It has been said with good cause that the star of the Masters is the course itself. With equal truth it can be said that the star is Robert Tyre Jones Jr. Not only is he the father of the Augusta National Golf Club, at which the Masters is played—he is also the architect, with Alister Mackenzie, of the remarkable 18 holes which are much of the challenge and the beauty of this country's second most important golf competition.
The challenge of the course is largely a reflection of Jones's own ideas and beliefs on strategy and shot values. And the importance of the Masters is largely a reflection of Jones's own personality and prestige. Following his retirement after his 1930 Grand Slam the Masters was from 1934 until 1949 the only tournament he entered. Since then, as continuing host at the one event which signals to the whole nation that spring and another golf season are on in earnest, Jones has given the tournament an eminence no other golfing figure could.
Whether Jones or his course is the star is academic, to say the least. Conceding first magnitude to both puts in best perspective the Masters Preview which appears in our next issue. For in it Bob Jones writes a hole-by-hole analysis of the Augusta National Course. This is a guided tour by the most qualified of all possible guides. And it takes on added import from the fact that through the years changes and improvements in the course are a testimonial to Jones's imaginative design and exact supervision.
There has never been a perfect golfer, but Jones is probably as close as we have come to having one. There has never been a perfect angler, either, but if such there were you could hardly have a better person to describe his qualifications than Sparse Grey Hackle. As an overture to the trout season he does just that next week.
The Perfect Angler, as Sparse defines him, is a composite of rare and wonderful sciences and sensitivities. Then, to make this ideal creature almost human, Sparse, an expert's expert, tells of experts he has known who in varying degrees have possessed them. Put them all together and they make not only the Perfect Angler but delightful and extremely helpful reading" for some of us not quite so perfect.