Legendary golf course architect Rees Jones has left his mark on some of the most famous places in the game. He has either designed or redesigned the host course for 14 major championships and 4 Ryder Cups. He also happened to design the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, site of the final round of Deej's Florida Swing.
The Waldorf Astoria is also the site for round two of the summer grudge match between me and my brother. Down two shots after round one, I decided I needed an edge if I was to mount a comeback. Who better to help give me that advantage than the man who designed the golf course. Mr. Jones must have felt the desperation in my voice, when he agreed to answer a few questions.
R.J. - The land we selected for the W=A was quite good for what we had in mind for the golf course. Our intention was to create an old style, classic, core golf course. It angles along a large preserve and runs the length of the adjacent W=A and Hilton Bonnet Creek hotels. The other side is Walt Disney World property. It’s like an oasis of golf.
|An oasis of golf indeed...|
R.J. - I do have an annual match with my lifelong friend Gene Goodwillie at Nantucket Golf Club each year.
R.J. - I believe in defining the shot from the tee and from the landing area. I prefer to give the golfer options and allow him or her to choose their own way based on their ability and how aggressive they want to be.
R.J. - I was certainly born into the game of golf. I was able to learn from my father, Robert Trent Jones and had the time to develop my own ideas about golf course design.
R.J. - Having been at the forefront of the sustainability movement, we have seen the golf course industry make great strides in research and management. They have proven that golf courses can be maintained and operated at a high standard while protecting the natural environment. I think you will see in the future that golf courses will get their proper respect for the function they serve as stewards of the land.
R.J. - I would say that you can follow the advice one is usually given for playing the classic era golf courses. Length is not as important as accuracy and it’s better to be short than long on the approaches to the greens.
Special thanks to Rees Jones for taking the time to answer my questions, and provide a glimpse into his approach to golf course architecture. Find out if his advice helped me defeat my brother on Friday, as we take on the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club.
Enjoy Your Stay