The Pauma Valley Country Club hosted the 10th Annual Meeting of the Robert Trent Jones Society, November 14th – 16th. The first Society meeting was held at Pauma Valley in May of 2005. Over the past ten years the Society has had the opportunity to meet and play at some of the finest courses in the country. It started at Pauma Valley and from there went to Point O Woods G&CC, Spyglass Hill GC, the Robert Trent Jones GC, Old Warson CC, Birnam Wood GC, Greenville CC, back to Spyglass Hill and last year we met at Grand National, one of the beautiful courses on the Robert Trent Jones Trail. This year we had about sixty attendants, including husbands and wives, from all over the US and Canada.
In past meetings we have listened to the interesting histories of each of these courses along with many technical presentations on course design, maintenance, and renovation. This year we were rewarded with a very interesting and timely presentation, “Conserving our most Precious Resource, One Golf Course at a Time”, by Trent Jones III and Bruce Charlton, from the RTJ II Golf Architecture firm. They went through a very detailed presentation of the complete renovation of Poppy Hills golf course in Monterey, for a low water environment. Driven mostly by the extreme water shortage in California, they used several high tech, space aged programs, to look at courses in a whole new way. In the end,what they discovered was that not only will these techniques save water, but also reduce energy use and maintenance. The cost savings are obvious, but their design has also improved the speed of play and the golfer’s enjoyment. I believe we will begin to see their efforts used more and more on future course designs and renovations. Trent and Bruce spent two days on the Pauma Valley course preparing for their presentation and had many examples of how their process could work at this site. A copy of the presentation follows this article in the index tab for the Annual Meeting on this web site.
Although we had some light rain the day before our first golf outing, the Greens Superintendent’s great team effort and beautiful sunny weather made for perfect conditions. That evening we all met in the Grand Hall for a beautifully prepared and presented banquet dinner. The evening was capped off with a heart felt presentation by Robert Trent Jones Jr. about his father’s historical past, his concepts of design, and his love of the game.
The next morning we all met for breakfast and another typical Pauma perfect day. The second round of friendly competition was completed, followed by lunch and the awards announcements. The computers were overloaded in making the final determination, but at last it was determined that the top three team were separated by a mere two strokes. Point O’Woods G&CC was the winner of the Rpbert Trent Jones Trophy, followed by Pauma Valley and Birnam Wood GC. Several of the participants planned to stay in the area and enjoy the lovely weather and more golf. Many from the east coast never wanted to leave.
The Annual Meeting isn’t really about the competition but is more about the things we have done to preserve and perpetuate the important history of Mr. Jones and the impact that he has had on golf. Financial support of the Robert Trent Jones Collection at Cornell University is perhaps our best example of our various activities.
We are already looking at the location for next year meeting. Old Warson CC in St Louis has offered and we have had a request from the Wigwam Resort in the Phoenix area as well. There has been interest from the beautiful Valderrama GC, in Spain for a meeting so we hope to go to Europe in 2016 or 2017. Stay tuned.