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Golf Planet

A few things to know about Bobby Jones and the Masters

A column by Ivan Morris

Bobby Jones never revealed exactly why he retired from competition at the age of 28 after winning what was then known as the "Grand Quadrangle" in 1930: that is, the American and British amateur championships, the US Open and the (British) Open Championship, all contested in the same year.

I guess his wife wanted him more at home so he could settle into a real family life as well as his profession as a lawyer linked to various business interests.

Bobby Jones had also committed himself to making a series of instructional films for Warner Brothers in Hollywood and had begun designing golf clubs for the Spalding company: don't forget that he also had a degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. At the same time, he was about to start writing a lucrative golf column and several books as well. Activities that cast doubt on his amateur status: note that he never declared himself a pro, but never competed as an amateur again either.

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In 1932, Jones began work on his favorite project of a lifetime: the construction of Augusta National Golf Club, which opened its doors at the end of 1934, and led to the first organization of a tournament he (modestly) named The Invitational. It wasn't until 1939 that Jones' partner, Clifford Robertsagainst Jones' wishes, to rename it The Masters Tournament.

Although completely retired from professional tournaments, Jones played in twelve Masters between 1934 and 1948 (no tournaments were held in the years 1943-1945 due to the Second World War). This was the only tournament (apart from occasional exhibition matches) in which he participated.