Exclusive interview with legendary designer Robert Trent Jones Jnr

Robert Trent Jones Jnr is one of the world’s most respected golf course architects having built a reputation for creating strategic, yet highly playable courses across the globe during a 60-year career.

All Square sat down with the legendary designer and asked him which creation he was most proud of, what he thinks is the world’s best golf course, and much more…

Your favourite course

My favourite golf course to study and play is Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey.

First course you’ve ever played   

Montclair Golf Club in Montclair, New Jersey where as a child I played with my father.

The course you’ve played most often   

San Francisco Golf Club,  my home course since the 1970’s.

Toughest course you’ve ever designed   

The toughest competitive course I designed – Chambers Bay, host of the 2015 US Open. Compare the scoring data of best players in the world with other Major venues. The toughest club course which I designed is The National – Old Course especially when the winds are up on the very high dunescape, Cape Schanck, Australia.

The best golf course in the world 

The best course in the world is the next one I play.  The course which has never let me down and has engaged my strategic attention my entire golfing life, is the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.

The #1 course on your bucket list   

I don’t have a bucket list. I just keep on playing.

The course you’d play if you just had one more round to play 

One last round?  Since I’m already in paradise in Hawaii, I would choose to play the Princeville Makai which I enjoy playing alone, watching a sunset across Hanalei Bay which would “awaken the soul of a mummy”

Most scenic golf course you’ve played  

Most scenic – depends on the scene. Chateau Whistler in B.C. Canada, host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, is my favorite alpine setting.

The golf course you are most proud of having designed

The golf course I am most proud of: Moscow Country Club – an all consuming 20 year mission to bring the Reds on the greens, 1974-1994.

Your favourite par 3 hole   

For strategic options: #3 Pine Valley, a downhill hole inspired by the Redan hole at North Berwick, Scotland.  For man made beauty and shot value, #16 Augusta National

Your favourite par 5 hole  

#15 The Prince, North Shore of Kauai is a dangerous beauty of natural risk and golfer rewards. Another favourite is #1 at Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach.

Your favorite golf courses to play

Some of my favourite courses to play are in Asia, such as Golden Valley in Japan and the Lake Course at Spring City Resort, in Kunming, China, and the recently opened Hoiana Shores Golf Club in Vietnam.

Why not pick your own favorite holes?  If you look forward to playing them during the round, if they perplex you and you have fun and maybe a birdie, you will remember them.  That’s the love affair of golf.

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4 years ago

Great write up! My favorite course is Torrey Pines North!

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