer. Out of more than a thou-
sand entries in the sectional qualifying for the Open that
year, he led the qualifiers with a card of 140 at Omaha,
on a rather simple course. The story went that he rode
the rods to Kansas City that year to win the Trans-Mis-
sissippi championship, and that he went to the Open on a
cattle train. He was a determined and cocky young man,
and proudly joined the exclusive ranks of those who had
defeated the great Bobby Jones.
Bobby went out the day after his defeat to referee the
match between Francis Ouimet and Lawson Little, the
Pacific coast youngster, who had disposed of the Omahan
in the afternoon after he had defeated Jones. On every
green of the long match, and it went thirty-nine holes,
when Jones walked onto the green to judge which player
was away, the gallery gave him a delighted hand. Bobby's
ears got very red and he tried very hard to be inconspicu-
ous, but at every green, the same thing happened. It was
the prettiest tribute I have ever seen from an assembly
trying to show a popular idol that, though he had met de-
feat, they loved and admired him just the same.
I think Bobby played the best golf of his career in his
practice rounds on the wonderful courses at Los Angeles
and Del Monte. And every round was an exhibition match
where everybody was absurdly curious and determined to
see him. With a gallery of several thousand people, a
golfer cannot help trying his best to give them a show, and
it is quite possible that he had lost a measure of the essen-
AN UNEXPECTED RECORD
tial keenness by the time he had worked through the qual-
ifying rounds to tie at 145 with Eugene Romans for the
Bobby set course records all over the place, the most
memorable being Pebble Beach where he clocked a drama
of golf that the Pacific Coast golfers had never dreamed
of - and the stoutest supporters of the hitherto invincible
Pebble Beach course were the first to applaud as he reeled
off birdies and pars in the greatest round of golf ever
compiled in California. His miraculous score of 67, and
especially the 32 on the incoming nine will stand as long
as Pebble Beach is played in the same tournament form.
At Cypress Point, the most dramatic golf course in the
world, so beautifully did he play, missing tying the record
by one putt, that I almost forgot to look at the course,
which would have been a most deplorable oversight.
At the risk of shock beyond repair, in all fairness, I
have to record that the Californians, in one single in-
stance, were guilty of underestimation - their incompar-
able golf courses. The climate is not nearly as perfect as
advertised; and the countryside except where the hand
of man has wielded the watering pot and the horticultur-
ist's hoe, is as dismal as Oklahoma or Arizona; but the
golf courses are so much better and so much more beau-
tiful than those we know in the dear old south that any
comparison would be absurd, and even the effete east may
doff its hat to the Golden State. The turf on the fairways
holds the ball up consistently and Bobby said he did not
remember a really tight lie during his visit.
Even in defeat, the scenic surroundings at Pebble Beach
were absolutely dazzling, the dream of an artist who had
been drinking gin and sobering up on absinthe. It is too
extravagantly decorated not to be a painting. Snow-white
sand in the numerous bunkers; vividly green turf, coccus-
bent green. The Bay of Naples is no more lovely and not
The Bobby Jones Story
as blue as the inlet, Carmel Bay, along which the course is
built. At Cypress Point is found the Monterey cypress, said
to grow only in this vicinity, a descendent of the Biblical
Cedars of Lebanon, a fiat foliaged cedar that you cannot
believe. A sea as blue as if stained with cobalt sweeps the
fringes of the course with fleecy rollers, and the sky is as
blue as the sapphire country of North Carolina.
Bobby thought the two courses equally tough though
Cypress Point is shorter, 6,814 yards to 7,000. The penal-
ties are heavier at Pebble Beach, but the shots are more
exacting at Cypress Point Each course he thought about
three strokes easier than Winged Foot as played in the
open that year.
When we drew near Atlanta, after travelling over nine
thousand miles, it was raining and for once, the rain
looked good to us. The only rain we had seen on this trip
was at the Grand Canyon, where the Hopi Indians put on
a rain dance, and so help me, Jupiter Pluvius, before
those Hopis had quit hopping, the rain was coming down !
A Charming Guest
VERY CHARMING LADY CAME TO SEE US
in Atlanta, Miss Joyce Wethered, of
England, four times Amateur Champion
of Great Britain, but now retired. She
and Charley Yates, of Atlanta, played an
exhibition match at East Lake against
Bobby Jones, and Dorothy Kirby, At-
lanta's foremost feminine golfer.
For a fortnight, I had been telling the
golfing public what a great golfer Miss
Wethered was. I knew perfectly well, for
I heard it on all sides, that the golfing
public, particularly the male golfers,
were skeptical. And when I came to
watch the match, her game was much
greater than I had written.
Miss Wethered played well, but that
is no way to say it. Miss Wethered played
magnificently. The gallery was charmed
beyond expression to see the two greatest
golfers of this generation playing all they
knew at every shot in gallant and gener-
ous complement to one another. There
was in their brilliant play something be-
yond the urge of championships and the
spur of competition to inspire them.
The Bobby Jones Story
Straight through to the final five-yard putt at the home
green, to save a half for his side, Bobby played with all
the verve and debonair abandon of the brave days when
he was the youthful D'Artagnan of golf, out to take the
world. He went for everything in the old confident way,
and got down an astonishing number of long putts, includ-
ing the one at the last green, a climax that no Hollywood
director could hope to improve.
In sheer power, Miss Wethered's game was bewilder-
ing. She picked up a birdie 4 at the 565-yard fifth, and
another at the 506-yard ninth. She drove level with Bobby
up the long hill across the lake on the tenth hole.
At the fourteenth tee, a sudden gale came up to blow
full against their drives, and Miss Wethered played a low,
raking shot that landed beyond the beautifully struck tee
shots of both Jones and Yates. She was hole high on this
405-yard hole with a brassie, the ball curving into a shal-
low bunker beside the green. This contretemps resulted in
the most whimsical shot of the afternoon. Miss Wethered
was of course as innocent concerning the peculiarities of
our local bunkers as of our local Bermuda greens. The ball
was lying well and she essayed a half -blast with the nib-
lick. But the suppositions sand was not there. The blade
ricocheted from the hard packed surface, clipped the ball
cleanly and sent it flying fifty yards over the green to the
amazement of the spectators, as well as the players.
At the seventeenth tee with a cross wind off the left
from the lake she swung without a trace of extra effort,
while her partner hit one with such enthusiasm that he
confessed afterward, he had never hit a better drive in his
life. It caught the down slope just right but when he got
to it, Miss Wethered's ball was a mere dozen yards behind.
"I still don't believe it," said Charley. "No girl can hit
a ball that far. First time I ever played fourteen holes as
a lady's partner before I figured once in the match; or
A CHARMING GUEST
four holes for that matter. Reckon I should have been
pretty embarrassed but I was sort of hypnotized watching
In her amazing score of 74, Miss Wethered made two
mistakes from the tee, shoving out her drives at the sev-
enth and fifteenth, just enough to find trees and trouble.
Two strokes went there. She missed a short putt on the
unfamiliar Bermuda surface on the first green, and needed
three putts on the seventeenth and that was the difference
between her first round and a 69 at East Lake. At the fin-
ish, Bobby had beaten her 2-1 and she was one up on
When I congratulated Miss Wethered on her marvel-
ous display of golf she smiled and said:
"I wanted so much to play well here. This match meant
a great deal to me. I simply could not let Bobby down. I
had to play well at East Lake, his home course. This
round will help me the rest of my tour, and afterwards.
Somehow watching Bobby play smooths out the little
wrinkles in my game."
Joyce Wethered is the only woman golfer I ever saw
who played golf just like the masculine experts. It was the
opinion of the British critics, when they were speaking
candidly and not for publication, that if ladies had been
included on the British Walker Cup team (which was not
being done you know) , Miss Wethered would have been
playing No. 3 5 or no worse than No. 4.
Perhaps the greatest match ever played by women, was
the final round of the 1929 British Ladies' Championship
between Miss Wethered and Glenna Collett Glenna had
already won four of the United States titles out of the
seven she eventually acquired, but she had never won the
British title; nor had any other woman golfer from outside
the tight little island. This was her third attempt. Miss
Wethered had defeated her at Troon in 1925. Miss Weth-
The Bobby Jones Story
ered had come out of four years' retirement, because she
loved to play at St. Andrews and had never won a cham-
With all to win and nothing to lose, starting the morn-
ing round, Glenna shot golf at her opponent that would
have blown any other woman golfer into the North Sea
of the gray coast of St. Andrews. Out in 34 and 5 up; back
in 38 on the toughest golf course in the world. 2 up at
noon. Except for one deuce, her card going out showed
nothing but 4's. Golf that would have annihilated any
other living opponent.
But, alas, in the afternoon round, the scene changed.
