James.qxp July August 2018 web - Page 22

by Dr. Robert T. Jones IV
here is an apocryphal story that goes
something like this: The great artist
Michelangelo was once asked how he
sculpted his magnificent statue of Moses.
“Simple,” he allegedly replied, “I get a good block of
marble and carve away everything that isn’t Moses.”
This amusing story highlights a truth: all great things
begin as ideas. To Buonarotti, the idea of Moses
already existed inside of the nondescript block of
Carrera marble. Other ideas come about in different
ways, yet they also yield masterpieces.
The Augusta National Golf Club course is a similar
example and the genius who saw the “Moses in the
marble” was my grandfather, amateur golf legend
Bobby Jones.
By the summer of 1926, Bub (the name we used for
our grandfather in the family) already stood at the top
of the golng world. He had just completed “The
Double,” winning the Open championships of Great
Britain and the United States in the same year. He had
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8
married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Rice Malone,
two years previously and had one child with another—
my father— on the way. He was ready to assume a more
normal pace to his life and give up the pressured existence of the shbowl that was tournament golf. His
thoughts were turning to the future and what he would
do when he no longer had to endure the pressure of
championship golf.
It was about this time that two things emerged in
his mind. First, he wanted to complete his career as a
player by winning all four national championships in
the same calendar year— a feat so audacious that he
refused to discuss it with anyone except my grandmother. Although it would eventually be called “The Grand
Slam,” there was no name for such a feat because no
one, save my grandfather, even thought it possible. He
completed that task on September 27, 1930, when he
defeated Eugene Homans to win the United States
Amateur at Merion Cricket Club outside of Philadelphia.
His second goal was to build a club where he could
entertain friends in relaxed privacy, a privacy that
wasn’t even available to him at his home, the Atlanta
Athletic Club’s East Lake Country Club. As the marble


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