Donald Ross


  • 1872: Donald Ross was born in Dornoch, Scotland on Nov. 23. He learned about golf from Tom Morris, the first father of golf professionals.
  • 1992: Hired as greenkeeper and golf professional in Dornoch.
  • 1899: Moved to the United States to be the Professional at Oakley Country Club in Watertown, Mass., making $60 a month and .50 for lessons.
  • 1902-04 and 1907: Place in the top 10 in the U.S. Open.
  • 1907: Designed Pinehurst No.2 golf course.
  • 1910: Placed 8th in the British Open.
  • 1921: Became U.S. citizen.
  • 1948: Died April 26 in Pinehurst, N.C. at the age of 75. He was getting ready to go to work when he died of a heart attack. His legacy includes 413 golf courses and over 100 U.S. national championships played on courses he designed.

Donald Ross Quotes:
On…
  • Nature: “Man cannot do in a few days what nature took years to accomplish.”
  • Trees: “As beautiful as trees are, and as fond as you and I are of them, we must still not lose sight of the fact that there is a limited place for them in golf…If it in any way interferes with a properly played stroke, I think the tree is an unfair hazard and should not be allowed to stand. On the other hand there is not need to ruthlessly cut down everything before us.”
  • Location: “Give me some slightly rolling terrain and sandy soil, and I’ll give you the best courses.”
  • Signatures: “It has always seemed to be better to have a few very fine holes and the rest fair, than eighteen fair holes with none that leave a distinct impression on the player’s mind.”
  • Difficulty: “The cardinal rule is to make the holes so that the man who plays it as he should gets par, and the man who makes a mistake makes one more than par.”

“Make each hole present a different problem.”

“Golf is not golf when poor play is not penalized.”

  • Copycats: “In trying to make your course fit certain famous hole treatments, you are certain famous hole treatments, you are certain to be doomed to disappointment. Make your holes fit your course.”

“The fascination of the most famous hazards in the world lies in the fact that they were not and could not have been constructed. I avoid the use of the word ‘created’ because a real hazard is and must be a creation of nature.”

  • Technology: “Golfers used to be made on the golf courses. Now they are made in the machine shops.”
  • America: “This is the greatest country on earth.”


Source: News & Record archive

Compiled by Diane Lamb News & Record researcher

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