Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, Jr.
Born in Atlanta on March 17, 1902, Bobby Jones, began playing golf in 1908. He graduated from Georgia Tech and Harvard University. From 1923 to 1930, he won 13 national golf titles: four U.S. Opens, five U.S. Amateurs, three British Opens, and one British Amateur. In 1930, at age 28, Bobby Jones won all 4 major golf competitions – the British Amateur, the British Open, the United States Amateur, and the United States Open – a feat that has never been repeated. That same year, Jones retired from competitive golf and in 1948, he played his final round of golf – at East Lake, his home course.
In 1933, Mr. Jones co-founded the Augusta National Golf Club, and established the prestigious Masters Tournament there in 1934. He was golf’s greatest ambassador and is generally honored as its greatest competitor. He was made burgess of the town of St. Andrews, Scotland, sharing this title with only one other American: Benjamin Franklin. Bobby Jones died December 18, 1971. View a listing of all championships won by Bobby Jones. Robert “Bobby” Tyre Jones, Jr., was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame on January 14, 1989.
Charles R. Yates
Charlie Yates was born in Atlanta on September 9, 1913 and was raised in a home near East Lake’s 4th green. Boys High School of Atlanta, once the home of the South’s finest athletic talent, probably never produced a finer golfer than Mr. Yates. During the 1930s, few golfing amateurs in the country were better known or more widely celebrated. Mr. Yates won the Georgia State Amateur in 1931 and 1932. In 1934, he won the NCAA individual title. The following year, he won the Western Amateur. This Georgia Tech star became an international name in golf in 1938 when he won the coveted British Amateur. In 1936 and 1938, he played on the U.S. Walker Cup Team. In 1953, he was captain of the Walker Cup Team, and was named honorary captain in 1985. Five times in his competitive career, Mr. Yates, secretary of the Augusta National Golf Club, was the low scoring amateur in the Masters Tournament. In 1980, Mr. Yates was presented with the Bob Jones Award by the United States Golf Association. Charlie Yates was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame on January 14, 1989. In 1998, East Lake’s old No. 2 course was redesigned by Rees Jones and named the Charlie Yates Golf Course.
Alexa was born in Atlanta, Ga., on September 5, 1897. As Bobby Jones’ childhood golfing partner, she was dubbed “The First Lady of East Lake” and “The Empress of Golf” to match Mr. Jones’ “Emperor” nickname. Quiet and competitive, she won her first title at East Lake at the age of 12. In 1916, three days before her 19th birthday, she won the first of her three U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships. When the tournament resumed after World War I, she successfully defended her crown in 1919 and 1920, and placed second in that tournament in 1921, 1923, and 1925. In 1920 and 1934 she won the Canadian Women’s Open, and she finished second in 1922 and 1925. Throughout her life she maintained her interest in golf and was as an honorary member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. She returned to Atlanta for the 1976 U.S. Open shortly before her death. She died in Canada on April 15, 1977. Alexa Stirling Fraser was inducted in the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame on January 14, 1989.
Born in Macon, GA on January 11,1905, Watts Gunn became a member of the Atlanta Athletic Club in the mid 1920’s while a student at Georgia Tech. Gunn’s first major tournament win was in the 1923 Georgia Amateur. He made golf history in 1925 in the U.S. Amateur, played at Oakmont CC, setting the world record for international championship golf by winning 15 straight holes in the first round of the 36-hole match. In that tournament, he went to the finals against friend and rival Bobby Jones, marking the only time two players from the same city ever met for the U.S. Amateur crown. (At Lanier High School, he captained golf teams that never lost a match.) He took the Georgia State Amateur title in 1927 and 1928. In 1927, he won the Southern and National Intercollegiate tournaments, and the following year he won the Southern Amateur and Southern Open Championships. Gunn was a member of the United States Walker Cup teams in 1926 and 1928 and later served as president of the AAC in 1953-54. Watts Gunn was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame on January 14, 1989.
Charlie W. Harrison
Atlanta native Charlie Harrison won the Atlanta Athletic Club Junior Championship in 1945 and the Atlanta City Junior Tournament in 1947. He went on to win the Atlanta Athletic Club and the Atlanta City Amateur tournament nine times and the Atlanta Country Club Championship six times during his golf career. Harrison also triumphed at the 1955 Southern Amateur and the 1959 Georgia State Amateur tournaments. In 1966, Charlie was ranked as the 13th-best amateur in America. He served as director of the Southern Golf Association in 1969, associate director from 1976-1980, and was president of the Atlanta Golf Association from 1971-1985. Member of the Georgia Tech (1978) and Georgia Golf (1992) Halls of Fame.
Excerpts taken from the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame’s website at www.gghf.org.