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Release date 01.06.2012
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"Surely," says a writer in the Daily Express, "among the thousands of golfers in the two hemispheres there is some one person who can make this plague of a game intelligible?"

There is. He is an English professional Ernest Jones (1887–1965). In 1936, at the invitation of Marion Hollins, Jones accepted the position of Head Golf Professional at the Women's National Golf and Tennis Club in Long Island, New York. This was the beginning of a life long career of teaching in the U.S.

In July, 1916 it was stated in the newspapers that Ernest Jones, the Chislehurst professional, who had had a leg shot off in France in March, had played round the Royal Norwich links (standing on one leg for each shot) in 83, and a little later, playing with David Ayton, he (still on one leg) had holed out the Clacton course - a long course - in 72. It was at once clear to the writer that Ernest Jones at all events must have thoroughly acquired the art of obtaining his results with the minimum exertion, and the writer lost no time in getting once more into touch with a player whose game he had always admired.

Before the war Ernest Jones had been one of the most promising golfers in the metropolitan district, and the Chislehurst Golf Club, the late home of the Empress Eugenie, had come to be known as the home of Ernest Jones. . . . Though he had not headed the list at any of the most important meetings, Ernest Jones had always been "there or thereabouts." He never failed to qualify for the Open Championship, he generally appeared well toward the top of the final lists, and his scores were uniformly sound. In the News of the World competitions he was wont to qualify, and to give a good account of himself in the subsequent rounds; and he did excellent work in the French Championship. In the Kent Championship he adopted the role of runner-up, and in three consecutive finals he lowered the record of three links - Eltham, Hythe, and Herne Bay. There can be no doubt that in the normal course of events Ernest Jones would have attained front rank among his fellow-professionals well before he was thirty. Then came the war. . . .

Jones was ready to respond to the call of King and Country, and in January, 1915, he - along with many other golfers - joined the Army. In November he was out in France, near to Loos; he went through the winter unscathed, but was badly wounded in March, 1916, by rifle grenade. Some sixteen pieces of metal were removed from his head, his right forearm, and his right leg, and this leg was subsequently amputated close below the knee. Nevertheless, the enemy had so far failed to destroy the golfer in him that four months later he was performing the incredible feat of holing out a long and testing course in an average of fours, handing his crutches to the caddy precisely seventy-two times in the round.

The achievement becomes the more startling when it is considered that Jones is a slightly built man on the short side - his height is under five feet six inches and his weight less than 10 stone: he was therefore unable to rely on any reserve of brute force.

His method of hitting the ball had always been conspicuously easy and decisive. In his use of the hands and the fingers he resembled Vardon, but his swing was flatter and rather more compact than Vardon's, and it was accompanied by less suggestion of power, but perhaps even greater suggestion of speed. It was a method which primâ facie would stand well the ruthless test that was to be applied to it.

Ernest Jones, moreover, was known to his fellow-professionals, and to some fortunate amateurs, as a golfer who had brought an uncommonly penetrating mind to bear on an uncommonly perplexing subject.

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