Interview With Rees Jones President Rees Jones, Inc.
A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview
By Brian Weis
Below is an interview with Rees Jones, the President at Rees Jones, Inc.. The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.
Can you provide our readers a brief biography?
Rees Jones is the son of legendary golf course designer Robert Trent Jones and the younger brother of golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
His first exposure to golf course design came as a boy when he would accompany his father surveying courses. After attending Yale and graduate studies at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, he joined his father and older brother at Robert Trent Jones Incorporated. He helped his father on numerous courses until forming his own firm in 1974. He has designed or redesigned over 170 golf courses in his career.
Jones continues to design courses and currently resides in his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. He has also served as the president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. A noted environmentalist, he has been a vocal champion for the cause of environmentally friendly golf courses.
Jones received the 2004 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honor.
This spring, The American Society of Golf Course Architects will present the Donald Ross Award to Rees for his positive contribution to the game of golf and golf course architecture.
When did you start golfing and who introduced you to the game?
I started playing golf before I started going to school. My father, Robert Trent Jones, would take me out on the golf course at the end of the afternoon.
I remember the first time I heard a nearby golfer yell "Fore!" I shouted back, "I'm 4 too!"
What is your current home course?
Montclair Golf Club, Montclair, New Jersey. My father was a member, so I have been a member my entire life.
To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment?
Restoring and upgrading the first publicly-owned golf course to host the U.S.Open, Bethpage Black. It was a great thrill to do that work and be on the team that made that championship, which I called "The People's Open," such a success.
What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
Waiting. Waiting for slow players and waiting in long lines.
What is your favorite club in your bag and why?
The driver. I hit it well because I have more lattiitude with this club.
What is your favorite golf destination?
If I'm in the UK, it's St. Andrews. Not only the historic golf course, but the town and the people. I can say the same about Pinehurst...great golf courses and a town that has a long and strong connection to golf.
What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
Royal Melborne in Australia
If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
The Old Course at St. Andrews, which I first played with my father when I was 16 years old.
If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
I would like to see a stronger program, in both public and private clubs, to educate new golfers to the rules of golf and to appropriate conduct on the golf course
Dream foursome (living)?
My good friends Vinny Giles (former U.S.Amateur, former British Amateur and former U.S.Senior Amateur champion)and David Fay (former executive director of the USGA) and two avid golfers that I know and much admire, George Bush, (41, with whom I've played on several occasions. Now there's a man who plays fast!) and Tom Cousins (the man responsible for the resurrection of the East Lake Golf Club and community in Atlanta)
Dream foursome (living or deceased)?
Bobby Jones, the great amateur golfer, A.W. Tillinghast, whose work I much admire, Ben Hogan whom I met at the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club when I was 8 years old, and Francis Ouimet, whose victory at the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club, got Americans interested in golf. I could almost feel his presence on the course as I did the restoration work in preparation for the 1988 U.S. Open there.
18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions
1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?
Sinking long putt!!!
2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Having the round of my life, which I did at The National Golf Links of America years ago
3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?
Twilight in Scotland, which is often after dinner!
4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Power draw...it goes farther
5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
Halfway house - more variety
6) Bathroom OR bushes?
Bushes! It's faster. Maybe we need more bushes on the courses!
7) Hot dog OR wrap?
Hot dog. There was no such thing as a wrap when I was growing up.
8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?
9) Walking OR riding?
10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid?
Hybrid. This club is easier to hit
11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5?
Long par 3. I can usually hit those in regulation
12) Pants OR Shorts?
13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?
Both. They have both done so much for the popularity of the game
14) Beatles OR Elvis?
15) Play for fun OR play for money?
16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Bump and run
17) Lay up OR gamble?
It depends. That's the greatness of the game...you have to think about this decision before you hit. I like to put this risk/reward strategy into my golf course designs. It makes you think your way around the golf course.
18) 18 holes OR 36?
I like to have lunch and play 18 in the afternoon
Revised: 02/19/2013 - Article Viewed 19,733 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler