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Bobby Jones: A legacy tracing back to Newton County
Bob Jones, IV, grandson of golf legend Bobby Jones, spoke to the Rotary Club of Covington. - photo by Submitted Photo

Many know about the golf legend who is Bobby Jones, but not many know how he got his start in the sport. Someone who does know lives just nearby in Conyers. Oh, and he’s Jones’ grandson, Bob Jones, IV.

“In the fall of [Bobby’s] fifth year, the Atlanta Athletic Club opened a country club out in Eastlake. [The Jones family] took a room in the summer with Mrs. Metter’s boarding house, and they spent the summer out there. It was also at that time that a friend came to the house and gave my grandfather a prized possession.

He handed my father a 2-iron and a golf ball, and my grandfather went out into the dirt road and cut two holes about 50 yards apart in the middle of the road. He started banging the golf ball back and forth between those two 50-yard holes. Well, that summer the Athletic Club hired a man named Stewart Maiden, and nobody at that time knew that gesture of hiring Maiden would revolutionize the game of golf in the United States.”

This is one of the many early stories Bob Jones, IV told of his grandfather, golf legend Bobby Jones, Jr. during his visit to the Rotary Club of Covington on Tuesday.

Jones, a psychologist practicing in Conyers, is currently working on a book about his grandfather’s golf psychology and how his golf principles apply to life. Jones has been recognized nationally as the authority on the life of the golf great, who created the Augusta National and won 13 major golf championships.

In addition to telling many stories about his grandfather’s life, legacy and career, Jones shared a little known fact with the rotary audience: though his grandfather was raised in Atlanta, the Jones family has roots right here in Newton County.

“If you really want to know where the Jones family originated, it was here in Newton County.” Jones said. “My [great-great-great-great] grandfather was a man named Tyre Chaffin, who was buried in the Old Sharon Cemetery off Turner Church Road in Henry County, and my [great-great-great] grandfather was man named William Green Jones who lived in Newton County.”

Since Jones moved to Conyers in 2001, he searched for years for his great-great-great grandfather’s grave. He searched every cemetery in Covington but had no luck.

Recently, Jones ran into a historian for Rockdale and Newton counties who told him William Green Jones, the great grandfather of Bobby Jones, Jr., was buried in the Old City Cemetery in Conyers, which is only yards away from Jones’ psychology office.

“How come if he was a resident of Newton County, was he buried in the Old City Cemetery in Conyers?” Jones said, recalling the conversation he had with the historian. “She said, ‘that’s very simple. Rockdale County used to be a part of Newton County.’”

According to Jones, the reason Conyers has an Olde Town and not a Square like Covington is because it was the last railroad stop before you got to Covington coming east or before you went to Atlanta going west.

“I wanted you to know that because you may not realize the connection that exists between this man, who is such a powerful legacy within the state of Georgia, and the roots that are actually right here in this county.”