A Difficult Par
Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern GolfBook - 2014
A book unique to golf literature- the definitive biography of modern golf's foremost architect, from the New York Times bestselling author of First Man- The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. In a career that spanned seventy years (1930-2000), Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed or remodelled more than four hundred golf courses spread over forty-three US states and twenty-eight other countries worldwide, with more than three dozen of them having played host to national or international championships, including twenty U.S. Opens. In A Difficult Par , New York Times bestselling biographer James R. Hansen recounts how Jones, an English immigrant boy, arrived in upstate New York in 1912, just as golf was emerging as a popular pastime in America. As a young man he excelled as a golfer and earned admission to Cornell University, whose faculty consented to a curriculum Jones himself tailored to gain the knowledge he needed to design golf courses. Cornell provided the springboard for an act of self-invention that propelled Jones from obscurity to worldwide fame. Jones's guiding principle was to make every hole 'a difficult par but an easy bogey.' He admired the skills of touring pros but also understood that unless the courses they played could test the limits of their skills, the game would turn into checkers. Jones made sure that golf at its highest levels was a kind of athletic chess, a game that had to stimulate the mind as well as engage the muscles. At the same time, he understood that in order to prosper in the long term as a popular sport, and not just as an arena for elite practitioners, the course had to be fun for everyone. As gifted as he was at golf design, Jones was equally skilled as a salesman, promoter, and entrepreneur, who overcame the challenges of the Great Depression and World War 11 to establish the most honoured brand in golf course design, passing his talents to his two sons, Robert Trent Jr. and Rees, whose work would carry on their father's tradition. Hansen examines Jones's legacy in all its complexity and influence, including the ways Jones's career intersected with those of such legends as Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and the fraternal rivalry of Jones's distinguished sons, who themselves became the designers of remodelers of some 450 courses. A Difficult Par tells, for the first time the inspiring story of one of golf's greatest visionaries, while portraying how Jones's revolutionary design of golf landscapes fundamentally changed the character of the sport. Praise for A Difficult Par 'In this magisterial study of Robert Trent Jones, James R. Hansen narrates the remarkable achievements of the world's most celebrated golf course architect. Hansen not only delves deeply into Jones's Walter Mitty - like personality, he sets Jones's achievements into the context of America's reach as the world's leading economic and cultural power. A Difficult Par is a rich three-dimensional account of an extraordinary and uniquely American life.' John Strawn, author of Driving the Green and The Former CEO of Robert Trent Jones 11 'Most of us in the golf world felt this was a book that could never be written. It took a decade of dogged persistence on Hansen's part to produce not just a candid biography of Trent Jones but a veritable masterpiece in sport literature.' David Mackintosh, Veteran International Golf Writer at the Buenos Aires Herald 'Robert Trent Jones was the most influential man in golf course design since Old Tom Morris. This biography is essential reading for all who love golf and golf courses. There is no book like it.' Dr. Michael C. Hurdzan, former President of the American Society of Golf Course Architects ' A Difficult Par is an American Dream saga. In this remarkable biography, Jam
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, c2014.
Characteristics: x, 498 p. : ill. (some col.)