ATLANTA – As part of its ongoing efforts to showcase its deep, lasting connection to Atlanta, the TOUR Championship, the PGA TOUR’s season-ending event where the world’s 30 best players compete for the FedExCup and its $10 million prize at historic East Lake Golf Club September 18-24, is unveiling a series of initiatives geared to both players and fans that will showcase the legacy of Bobby Jones. Regarded by many as the game’s greatest amateur golfer and a founding member of East Lake Golf Club, the Atlanta native was an instrumental figure in shaping the destiny of one of the world’s great golf courses.
Since 2005, the tournament has presented the champion with a replica version of the Calamity Jane, the putter Jones used to win the Grand Slam, as a gift each year. Today, tournament officials announced that the Calamity Jane will become the official trophy of the TOUR Championship moving forward as a way to further honor Jones’ legacy.
Additionally, the TOUR Championship has partnered with Henri’s Bakery to craft unique offerings that will be available only during tournament week. Finally, in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, fans will experience a reimagined main entrance in 2017 centered around Jones and his connection to the city and the sport he impacted so significantly.
Bobby Jones used the Calamity Jane putter for the majority of his career. Jones received the original in 1920 from James Maiden. That putter and a copy were employed by Jones to capture thirteen major championships including the Grand Slam in 1930. In 1925 a fire ravaged through the East Lake Clubhouse. All of Jones’s Clubs were destroyed except for Calamity Jane.
When told that starting with this year’s TOUR Championship that there would only be one trophy – the replica Calamity Jane putter – several TOUR Championship winners unanimously endorsed the idea.
“It makes my Calamity Jane trophy that much cooler,” said Bill Haas, winner of the 2011 TOUR Championship, who keeps his version in his home office. “Look, I’m not greedy,” he said. “I’ll appreciate any trophy I win. But (the Calamity Jane) has great history behind it that makes it special.”
Adam Scott won the Tour Championship in 2006 and the “Calamity” trophy brings a sense of pride “every time I walk past it,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful trophy and is obviously unique. In some cases, it can be a bit obnoxious to display your trophies,” said Scott, “but this one is all about history and when that day comes when I have a real (full-time) home, it will get a nice display.”
A video of past champions putting with the replica Calamity Jane and talking about what it meant to win can be found here – http://www.pgatour.com/video/
Henri’s Bakery, an Atlanta culinary institution since 1929, will be preparing Shamrock Cookies exclusively for tournament week. The shortbread delicacies will be shaped like shamrocks in a nod to Jones and his connection to East Lake. Jones was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1902 and always kept a shamrock charm on his pocket watch chain, forever linking the marker with his name.
Henri’s, which has two locations in Metro Atlanta, recently moved from a longtime location on Irby Avenue to Andrews Place. The renowned bakery is known for cookies, croissants, pastries and deli sandwiches. In addition to the Shamrock Cookies, Henri’s will be serving two of its famous sandwiches, the Turkey PoBoy and its Roast Beef PoBoy, at the TOUR Championship as well.
“We’ve been proud to be a part of the fabric of the Atlanta community for nearly 90 years, striving to serve our customers and offer the best experience possible,” said Anthony DiNardo, president of Henri’s Bakery. “It’s worth noting that within a year of Henri’s Bakery first opening its doors, Bobby Jones became the only golfer to ever win the Grand Slam in the same calendar year. It’s an honor to connect our bakery with his great legacy, and we’re looking forward to this exciting new partnership with the TOUR Championship where we can bring our passion to a new generation of golf fans.”
The new welcome pavilion, created in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, will take fans on a journey through the hallowed grounds of East Lake Golf Club. In addition to photos and facts featuring Bobby Jones, spectators will also be treated to a glimpse of the storied history of East Lake Golf Club including Arnold Palmer’s winning U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1963 where Palmer was the last playing captain. The pavilion will also highlight many of the thrilling moments of the FedExCup champions that have been crowned at East Lake over the last decade.
“This has been a wonderful partnership between the Atlanta History Center and the TOUR Championships to preserve the history of Bobby Jones at one of the most exciting championships of the year,” said Dr. Catherine Lewis, Bobby Jones Curator and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University. “The PGA TOUR season ends where it all began – at East Lake Golf Club with the history, tradition, and the final step of the season for the fame and fortune of the FedExCup. The Atlanta History Center is proud to partner with the TOUR Championship to make it all possible.”
All these efforts are part of a broader, intentional push by the TOUR Championship to better showcase its deep connection to Atlanta. Earlier this year, the tournament announced the hiring of Bob Williams, former president of the Atlanta Hawks and Phillips Arena, as Executive Chair, while significant enhancements are planned for the overall fan experience. This will include new food and beverage offerings, as well as revamped hospitality venues and experiences.