Your Authors’ Purpose and Method
In 2002 Derrydale Press of Lanham, Maryland published Great Donald Ross Golf Courses You Can Play. At the heart of that book was the simple idea that the golf courses designed by Donald Ross, with their unique characteristics, deserved to become better known to the golfing public and played with full enjoyment. Our early research had indicated that although many golfers were aware of Ross, few knew much about his golf courses and fewer where they were located. It took several years to identify and contact over 300 of these golf courses and gather information from many different sources about course histories, renovations and descriptions of how they played. The only locations included were those open to public play – no private courses were reviewed.
Following publication, your authors visited many of the places we’d written about and, at some of the larger venues and resorts had opportunities to play the courses, meet Ross fans and discuss his life and the interesting histories of his creations.
In 2013, Roman & Littlefield Publishers, associated with Derrydale Press, invited us to revisit the subject and write a second edition. We enthusiastically agreed to revisit the courses in fact, and also via phone and e-mail. Many thousands of calls and messages to course managers, professionals, golf writers, museum archivists and historians have ensued as we sought to discover the current status of those Ross-designed courses first described fourteen years earlier. Because all the records from the first book were destroyed by the printer, we had to start from scratch. Therefore, the photos in this book were not included in the original edition, and are of a much higher quality of photographic resolution. The date for each course shown is the date of design. The yardage for each hole illustrated is from the longest men’s tee.
We learned that two Florida courses, Ponce de Leon and Punta Gorda, no longer exist. The Keystone Golf & Country Club has been renamed the Lakeside Links Golf Club. The Roosevelt Memorial Golf Course in Warm Springs, Georgia had been closed for two years and threatened not to reopen. As we did our research we learned that it has been saved, and we invite you to learn just how that happened. The Woodlands course in Virginia has been changed so much over the years that none of the original holes play as Ross designed them. The managements of Kebo Valley and Northeast Harbor courses in Maine, and Immergün in Pennsylvania now agree that Ross did not design them. Immergrun is now attributed to Devereux Emmet, a contemporary of Ross, who like Ross competed in the British Open. In Massachusetts, Petersham Golf Course’s land was sold by Harvard and the course destroyed. The formerly semi-private Plymouth Golf Course is now private. Rogell Golf Course in Michigan has become a cemetery! Jeffersonville, a Pennsylvania course we had not known about in 1999, is confirmed as a beautifully renovated Ross facility. The famed Panorama Golf Course at the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is expected to reopen in 2017. In North Carolina, the Richmond Pines Golf Course in Rockingham is now closed. You’ll discover that many courses have been renovated at considerable expense, making them play better and look fabulous, usually to longer yardages.
Your authors have played as many of the Donald Ross courses as possible. We’ve also visited St. Andrews and Royal Dornoch, where Ross “learned his trade.” Betty Jane “BJ” Dunn has a background in professional writing, and owned her own advertising agency in New York City. Paul R. Dunn is a former marketing executive, who when at Good Housekeeping Magazine was first introduced to golf, playing his initial round at Ross’ Poland Spring, Maine location. Paul served as Historian of the Pinehurst Golf and Country Club for six years and plays every Tuesday with the Titanium Whistles Golfers.