44th Bobby Jones Open at Lederach - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 23, 2023

44th Bobby Jones Open at Lederach

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Celebrating Bobby Jones with Bob Joneses

Having to remember the names of every person you meet throughout your life can be a challenge. 

| Bobby Jones Open Website |

But for the participants in the Bobby Jones Open, it is easy. All participants are named some form of Bob or Robert Jones. But how do you differentiate them?

“Everyone has a nickname,” Chris Jones, tournament chairman, said. “My father’s nickname was Computer because he had a computer services company, so my nickname is Computer II.”

Some other nicknames throughout the years include: Derby City, Jr., Lottery, Casino, Holly, Stellar, and Bodyshop. All ties to something in their personal life. 

The 44th edition of the Bobby Jones Open took place June 13-15 at Lederach Golf Club in Harleysville, Pa. Celebrating the life and legacy of the renowned amateur golfer Bobby Jones. 

“My father Robert started the Bob Jones Open in 1979,” Chris Jones, 61, of Johannesburg, Mich., said. “He’d been asked enough times if he played golf because of his name. He was never better than a 20 handicap but he loved golf. He went to the Whitepages at the time and called a number of Bob Joneses who lived in the area around Bloomfield Hills, Mich. where we lived at the time. He found four others who wanted to play and that’s how it started.”

Chris’ own father wouldn’t let him into this exclusive group, even though his middle name is Robert. Since Chris didn’t want to go by “Bob” for at least a year, his father said he couldn’t participate.

“Back in the early days of the tournament a guy called my father’s office and wanted to play in the event,” said Jones. “He said his name was James Robert Jones and he told my sister, who was the receptionist at the time, ‘If I go by Bob, can I play?’ My dad wanted to be inclusive and have as many people as possible. When she called him back, he referred to himself as Jim Jones. He disqualified himself right there.”

Once Chris’ father stepped back from being chairman, Robert Delano (R.D.) Jones, took over for a number of years. R.D. made Chris an honorary member because of his efforts at the tournament each year. Chris has been involved since the beginning.

In 2018, R.D. asked Chris to take over as chairman. Chris happily obliged.

“It’s unique having everyone named Bob Jones playing in a tournament named after the great amateur golfer Bobby Jones,” Jones said. “We get to see these people once a year and catch up. This tournament feels like family, and it is a special event to us.”

A total of 44 players from all across the United States, including two players from England and one from Canada, came to Lederach for days full of golf, laughs and camaraderie.

“Bobby Jones is a legend in golf not only for his victories but for his contributions,” said Chris Jones. “He had a gentlemanly way about him. I think he is someone to look up to. We are in awe of him. He’s a great representative for the game.”

Leading the charge for this year’s event was “Skippack” Bob Jones. He has been playing in the Bob Jones Open for the last 10 years. 

“It was cool for me to bring people to Pennsylvania and show them where I live and what great golf we have here,” Skippack Jones, a member of GAP Oaks Club, said. “I wanted them all to have a great time and a memorable experience.”

Throughout the course of the 44 years of the event, a total of 13 different states have hosted.

“We started in Michigan and it was the hub of the original Bob Joneses,” said Chris Jones. “But once we got people interested outside of Michigan, my dad thought it would be cool to move it around. We try to only have it where we have a host Bob. This year it was Skippack Bob. They take care of accommodations and finding a course.”

Any male or female with any variation of Bob or Robert in their name is eligible to play. The primary mission of the event is to raise money for Syringomyelia, a progressive, debilitating, nerve disease that impacted the life of Bobby Jones. 

The Open provides scholarships and necessary equipment to children with this disease to help improve their quality of life and the lives of their families. More than $400,000 has been raised.

“What’s fun is trying to find others with a commonality,” said Skippack Jones, 69, of Harleysville, Pa. “Of course, that is Bobby Jones. We all have the same name, enjoy playing golf and develop life-long friendships that we wouldn’t have had without this tournament.”

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of
amateur golf in its region. The organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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