The weather in the morning had been gray, but there was
no wind; in the afternoon, the wind rose, the skies were
threatening and it was cold. The year before a violent
storm at Hunstanton had no doubt contributed to her
defeat, so it was no wonder that Glenna complained that
the weather in Britain conspired against her.
Miss Wethered took the lead at the first hole in the
afternoon with a birdie, getting down a 6-foot putt. She
was out in front for the first time at the twenty-second
hole. She duplicated Glenna's 34 for the first nine and was
4 up. Glenna, with grim determination, cut this to 2 up at
the thirty-third hole, but after a half at the thirty-fourth
lost to Miss Wethered's par at the thirty-fifth, 3-1.
Heroines both. Both showed more than great golf. Miss
Wethered showed that she could face a deficit of 5 down
and go on hitting her shots, which is the next hardest
thing to do in golf. Miss Collett showed that she could see
a great lead converted into a deficit and go on hitting her
shots, which is the hardest thing to do in golf. Glenna
played like a champion and lost like a champion, fighting
to the last, but it was against an invincible foe.
Tlie Big Year Opens
* T IS TO BE HOPED THAT THE UNINTER-
rupted rush of incident and action in this
narrative will not engender in the read-
er's mind the idea that Bobby Jones did
little or nothing except play golf. That
impression would be greatly in error. His
tournament season which he observed so
closely in these later years, really was a
brief affair. In the last eight years of his
competitive career, including three ven-
tures to Britain, Bobby averaged just
three months of the twelve for the period
which comprised his play in the major
championships and his journeyings to
and from. And except for the three years
in which he went to Great Britain, most
of the tournament season was spent
quietly at home, with no more time at
golf than is devoted regularly by a busi-
ness man who likes an afternoon round
with his habitual foursome whenever it
is convenient. Bobby without any doubt
played less formal or competitive golf in
the eight years of his championships than
any other first-rank golfer, amateur or
professional, in the world.
The Bobby Jones Story
The year 1930 offered a substantial program for Bobby.
He was again captain of the Walker Cup team for the
biennial match, to be played this time at Sandwich, Eng-
land; and this meant that he would play in the British
Amateur and the British Open. Of course, he intended to
play in the U. S. Open and Amateur; it would be the
third time in his career he had competed in all four major
championships in the same season.
Whether Bobby had any idea, at the beginning of the
1930 season, that it was to be his last in competitive golf,
I do not know. I do know that the recurrent strain of
major competition was increasingly unwelcome. His unin-
terrupted succession of national championships with his
various British successes, had established him as the lead-
ing golfer of the world, and for years he had been ranked
the favorite of every competition in which he engaged. A
considerable proportion of the sporting public seemed
naively to expect him to win every time he started -a
tribute which lost much of its force from a lack of under-
standing of the uncertainties of the game and the eccen-
tricities of fortune that afflict even its best and most con-
Bobby was now twenty-eight; his family included two
children; he was seriously engaged in the business of law;
and even two major championship tournaments a year
seemed to be taking up a good deal of time and requiring
a good deal of travel. Major championships were also tak-
ing out of Bobby more than time and travel. He had
always played golf in a manner to take a lot out of him-
self and it was obvious that the time was coming to call it
Whether or not Bobby felt this way about it at the early
beginning of the 1930 season, he prepared for the British
expedition with more than usual care, and for the first
time in three years, he entered a winter tournament. In-
THE BIG YEAR OPENS
deed he entered two, the Savannah Open and the South-
eastern Open at Augusta, to brush up his game in compe-
tition with many of the best professionals in America.
At Savannah, late in February, Horton Smith, after a
brilliant season on the winter circuit, beat him out by a
single stroke in an erratic and spectacular tournament, in
which Bobby set a new course record of 67 in the first
round. Horton brought it down to 66 in the second; Bobby
placed it at 65 in the third, after which they were tied.
Horton outfinished him 71 to 72 in the fourth round, and
the rest of the field were half a dozen strokes behind.
And that was the last formal competition Bobby Jones
lost to the end of his career. He won every start from
Bobby's four rounds at Augusta on two good stiff
courses were 72-72-69-71 respectively, including a care-
less lapse at the last three holes of the final round, when
he was eighteen strokes ahead of the field. He finished
two strokes better than par and thirteen strokes ahead of
Horton, who was second.
It was while Bobby was playing his fourth round that
Bobby Cruickshank, who had finished earlier, asked me
if I knew what was going to happen in the coming season.
I said Fd like to know.
"Well," said he, "Bobby is just too good. He's going to
Britain and he's going to win the British Amateur and the
British Open and then he's coming back here and win the
U. S. Open and the U. S. Amateur. They will never stop
him this year."
I did not tell Bobby this. As for believing it myself - 1
couldn't even regard it seriously. That was the Impreg-
nable Quadrilateral that Bobby Cruickshank was talking
about. No man ever had taken more than half of it in any
one season before.
We sailed on the Mauretania late in April, with the
The Bobby Jones Story
American Walker Cup team. Mary went with Bobby
this time and quite a party of Atlanta people. A com-
fortable sailing list not crowded and by no means loose
enough to shake around in the lazy intervals. Sir Harry
Lauder was along and Douglas Fairbanks, Sir Joseph Du-
veen, and Maurice Chevalier. Mr. Fairbanks had an ex-
tremely definite object in his trip to Europe.
"I'm going to Sandwich/' said Mr. Fairbanks, with
great particularity, "to watch the Walker Cup Matches,
then I am coming home. Just between you and me I have
a remarkable desire to watch Bobby Jones play golf when
he is really keyed up. I want to see the greatest artist of
them all when he is putting out. I may come back again
for the British Open."
So Mr. Fairbanks thought shockingly little of two trips
- round trips - across the Atlantic just to watch a couple
of golf events. Certainly he was terribly keen on golf since
he had played with Bobby and Chick Evans; and recently
reduced his handicap to 4.
The Royal St. George's Golf Course at Sandwich of-
fered the Americans typical American weather.
Bobby said, "Do you know I really wish it would blow.
These boys over here think Americans cannot play in the
His wish went ungratified. Bobby won his singles match
against Roger Wethered, f oormer British Amateur Cham-
pion, and with Dr. Willing, the doubles, the team winning
10 points to 2. Again as at the Chicago Golf Club two
years ago, Tony Torrance won the only singles match for
the Britons, this time defeating Francis Ouimet.
The American Walker Cup team always had a junior,
or "baby" member, which differed from the more con-
servative British, which inclined strongly to seasoned vet-
erans of golf. The international team at Sandwich pre-
sented Donald K. Moe, of Oregon, a brilliant youngster
THE BIG YEAR OPENS
who was yet to vote; but who as the individual hero of
the outfit upheld nobly the gallantry of the traditions
established before him by Jess Sweetser, Roland McKen-
zie, Watts Gunn and Bobby Jones when they were in the
I told the British golf writers about Don Moe, and they
were very polite, but they did raise their eyebrows. The
inference was that Don was not as good as I said he was,
and furthermore, he could not be as good as I said he was;
nor could anybody else. I just said no more about it, and
when at noon, Bill Stout was 4 up on Don in their singles
match, I continued to say nothing more about it. But a
number of the working pressmen made a point of saying
something to me about it.
And what did Mr. Stout do after lunch but start 3-3-3
on the first three holes. Of course I did not want to see
any more of that so I strolled disconsolately over to watch
some of the other matches. Word came by the grapevine
that Don had turned on the fireworks and I set out at a
brisk trot, arriving at the ninth green in time to see him
sink a six-foot putt for a birdie and a card of 33. Seven
down and fifteen to play, Don, beginning at the fourth
hole, had shot the works - five 3 's in six holes.
The gallery was completely overwhelmed.
"Are you never going to let up on us?" a young English-
man asked me. "What use to murder Bobby Jones when
you always have another prodigy coming on?"
Stout was playing fine golf, not giving away a thing.
One of his friends approached him and was heard to ex-
"My word, Stout, this is not golf. It's a visitation from
As they stood on the thirty-sixth tee, Don had par
for 35, and the match was square. On this 441-yard hole,
his drive was over 250 yards, the ball stopping on a down
The Bobby Jones Story
slope, a wrecked, hanging lie. Don squared around, hood-
ed the club, turned fast on the stroke, and smacked it
almost into the cup for a birdie 3, the work of a master.
His card of 67 was an official record for match play in the
Walker Cup matches, and had he sunk the conceded putt,
he would have broken the medal play record which had
withstood all attacks for nineteen years. It was the great-
est match in the history of the series, and when Bobby
Jones is asked which is the greatest match he ever saw,
always he includes this Stout-Moe extravaganza.
