The ultimate list for the discerning golfer

10 Favorite Donald Ross Courses
By Bradley S. Klein
Bradley S. Klein is architecture editor of Golfweek and author of the biography,
"Discovering Donald Ross." His new book is "A Walk in the Park: Golfweek Presents
America’s Best Classic and Modern Courses."

Pinehurst No. 2:
The gem of all Ross courses, with deep greenside rolls and devilishly contoured humpback greens. The genius of the design is that while it is a two-time U.S. Open test at 7,189 yards, it is equally playable and enjoyable from 6,309 yards. As a resort course, it’s pricey, but as a classic course it’s priceless.

Pinehurst No. 3:
On the same site as Pinehurst No. 2, but a load of fun at only 5,682 yards from the back tees. The Ross character on a smaller—if more sharply angled—scale.

George Wright Municipal:

It was golf’s most extensive engineering feat to blast the course in Boston out of rock and make it playable back in 1935. Today it is scruffy, hard edged and demanding. Too bad it’s not better maintained.

Wilmington Municipal:
Why should daily fee golfers not get to experience first class Ross design? Dormant Bermuda grass makes a links-like, butterscotch brown surface in the North Carolina winter and in summertime regulars are not afraid to go shirtless.

The Canton, Oh., course is unknown, but not for long. His circa 1921 greens remain virtually untouched and intact, making it his best-preserved set of putting surfaces. After a Brian Silva restoration of bunkers,
to be completed this spring, the private club will really shine.

Wispy, knee-high native rough and some interesting rocky ground give the 1916 gem in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., a retro feel without any compromise in shotmaking demands. Playing it is like being transported back to the setting for a Wodehouse story.

Holston Hills:
The club is located on the "wrong" side of town in Knoxville, Tenn., and doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Greenskeeper wiz Ryan Blair has been steadily hacking away at trees, rebuilding bunkers and expanding putting surfaces—and now the 1928 Ross character is back.

The Orchards:
The course good enough to hold the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open ought to be an attention grabber, especially since the sleepy, old-fashioned campus course—on the grounds of Mt. Holyoke—looks like a Currier & Ives print.

Think a 5,891 yard, par-69 course can’t test your shotmaking? Think again. It helps to have firm, links-style ground, steady winds off the Narragansett River, and crumpled features that throw the ball around when it lands. Ross summered in Little Compton, R.I., from 1925 to 1945, and the attention he lavished upon the course shows well almost 60 years later.

White Bear Yacht Club:
This is what golf was like in the days of hickory. On White Bear Lake in Minnesota, it is actually a lot more fun than modern power golf. The bunkers are quirky, the mounds look ancient and the whole place exudes a charm that cannot be reproduced today.

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