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Hole #15: In the Style of Donald Ross (1912-1948)


If any architect deserves a second mention, it’s Donald Ross. He dominated the field of golf architecture from 1912 until his death in 1948. He was the most successful architect of his time, built more highly regarded courses, and made more money than any of his competitors. He played a significant role in the 1946 formation of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and served as its honorary president. Decades after his death, the ASGCA honored him by adopting the Ross clan tartan for its official member jacket, and created the Donald Ross Award, given annually for contributions to public understanding of golf architecture. The legacy of Donald Ross continues today. A Donald Ross Society was formed in the 1980s, solely for the purpose of urging the preservation of his designs. More courses of his design have hosted major championships than those of any other golf architect. Future tournaments will add to that record.

Ross believed that mastery of the long iron was a true test of a golfer. Our 15th is fashioned to test long-iron approach shots. The drive is uphill, negating roll. The second must carry flanking bunkers in front of the green, which are farther from the green than they appear. Ross architecture often contains deception, remember. The green itself has no hazards, but a Ross-style ridge separates it into left and right sections, making it a big target for those just happy to hit the green, a much tighter target for those wanting to hit it close.