News 12 at 7 o'clock / Saturday, April 9, 2011
AUGUSTA---The Masters marks an important milestone this year. It's the 75th playing of the world's most famous golf tournament.
There's a lot of history at Augusta National, and it all began with a golfer named Bobby Jones. His name still lives on at the course he built in a number of ways.
Today I spoke with his grandson, the fourth Bobby Jones, who goes by Bob.
"The 75th anniversary of the Masters is really a statement that the vision my grandfather first had all those many years ago is still very much alive today," Bob said. "And to be the latest, and sadly the last of the Bobby Joneses, it's a real honor. And it's something I do, I wear with great pride."
An old family photo shows the generations--a very young Bob Jones with his father and grandfather.
"What would Bobby Jones like about the Masters today?" I asked Bob.
"I think Bobby Jones would like the golf. Quite a bit."
The course itself has changed a lot since those early days. Back then they called it the First Annual Invitation Tournament. Horton Smith was the champion. The year was 1934.
The early years were not easy ones. There were financial challenges. Bobby Jones had to be convinced to play in the first few tournaments, and he really didn't want to call it "The Masters".
"He always thought the title was very pretentious, and he did for quite awhile," Bob said. "He finally relented after a few years."
Bobby Jones' mark is all over the course today, and we can still hear his voice in the spectator guide.
"That is really cool, but what's even more amazing is when you look at the dates on which the spectator guide was written," Bob said.
Back in 1949, Bob's grandfather offered suggestions about seeing the most golf with the fewest steps.
"You can, and you can see almost all the players. But what you have to do is break your mind away from 'I'm going to follow one golfer every step of the way'," Bob said.
"He lets the Tournament come to him," I said.
"Absolutely," Bob responded.
And so as we mark the 75th Masters, we remember the man whose name is etched in history here.
"Remember, when they asked him what he wanted his monument to be, he said, 'I don't need a monument. This course is monument enough.' And it will always be that way," Bob said.