Donald Ross is at the top of the list of those that have had a significant impact on the game of golf.
With approximately 400 designs comprising his golf architecture portfolio – there’s no doubt that Donald Ross has had a significant impact on golf. Despite a career as an accomplished golfer, club designer, designer of prolific golf courses, and inventor of the profession of golf course architecture – relatively few deep dives into his life have been published.
If you’re interested in learning more about Donald Ross and his journey that led to one of the most impactful legacies in the golf world, you need to take a few hours and sit down and watch Donald Ross: Discovering the Legend.
I live in North Carolina – which is a state that claims over 50 of the 400+ golf course designs attributed to Donald Ross. I’m also lucky enough to live a few short hours from ground zero of the Donald Ross legacy (the village of Pinehurst) and a few minutes from his last design (Raleigh Country Club).
Over the past few years I’ve done my share of digging through the various accounts of Donald Ross that have made their way online, read a few of the Donald Ross books, and have even spent some time digging around (the absolutely amazing) Tufts Archives in Pinehurst. Despite the persistence of my learning journey about Ross – I learned quite a few things while watching the recently-released documentary.
The film features dialog and interviews of some prolific thinkers, industry veterans, and iconic golf architects including Jack Nicklaus, Kyle Franz, Tom Doak, Ben Crenshaw, Peggy Kirk Bell, Ran Morrisett, and Brad Klein. The opinions, historical accounts, and overall knowledge from those that were interviewed is exceptional and their dialog weaves together the story, history, and legacy of Donald Ross.
The film walks through some of the notable course designs, regional profiles, the renovation of Pinehurst #2, and weaves in a significant historical account and insights into the life of Donald Ross.
The documentary is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of golf in the United States and for anyone with an interest in golf architecture.