Robert Trent Jones Jr on Eugene Country Club
By Brian Weis
Recently I interviewed legendary golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr, and we discussed current and past golf projects. One of my all time favorite golf courses is Eugene Country Club.
Brian Weis, GolfOregon.com: One of my favorite courses is Eugene Country Club. What was your involvement with the course? And is it true your flipped the greens and tees?
Robert Trent Jones, Jr: I golfed Eugene Country club when I played for Yale in the late 50's in the NCAA's. 10 years later under my fathers banner we came back and redid Eugene Country Club. Flipping the tees and greens was really my dad's idea. But I took it, I defiantly encouraged him to do that. The idea was that in a Country Club you can build the green on the tees and keep playing while the course is being under construction. So the idea was that they could keep playing although it becomes a shorter course. Build new greens on the old tees, keep the forest as it was. Its a deep northwestern forest of firs and conifers and other trees, and not disturb the site and yet keep playing it. Then when you get the greens ready to play, you turn around, destroy the old greens, put new tees in, sod them and you can go, your off. That was my dad's idea and I thought it was a great way to get revenge for not qualifying in the NCAA. (chuckle)
BW: The par 3's have simplicity and beauty to them. I just remember great holes over water.
RTJ: Well I think that's a hallmark of the Jones style. My dad was famous for his water holes. He added the holes on 11, pretty much 13, the creek and clearly 16 at Augusta. When I say added, he dammed the creek a little bit on 13, but he added the ponds on 11 and 13, and so water holes are like the way the ball was being manipulated and the better players were playing more and more difficult shots because they had better equipment. No longer wooden shafts, they were playing with steel shafts, and so on. Basically he was saying hey we need a stronger defense. So the Great Bobby Jones, Robert Tiger Jones Jr said that the difference between a sand bunker hazard and a water hazard is the difference between a car crash and an airplane crash. You can recover from the former but not likely in the latter. So water holes are unique and they are also very beautiful and scenic. President Eisenhower painted the 16th hole when he was President of the United States, and its just a very special beauty. I'm glad you like them at Eugene, I do too.
Revised: 03/08/2014 - Article Viewed 20,484 Times - View Golf Course Profile
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
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