Robert Trent Jones was the most prolific and influential golf course architect of the twentieth century and became the archetypal modern golf course designer. Jones spread the values of golf by designing courses in forty-two American states and twenty-eight countries.
Twenty major U.S. Open tournaments have been played on courses designed by Jones. James R. Hansen, New York Times bestselling biographer and author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, tells the story of how a young English immigrant arrived in upstate New York in 1912, just as golf was becoming a popular pastime in America.
Jones excelled as a golfer and was admitted to Cornell University, where the faculty accepted a curriculum designed to teach him the skills necessary to design golf courses. Cornell was the springboard for the development of his talent and artistry and propelled him from anonymity to worldwide fame.
Jones thought that each hole should be "a difficult par but an easy bogey".
In the various golf magazines that rank the greatest golf courses, there are regularly about 50 projects by Jones, paving the way for his two sons, Robert Jr. and Rees, whose work would carry on their father's tradition.