Industry News

Understanding Genius: The Work of Robert Trent Jones Sr.

RTJ Society Publishes Course Appreciation Guide Highlighting Jones’ Design Philosophy

Thursday Jan 18, 2024 – The Robert Trent Jones Society has released a new publication, The Design Genius of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. – A Course Appreciation Guide. The 20-page compendium analyzes Jones’ design principles, notably routing, green complexes, heroic shot values, water hazards, flexible teeing options, and emphasis on natural beauty, all supported by course examples and photography.

The Robert Trent Jones Society, created in 2004, consists of member clubs worldwide designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. Its mission is three-fold:

  • Honor Jones Sr. and his work
  • Preserve the historical information and documents pertinent to the golf courses he designed 
  • Encourage and support the education of member clubs on his design principles.
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The brochure provides member clubs with a comprehensive guide to assessing and appreciating their courses, along with historical facts regarding the impact of RTJ on the modern game. RTJ and other post-war architects are too often overlooked when discussing golf course architecture, diminishing their impact and importance. This brochure restores that historical perspective with numerous examples among the 350+ courses Jones designed over seven decades. Jones built or remodeled some of the most muscular and strategic courses touring golf professionals have ever faced, including Firestone, Hazeltine, Spyglass Hill, Baltusrol, and Oak Hill. He also designed modern and appealing courses for public play in municipal settings and on military bases. 

To explain his long-lasting influence and importance, the RTJ Society brought in a group of experts who knew Jones best: his two sons Bob and Rees, long-time design associate Roger Rulewich, and leading golf writers. They distilled the eight key course-design principles that Jones Sr.’s adhered to and provided hole-by-hole examples that are explained by RTJ Society members. Importantly, the “why” associated with the various principles exposed Jones’ true genius as the game evolved beyond the Golden Age and expanded in popularity.  

“We intend to use the information we’ve compiled for clubs with Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designs to gain a fresh perspective as they look to the next generation of course management and preservation,” said David Leigh, Marketing Chairperson and editor of the piece.

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For additional information on the Society or the work of Robert Trent Jones, Sr., access the website at

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Media Contact
David Leigh, Editor
Robert Trent Jones Society