When I went into the press tent, I said:
"Well, boys, what do you think of L'enfant now? 35
I will say for the British golf scribes ; they know how to
take it. Their eyebrows remained in place this time, but
their hats came off.
Mem Call It Fate
HIS IS WRITTEN THE SUNDAY MORNING
after the conclusion of the 1930 British
Amateur Championship at St. Andrews
with a happy sort of night journey in
between - those British had a luxurious
special train at the St. Andrews station
waiting for those in a hurry to get to
London, and with a large party of Amer-
icans aboard, it was not unlike a foot-
;ball train home after your side has won.
Bobby Jones had won the British Ama-
teur Championship at long last. I think
he was happier over this victory than any
other since he broke through with a ma-
jor triumph in the U. S. Open Cham-
pionship in Inwood in 1923. I talked
with him after he had been rescued by a
squad of big Scottish policemen from
about fifteen thousand admirers at the
twelfth green, who apparently had de-
termined to take the new champion
apart to see what made him tick, and
brought back to the hotel There was a
band at the home green to play him in
but the band got involved in the crowd
and never sounded a note.
The Bobby Jones Story
Bobby said, "There has been nothing in golf I wanted
so much. I can't believe it really happened."
But when word came that they were ready to present
the cup, Bobby apparently convinced that he was not
dreaming, brushed his touseled hair hastily and went out
to face the huge gallery for the last time - out to the same
small veranda where he stood in 1927 to receive the Open
The story of the 1930 British Championship seems to me
to confirm, or at any rate, strongly to support a sort of
hypothesis that had been forming in the back of my head
for years - that golf tournaments are matters of destiny,
and that the result is all in the book before a shot is hit.
Looking back over Bobby's eight matches, you may see
crisis after crisis in those furious encounters with Tolley,
Johnson and Voigt where the least slip in nerve or skill or
plain fortune would have brought defeat to Bobby's dear-
est ambition. Yet at every crisis he stood up to the shot
with something I can define only as inevitability and per-
formed what was needed with all the certainty of a natu-
"The stars are with Bobby in this tournament/' said
a man with whom I was walking. "His luck is as fixed as
the orbit of a planet. He cannot be beaten here."
It sounds absurd to say this but it is the gospel that at
the very moment my companion made this remark Bobby
in the semi-final round was 1 down to George Voigt, in
the last of the 18-hole matches, and had just blown a four-
foot putt at the fifteenth green which would have squared
the match. From the sixteenth tee, George's drive went
into the bunker, known as the "Principal's Nose," and the
match was squared. On the most treacherous hole on the
course, the famous Road Hole, George's ball was stone
dead for a birdie 4, and Bobby with an iron second none
too good had a putt of four yards for a half. All I could
MEN CALL IT FATE
think of was that it was the same length and with much
the same borrow as the historic twelve-foot putt he had
holed at Winged Foot the year before to tie for the U. S.
Open. The stroke and the result were also a fair replica;
the ball rolled easily to the front of the cup and fell in.
Bobby had something rather curious to say about that
"When I stood up to it, I had the feeling that something
had been taking care of me through two matches that I
very well might have lost, and that it was still taking care
of me. I knew that however I struck that putt, it was go-
There was another putt earlier in the week that meant
an incalculable saving to Bobby. On Thursday afternoon,
he came to the home green with the U. S. Amateur
Champion, Harrison "Jinimie" Johnston, 1 up on the
heels of the most spectacular rally of the tournament.
Bobby, going along in his accustomed mode, gradually
had put the gallant Jimmie under, and as they left the
thirteenth green, Bobby was 4 up with 5 to play. The gal-
lery began to drift away in search of more excitement.
The few thousand who remained got the excitement.
Jimmie took back the long fourteenth with a birdie 4,
smacking a long iron dead. Bobby threw away the fif-
teenth, finally missing a four-foot putt for a half. He got
a half at the sixteenth and was dormie 2. Jones very pro-
perly played the Road Hole for a par, leaving the burden
for Jimmie, who shouldered it handsomely by produc-
ing a magnificent birdie and a win. At this stage I recalled
very vividly a match Jimmie had played in the Western
Amateur Championship in which he was 5 down and 6 to
play and had won the next six holes and the match. One
glance at Johnston showed he was in precisely such a
humor now. Another slip by Jones, another birdie by
Jimmie, and the U. S. Open Championship would be
The Bobby Jones Story
out in the sixth round. If Johnston squared the match on
the home green, it was certain he would win the extra
The strain was working on both the players. Jimmie's
pitch to the eighteenth ran and ran to the upper left
hand corner of the green, a good thirty yards from the
flag. Here was a great chance for Bobby, who needed only
a half, but he needed it about as much as he had ever
needed anything in his life. But he too was wavering and
his pitch was almost a duplicate of Johnston's, going to the
same distant corner, perhaps two yards nearer the pin.
Now it was up to the putting.
Jimmie putted first, a good one, thirty inches from the
cup. Bobby's estimate of range and grade for once was
faulty, or his deadly touch for once was gone. The ball,
apparently on a good line, died eight feet from the pin.
There remained a downhill, sidehill putt, but with the
same inflexible certainty that marked the other crises of
the week, the putt went down. Bobby said it was the long-
est eight-foot putt he had ever seen, and Jimmie's the
most remarkable rally.
U I gave him one hole," he said, "but remember he took
the others. 55
No more fitting combat was ever arranged than that in
the fourth round between Jones and Cyril Tolley; the
British Amateur Champion -defending his title and the
U. S. Open Champion, attacking with all his skill and
courage and determination. What an utterly amazing
battle it was - these two fine sportsmen probably were the
greatest exemplars the game has ever seen of the casual
demeanor in competition. Neither Jones nor Tolley con-
descended to reveal by the slightest trace or symptom of
eagerness his intense desire and his concentrated will to
win. In this attitude I should say that Tolley was even
more casual than Jones for Bobby could not by any trick
The British Amateur champion, Cyril J. H. Tolley, a great gallery favorite.
The portrait of O. B. Keeler presented by the golfers of Atlanta to Golf House,
headquarters of the United States Golf Association.
Bobby jumping over the Swilken Burn in front of the eighteenth tee at
Stewart Maiden and his pupils: Alexa Stirling, Bobby Jones, and Perry Adair.
Sir Walter steps into a drive.
Hagen sinking the winning putt at his home club, Pasadena.
Bobby and Thomas B. Paine, who followed him in most of his tournaments.
Jones chipping out of trouble on the sixth fairway at Pebble Beach.
MEN CALL IT FATE
or superior power of the will keep his face from growing
gray under the furious strain nor his eyes from sinking
deeper into his head. But not in one gesture or in one
pose or in one hurried or wilfully delayed shot did he
betray the terrific strain under which he played and fin-
ished and pulled out a match that was squared six times.
Never more than a single hole separated the combatants,
so that at times one might have guessed them not to be
contestants in a desperate, living and undecided sporting
event, but rather actors going through well rehearsed
roles in some tremendous drama.
Only once did Bobby take more than his usual swift
deliberation on a shot - his second on the diabolical Road
Hole, where they were square for the sixth time, and Tol-
ley slightly ahead on his drive, left Bobby to guess first
on the ominous problem of the shot to the long, narrow
green with the horrid road along the other side. A bold
shot for the pin ran a risk of catching the deep pot bunker
in line with the pin, or going over the green into the road.
Bobby stood there for a long half minute pondering. Then
he motioned the stewards to move the gallery back from
the rear of the green, well to the left of the bunker, I was
standing with Dr. Alistair McKenzie, the famous golf
architect. He shook his head.
"It's a very bold conception," he said. "It will take
some clever playing."
The gallery at this time numbered around 12,000, and
the stewards could not get them very far back of the
green. There may have been a shade of destiny in this.
Bobby hit a truly great iron shot, aimed to pitch deep in
the swale and run up to the back of the green. The ball
hit just where he intended it to hit, but it went up on the
big bound into the gallery, Jones had asked to be moved
back. It might have been down below the eighteenth tee,
it might even have been in the road. "Men call it Fate."
The Bobby Jones Story
Anyway, and uncompromisingly, it was a break in luck.
The pressure on Tolley was vastly increased and when the
big fellow's iron was short of that wicked bunker, I could
see nothing but a win for Jones. I felt that no man living
could execute so deft a pitch as would clear the bunker
and stop anywhere near the hole, cut in that absurdly nar-
row plateau green.
