Bobby Jones Golf Club
Bobby Jones Golf ClubCategory: Area Courses, Sarasota
Best of the Best by SARASOTA Magazine
Honored as a Top 50 Women Friendly Golf Course in America by Golf Magazine
Bobby Jones Golf Club is a 45-hole municipal facility named for the legendary Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., who personally dedicated the facility on Sunday, February 13, 1927.
The original 18 holes were designed in 1926 by the famed course architect Donald Ross. Nine additional holes were constructed in 1952 and another nine were added in 1967. The John H. Gillespie Executive Course was completed in 1977.
In 1930 Bobby Jones accomplished one of the most amazing feats in sports history, the Grand Slam of Golf. In honor of these championships the British Course front nine is named for his British Amateur victory at St. Andrews an d the back nine for his British Open success at Hoylake. The American Course honors Jones’ championships in the U.S. Amateur at Merion and the U.S. Open at Interlachen. Jones is the only golfer to have won all of these major championships in the same year.
The current British Course record is 62 set by a local lad, Paul Azinger, in 1980. Maybe your next round will be the new record. Enjoy and good golfing!
The Cradle of Golf
A frequent question from folks visiting southwest Florida is “Why do so many locals call Sarasota the Cradle of Golf in the United States?” Read on to find the answer to the Cradle query.
Several communities across the country have laid claim to being the first location to provide a golfing facility. The most popular of these claims comes from Yonkers, New York, where two gentlemen from Dunfermline, Scotland, Robert Lockhart and John Reid, constructed a three hole golfing ground in 1888. These men formed the Apple Tree Gang and are recognized by many golf historians as providing the first golfing ground in America.
Many Sarasotans disagree with the Yonkers claim and local historical records may support their position. In December 1885, John Hamilton Gillespie arrived in the southwest Florida fishing village of Sarasota to oversee the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company for his father, Sir John Gillespie. The younger Gillespie brought his hickory golf sticks with him from Scotland and by May 1886 he had constructed a two hole golfing ground between what is now Main Street and Ringling Boulevard. By 1888 the number of golf holes increased to four and a practice range was added to the mix. This course increased to 9 holes and a clubhouse by 1901 and by 1906 a full 18 hole course was in operation. There it is. Sarasota had a two hole golfing ground a full two years before the Apple Tree Gang had put a cup in the ground in Yonkers, New York.