The ultimate list for the discerning golfer
10 Favorite Donald
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.
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.
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
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
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