The Defeat…and The Decision
During the 1929 U.S. Amateur, the great Bobby Jones inexplicably lost his first round match at Pebble Beach to an obscure player by the name of Johnny Goodman.
By that time, Jones had dreamed of an idyllic golf club somewhere near his home in Atlanta and apparently had a handshake agreement with Ross that the Scot would design the course whenever Jones was ready to embark on the project.
But when Jones lost in the first round at Pebble Beach, he had a week to kill – travel arrangements not being as fluid as they are today. He spent considerable time playing a new course on the Monterey Peninsula and getting to know its architect. Jones was so smitten by what he found in Cypress Point and Alister MacKenzie that he left California knowing MacKenzie, the British physician-turned-golf architect, would be his designer—not Ross.
Ross wasn’t happy to learn that Jones was hiring MacKenzie to design the new course in Georgia. And so he went back to work on his own gem – Pinehurst No. 2.
“Ross was a notorious individualist,” author and historian Charles Price explained in “A Golf Story,” his 1986 book about Jones and The Masters Tournament, “and Jones wanted a course with his designs incorporated into it, not a course entirely of somebody else’s.”
Ross wasn’t happy to learn that Jones was hiring MacKenzie to design the new course in Georgia. Pinehurst resident John Derr remembers the hair standing on Ross’s neck in the mid-1930s when Derr, at the time a young sportswriter from Greensboro, innocently made a glowing remark to Ross about this terrific new course in Augusta.
Ross was miffed.
And so he went back to work on his own gem – Pinehurst No. 2.