See how a golfing situation can change. Jones' simple
little approach was eight feet short. Tolley, pitching with
the most exquisite delicacy stopped his ball within two
feet of the flag, the finest shot he ever made, he assured
me afterwards. One minute, Jones had the hole and in-
ferentially the match in his hand; in another minute he
was putting for his life, a perilous eight-foot putt with his
adversary comfortably and convincingly established for
a half. Here was another crisis but again the putt went
Two drives close to 340 yards on the eighteenth, two
chips, neither too good, and a half in par. Close play by
the U, S. Champion at the nineteenth; loose play by the
British Champion, whose pitch was far outside and whose
approach left him open for the stymie which ensued;
and the great bout was ended.
But these three hard earned victories were not the only
close calls that Bobby had during the week. The trouble
with the British Amateur Championship is there are so
many golfers in it whose names are not in the stud book.
In his first match with Sidney Roper, an ex-coal miner,
Bobby started 3-4-3-2-4 against Roper's par of 4-4-4-4-5,
and was 3 up, and that is the way the match ended 3-2.
Bobby was never able to increase this margin by a single
hole- I have seen Bobby hot before but I had never seen
anybody stand the blast and show no signs of folding up as
Roper did. Bobby said he had been told that Roper would
shoot steady 5's at him. He shot fifteen 4's and one 5.
MEN CALL IT FATE
Sid Roper learned his golf on the public course at Bui-
well Forest a few miles from Nottingham, where Robin
Hood used to operate on opulent travelers and remove
purses from them. I told Bobby this.
"He darned near removed me from this tournament,"
was the rejoinder.
The biggest first round gallery I ever saw witnessed the
shot the U. S. champion confessed was the best he ever
produced - the 120-yard pitch from a bunker into the hole
for a deuce at the 427-yard fourth hole. Bobby's drive
went into the Cottage Bunker, around 300 yards from the
tee, never laid down to catch drives. I was standing at the
back of the green as he waded down into the bunker. The
ball lay perfectly clear on the wind-blown sand. Up came
a feather of sand instead of a divot. The ball, obviously
struck as if from turf, came on in rather a steep pitch, hit
in front of the big green; the spin took hold promptly and
the ball rolled slower and slower and dropped in softly
without touching the flag stick.
"They ought to burn him at the stake. He's a witch/'
said one man in the gallery.
Another said, "I came 8,500 miles to see this tourna-
ment, and that shot is worth the trip."
That shot will stand up like Washington's monument at
St. Andrews, where Scotsmen know and love golf. Gener-
ations unborn will hear about it with Caledonian unction.
Despite Bobby's success in working through seven 18-
hole matches, he still did not like the short-route. It was
curious to see with what a different attitude he attacked
the longer problem. Where he had mixed superbly bril-
liant golf with decidedly blue splotches in these short-
route engagements, he set about the 36-hole final round
with Roger Wethered, a former British Amateur Cham-
pion, in the workmanlike manner that characterized his
best medal play performances.
The Bobby Jones Story
He went the thirty holes of the match two under 4 5 s.
Roger played bravely but was not able to endure the
pressure exerted by the great medalist over the long route.
After observing Mr. Jones in twenty-five national
championships, never had I seen him steal a show with
such amazing spectacularity. Every day he in some way
managed to produce the Big Feature of the day. He was
a long time winning the British Amateur, but when he
did, he extracted every sensation, every emotion the great
drama had to offer.
T THE BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT
Hoylake in 1930, it was my good fortune
to be the first person to broadcast a sport-
ing event across the Atlantic Ocean,
from the studio of the British Broadcast-
ing Company in Liverpool, over the net-
work of the National Broadcasting Com-
pany of America. After the final round
at Hoylake, I said :
"It is possible that I will be forgiven
if this brief broadcast of the conclusion
of the British Open Championship is a
trifle confused, or even incoherent. It is
not every day or every year, in the history
of sports that an American homebred
amateur can add the British Open title
to the British Amateur title on the same
campaign. And with Bobby Jones on top
of his eleventh major championship, and
the first four competitors all from the
United States of America, I feel sure you
will be patient with a very tired and be-
wildered war correspondent, who for two
of the longest hours that ever crawled
across a clock this afternoon, wondered
what was happening."
The Bobby Jones Story
Bobby Jones won his third British golf championship in
three starts with a score of 291 at the Hoylake course
of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, ten strokes better
than the former record of Walter Hagen in 1924. Leo
Diegel, American homebred professional and Macdonald
Smith, a transplanted and naturalized Scot from Carnous-
tie, were tied for second place with 293. Horton Smith,
youngest and most brilliant of the Yankee professionals,
and a homebred from Missouri, was tied with Fred Rob-
son, the British veteran professional, who had been reju-
venated by steel shafts in his clubs, and led for his country
at 296. Jim Barnes, originally a Cornishman, now an
American citizen, former Open Champion of the United
States and of Great Britain, was next in line, tied with
with Archie Compston, the gigantic British professional,
whose 68 in the third round had sent him into the lead.
Four men fought it out to the finish, right up to the
wire. This immortal quartet was composed of Bobby
Jones, Leo Diegel, Macdonald Smith and Archie Comp-
ston. Of the four, it was Archie Compston, whose astound-
ing performance first dazzled the world, and then like the
final finish of a rocket's flight, dissolved in sparks and
darkness, buried deep in the limbo of lost hopes.
At the beginning of the last day's play, sixty-one golfers
took the field with Bobby leading by a single stroke at 142,
two strokes better than par for the great Hoylake course
at full stretch; Robson next with 143 ; Horton Smith, 145 ;
Compston, Mac Smith and Diegel, 145. As it always does,
the third round produced battle, murder, and sudden
death and devastation. Bobby started this crucial round in
as ghastly a fashion as ever a budding champion opened a
final day. Par on the first three holes was 4-4-5, and Mr.
Jones might reasonably have been expected to work out
4-4-4 with the prevailing wind, which would have done
no gross injustice to his method or his luck. Instead of
which he lost no fewer than eight strokes, and spotted the
great field a hideous assortment of shots which he had to
take up by the most desperate golf of his career, from the
third hole on. After a frightful struggle, he got his game
working, and from the fourth to the fourteenth holes, he
was four under 4's. You can believe it or not, the aggre-
gate yardage of the last five holes at Hoylake was 2,288
yards, or an average of 457 yards to the hole, the toughest
finishing holes I have ever seen, including the old course
at St. Andrews. Only two par 5's and it requires extraordi-
nary golf to make par without figuring the wind, which
invariably blows at Hoylake. It is the sort of finish that
competitors lie awake and brood over, knowing full well
that even 4 5 s would have won the title.
Archie Compston, coming from next to nowhere and
playing like a frenzied giant, gained five strokes in the
first four holes and had caught Jones. Compston was out
in 34 with a six in it, to Jones' 37, but Bobby was still
leading by one stroke at the turn. But when Compston
began that blistering rush homeward 3-3-3-2, Bobby
stepped with him only two holes and Archie had caught
him again. They were playing about five holes apart and
Jones of course could hear the explosive roar of the Comp-
ston gallery, as he was battling for his fives at the long
holes toward the end. Much as they loved and admired
Bobby in Britain, they still wanted a native to win. You
could trace the blond giant's progress about the links by
the blasts of cheering that swept like a hurricane across
the dunes and burst like a bomb-shell over the clubhouse.
Compston, with only one slight lapse, finished with 68,
smashing the course record to bits; unquestionably one of
the most dramatic episodes in the history of British golf.
Bobby finished with 74, and they stood 215 to 216.
And so into the fourth round with a blackening sky and
a sprinkle of rain in the heavy air, a fine setting for a
The Bobby Jones Story
murder- or a vast upset in the golf championship. It was
impossible, as you can understand, for one reporter to he
in four places at once, but I think I can tell you where
Compston lost his lead; where Diegel went down; where
Jones won. The winning hole for Bobby, if any hole can
properly be called that, was the second of the afternoon
round. From the tee, on a long drive and pitch affair, he
wheeled out a drive that went far enough to the right to
land on the convenient head of a steward, rebounding
forty yards into a bunker on the farther side of the four-
teenth green, at least thirty yards off line. From the sand
he played a splendid pitch to the green, and sank 3. 20-
foot putt for a birdie, where he might logically have been
expected to get out with a difficult 5.
This break was a stimulant for the open champion
and he went so well to the eighth hole that any decent
score there would have closed the door and barred it.
This was a very fine hole of 482 yards, which he had been
reaching regularly with a drive and a spoon. He hit a
good drive and a good second, curling a bit and breaking
to the left, down a slight slope but practically green-high,
in no sort of trouble. And this is how Bobby Jones, not
only could, but did take a 7 on a hole in the last round of
the British championship without being in a bunker or any
other trouble. Bobby looked over the situation, and not at
all perturbed, elected to play a simple run-up shot. He
missed the shot. That is the only explanation. The ball
hopped feebly up the slope, stopped and sat down well
short of the green. Bobby changed his club for a chip. It
still looked like a 5. His pitch was ten feet short and his
ears were getting red. He naturally went for the 5, slipped
twelve inches past. Then he walked up and hit it without
looking at the line, and there was a 7.
"It was the most inexcusable hole I ever played. An old
man with a croquet mallet could have got down in two.
I will play that hole over a thousand times in my dreams/ 5
I had had nightmares before watching Bobby play in
major tournaments. I sat by a certain bunker at Winged
Foot the year before and watched him play from a bunk-
er across the green into another, then back into the origi-
nal bunker, then almost fail to reach the green with his
next shot for a horrid 7. But those were bunkers and here
at the eighth hole at Hoylake there was no bunker, no
hazard. A simple forthright hole where he was pin high in
two and took a 7. Right then I began to agree with Miss
Joyce Wethered, that competitive golf was a game not
worth the candle.
With that 7 on his card, Bobby was out in 38, and he
played the last nine under the savage spur of adversity in
37. That last five holes in one over 4's was the winning
streak, especially the 4-4-4 on the last three. With a total
of 291 on the board, Bobby went up to the club house and
suffered for two long hours, while waiting for the jury to
come in, the jury being Diegel and Macdonald Smith.
As a matter of record Bobby and Diegel were tied at
the seventieth hole, and Bobby salvaged at this hole the
tournament he had won by his birdie 3 at the second. The
sixteenth is the longest hole on the course, 582 yards.
Bobby knew he needed a 4 there. He went for it and was
bunkered short of the green. The ball was lying well
enough on the sand, if a ball can ever be said to lie well
in a bunker. Bobby had a niblick Horton Smith had given
him in the spring at the Savannah Open, an odd club with
a concave face and a flange sole, weighing twenty-five
ounces or nearly twice as much as an ordinary club. All it
required was to take a slow back swing and hit the ball.
Bobby did this and the ball was within four inches of
holing out, rolling around the cup as if trying to get in
and missing by the proverbial whisker.
The Bobby Jones Story
Leo Diegel, two strokes back at the last turn, picked
these up at the two par 3 holes, and as he stood on the
seventieth tee, he was tied. Tied after sixty-nine holes.
Gallant Leo Diegel. He went for that long hole with all
the strength in his somewhat frail body, knowing that it
would take three 4's to finish in a tie. He was in the same
bunker that Bobby's second had found, but he failed to
get out and finished with a wretched 6. Then he needed a
3 and a 3 to tie, and they were not making 3's on those
last two holes at Hoylake that day.
Compston set out in the final round apparently full of
confidence. Photographed and congratulated at the first
tee, he was good-humored and laughing. But there is no
way to escape the tension that comes from leading the
pack as the last round comes on, especially when you have
set a new course record to break away.
I shall always believe that if Compston had holed the
30-inch putt for a par at the first hole, he might have
settled his vast stride into a championship round. He
looked at the ball like a man dazed when it stayed out,
knowing that the American champion had wiped out his
lead, and knowing, I am sure, of Bobby's miracle birdie
3 at the second. He was out in 43, four strokes back and
was done. Big Archie paid plenty for that miracle round
with the terrible 5's that bled him white in the afternoon.
Mac Smith, past forty years of age, cold, calm and a
mechanical robot of golf, with the most perfectly grooved
swing in golf, came in with the finest round of the day, 71.
36-35 a stroke under par on a dark and rainy afternoon
with the wind steadily increasing, was by all odds the big
show of the last round. Mac started six strokes back of
Bobby and that is a lot of strokes to spot Mr. Jones in the
fourth round. It was too much to ask of the valiant vet-
eran. He clipped one stroke off par in that last spin of five
holes but he could not close the gap.
Bobby had now won eleven major championships in
the space of seven years. He had passed the record of Mr.
John Ball, the only amateur who had won as many as
nine. He had equalled Mr. Ball's feat of winning both the
open and amateur of Great Britain in the same year, a
record which had stood for forty years. And I beg you to
believe that there was a lot besides the eccentricities of an
uncertain game in those four rounds at Hoylake. There
was the experience of fourteen years of major competitive
golf; experience gained from seven lean years when he
played in eleven national championships without winning
one; experience and stolid patience and tempered philoso-
phy, gained from years of defeat and seasons of disap-
pointment over every kind of championship course and
against every type of field the game affords.
It is as far as possible from depreciating the great field
at Hoylake to say that Bobby Jones won with his game far
from its top. His game was as good, the course considered,
as any he had ever shot; and a score as good as his best
game was entitled to wring from this great course. The
score is what goes on the board. But if experience and pa-
tience and philosophy and grim determination were
enough to produce that score from his game at Hoylake,
I will say that he never played a greater tournament, per-
haps never one so great.
"This is O. B. Keeler, finishing off the summary of the
last day's play in the 1930 British Open Championship,
speaking from the studio of the British Broadcasting Com-
pany in Liverpool, over the network of the National
Broadcasting Company of America. And this eventually
and very happily and sincerely is 'Goodnight'. 5 '
The D'AttagnanL of Golf
* O BOBBY JONES SAILED FOR HOME ON THE
* * Europa with his flag firmly planted on
two sides of the Impregnable Quadrilat-
eral. On the boat train from London to
o Southampton, Cyril Tolley, ^who was
o coming over to play in the United States
Open, said to Bobby:
"How long have you been over here? 35
Bobby said about six weeks.
"Well/ 5 said Cyril, "Do you think you
ever played quite so badly for so long a
Bobby, going home with both major
championships, said "No 35 before he had
time to think it over. After thinking it
over, he still said no. And it wasn't in the
least a matter of conceit. It was the
admission of fearfully hard work, and
breaks that had favored him -and a
vague conviction that we both had
shared for several years, that if it is in
the book, you are going to win. Still he
was carrying two championships home
with him, and that was a remarkable il-
lustration that winning a major golf com-
petition requires something more than
THE D'ARTAGNAN OF GOLF
hitting the ball correctly - even in the competition itself.
Once again there was a thrilling welcome, fairly daz-
zling New York with its fervor, when a hundred of the
home folks, including Bobby's father and mother, came up
to meet us; and once again the M acorn came out to take
the conquering hero off at quarantine, and we steamed in
with the fire boats spraying the sky, and rode up Broad-
way with the ticker tape flying. Nothing could have come
at a more timely juncture to a very tired young man, after
that furious campaign in Britain, than this joyous assur-
ance of Atlanta's love and admiration.
Bobby went directly from New York to Minneapolis to
play in the United States Open Championship at the In-
terlachen Golf Club. There he was delightfully surprised
to find that his game was working well, much better than
in either of the British tournaments. He played well in
practice and started the show with a very creditable 71,
on the hottest day that we had ever seen, a sort of Turkish-
bath heat that rose from the pretty little lakes set artisti-
cally about the countryside. Water is very pretty and quite
useful at times but it unquestionably contributes to what is
popularly or unpopularly known as humidity. The ther-
mometer on the shady side of the club house registered
101. Bobby did the first nine in 34, and the last nine in an
hour and a half with only one instinct and desire, to get it
over with and get under a cool shower.
He finished in the hottest part of the day and came into
the locker room so drenched with perspiration he could
not unknot his tie and I had to cut it off, and it was
promptly snatched up for a souvenir. Yet with the some-
what shabby 37 coming in, his 71 stood up until late in
the afternoon when the thermometer had gone down to a
cool 96. When the shades of night were falling and a few
fleets of well-gorged mosquitoes had settled around Mir-
ror Lake, two veteran Scots, Tommy Armour and the
The Bobby Jones Story
inevitable Macdonald Smith, came in with brilliant cards
of 70 to take the lead.
Bobby had bunched about him the toughest cluster of
challengers he had ever encountered as he started the
second round. Besides the two leaders, there were Sir Wal-
ter Hagen, Horton Smith, Wiffy Cox, Lighthorse Harry
Cooper, Long John Rodgers, Joe Turnesa, Craig Wood,
Charley Lacey; all these and several others, the greatest
aggregation of scoring machines that had ever entered the
Open Championship. It is tough when upwards of a doz-
en have a man hemmed in. One opponent, or even several
may skid a bit, but when it is a pack, one of them is going
to maintain the pace.
It was in this round that the famous "lily pad" shot
came to his rescue. Bobby had reached the ninth tee with
a par left for 35. This hole was a dogleg to the right, the
second shot a big one across one of those pretty little lakes
to a small, well-guarded green. Bobby had been getting
home regularly in practice and had a birdie there in his
first round. His drive was cut slightly and was in a tight
lie near the bank of the lake. He half-topped the spoon
shot and it started away at a nearly flat trajectory, certain
not to reach the farther bank. A ball in the water would
leave him another shot from the same place, plus a
penalty stroke, so the best he could hope for, barring
miracles, was a 6.
