"Taking on the Giants" by Bill Case
Three hundred fifty eight by Brad Becken
Ross' famed Pinehurst no. 2 was the site of a number of famous matches raising money for the Red Cross after World War II. The matches pitted top amateurs against top professionals for a number of years. You can read Society member Bill Case's excellent article via this LINK. The article is a wonderful history of the matches and a nice reminder of the career of fine amateur Dick Chapman. Bill is a retired attorney, active golfer, and continues to write for the Pinehurst publication "PineStraw Magazine." The Society is thankful to both for the article.
North Carolina - October 18-22 - Annual meeting
Society member Brad Becken has completed playing three-hundred-fifty-eight, yes 358, of Ross' courses. The number is Brad's reckoning of those clearly known to have Ross heritage. Brad was knocking them off at a good pace for a number of years. He played quite a lot in the Carolinas and New England in the early period clipping off the clusters in "relatively" small areas. There were also good spots from Florida to Georgia plus Pennsylvania to Ohio to southern Michigan to Illinois to find a number to play in a small area. Then trips began to include 2 or 3 hour drives between courses on long summer days to get in a quick 36 holes. The last few years have included trips to Iowa, Wisconsin, and Manitoba to play just one or two on a long trip. Fueled by an uncanny ability to find donut shops, and his own innate and determined grit, sometimes accompanied by younger Society members Mark Larson or Jim Caruso, Brad has reached his goal of playing every Ross. Many suspect he will rest this fall and will play a bit more around home in North Carolina. Congratulations Brad!
The annual meeting event will be held in North Carolina from October 18-22. The event will include Raleigh CC on Wednesday afternoon October 18 (1 pm shotgun), Sedgefield CC on Thursday afternoon, Alamance CC on Friday morning, Duke University Golf Club on Saturday afternoon, and Hope Valley CC on Sunday afternoon, October 22. The Society will have a dinner on Thursday at Sedgefield CC with Kris Spence discussing his work at this course. The event includes a very strong group of Ross courses the Society has not visited before. Saturday's play is at the well respected home course for Duke University designed by R.T. Jones. Details and entry form for this limited space event were emailed to members on August 15th.
New Hampshire - August 18-19
The Society had a great weekend in New Hampshire on Friday & Saturday, August 18 & 19th, 2017. Society members Dudley Cotton and Dr. Bill Wilson arranged play at these two Ross gems.
August 18th - Friday - The Society played Manchester CC in Bedford in a bit of rain. The course is an original Ross design opened in 1923 with ongoing restoration under the direction of Ron Forse and has served as a site for events such as the New England Amateur, NH Amateur, NH Woman’s Amateur, and the 2017 New Hampshire Open.
August 19th - Saturday - Sunny skies made for a great day at Wentworth By The Sea CC in Rye New Hampshire. The club is one of the oldest courses in the United States and opened for play in 1897. The original nine holes were constructed on links land by George Wright and redone by Donald Ross and Walter Hatch in 1921. Geoffrey Cornish added the second nine holes in 1964. There are breathtaking seaside views along Witch Creek and Little Harbor. The day began with a par three contest on two holes with original Ross greens at 11 am, followed by lunch, tee times begin at 1:30 pm, ending with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a club house dinner.
The Society thanks local members Dudley Cotton and Dr. Bill Wilson. Board member Mark Rymuza organized the event.
Cincinnati - July 29 -30
Special thanks to Tom Smith for arranging play on these two fine courses. Saturday the 29th was golf at Maketewah Country Club in Cincinnati. Originally a Tom Bendelow creation which opened in 1910 as a nine-hole course, Donald Ross renovated the club in 1929 to its present 18 holes. The championship course has been a US Open qualifier course for over five decades and the site of many local and regional competitions. Tee times commenced at 1:30 with a club dinner after play. Mark Rymuza organized a great event including a special arrangement with a local hotel while Cincinnati rooms were packed with a music festival in town. Spectacular blue skies and cool weather made for a wonderful weekend.
Sunday the 30th was at Hyde Park Golf & Country Club in Cincinnati. Tom Bendelow laid out the original nine holes in 1902. The club acquired additional property and in 1920 Donald Ross completely redesigned the course which has stayed true to its Ross roots while implementing occasional upgrades with the most recent done by Tim Liddy. Long time member and club historian Art Fischer provided a brief history of the club during lunch. Hyde Park member LV Semona also guided the group around the golf course and club house.
