Rees Jones reflects on a long, distinguished career as he remains as busy as ever
Photo by Stephen Szurlej
When your family lineage of designing and building golf courses reaches back nearly 90 years, you tend to view the profession of golf course architecture from a unique perspective.
Rees Jones began working for Robert Trent Jones in 1965 when his father was at the height of his career. That proximity to the most prominent architect of the 1950s and 60s taught Jones, among other things, the importance of building a good team and learning from those around him. It also taught him the importance of working with good clients.
In the nearly 50 years he has designed under his own name, Jones has had a remarkable number of prestige clients at places like Atlantic Golf Club and The Bridge on Long Island, Cascata near Las Vegas, Ocean Forest in coastal Georgia, East Lake in Atlanta and at numerous other clubs and resorts.
Another significant “client” of sorts has been major championship golf. Jones has prepared and modified a significant number of courses in preparation for various U.S. Opens, PGA Championships, Ryder Cups and other major tournaments, including The Country Club at Brookline, Pinehurst No. 2, Baltusrol, Atlanta Athletic Club, Torrey Pines, Bethpage Black (above), Oakland Hills South and on.
In the latest installment of the Feed the Ball Salon podcast (scroll down to listen, or subscribe to "Feed The Ball" wherever you listen to podcasts), Jones talks with Golf Digest Associate Editor of Architecture Derek Duncan and golf course builder Jim Urbina about how his redesign work has impacted major championship golf, his early days working with his father, building golf across a wide variety of sites and locations, and some of his favorite courses that fly under the radar.