The ball, struck fairly low with little or no spin on it,
hit the water twenty yards short of the bank, skipped like
a flat stone once -and again -and hopped out on the
smooth turf, thirty yards short of the green. It was pro-
claimed far and wide that the ball had hit a lily pad and
jumped out, due credit being given to the beautiful lily.
Much as I dislike to destroy so romantic a story, in truth
the ball hit only the water, skimming across as hundreds
of little boys have skidded stones.
THE D'ARTAGNAN OF GOLF
With time and need to recover a modicum of his
equilibrium in walking around the lake, Bobby stuck a
wee pitch up one yard from the pin and holed his birdie
4. That's the way it goes in championships. If your name
is up, the ball will walk on the water for you. He won the
championship by two strokes. Nobody can say surely that
these were the strokes - or that they were not.
At the halfway mark, Bobby with a card of 73 in the
second round, total 144, was in a triple tie for second
place with Cooper and Lacey. Horton Smith had taken
the lead with 142, Mac Smith had 145. There were at
least ten others strung out behind with a chance to win.
The gang had him on the spot and I had a cold premoni-
tion that one of these grim musketeers would go mad and
dash to the front. The gang had Bobby out for a ride.
Bobby was fortunate in having an early starting time on
the last day. It so happened that he was very much on his
game, and the reports of his scoring trickling back along
the grapevine did not help the other fellows. He was out
in 33, turning just as Horton Smith started, and in the
face of that jolt, Horton produced one of the finest exhi-
bitions of sheer courage ever displayed in the Open Cham-
pionship, to reach the turn in 36, even par. Still Bobby
had picked up three strokes on him and managed to main-
tain this pace for the first seven holes coming in. I fancy
the blasts of cheering that must have reached Horton had
their effect for he slipped to 40 coming in.
At the seventeenth, Bobby needed a par 3 and a par 4
to finish with a 66, which would have been the lowest
round ever shot in a U. S. Open Championship. But the
strain and heat were taking their toll, and he went one
over on each of these holes, finishing with a 68. This was
still a course record and the best round he had ever
played in this tournament. It could not have arrived in a
better place. With a score of 212, he had a commanding
The Bobby Jones Story
lead of five strokes as they entered the final round. Cooper
next with 217; Horton Smith, 218; Mac Smith, 219.
It was all over but the hanging on, and he found that
singularly hard to do, and Mac Smith certainly did his
best to make it impossible. Just as at Hoylake a few weeks
before, he chased him almost to the wire, starting seven
strokes behind him and an hour later. Bobby started by
losing three strokes to par in the first three holes and four
to Mac, who started 4-4-2. Here was a fine chance for a
fatal break. One more bad hole and Bobby might very
well have been caught and passed. But the fourth hole at
Interlachen had been good to him all week, a par five of
506 yards. In each of the previous rounds, he had a birdie,
and this time in his great need, it did not betray him
Bobby was out in 38, Mac Smith in 34, playing like a man
in a trance, now only three strokes behind. Bobby regained
a stroke at the long eleventh, Mac took it back at the
twelfth, and then picked up two more at the short thir-
teenth where Bobby once again had a catastrophic five on
a par 3 hole. At this point, an hour later Mac Smith was
only one stroke back. He had gained six strokes in thirteen
It was the D'Artagnan in Bobby who finished that
round. He rammed down a long putt for a birdie 3 at the
thirteenth, picked up another birdie 3 at the sixteenth, and
at the seventeenth, 272 yards, the longest par-3 hole in
the world, he took another 5. This hole was his bete noire
of the week. In the four rounds, he lost four strokes to par
here, and picked them all up on the friendly fourth, which
I suppose proves in a vague way that the breaks will even
up in the long run, if the rule is long enough. The seventy-
two holes at Interlachen proved long enough, and the ride
had been too fast for the gang. At the eighteenth, where
Bobby had finished more than an hour before, with a 40-
foot putt for his third birdie 3 on the last nine, Mac was
THE D ARTAGNAN OF GOLF
faced with an eagle 2 to tie. It was the long putt that had
barred the door, the last stroke of the championship. Mac
finished with a par 4 for a 70. He had cut away five of a
seven stroke lead, and once again in the same season he
had finished second by two strokes. Once against a wholly
admirable and exemplary figure in the world of sport had
come so near only to be defeated.
Golf is indubitably the most uncertain of games, and
yet in the face of this singularly accurate reproduction in
two great championships in the space of twenty-four days
on courses four thousand miles apart, it would be stupid to
say there is no such thing as playing form. Three great
golfers, counting Horton Smith, finished these two tour-
naments in precisely the same positions, all three being
four strokes better at Interlachen than at Hoylake, which
is probably about the difference in the two courses.
With tears in my eyes and drenching perspiration on the
rest of my anatomy, I welcomed the end of this tourna-
ment and the moment when we could head south for
Dixie and comparative coolness. It was beautiful at Inter-
lachen among the lakes but you would have to stay in one
of the lakes to keep from sizzling, and it would be some-
what inconvenient to carry a lake around the golf course
with you. The heat was too much for some of the con-
testants. Charley Hall, the hard hitting professional from
Birmingham, Alabama, where it occasionally gets pretty
warm, gave up.
"This tournament, 53 said Charley, "will go to the man
with the thickest skull."
After he had won, I told this to Bobby. He grinned and
"Maybe it did at that."
Fancy if you please, Mr. Cyril Hastings Tolley, former
British Amateur Champion, under such climatic condi-
tions. Where does dignity go when it melts? One lady
The Bobby Jones Story
spectator sitting beneath a large tree thus portrayed Mr.
Tolley, climbing slowly and damply up a slope :
"Mr. Tolley/ 3 she said, "looks just like an iceman who
has carried one hundred pounds of ice up five flights of
stairs and found that the lady of the house was not at
Mr. Tolley lost nine pounds in one three-hour round.
It was in an upper room at the Interlachen Club, while
waiting for Mac Smith to come in, that Bobby made his
momentous decision. In the secretary's room at Hoylake,
while he waited for this same Mac Smith and Leo Diegel
to come in, he had begun to think that this might be his
last year in competitive golf. Nothing in. the world Bobby
said would be worth the agony of those last three days at
Hoylake. So here at Interlachen, he decided that he had
had enough. No matter what happened at Merion, he was
through with competitive golf. The third trick of the Im-
pregnable Quadrilateral had been accomplished. There
was one more major championship to play in and then
Next stop - Merion.
The Impregnable Quadrilateral
S BOBBY JONES WALKED ONTO THE
fourth green in the afternoon round in
his final match against Eugene Romans,
after a beautiful little pitch across the
brook, at the Merion Cricket Club, Big
Bob Jones, his daddy, asked another
spectator how he stood. The answer was
that Bobby at the moment was 8 up and
was winning that hole, which would be
Big Bob meditated a moment. Then
he said, not to the gallery but all to him-
"Nine up and 14 to go."
And then, it might seem more incon-
sequently, he began to sing, very softly,
quite to himself:
"There's a long, long trail awinding
Into the land of my dreams."
I think with all the magnificent talk
about the pinnacle of golf and the crest
of sporting records -I think, after all,
that song of Big Bob's told more of the
story of Bobby's greatest victory than all
the reams of adjectives that had blazed
across the newspaper firmament in the
The Bobby Jones Story
2,000,000 words that flashed away from Ardmore about
this championship in which the greatest of all sporting
champions achieved his heart's greatest desire.
It was more than a mere Amateur Golf Championship
of the United States, great and coveted honor that this
title is. Bobby had won four others, but none like this one.
This victory, the fourth major title in the same season
and in the space of four months, had now and for all
time entrenched Bobby Jones safely within the "Impreg-
nable Quadrilateral of Golf/ 3 that granite fortress that he
alone could take by escalade, and that others may attack
in vain-, forever.
The Grand Slam of Golf, many are calling it, and while
I invented the term to describe what I believed to be an
absolutely impossible achievement, I fear it is too casual
and futile for this supreme feat of the sporting world. It
was in the book now. Nothing could change it. But win-
ning this championship was, as I had suspected, the tough-
est and most gruelling of Bobby's campaign. He had said
"It is the first tournament in which I have ever played
that I could not sleep at night. There is something on my
mind that I cannot shake off. I go to sleep all right from
fatigue, but about midnight or later, I wake up and have
to get up. I have always been able to sleep. There was only
one night, no, two, when I remember I did not sleep. One
was at Worcester in 1923, the night before the play-off,
but the heat contributed to that. The other was at the
British Amateur Championship at Muirfield in 1926. I
sat in the window and marvelled that I could see cattle in
the distant fields at 11:30 o'clock in the long Scottish
twilight. There is something bearing down on me in this
tournament that was never there before."