Society members Cob Carlson and Kevin Mendik, along with Paul Murphy from Charles River provided a program about Donald Ross at the Newton Free Library on April 27. The library’s web site noted that “In this program, filmmaker Cob Carlson will use clips from his documentary, ‘Donald Ross: Discovering the Legend’, to describe Ross's emigration from Scotland to the U.S., his work in Massachusetts and his life on Beacon Street in Newton. Golf historians Kevin Mendik and Paul Murphy joined Carlson in telling how Ross’s extraordinary vision and legacy continue today.
The Society has opened a small golf shop for members only. Leading the offering is Donald Ross Sportswear! A limited selection of their superb sportswear is now offered to Society members. Rob Stein, owner of Donald Ross Sportswear and Society member, has been very gracious. The items are of top quality material and styling and is found in the finer golf shops and retail stores. Golf attire is offered for men and woman with the Society crest on left chest or left sleeve. Members can view their catalog of offerings and special pricing. Donald Ross Sportswear directly supports the Tufts Archives with generous donations and by their support of Tufts' fund raising. Members should first log into the Society web site, select 'Donald Ross Sportswear' via the MEMBERS tab.
Other items with the Society crest such as belts, pocket crests, and head covers are now offered at this MEMBERS page rather than only at events only. These are found via the 'Golf Shop' pick under the MEMBERS tab.
The MEMBERS tab also provides several books and a documentary about Ross, all with connections to fellow Society members. The first is Chris Buie's book 'The Life and Times of Donald Ross'. The book was produced by Classics of Golf, Mike Beckerich publisher and Society member. A special discount is offered to members. The second book is a revision to Society member Paul Dunn's book "Great Donald Ross Courses Everyone Can Play: Resort, Public, and Semi-Private." This is a welcome update to Mr. Dunn's first edition. It is a great reference for touring the more accessible Ross courses. Paul updated the book using better quality and more photographs. The books and documentary are found via the 'Books' pick under the MEMBERS tab.
May 2017 - New Jersey - Double Header!
May 19-May 25 – The Society went to New Jersey for a double-header! The event was a mix of many Ross gems, with Raynor flavoring, and a dash of a wonderful modern course. Board member Steve MacQuarrie put together a great event aided by Pam Allen and other Society members mentioned below. Weekend play started Friday, May 19 at Bayonne Golf Club thanks to Society Board member Mike Miller. Saturday was Crestmont Country Club, with thanks to Crestmont member Scott Riskin. Sunday was Watchung Valley Golf Club – a Seth Raynor. The morning was a tour of USGA museum tour in Far Hills with play at the Pynes Putting Course (inspired by the Himalayas in St. Andrews) followed by the afternoon round.
Next was four delightful days of golf beginning Monday, May 22 at Essex County CC, the oldest club in New Jersey. Tuesday was an afternoon round at Plainfield Country Club. The Society moved to Mountain Ridge Country Club with thanks to Society member Jamie Schachtel. The event ended Thursday, May 25 at Knickerbocker Country Club with thanks to Society member Mike Beckerich.
March 2017 - Jacksonville
March 23-28 - The event was fantastic. The Society played San Jose Country Club on Thursday March 23, Timuquana Country Club on Friday afternoon with a club dinner, followed by Hyde Park Golf Club on Saturday, Mark Bostick Golf Club at the University of Florida on Sunday morning. Monday morning was a shotgun start at Sawgrass Country Club. We're indebted to Society members Fred Seely, Joe Pesek, and Jim Hoener. Society Board member Derek Dobbs also provided invaluable assistance in arranging this event.
Tufts Archives - DRS Foundation
Ross course - Warm Springs Georgia - DRS Foundation
The DRS Foundation made a $10,000 donation to the Tufts Archives in April 2016. The membership continues to support the Tufts Archives efforts to collect, preserve, and disseminate the records and drawings of Donald J. Ross. You can read more about the donations via this link DRS Foundation
Thanks to the generous Society membership, the DRS Foundation made a $5,000 donation to Operation Double Eagle (The Warrior Alliance, Inc.) in February 2016. The donation will support the work by this non-profit veterans organization at the Ross course in Warm Springs.
