Donald Ross

Full Name
Donald James Ross
Website:
Visit Website
Year of Birth
1872
Year of Death
1948, aged 75
Place Born
Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland
Place Died
Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 1977: In the words of Jack Nicklaus, Donald Ross designed golf courses led to positive thinking: “His stamp as an architect was naturalness.” Ross was, and still is, considered the Michelangelo of golf.

Donald James Ross was born in 1872 to Murdoch Ross, a stone mason by trade, and his wife Lillian Campbell. Their first child had died soon after birth that same year so Donald became the eldest in the family, followed in subsequent years by three brothers and two sisters.

Murdoch was a member of a masonry crew that worked on the New York State capitol building during the 1870s so he was away from home on the other side of the Atlantic when his son was just a toddler. Who’d have guessed Donald would later follow in his father’s footsteps to find fame and fortune in the United States?

At the age of fourteen, he completed his formal studies and took up an apprenticeship with carpenter Peter Murray, who had an arrangement with the local Dornoch Golf Club to build the wooden boxes for holding sand on every tee.

Ross worked with Old Tom Morris at St Andrews in 1893 then spent part of the following season at Carnoustie before returning to serve under the Dornoch club secretary John Sutherland for six years as head professional, club maker and green keeper.

In 1899, Ross took a steamship to New York then a train to Boston to join up with Robert Wheeler Willson, an American professor of astronomy who he’d spoken to the year before about starting a new life in the New World. Within a year of his employment at Oakley Country Club, Ross had reworked the club’s original Willie Campbell-designed course.

He returned to Scotland in 1904 to marry Janet Kennedy Conchie, from Moniaive in Dumfries and Galloway, who he’d met in Dornoch before heading abroad. They would go on to have one child, Lillian Grace Wilson, named after her paternal grandmother.

Though not ...

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Donald Ross

Agawam Hunt

15th Rhode Island - Best in Area

Agawam Hunt Club's first comprehensive 18-hole course was laid out by Donald Ross in 1920 over the top of Metacomet's original Rumford layout. Geoff Cornish carried out a renovation in the 1960s and Gil Hanse was involved in a recent restoration project.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Aiken

80th South Carolina - Best in Area

The Aiken Golf Club dates back to 1912, when an 11-hole course was developed as an amenity for the Highland Park Hotel. Operated as a municipal facility during the 1940s and 1950s, the course was rebuilt and renamed during the late 1990s.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Algonquin

1st New Brunswick - Best in Area 88th Canada Ranking

A round of golf at the Algonquin Resort begins with an easy opener then holes 2 to 4 follow the fairways of the original course along the edge of town before turning back toward the Atlantic coast...

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Allegheny

23rd Pennsylvania - Best in Area

First set out by Tom Bendelow on a 150-acre site in 1902, the old course at Allegheny Country Club was subsequently redesigned by Donald Ross in 1923 and more recently renovated by Ed Seay and then restored by Gil Hanse.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Aronimink

3rd Pennsylvania - Best in Area 86th USA Ranking 100th North America Ranking

The course in play today at Aronimink Golf Club opened in 1928 and Dornoch’s most famous son, Donald Ross, originally designed it. Gil Hanse restored the old classic ahead of the 2018 BMW Championship.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Athens

41st Georgia - Best in Area

Formed in 1926, Athens Country Club is now a 27-hole golf facility, with the original eighteen holes laid out by Donald Ross. This layout was restored by Ron Forse in 2010, when a number of the shrunken greens were increased in size.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Augusta Country Club

8th Georgia - Best in Area

The club will always be overshadowed by its famous neighbour, but Silva’s work is undoubtedly artful and we’re sure Augusta Country Club will only rise higher in future rankings.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Bald Peak Colony

3rd New Hampshire - Best in Area

Founded in 1920, Bald Peak Colony Club engaged Donald Ross to build its course. An exhibition match with Francis Ouimet, Jessie Giuldford, J. H. Taylor and Sandy Herd marked the layout’s debut.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Barton Hills

16th Michigan - Best in Area

After remodelling work down the years, there wasn’t much left of the original Donald Ross course at Barton Hills Country Club until Ron Prichard restored the layout to its former glory in 2012.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Bedford Springs (Old)

35th Pennsylvania - Best in Area

The course at the Bedford Springs Hotel dates back to 1895. Altered on separate occasions by A.W. Tillinghast and Donald Ross, it was renovated by Ron Forse in 2007.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Donald Ross Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Cory Lewis Courses Played 114
2 Joseph Andriole Courses Played 90
3 Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 84
4 Jon Gillman Courses Played 66
5 Bob McCoy Courses Played 58
6 James Gold Courses Played 55
7 David Harak Courses Played 48
8 Fergal O'Leary Courses Played 47
9 Pam Allen Courses Played 46
10 Steve MacQuarrie Courses Played 40