All Jones Scholarship candidates are required to write an essay about Bobby Jones. This essay has been selected as the best of the class of 1995 and is an example of the high quality of students being attracted to the Canadian Jones Scholarship Program.
By Kiyan Ruith Khosravinezhad
“As a young man he was able to stand up to just about the best that life can offer, which is not easy, and later he stood up with equal grace, to just about the worst.” Herbert Warren Wind
It is the descriptions of Bobby Jones’ sportsmanship, his modesty, determination, sensitivity and deep love of St. Andrews that have captivated my imagination. The fact that he graduated with a first class honours in not only law and mechanical engineering, but also in English Literature, my own field of study, has been an added source of inspiration. His real genius lay in the fact that he was an amateur, who as Dobereiner said in “The Glorious World of Golf,” became the “unofficial king of Scotland.” He is an encouraging example of triumph over nerves, for behind the handsome, calm exterior was a man who suffered physically from extreme nervous tension. In 1921 in his early days, this was openly manifested on one occasion on the Old Course in St. Andrews, when he tore up his card in frustration. However, with determination and perseverance Bobby Jones mastered the Old Course, gaining victory in 1927. Bernard Darwin wrote that Jones, “stands for ever as the greatest encourager of the highly strung player who is bent on conquering himself.”
He did not merely win the admiration of the golfing world for his technique, the almost perfect swing, but captivated the hearts of the Scots. Talyor describes his victory in 1927 in the Open Championship in St. Andrews, as a crowd of almost twelve thousand rushing across the green to carry him to glory – “there is one respect in which Britain declines to be beaten by America, namely, in enthusiasm for Bobby.” I think that it was his generous action in leaving the highly prized, Open Championship trophy with the Royal and Ancient Club that highlights his understanding to true sportsmanship and his deep affection for the people of St. Andrews.
In 1958, confined to a wheelchair because of a fatal spinal disease, Bobby Jones arrived at the Younger Hall to receive the prestigious “Freedom of the City” award. He was one of eight or nine people to be so honoured in the previous two hundred years. Despite his incurable illness, he retained the calm and dignified manner that characterized him on the golf course. His address on the occasion testifies to his standing as a true sportsman and man of integrity and insight:
“But all of us have come here with the hope that attachments will be formed and reports will emanate from here which will provide an impetus toward a growing friendship among nations of the world. I am not so naïve as to expect that a golf tournament may accomplish miracles, but I do hope that we may sow some seeds here which may germinate later on into influences towards peace in the world.”
After his death in 1971 the Bobby Jones Trust was set up, offering
scholarships to students in America and Britain. It is fitting that
such an inspiring man, both in his professional and personal life, should
be the example that recipients of the scholarship look to – the
striving towards excellence in all things, the conquering of self, the
example of true sportsmanship and the embodiment of high ideals.
January 10, 2008