The first annual Bobby Jones Classic took place at Atlanta, Georgia on May 14, 2012. This memorable event began Sunday night with a welcome reception at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. This intimate cocktail reception allowed all of the participants in the tournament and their family members to” meet and greet” and get to know each other before the tournament took place. Not only were participants in the event able to meet fellow golfers and their loved ones but they also had a chance to mingle with world famous golf pro Jay Haas; a great way to start off any golf fans dream weekend.
Monday morning, as gray clouds loomed over Atlanta, all assembled at East Lake Golf Club for the big tournament. All participants were greeted with a breakfast buffet, a locker with their name on it, and a CSF gift bag containing a Bobby Jones Sportswear polo, a bottle of Pernod Ricard whiskey, a sleeve of East Lake golf balls, and a voucher for a Bobby Jones wedge of your choice. After breakfast, all were welcome and encouraged to take part in a quick putting clinic with Jay Haas just before tee-time. Just as we all set out onto the green, the sun poked out from behind the clouds and made it known that today would be a great golf day.
While on the green, not only were teams challenged by the beautiful course, but Jay Haas and the Hickory Challenge awaited them at Hole Eleven. After playing their balls with their club of choice, participants were required to play another ball using a Hickory Shaft golf club like they used in the Bobby Jones era and a percha ball. Whoever hit the ball closest to the hole using the Hickory Shaft club would win a special prize and of course, bragging rights. Some struggled with the Hickory Shaft while others actually preferred it to their own clubs. Either way, it was a fun and memorable step back in time for all.
After a long, exciting day on East Lake golf course, everyone gathered back at the club house and they were greeted with a Roaring Twenties themed cocktail reception to allow everyone to get off the green, wind down, see the results of the day and receive awards before we headed into dinner. A highlight of the day was a personal tour of East Lake’s Club House with Robert Tyre Jones IV, grandson of Bobby Jones. He recounted history and personal stories about his grandfather to the delight of the guests. He then joined Jay Haas and Paul Farrell for awards of the day. Some exceptional players were recognized at this awards hour such as Chris and Lynelle Carr who won first place net in the Men’s division and first place gross in the Women’s, Scott Maclellan who won the Hickory Challenge, and of course the winner of the first annual Bobby Jones Classic, Sean Martin.
The awards hour sparked everyone’s appetite for the delicious dinner, followed by a video presentation entitled, “The Life of Bobby Jones”. This video gave everyone a small taste of who Bobby Jones was, his values, and why it is such an honor to have CSF associated with his name. The video also explained what Chiari and syringomyelia are, how they affected Bobby Jones and how these and related disorders continue to affect over one million people throughout the United States. The dinner presentation also included a very grateful thank you to all who participated, donated to, and took part in the event, especially those who took advantage of our sponsorship opportunities such as Bobby Jones Sportswear, IMG, Excel Displays and Packaging, the Farrell Law Firm, Pernord Ricard, and Select Sector SPDRs.
The Bobby Jones Classic is an educational, charitable, and fun way to spend a long weekend; meeting new people, learning about Bobby Jones, Chiari and syringomyelia, and playing on one of the most famous golf courses in the world. A fantastic weekend with outstanding people in a beautiful place for a wonderful cause; we look forward to seeing you next year at the East Lake Golf Club for the second Bobby Jones Classic!