Donald Ross and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club
of Saint Andrews Connection

After an early stint as a local carpenter’s trainee in Dornoch, Scotland, Donald Ross moved on to apprentice to the master club maker and golf professional, Old Tom Morris of Saint Andrews in 1893. And like they say, “the rest is history!”  Old Tom was in his 72nd year when Donald Ross arrived. Morris had been the winner of the British Open in 1861, 1862, 1864 and 1867 at Prestwick. Seven years before Donald went to work at St. Andrews he had observed Old Tom when Morris had remodeled some of the holes at Royal Dornoch, creating the famous plateau greens that are still played there to this very day. Once Ross had polished his skills at St. Andrews, he returned to his beloved Dornoch in 1895 as greens keeper and professional.  Five years later he crossed the Atlantic to become the pro at Oakley Club outside of Boston, then moving on to Pinehurst, North Carolina and golf course architectural fame and fortune.  Since Ross’ day the famous “Home of Golf” has changed dramatically to include seven courses, a 60 bay floodlit practice center and three welcoming clubhouses open to everyone. These attributes attract thousands of pilgrims from around the globe each year anxious to sample the Mecca of golf. 

Here’s what they have to say about Donald Ross at St. Andrews today:

“It is a source of huge satisfaction to think that in some way the young Donald Ross was shaped by his time in St. Andrews. To such an extent that it helped to influence his thinking about how he designed golf courses, many of which changed the game of golf across the Atlantic in the 20th Century and went on to become the finest golf courses in the USA. It is a tribute to the man that his design philosophy has stood the test of time and to this day continues to influence the leading golf course architects of the modern era. His love for golf, St. Andrews and the way the game was played on the famous links shines through and is a cause of great gratification for everyone connected with St. Andrews Links Trust.” Laurie Watson, St. Andrews Links Trust, March 2014. 

 

From Modest Beginnings.. more>

The Royal Dornoch Golf Club – Where It All Began...more >

Photo courtesy of St. Andrews Links Trust