Course Architect

Master Architect

In a career spanning more than four decades, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. has designed more than 270 golf courses in more than 40 countries on six continents.  RTJ II courses have won countless awards and accolades, been ranked among the best layouts throughout the world, and have hosted tournaments on every major golf tour.  The Trent Jones name has become a trademark—like Rolex watches or Faberge jewelry: it guarantees a well-crafted golf venue set comfortably in its natural environment.

Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (Bobby) was born in 1939 and learned about golf at Winged Foot Golf Club from the legendary Tommy Armour, who not only taught Jones the techniques of good golf, but also captured his imagination with the folklore surrounding the game.  After studying geology and majoring in history and American Studies at Yale, and attending a year of law school at Stanford University, Jones, Jr. graduated into the family business.  His earliest experience was working beside his father on the legendary Spyglass Hill in the 1960s.  After working for his father until 1972, the son left his father’s firm and set out on his own by founding Robert Trent Jones II golf course architects, where he has assembled what is arguably the most talented golf course architecture team in the industry. Jones is a member of the California Golf Hall of Fame; a long-standing member, former president, and current board member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects; and the recipient of many other industry awards and honors.

Robert Trent Jones, Jr.’s own golf course designs have scaled mountains, enlivened deserts, ranged across prairies, carved through forests, reclaimed wastelands, and rolled down to the edges of the world’s oceans.  Known as the father of environmental golf course design, Jones respects and embraces the land in his work.  He describes his courses as “of the earth . . . for the spirit.”  Whether carefully routing holes around ancient holy sites on the lava fields of Hawaiian Islands, or devising drainage systems that help purify water on the site of former oil fields, Jones has made it his signature to listen to the land.  An article in Smithsonian Magazine once described his work as, “a case study of how a golf course can have a surprisingly low impact on even a sensitive environmental area.”

In creating his well-loved courses, Jones likes to present golfers with a blend of penal, strategic, and heroic golf puzzles that are up to each golfer to solve for himself—often by determining the best position from which to attack the holes.  Jones keeps metaphorically comparable activities such as chess, billiards, and certain target sports in mind when sketching out holes.  His focus is on shot values and fine aesthetic appearances.
Like the best writers and artists, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. employs subtext and symbolism, imagery and illusion, as well as a range of other techniques from the verbal and visual arts to express aspects of philosophy, drama, and aesthetics in the golf courses he builds.  An RTJ II design is challenging, memorable, and well crafted, blending in with the surrounding topography as if it has always been there.

Jones adds, “The very best courses are those where nature has provided the canvas and my job is to discover her secrets and reveal them.  I try to design golf courses that will fascinate people so they’ll want to play them many times and learn the depths and meanings of the courses’ stories, their subtext, their poetry.”

Notable courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.:

    Wedgewood Golf & Country Club – Powell, OH

    Celtic Manor – Gwent, Wales, United Kingdom – Host of the 2010 Ryder Cup

    Chambers Bay – University Place, WA – Host of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship

    CordeValle – San Martin, CA – Host of 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Championship

    Poppy Hills Golf Club – Pebble Beach, CA – Host of PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Champions Tour’s First Tee Open

    Links at Spanish Bay – Pebble Beach, CA – Hosted PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    Wailea Golf Club – Wailea, Maui, HI – Hosted Senior Skins Game

    Poipu Bay - Koloa, Kauai , HI – Hosted PGA Grand Slam of Golf

    Princeville Maikai - Princeville, Kauai , HI – Hosted World Cup of Golf

    Gulf Harbour Golf Club - Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa, New Zealand – Hosted World Cup of Golf

    The Mines Resort & Golf Club - Seri Kembangan, Malaysia – Hosted World Cup of Golf
    Royal Westmoreland - St. James, Barbados, Caribbean – Hosted Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf