Donald Ross’ History

With a career that spanned from the early 1900s to the late 1940s, no other golf course architect is credited with more superb designs—or is more revered—than Donald J. Ross.

Born the son of a carpenter in Dornoch, Scotland, in 1872, Mr. Ross became a fine golfer and instructor, and learned the art of green keeping and clubmaking from legendary Old Tom Morris in St. Andrews. His early instructional success landed him in New England and then Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina where he would eventually design and rebuild four courses, including the world-famous #2 course.

Ross is one of the few golf course architects to be admitted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Today, his courses have played host to more than 100 national championships. As a testament to his architectural brilliance, even today, Donald Ross course designs account for 11 of Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Courses in the United States.

Behind the Name

Originally named the Hill Course, the golf course at French Lick was later renamed the Donald Ross Course after the famed golf course architect who designed the course in 1917. In 1924 the course hosted the PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen. He beat the Englishman James Barnes on the 36th and final hole of the two-round match and walked away with the grand price of $6,830. The course has hosted LPGA Championships and Senior PGA events.


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