The 87th edition of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia begins on Thursday, a storied event that transcends the sport and remains a rare mixture of athletic excellence, gentlemanly sportsmanship, and rich tradition.

Dating back to 1934 and known originally as the “Augusta National Invitational Tournament,” the annual competition takes place on the former property of Fruitland Nurseries. Owned by Louis Berckman, a Belgian baron, the iconic clubhouse was once the family home. The three-story house, complete with concrete walls that are 18 inches thick, was built in 1854.

Golf charms aside, it’s a good reminder that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Don’t just build for today. As the old saying goes, “The quality is remembered long after the cost is forgotten.”

The man most responsible for Augusta National and the Masters tournament was Robert Tyre Jones, better known as Bobby Jones. Bobby Jones holds the distinction of being the first man to win all four major tournaments in a single year, 1930: the British Open, the U.S. Open, as well as the British and U.S, amateur championships. One writer called it “the impregnable quadrilateral.”

The Club opened for play in 1932. The first tournament was held on March 22, 1934.

It was in the 1920s when Bobby Jones met up with Clifford Roberts, a successful investment banker, and together the two men selected the 365-acre property for the home of the new golf club. They could see its potential, especially the prospect of the stately trees and colorful azaleas sprinkled throughout the property.

But the success and staying power of the Masters goes beyond tradition, good business, and even great golf.

It goes back to Bobby Jones, and a family life that was rooted in the Christian faith.

With a long line of Baptists, including a grandfather who was Sunday school superintendent for 33 years, the famed golfer grew up in an environment steeped in Scripture and church. It was said the family’s faith is what held them together.

Yet early in his career, there often seemed to be a disconnect between Bobby Jones’ head and his heart.

According to Alexa Sterling, a childhood friend of the rising golfer, Jones had a gentle and kind manner off the course – but fiery behavior on it.

“He had one flaw – his temper,” she remembered. “Let him make a poor shot and he’d turn livid with rage, throw his club after the ball, or break it over his knee, or kick at the ground and let out a stream of very adult oaths.”

Looking back himself, Jones once reflected about his internal demons. “I was full of pie, ice cream and inexperience,” he said. “To me, golf was just a game to beat someone. I didn’t know that someone was me.”

Writing in the Saturday Evening Post, Grantland Rice observed, “Bobby was a short, rotund kid, with the face of an angel and the temper of a timber wolf. At a missed shot, his sunny smile could turn more suddenly into a black storm cloud than the Nazis can grab a country.”

But Bobby Jones grew more mild-mannered with the years. The volatile temper faded. A gentility began to emerge. Was there a spiritual reawakening and recommitment? There’s no concrete evidence of a direct correlation, but scripture states that if parents “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

It would be impossible to overstate the importance of parents laying a firm foundation of the Christian faith for their children. As Focus’ founder, Dr. James Dobson, has often said, values are not so much taught to children, as they are caught. Children grow up and have to make their own decisions, and especially about making their parent’s faith their own. But a young Bobby Jones was watching – and absorbing the Christian ethos of his home.

Sadly, Bobby Jones suffered from syringomyelia in his later years, a neurological disorder of the spinal cord that would eventually take his life in 1971. He became wheelchair bound. But his grandson, Dr. Robert Jones IV, would later relay that the Masters’ founder asked to be baptized three days prior to his death.

“Two days before he died, he turned to his family,” Dr. Jones recalled. “They were gathered by him. And he said to them, ‘If this is what it’s like to die, it’s beautiful.’ And within an hour, he had closed his eyes and two days later, he was gone.”

Bobby Jones once said, “The object of golf is to beat someone.  Make sure that someone is not yourself.” It seems to have taken the legendary player some time to put such wisdom into personal practice – but God graciously gifted him the time, and he put that time to good use.