About eight years ago, Marty Elgison, the attorney for the heirs to Bobby Jones, shared an idea he had with Bob Jones IV. Elgison wanted to renovate Bobby Jones Golf Course, a scraggly, cramped muni shoehorned into an undersized parcel of land off Northside Drive in Atlanta.
Jones, grandson of the golf legend, appreciated what the family’s longtime attorney was trying to do, but admits, “I didn’t think it had any chance of getting done because of bureaucracy.”
On Nov. 5, however, a thoroughly reimagined Bobby Jones Golf Course will reopen to the public. Rather than 18 holes, it will be a far more workable nine-hole reversible course. It has a new, two-sided practice range, something that didn’t previously exist, and a six-hole short course that probably won’t be ready for play until next summer. The range will become the new practice home for Georgia State University’s golf teams.
The layout incorporates the Longleaf Tee System, with eight tees per hole – a reflection of an effort to welcome young golfers and those with disabilities. The entire course, except for greens, will be cut at fairway height, according to architect Bobby Cupp. That will make all of those tee boxes seem less intrusive while also enhancing playability.
Those priorities would seem to be a worthy reflection of the values of the man the course honors.
“What we have trouble recognizing nowadays is the almost-radical impact Bobby Jones had on the game,” Jones said of his grandfather. “People forget he was a mechanical engineer by training. He had a passion for making golf more accessible to the average player, so much so that when he designed Augusta National, that golf course was incredibly radical for its day. It allowed the average player to play it and have a fantastic time, but it also challenged the expert player.”
To read the full article, please visit golfweek.com.