I knew perfectly well what it was - the specter of the
fourth championship. Mickey Cochrane, the clever catch-
THE IMPREGNABLE QUADRILATERAL
er of the Philadelphia Athletics, was walking with me.
He, too, understood. After seeing Bobby miss a few shots,
Mickey said :
"I know just how he feels. He is going after his fourth
championship of the season, and it is just like a baseball
club trying to win its fourth consecutive world's cham-
pionship. He feels fine but inwardly his nerves are seeth-
ing, and when he gets ready to make a shot he cannot get
the proper grip. It's the old championship strain bearing
down and every ball player knows what that means."
As the huge gallery left the first tee in the morning
round, Francis Powers of the Chicago News, paraphrasing
Grantland Rice's story on the Notre Dame team, said:
"There goes another race by the Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse over the fairways of Merion, and this time
their names are Jones, Jones, Jones and Jones." Queerly
enough he was right. There was Jones, Amateur Cham-
pion of Great Britain; there was Jones, Open Champion
of Great Britain; there was Jones, Open Champion of the
United States; and there was Jones, fighting for the fourth
side of the quadrilateral, the Amateur Championship of
the United States. The premier golfing firm of all the
world, Jones, Jones, Jones and Jones. Succeeding ages may
match it if they can.
The mathematical details of the last day's play are in-
teresting mainly as illustrating the effect on Bobby's con-
centration by the greatest opportunity he had had to reach
the top of the golfing world. All through the tournament
he was incomparably brilliant and incredibly sloppy by
turns. Between rounds, standing 7 up on Homans, with a
card of 72 that was saved by a gorgeous spin of 33 on the
last nine, he showed nothing of elation. He was puzzled
and unhappy over his putting.
"I can't understand it," he said. "The greens are prac-
tically perfect. For a few holes I putt decently, and then
The Bobby Jones Story
like an old woman. Somebody asked me if the greens were
too fast. I told him I simply could not say with my touch
as it is. The greens are fine. There is something the matter
with me. 33
Yes, there was something the matter with Bobby. The
same thing that rode his sleep at night and scattered his
calmest dreams, and set him walking about the room be-
fore daylight. There was something that touched his arm
in the big swing, and diverted his short putts off line as he
worked about the course that I think he loves best of all
in this country. And I knew what it was. Bobby may have
been puzzled, but what rode with him at Merion was the
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse of Championship.
Had this been just another amateur championship? If
Bobby had not won the other three, it would have been a
breeze in the field in which he found himself after his first
match with Ross Somerville. But just behind him every
step of the way, there was riding a horseman he could not
see; the white horseman of the fourth championship. And
I am very sure that the thunder of his pursuit would have
broken any other golfer in the world.
The significance of Jones' victory furnished more inter-
est and excitement than the final match. That he would
win was accepted as a foregone conclusion from the begin-
ning. He won the qualifying medal with a record-equal-
ling 142, and he was never down to his five opponents in
match play. Homans in the final round, through his cour-
ageous finish, extended the match farther than it seemed
possible after Bobby was 7 up at noon. Bobby's golf was
not always Jones' golf in the machine-Eke perfection it is
usually considered, but it was much too good for his op-
ponents to match. Like Alexander the Great, Bobby had
no more worlds to conquer. And he was only twenty-eight
Bobby and Jess Sweetser had played in a dozen cham-
THE IMPREGNABLE QUADRILATERAL
pionships but had met only once, so the match at Merion
was a sort of return bout. Bobby with a card of 72 was 4
up on Jess at noon, and in the afternoon he was fully as
innocuous as Hamdryas or King Cobra, the match ending
on the tenth green. Jess said:
"I did want to take the match to the eleventh green,
and let it end 8-7. Then I could have said we were still
square. That was where our match ended at Brookline,
Bobby blushed or might have blushed had it not been
for several layers of sunburn.
"I felt sort of mean at that tenth green, the way that
pitch stuck up there, 35 he said, "like a stab in the back or
a shot in the dark."
"It was no shot in the dark," said Sweetser.
On a September day eight years before in the semi-
final round of another national amateur championship, it
was Jess who spanked a pitch of 90 yards into a hole for
an eagle, and went on to give Bobby the greatest defeat
he ever absorbed in a tournament, 8-7. History has a curi-
ous way of repeating itself, sometimes in reverse.
Among the telegrams Bobby received as the great test
got under way was a brief one, in Greek, from Johnny
Boutsies, proprietor of a restaurant in Atlanta. It must
have been a struggle to get the telegram transmitted,
Greek words in English letters, but it came through. It
TON E EPITAS."
You remember what the Spartan mothers of old said to
their Spartan sons, as they buckled on their shields, setting
out for battle. The English equivalent is rather difficult
but the meaning is clear, about the shield and the war-
rior's return :
"With it, or on it."
Bobby came back with it.
The Bobby Jones Story
The match of the tournament was the ferocious battle
of twenty-eight holes between George Von Elm and Mau-
rice McCarthy, the black Irishman and the blond Prus-
sian, that set a record for stubborn bouts in the U. S.
amateur championship. Von Elm, playing by his own
declaration in his last amateur championship, was not
shooting as good golf as McCarthy, but Maurice was giv-
ing the holes to him by taking three putts. He did this four
times when he had the Uhlan in his grasp. So it came to
the home hole all square. A half there and they were off
on the most amazing struggle in all the annals of golf. At
the end of nine holes, they were still square the last six
holes being halved in pars. Then came the break. At the
tenth extra hole. After good drives, Von Elm was on a
dozen feet from the pin, safe for a par. McCarthy's pitch
ran closer - it ran still closer. It touched the cup, rolled
around and stopped a few inches away. That was the win-
ning stroke, the coup-de-grace, a birdie 3 at the tenth
extra hole. McCarthy had also set another record by
scoring an ace in the qualifying round, the only ace ever
shot in qualifying for the amateur championship.
So it was goodbye at Merion, as, long ago, it had been
good-morning there. It was at Merion in 1916 that Bobby
had played in his first national championship ; it was there
in 1924, he had won his first amateur championship; and
there he finished. The chunky schoolboy had grown into
the calm and poised young man, whom the world called
the master of golf - and who was not less truly master of
"There is a destiny that shapes our ends."
nnti TT* n if u nr~r it
Ine Jbnd of the lo.il
N THE MIDDLE OF NOVEMBER 1930, BOBBY
Jones announced his retirement from all
golfing competition. The greatest golfer
the world had ever known had played in
his last championship. The King of Golf
had laid down his scepter. So it was
"Goodbye to Golf" for Bobby and, inci-
dently, for this correspondent. Bobby's
retirement from competitive golf was the
end of the trail that had carried us to-
gether more than 120,000 miles, three
times to Europe and across the fields of
twenty - seven major championships.
When Bobby told me of his decision, I
could not say anything. I just held out
my hand. I was happy, in a way. And I
was - well, you don't come to the end of
fifteen years with the grandest sporting
competitor, and the greatest boy you
have ever known, without something that
It was the thing to do, eminently. As
Bobby said whatever he might do, con-
tinuing in competitive golf would be
anti-climax. He had finished off the sev-
en fat years with thirteen major cham-
The Bobby Jones Story
pionships. In the closing year 1930, he had accomplished
the impossible - winning all four major titles.
But in the long memories there will be recollections of
the seven lean years, the long pull against fate and for-
tune and the best golfers when the greatest golfer of them
all played in eleven major championships and never won a
single victory. In some ways, those are the dearest of the
green memories. Those were the days before we travelled
in drawing rooms and private cars, when we were lucky
to have lowers; when in 1921, on the way to the Amateur
Championship in St. Louis, he said to me:
"I wonder if I'll ever win a championship."
And I said: "Son, when the day comes that you can get
out on the first tee with any man in golf, and know in your
heart that you are better than he is, then you'll win a big
tournament. Because you are better, if you only knew it,"
But eventually he developed an ambition. After he had
won the U. S. Open at Inwood in 1923, and followed
with the U. S. Amateur in 1924 and 1925, he said to me :
"There is one thing I would like to do. I'd like to be
national champion, either open or amateur, of the United
States for six years in succession. Then I would be ready
to hang up the old clubs and let them all take a shot at
that. But of course it can't be done."
And we both laughed. Of course, it could not be done.
