Whitten on RTJ Sr.

Ron Whitten pens an exclusive for GolfDigest.com. He remembers Robert Trent Jones Sr. fondly and shares several career anecdotes. This one caught my eye because it was a reminder how quickly Trent's portfolio is starting to wear thing with the Digest panel.

In the 35-year history of Golf Digest's rankings of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, 44 different Trent Jones layouts have been listed, the most of any architect. The 1999 list contains 14 of his most recognizable names, like Spyglass Hill, Congressional, Mauna Kea, Bellerive and Point O'Woods. 

He has zero in the current top 50 and only five overall.

If there had been no Trent Jones, there would have been no Pete Dye. Without Dye, there would be no Nicklaus, at least not in the field of golf design.

And without Nicklaus, there would be no Fazio, at least not Fazio-sized budgets. In a sense, Robert Trent Jones started it all, the modern business of golf architect-as-celebrity producing real life calendar art. Everyone in the business, and everyone who enjoys modern architecture, ought to remember that every time the sun rises.

 Yes I will! I'll remember how he really made a mess of things.