Robert Tyre Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was an American amateur golfer who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club, and co-founded the Masters Tournament, which has been annually staged by the club since 1934 (except for 1943–45, when it was canceled due to World War II). The Masters evolved into one of golf’s four major championships. Jones came out of retirement in 1934 to play in the Masters on an exhibition basis through 1948. The innovations that he introduced at the Masters have been copied by virtually every professional golf tournament in the world.
Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete at a national and international level. During his peak from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition and competed very successfully against the world’s best professional golfers.
Jones earned his living mainly as a lawyer and competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28, though he earned significant money from golf after that, as an instructor and equipment designer.
Jones is most famous for his unique “Grand Slam,” consisting of his victory in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the U.S. & the U.K.) in a single calendar year (1930). In all Jones played in 31 majors, winning 13 and placing among the top ten finishers 27 times.
Bobby Jones was often confused with the prolific golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones, with whom he worked from time to time. People always used to get them confused, so when they met, they decided each be called something different, Robert Trent Jones Jr. said. To help avoid confusion, the golfer was called “Bobby,” and the golf course designer was called “Trent.”