Robert Trent Jones' Records Donated to Cornell

Documents created by one of the most prolific golf course designers in history have been donated to Cornell University Library by the sons of Robert Trent Jones Sr.

The two sons, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Rees Jones, are currently among the most famed golf architects in the world.

On Thursday, the university in Ithaca, N.Y., announced the acquisition from one of its most famous graduates (Class of 1930). "He is certainly a Cornell icon," Elaine Engst, university archivist, said in a news release.

"During his lifetime, when he was approached by another university about donating his papers, he had his lawyer write a letter saying, 'It is my intention to donate my collection to Cornell.' "

In all, Jones is credited with 325 original designs in 45 states and more than 25 countries on four continents. But when adding remodels and touch-ups, he was involved in more than 500 courses.

The collection ranges Jones's entire career, from 1930 until his death in 2000 at age 93. The records include personal correspondence with such golf luminaries as Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, as well as sketches, photographs and contracts documenting all of the courses he designed.

Some of Jones's earliest work took place in New York, including the college courses at Cornell, Colgate and Wells, and the state park course at Green Lakes. He also designed or remodeled Radisson Greens, Tuscarora, Westvale, Skyridge, Hill 'n' Dale, Valley View, Sodus Bay, and Midvale, Oak Hill and Durand Eastman in Rochester, the town where the native of Great Britain grew up.

Engst said the process of organizing Jones's records may take up to two years to complete. "Trying to recreate the original order of the materials is important to a collection like this one," she said.

For the full story in the Syracuse Post-Standard, visit