On Monday morning, Gary Player released a statement on Twitter harshly criticizing course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. for “blatantly lying” to a Golf Digest reporter about a confrontation between the two men. The feud originated with harsh criticisms Player made of Chambers Bay during the 2015 U.S. Open, a course that Trent Jones Jr. designed.
In response, Trent Jones Jr. released a statement to GOLF.com (which was later posted on his website) calling the feud “foolishness.” Referring to the Golf Digest article, Trent Jones Jr. writes, “Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking this conversation was off the record.” He goes on to address Player’s comments, writing “I thought Mr. Player and I had put this discussion behind us. Apparently, he doesn’t think so.” You can read the entire statement below.
I have been asked to respond to Gary Player’s recent remarks.
This foolishness began with a simple phone call. As the architect of the last “new” U.S. Open venue (Chambers Bay in 2015) a reporter inquired about my involvement with this historic event. I was asked about how one handles the inevitable criticism that comes with a new venue and more specifically, about Mr. Player’s comments regarding the golf course. Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking this conversation was off the record. In hindsight, I addressed the questions too casually, and now, the issue has been surfaced again, but only to be reduced to “he said / he said.” Frankly, I thought Mr. Player and I had put this discussion behind us. Apparently, he doesn’t think so.
Most people rightly could care less about this difference of opinion. Both Gary and I are privileged to have careers in this wonderful sport and although we are currently direct competitors in the golf course design business, making comments about one another’s work or state of mind, is not good for golfers nor for the game. I admire the work by the many people it takes to put on this Championship. From this point forward, I will have no further comment. I’d rather watch the U.S. Open and wish the competitors well this week at Erin Hills. – Robert Trent Jones, Jr.