Mom Will Be On His Mind When Jimmy Jones Makes His Pro Debut At Point Grey
Jimmy Jones, The Son Of Former LPGA Tour Winner Dawn Coe-Jones From Lake Cowichan, BC, Has Received A Sponsor’s Exemption To Play In The Freedom 55 Financial Open At Point Grey GC - Image Courtesy Golf Canada
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
Jimmy Jones will begin his professional career later this month at Point Grey Golf & Country Club, the same Vancouver course where 15 years ago his mom, Dawn Coe-Jones, was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Jones attended that ceremony, held the week of the Canadian Women’s Open, but doesn’t remember much about it. He was only seven years old, after all. “I have seen some pictures and I remember one of my mom’s friends was there and he played for the Islanders and had four Stanley Cup rings and I was hockey player at the time, so that got my attention,” Jones recalled during a telephone interview from his Florida home.
“I wasn’t a big golfer back then. I wanted to make it to the NHL. That was my dream at the time. I have seen some pictures and stuff, but once I am there I am sure I will go down memory lane and remember some things.”
Jones lost his mom, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, nearly two years ago to cancer. But he says she will be with him on the first tee when he begins his pro career at the Freedom 55 Financial Open, the season-opening event on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada circuit.
“It will be pretty amazing to begin my pro career in her back yard and I can’t wait to get my name called on the first tee and to be representing Canada as well,” said Jones, who is a dual citizen.
Jones, 22, is completing his collegiate golf career with the University of South Florida, which is competing in the NCAA regionals next week and hoping to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships later this month.
If South Florida does make the national tourney and goes on any kind of run, Jones may be sprinting to the first tee at Point Grey. The national tourney, which is being held in Stillwater, Okla., ends on Wednesday, May 30, the day before the Freedom 55 begins at Point Grey.
“I can get there,” Jones said. “We have looked into it a little bit. Whether I am running from Oklahoma to Vancouver or whatever, I will make it for my tee time on Thursday. I will be putting a peg in the ground.”
Jones, who won the Florida Amateur Championship in 2015, has received a sponsor’s exemption into the Freedom 55 event. For that he can thank in large part Gail Graham, the two-time LPGA Tour winner from Kelowna who is a longtime friend of Jones’ mom.
Graham lobbied Freedom 55 tournament director David Lee Fay for the sponsor’s exemption. “I think it's just the coolest opportunity for him and I know he is so excited,” Graham said in an interview. “Giving him the opportunity to make his professional debut in his mom’s home province is special. And then there are the ties to Point Grey. It was the site of one of Dawn’s last big events and of course her Hall of Fame induction ceremony was there.”
image credit Golf Canada
Jimmy Jones' Mom, Dawn Coe-Jones, Was Inducted Into The Canadian Golf Hall Of Fame At A Ceremony Held At Point Grey G&CC In 2003
Graham said she is reminded of Coe-Jones every time she sees Jimmy swing a club. “He has a much longer swing than his mom ever did,” Graham said with a chuckle. “But his follow-through is very similar and he has her demeanor. “He is a really great kid. I call him a late developer. He didn’t really get serious about golf until he was almost 16 years old. He hits it a country mile. It’s ridiculous how far he hits it.”
Jones agrees that his length is one of the strengths of his game. “I hit it pretty far,” he said. “My distance is definitely an advantage. I can hit it about 300 in the air so I definitely have a big slap shot and on those days when the putter is hot the sky’s the limit.”
Jones has never played Point Grey. Most of the golf he has played in British Columbia has been on Vancouver Island, where his mom was raised and where the family has a summer home.
He said his mom has had a huge influence on his life and, of course, on his golf. He will try to rely on some of the great advice she gave him as he begins his professional golf journey.
“I remember when she was watching me play and I had a bit of a hockey temper,” Jones said. “I couldn’t just drop the clubs with anybody so I had to get mad, I guess, after I hit a bad shot. She was always there to show me what the pros were doing and what she was doing.
"I have watched some film of her playing and I remember the smile and the way she could take everything with a grain of salt, not get too high or too low, and just stick to her game plan. Just simple things like that. She didn’t have a coach growing up and I don’t have a coach right now. We just like to play our own backyard game and get the ball in the hole.”