“Linksland and Meadowland”

From a 1951 profile of Robert Trent Jones

Light / Dark

“Linksland and Meadowland”

Editor’s note: This is one of several Herbert Warren Wind excerpts selected by author Bradley Klein to accompany his Wind profile, “Forever in Tweed, Amen,” as featured in TGJ No. 13.

Aug. 4, 1951

When Jones is at home in Montclair, he makes a commendable effort to segregate his professional interests in the sun-parlor office and the attic work-room. Neighbors who call on Sundays find, at first, no indication that the household deviates in the slightest from the standards of respectable, commutable New Jersey. The LP recording of “The King and I” whirs softly in the background while Jones pours bourbon for his friends, listens to the plans his two young sons have concocted for winning a community scrap-collecting contest, and putters around with smoked-trout spread and crackers. This illusion of conformity is seldom maintained for more than an hour. A friend who spent a Sunday there this summer gave, upon returning to the calm of New York, a résumé of dinner with the family. “During the soup course,” he said, “there was nothing unusual except that Jones got a call from the head of the construction committee at Colorado Springs, asking him when he would be sending along a copy of the new plans for the sixteenth green. After that, there wasn’t a mention of golf until Mrs. Jones apologized for the spinach, saying it was as sandy as Pine Valley. Halfway through the dessert, Bob, Jr., and Rees left the table and in a few minutes appeared swinging their golf clubs and asking their father to correct their form. When the maid came in with the coffee, Jones told me how lucky they were to get her. After all, she came from Atlanta, and worked for a family that had a home on the East Lake course, the very course where Bobby Jones learned the game. Then we got away from it all. We went out and played eighteen holes.”