And now the phantasy had become cold reality. He had
been a national champion eight years in succession; Open
Champion, 1923; Amateur Champion, 1924 and 1925;
Open Champion, 1926; Amateur Champion, 1927 and
1928; Open Champion, 1929; both Open and Amateur,
1930. Added to which he had been Open Champion of
Great Britain in 1926, 1927 and 1930; and Amateur
There were no more records to shoot for, Bobby was the
THE END OF THE TRAIL
first competitor to win five U. S. amateur championships,
He equalled the British and American records of winning
both the amateur and the open the same year. He was the
only competitor who had won both the British and U. S.
Amateur Championships in the same year and he had
done this twice. And no other golfer, amateur or profes-
sional, had won thirteen major championships. He played
in the first international Walker Cup matches in 1922,
and in four more, being captain of the U. S. team in 1928
and 1930, never losing a match at singles, and only one in
the foursomes. He stood astride the sporting world like
the Colossus of Rhodes, and I am sure that this record
will stand forever.
"Was it after you won the fourth major title at Merion
that you decided to retire?" I asked Bobby.
Bobby grinned reflectively. "Before," he replied. "It
was when I won the open at Interlachen."
I recalled an incident in an upstairs room at the Inter-
lachen Club that hot afternoon when Bobby had finished
and it had just been established that Mac Smith would
not catch him. I went up to the room to tell him, and he
was looking pretty well all in. I put my hand on his shoul-
der and asked him:
"Bobby, when are you going to quit this darned game?"
Maybe I did not say darned. It had been an unusually
tough finish. Bobby looked a shade more serious.
"I don't know," he said, "but pretty soon, I think. I am
And I remember he had said the same thing in an un-
stairs room in the old club house at Hoylake while waiting
to know whether he had won the British Open Champion-
ship or not.
Bobby was only twenty-eight and no other champion in
any sport had ever decided to leave the competitive field
at so youthful an age, and at the top of the sporting world.
The Bobby Jones Story
"I don't enjoy competition any more/' Bobby said in
explanation. "When I was younger, it was different. Noth-
ing much was expected of me and I had a lot of fun bat-
tling with the boys. If I didn't win, or if I didn't show
well, it made no difference. Golf was just a game and I
loved it and met many good fellows and every tournament
was a big show for me.
"But along in 1925, golf became a serious business. I
was expected to win or to finish well up. It got worse and
worse and the pressure became heavier and heavier, and
at long last came the Big Year and I decided I had had
enough. I'll never give up golf. I love it too well, and it
has meant too much in my life. But it will be an easier and
more gracious trail from now on."
I often wonder, and old timers should have a license to
do a lot of wondering, if the Grand Slam, marvelpus as it
was, was Bobby's greatest feat. Personally I do not think
it was, and there is another phase in Bobby's tremendous
stretch of winning years, of which he might be just a bit
In the last nine years of his career, from 1922 to 1930,
Bobby played in twelve national open championships,
nine in America and three in Britain. He finished first or
second eleven times in those twelve starts. That could
easily be a greater achievement than the more startling
Grand Slam. This constitutes I think his finest record.
The most important campaign of my life, which had
been pretty much wrapped up in sports, found its climax
at Merion. The end of the trail meant for me the realiza-
tion of the only real ambition I ever had in the world of
sports. Ever since, I had seen a stocky, ruddy youngster
with tousled hair, a kid of thirteen, battling veterans in
the Southern Amateur Championship at East Lake in
1915. I had wanted more and more to see him ranked
where he now stands and will stand forever.
THE END OF THE TRAIL
I was with him in his blackest depression, as after Wil-
lie Hunter beat him at St. Louis and when Sweetser
defeated him at Brookline. I was with him when he failed
by a single stroke to catch Sarazen at Skokie; and when he
lost by a single stroke to Johnny Farrell at Olympia Fields.
I saw him lose through seven lean years, which the public
tends to forget in the radiance of the years that followed.
I watched Bobby from the bottom to the top of the
golfing world, when he brought home to his beloved East
Lake all five major trophies, including the Walker Cup.
Never had these five trophies reposed in the same club
and it is a million to one bet that they never will again.
And now it was goodbye to golf. And I could still say
what I had said to people all over the world, they could
see for themselves if he was a golfer, but I could tell them
that he was a much finer young man than he was a golfer.
His great personality was paralleled only by his inimitable
swing. Wholly lacking in affectation, modest to the degree
of shyness, generous and thoughtful of his opponents, it is
not likely that his equal will come again.
It would be immeasurably more pleasant to write of
Bobby Jones himself, than of his exploits - if that could
be done surely. But you cannot pick out the details of a
winsome personality or properly hold up for inspection
the graces of modesty and the strong heart. Besides, good-
natured as Bobby Jones is, he would be furious if any
chronicler who knew him should attempt a thing like that.
So the greatest competitive athlete of history closed the
book, the bright lexicon of championships, with every
honor in the world to grace its final chapter.
The New York Times fittingly commented: "With dig-
nity he quit the memorable scene on which he nothing
common did, or mean."
It was the end of the trail for both of us. And the end
1911 At the age of nine won the East Lake Junior Championship.
1916 Won first Georgia State Amateur Championship.
Qualified in first National Amateur Championship.
1917 Won Southern Amateur Championship.
1919 Runner-up to Jim Barnes, Southern Open Championship.
Runner-up to J. Douglas Edgar, Canadian Open Cham-
Runner-up to S. Davidson Herron, National Amateur
1920 Won Southern Amateur Championship.
First National Open, finished in tie for eighth place.
Medalist, National Amateur Championship,
1922 Won Southern Amateur Championship.
Tied for second place in National Open Championship.
1923 Won National Open Championship after play-off with
Medalist after play-off with Chick Evans, National Ama-
1924 Second in National Open Championship.
Won National Amateur Championship.
1925 Second in National Open Championship after play-off with
Won National Amateur Championship.
1926 Won British Open Championship.
Won United States Open Championship.
Medalist, United States Amateur Championship, and
Runner-up to George Von Elm.
1927 Won British Open with a new record score, 285.
Medalist and winner. United States Amateur Championship.
1928 Second in United States Open Championship after play-off
with Johnny Farrell.
Won National Amateur Championship.
1929 Won National Open Championship in play-off with Al
Co-medalist with Gene Romans, National Amateur Cham-
1930 Won British Amateur Championship.
Won British Open Championship.
Won United States Amateur Championship.
Won United States Open Championship.
United States Amateur Championships 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928,
United States Open Championships 1923, 1926, 1929, 1930.
British Open Championships 1926, 1927, 1930.
British Amateur Championship 1930.
MUCH OF THE MATERIAL IN THIS BOOK FIRST APPEARED IN the At-
lanta Journal, for which O. B. Keeler wrote for more than a
quarter of a century, and in his columns syndicated by the Asso-
ciated Press. Grateful appreciation is acknowledged for permis-
sion to reprint these stories.
Thanks is also extended to Esquire for articles of O. B. Keeler
appearing in the January 1942, May 1942, July 1944, June 1945,
July 1945, and May 1946 issues; to Greenberg: Publisher for
The Autobiography of an Average Golfer, by O. B. Keeler, copy-
right 1925, by Greenberg: Publisher, Inc.; to Harper and
Brothers for The Boys' Life of Bobby Jones by O. B. Keeler,
copyright 1931 by Harper & Brothers; to the North American
Newspaper Alliance, Inc., for "The Bobby Jones Story" by O.
B. Keeler; and to G. P. Putnam's Sons for Down the Fairway,
by Robert T. Jones, Jr. and O. B. Keeler, copyright 1927 by
Minton, Balch fe Company.
For permission to reproduce certain of the photographs ap-
pearing in this book, thanks is extended to Acme Newspictures
for photographs on pages 267 (top) and 269; to the Associated
Press for photographs on pages 211 (top) and 215 (top); to the
Chicago Tribune for the photograph on page 46; to Morgan Fitz
for the photograph on page 215 (bottom); to Golf World
for photographs on pages 42, 154 (bottom), and 158 (bottom);
to Julian P. Graham of Del Monte, California, for photographs
on pages 210, 216, 265 and 270; to J. Hixon Kinsella for the
photograph on page 214; to Edwin Levick for the photograph on
page 158 (top); to P. & A. Photos for photographs on pages 45,
99 (top), 102, 104 (top), and 211; to Tye Sanders for the photo-
graph on page 157; to Underwood & Underwood for the photo-
graph on page 153 (bottom); to Wide World Photos for photo-
graphs on pages 48, 98, 99 (bottom), 101, 104 (bottom), 154
(top), 159, 212, and 268 (top); and to Winn, Atlanta, for photo-
graphs on pages 44 (top), 155, 156, and 160.
A sincere effort has been made to acknowledge and give credit
for all photographs used in this book. A number of them were
collected from old files of the Atlanta Journal. In the event that
we have failed to give proper credit to any photographer or
photographic service, we hope we may be forgiven.