Borrowing from what he learned growing up on the links of Dornoch, Scotland, Ross made the crowned green his trademark. He was a detail man who took great patience to make sure every slope and break met his approval. All his bunkers looked like they hadn’t been built at all, but had been made by the hands of nature. There is a seamless, timeless quality to Donald Ross golf courses that required very little earth-moving to construct.
Pinehurst No. 2 is a perfect example. Water comes into sight on only one hole, and it is not in play. The course is not particularly long, the rough is native sandscape and wire grass, and it is almost impossible to lose a golf ball. Yet any golfer who goes around close to his or her handicap will have had a good day.
Ross spent more time tweaking this layout than any other of his designs, if not for any other reason than Bob Jones selected Alister Mackenzie over him to design Augusta National.
That was a moment that changed Pinehurst history forever. But it’s also a story for another day.