Rees Jones was born into the game of golf. He learned to play as a youngster, competing as a junior golfer, in college and while in the army. He grew up traveling with his family to golf courses all over the world and worked in the summers for his father, renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.
After college at Yale and graduate studies at Harvard, he went to work in 1965 as a principal in Robert Trent Jones, Inc. Ten years later in 1974, he founded his own design firm, Rees Jones, Inc., headquartered in his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.
He has designed or renovated more than 250 golf courses in his career, having developed his own style of timeless design. Jones has earned the moniker “The Open Doctor” for his work in preparation for numerous major championships. His renovation and restoration skills have been applied to seven U.S. Open venues, nine PGA Championship courses, six Ryder Cup and two Walker Cup sites as well as three Presidents Cup venues.
Among his notable original designs are Nantucket Golf Club, Atlantic Golf Club, RedStick Golf Club, Ocean Forest Golf Club, Haig Point Club, Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, TPC at Danzante Bay, Kohanaiki and Cascata Golf Course.
Rees has been recognized many times for his contributions to the game. He is the recipient of the GCSAA ‘s Old Tom Morris Award in 2004, the ASGCA’s Donald Ross Award in 2013 and the GCBAA’s Don A. Rossi Award in 2014, earning Rees the distinction of being one of seven people to have been awarded all three awards (Byron Nelson, Michael Hurdzan, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Pete Dye).
Rees has also been inducted into both the New Jersey Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Northern California Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2015. He has been recognized as Golf World Magazine’s 1995 Golf Architect of the Year and received two architectural awards from the International Network of Golf. Rees has been honored with the 1998 Metropolitan Golf Association Distinguished Service Award, the 2002 Metropolitan Golf Writers Distinguished Service Award, the 2012 Robert Moses Master Builder Award and the 2016 MetGCSA’s John Reid Lifetime Achievement Award.