(1872 - 1942)

ross picture

Scottish-born architect Donald Ross died in1948 but there is as much interest now in his golf courses as there was during his career. Much of excitement surrounding him began when the 1999 U.S. Open traveled to Ross's personal laboratory and home, Pinehurst #2. Ross left behind a legacy of over 400 courses. Though he never saw many of his designs, Ross's genius was typically evidenced in his routings. Few architects could match his gift for designing a golf course that not only took the player on a beautiful tour of a property but also creatively identified and highlighted every unique feature of the land.

Of the 400 or so courses attributed to Ross, he probably never saw a third of them, and another third he only visited once or twice. Ross did much of his design work at home working from topographic maps. He made detailed drawings and sketches along with written instructions for his construction crews. Ross also went through a number of style changes. Early on, he did what he could with the limitations of the land and equipment he had at his disposal. As years went on, he transitioned to a more mature flowing style with features more carefully integrated into the terrain. As his career wound down, Ross’ style became more functional and less aesthetic and strategic. He focused more on playability and maintainability and there was less attention to detail.



Read excerpts from Mark's profiles of leading Golden Age golf course architects

Donald J. Ross

A. W. Tillinghast

William Flynn

Contact Fine Golf Design for the complete architect's summaries

2008 all rights reserved FINE GOLF DESIGN 1104 Hillview Drive ALLENTOWN, PA 18103