In 1930, Jones accomplished the unprecedented feat of winning golf's Grand Slam by capturing the British Amateur on the Old Course at St. Andrews, the British Open at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, the U.S. Open at Interlachen Country Club in Minneapolis, and the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. In 11 of the last 12 Open Championships he played—nine U.S. Opens and three British Opens— he finished first or second. Jones retired from competitive golf in 1930 at age 28. He came out of retirement only to play annually at the Masters. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, three years after his death.
Off the course, Jones designed golf clubs; wrote four books, including Bobby Jones on Golf; penned hundreds of newspaper articles; and gave instructional performances in several movies. He helped found and make successful the Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club, where he was named President in 1933 and remains President in Perpetuity.
Jones excelled academically as well. He studied engineering at Georgia Tech, earning a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, and then completed a B.A. in English literature at Harvard. He later entered Emory University to pursue a degree in law, passing the bar exam after his first year of school.
He was married to the former Mary Malone and together they had three children, Clara Malone; Robert T., III; and Mary Ellen. Jones died in 1971 of the spinal disease syringomyelia at age 69.
He was the co-founder with Bobby Jones of Augusta National Golf Club. Roberts served as Chairman of Augusta National from 1931 through 1976 and was named Chairman in Memoriam after his death in 1977. He was Chairman of the Masters Tournament from 1934 through 1976.
Under his direction, the Masters made numerous innovations that are now commonplace in golf. He changed the locations of perimeter mounds to improve gallery viewing. He was the first to use a series of Leader Boards placed throughout the course. He also devised a system for showing the cumulative score of each player—red numbers for under par, a green zero for par, and green numbers for over par. Roberts played a key role in the first Masters television broadcast on CBS, in 1956, and in many thereafter, working closely with the network.
It was Roberts who in 1948 invited General Dwight Eisenhower to visit Augusta National and who would later become a political and financial advisor to the President. Eisenhower became an active member of the Club.
During his lifetime, Roberts received many awards and honors, including service on the PGA Advisory Committee from its inception in 1943 until his death, appointment by the USGA to serve on the Bob Jones Award Selection Committee, and enshrinement in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1978. He was the author of The Story of the Augusta National Golf Club, published in 1976, and a subject of The Making of the Masters: Cliff Roberts, Augusta National, and Golf's Most Prestigious Tournament, published in 1999.
Upon his retirement from championship golf in 1930, Bobby Jones had hoped to realize his dream of building a golf course. Following a brief conversation with Clifford Roberts, with whom Jones had met several times during the mid-1920s, it was decided the club would be built near Augusta, Georgia, provided a suitable piece of ground was available. According to Jones' plans, the course would utilize the natural advantages of the property and use mounds rather than too many bunkers. It was hoped the property would have a natural creek to use as a water hazard. Jones wanted this concept of golf course architecture to make a contribution to the game as well as give expression to his ideas about golf course design. This club would be open during the winter season only.
A mutual friend of Jones and Roberts, Thomas Barrett, Jr., was consulted and recommended a 365-acre property called Fruitland Nurseries. Once an indigo plantation, it was purchased in 1857 by Belgian Baron Louis Mathieu Edouard Berckmans who was a horticulturist by hobby. Berckmans' son, Prosper Julius Alphonse, was an agronomist and horticulturist by profession and the two formed a partnership in 1858. Operating under the name Fruitland Nurseries, the company imported many trees and plants from various countries. The Baron died in 1883. Prosper's death followed in 1910 and the nursery ceased operations by the time its charter expired in 1918. A great variety of flowering plants and trees, including a long row of magnolias which were planted before the Civil War and a plant Prosper popularized called the azalea, remained on the property.
Upon seeing the property from what is now the practice putting green, Jones said, "Perfect! And to think this ground has been lying here all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course on it."
An option was taken on the property for $70,000. It was decided to establish a national membership for the club, and Jones proposed Augusta National would be an appropriate name. Jones also decided in the planning stage that he wanted Dr. Alister Mackenzie of Scotland to serve as the course architect since the pair held similar views. Before coming to Augusta, Mackenzie had designed two courses in California, Pasatiempo and Cypress Point. Mackenzie died in January 1934, two months before the first Tournament.
Construction on the new course began in the first half of 1931 and the course opened in December 1932 with a limited amount of member play. Formal opening took place in January 1933.
Since 1951, the runner-up also receives a 1.7 ounce silver medallion showing the Clubhouse from the Founders Circle off Magnolia Lane. It is the same size as the winner's gold medallion.
In 1952, the Masters began presenting the low amateur with an award for his performance. In order to receive the award, the amateur must make the 36-hole cut.
The low amateur runner-up began receiving an award in 1954.
Beginning in 1954, participants could qualify for additional awards for outstanding feats during the Tournament. These were the first awards.
During the first round of the 1967 Tournament, Bruce Devlin made a double eagle on hole No. 8. This was the first double eagle since Gene Sarazen’s on No. 15 in 1935. Clifford Roberts announced that a special trophy was ordered for Devlin, a large crystal bowl, but one would first be delivered to Gene Sarazen.