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This week’s U.S Open is being played at Chambers Bay. The venue was the creation of Robert Trent Jones Jr. His father and brother are also known for their golf course work. In fact, Robert Trent Jones Sr. is regarded as the most significant golf architect of the 20th century. New York Times Bestselling Author and internationally distinguished historian James Hansen has written a definitive, monumental account of the life of Robert Trent Jones in his new biography A DIFFICULT PAR: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf.

Hansen tells the life story of the man behind many of the defining forms, shapes and challenges of modern golf course. Between 1930 and 2000, Jones designed or redesigned a staggering number of golf courses, over 400, spread over 43 U.S states and 27 other nations.  A DIFFICULT PAR refers to Jones’s essential design principle that every hole on a golf course should be, “a difficult par but an easy bogey.” His creations came to host 79 national championships, including 20 U.S Opens, 12 PGA Championships, two Ryder Cups and a President’s Cup. However, the book is more than golf course architecture as it also delves into the Open Doctor’s life, including the challenges he had with his sons. “My book sheds a very bright light on what has been a long-lasting feed between Jones’s two sons, Bob Jr. and Rees,” said Hansen. “A Difficult Par looks at the feud from every possible angle. It reviews all extant materials illuminating the thoughts of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and his wife Ione about the antipathies between their sons. Those materials include personal letters never before seen outside the family as well as difficult oral history interviews conducted by Trent Sr. during the last decade of his life. To his dying day, Trent Sr. remained stubbornly optimistic that his two sons would not only someday reconcile but also come back to work together for the parent company. Unfortunately, I feel that there is absolutely no hope that the two brothers will ever let bygones be bygones.”

If you’re looking for another good read this year, especially for Father’s Day, consider A DIFFICULT PAR.