On Wednesday, Nov. 23, delegates from Dornoch, Scotland joined the Village of Pinehurst for a special celebration to honor the 150th birthday of Donald Ross.
With the Royal Dornoch Golf Club flag in the background, representatives from the Village and local historians lauded the impact Ross made on the game that put Pinehurst on the map.
“The fact that we can be here today to honor his legacy and golf architecture is remarkable,” said Village Mayor John Strickland. “For me to be able to have a connection back to people who knew Mr. Ross is a great thrill.”
Donald Ross was born on Nov. 23, 1872 in the north Scottish coastal town of Dornoch. There on crumpled dunesland, he grew up playing golf on one of the world’s purest links, Royal Dornoch.
From these inauspicious beginnings, Donald Ross would eventually become the world’s most famous golf course architect. Ross designed more than 400 golf courses across the United States and Canada. His most famous creation is Pinehurst No. 2, which he once described as the “fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed.”
After brief opening remarks, Neil Hampton, General Manager of Royal Dornoch Golf Club, introduced the guests from Scotland; Provost (Mayor) Paddy Murray and the President of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Gordon Lawson.
“Thank you, and your golfing village, and all your fellow American golfers for your interest in Dornoch and your affection for the great game of golf,” said Provost Murray. “And to remember Donald Ross, without whom much of this wouldn’t have happened.”
The celebration continued with readings from Ross’ “Golf Has Never Failed Me,” and discussions of the continued impact Ross has made on the two communities. The celebration concluded with a toast to honor the life and legacy of Mr. Donald J. Ross.
The community can watch the full Zoom call celebration here.