The Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) is pleased to announce Rees Jones as its recipient of the prestigious Don A. Rossi Award.
Known as “The Open Doctor” for his many renovations of U.S. Open Championship courses, Jones has also played a key role in redesigning several other courses for major championships.
“Rees has a unique opinion when it comes to building golf courses and believes courses don’t have to be long to be challenging or hard to be fun,” said Justin Apel, GCBAA executive director. “He was ahead of his time as this way of thinking has essentially become the mantra of the golf industry.”
The Rossi award is given by the GCBAA to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth and who have inspired others by example. It is named for Don A. Rossi, who served as executive director of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983, was instrumental in forming the National Golf Course Owners Association and served as executive director of the GCBAA from 1984 to 1990.
Throughout his career, Jones has helped remodel seven U.S. Open courses, seven PGA Championship courses, four Ryder Cup courses and one President’s Cup site to go along with multiple other well-known remodels. He designed or redesigned courses in China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Spain, England and Africa while working on more than 170 courses including Bethpage State Park (the Black Course), Montauk Downs, the South Course at Torrey Pines and East Lake Golf Club – home of the PGA TOUR’s Tour Championship.
Jones, who earned a degree from Yale University and studied landscape architecture at Harvard University, began his career in golf course architecture in 1965. He worked under his father, the original “Open Doctor,” for 10 years before opening his own firm in 1974, Rees Jones, Inc. He still runs the company today. Jones has been recognized many times for his contributions to the game, most notably with the Old Tom Morris Award in 2004, given by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and the Donald Ross Award, given by the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) in 2013.
The Don A. Rossi Award will be given at the 2014 Golf Industry Show to be held in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 4 during the GCBAA Opening Reception at The Peabody Hotel. For those interested in attending the award presentation, details will be available this fall by visiting www.gcbaa.org, or contact the GCBAA executive office at (402) 476-4444.