Annual event 2016 - October 4-7 - Chicago
The Society's annual meeting was well attended by over 50 Society members. The event included play at four of the wonderful courses created or remodeled by Ross in the Chicago area. The golf began at The Beverly Country Club on Tuesday October 4, then Exmoor Country Club, Skokie Country Club, and Evanston Golf Club on Friday. Society members enjoyed the event organized and well planned by fellow members Pam Allen and Dave Jongleux with the support of members and the fine staff at each club. Wednesday included an interesting presentation of the course history by Exmoor member Don Holton. Audrey Moriarty of Tufts Archives also attended to update everyone on their latest work at the archives. Stop by Tufts Archives if ever in Pinehurst!
While Bill Case has retired from his legal career, he continues to write and has authored many fine golf articles for the Pinehurst magazine PineStraw. Courtesy of PineStraw and Bill, click on the link "Little Big Men" for his latest which is about George Dunlap, Jr. winner of the 1933 US Amateur. Tufts Archives records were the backbone of Bill's well researched article and accompanying photographs. You will probably meet Bill at a future Society event or two.
USGA notes the Ross documentary
As part of the fanfare for the 2016 USGA Senior Open, the spotlight was again on the excellent Ross documentary by the Society member Cob Carlson. Click on this USGA article . And you can click on the title "Donald Ross: Discovering the Legend." This link is to the film's web site for even more information and to order a copy. The Society membership supported Mr. Carlson's effort with a donation and are happy to see continued notice of his fine work.
Ohio event 2016
The Society concluded a fabulous event in Canton Ohio area. Members played Brookside Country Club in Canton and Congress Lake Club in nearby Hartville in August. This was a special treat to play some of the best Ross in the midwest. The group enjoyed great weather and finding new friends.
Spring Fling 2016 - Birmingham
The event was sold out and obviously well attended. The schedule for April was busy with golf at Shoal Creek Club, and then the Ross courses at Country Club of Birmingham, West and East, followed by the Mountain Brook Club. Some enjoyed some extra golf at Old Overton.
Winter Break - Palm Beach 2016
The Society visited southern Florida again with a retreat to the Palm Beach area in January. The weather was very treacherous on Friday and Sunday but the Society played every day. The itinerary was Palm Beach Country Club (Ross), North Palm Beach Country Club, Delray Beach Country Club (Ross) and the beautiful Palm Beach Par 3 course.2015
The annual meeting was wonderful with four superb courses under Carolina blue skies in October. Click on the Annual Report for a summary of the golf by Steve MacQuarrie. You can see a few fall photographs by Dunlop White of the Roaring Gap Club via this link. Golf began in the mountains at the Roaring Gap Club, moved west to Mimosa Hills and then east to play Carolina GC and Charlotte CC. Tufts has long been the primary benefactor of these events through the DRS Foundation.
Other notes of interest :
Ross and the Tufts in Pinehurst
Society member Bill Case has completed a second article about the relationship of Donald Ross to the Tufts. As the first, this draws upon the correspondence between the men and observations on the transition from Leonard to Richard Tufts assuming leadership at Pinehurst. This second article was also published in the Pine Straw, a local magazine in Southern Pines. Bill's second article is " Dear Mr. Ross " Bill's first installment is via this link Ross and Tufts from the Pine Straw magazine.
Detroit - June 2015
The Society had a wonderful event in Detroit. The golf included Barton Hills, Inverness, Franklin Hills, and Oakland Hills CC (South and North). You can read Society member Jeff Heston's daily recollection and photographs via this link to his Detroit Diary .
Founded in 1989 to recognize and safeguard the integrity of courses from the "Golden Era" of Golf Course Architecture, the Society's particular focus is the work by Donald J. Ross & Associates of Pinehurst, North Carolina before 1948. We believe that the golf courses designed by Ross are works-of-art that merit close care and meticulous preservation. When renovation work is needed, we believe that - wherever possible - the course should maintain its original look, shape, and playing character; and when accommodations are needed for the modern game, they should be consistent with the original design intent.
We, therefore urge clubs to seek out those architects, shapers, consultants and superintendents in the industry who endeavor to preserve these traditions, and that are comfortable with the basic strategies outlined in our Restoration Guidelines, wherein we distill the wisdom of countless restoration successes and provide a blueprint for clubs interested in recapturing their Donald Ross design integrity.