Today is the birthday of my favorite golf course architect – Donald Ross. Having grown up caddying and playing on a Ross course, I admit to my bias. Ross was a creative genius, and is arguably the most prolific architect in history with involvement in 400+ courses across the U.S. (not to mention that he was also a fine player and pro).
This post is not so much about the events of Ross’s life. Books like Discovering Donald Ross and Golf Has Never Failed Me, as well as the new Ross documentary Donald Ross: Discovering the Legend do a better job of that than I ever could. This post is more a recognition of what can be accomplished with a life fully lived. (side note: If you think that that a GCA show would be great on Golf Channel, click here to join me in lobbying for it.)
Ross was what we now call a workaholic. But from all accounts, he was also a devoted father who dealt with the tragic loss of both a wife and a fiancee with measured grace. He was an adventurer, an artist, a businessman, and a grinder. He had the loftiest of creative vision, and always kept his feet on and hands in the earth. He seemed to start life with his pedal to the floor, and he kept it that way until the end.
So although I love the legacy of the great courses he left behind (a sampling of which is shared below), perhaps even better is the inspiration of his example of living life to the fullest.