Play a Donald Ross golf course and practice your chipping!
Donald Ross is alive at Pine Needles this week for the US Women’s Open!
I hope all of you are watching the Open this weekend. These women (and girls) are good!! Just to show you what girls can do…the yardage is set up to 6664 yards. OK guys, how many of you can play from that yardage? There is even a 12 year old girl playing who is unbelievably good. Alexis Thompson is the youngest participant ever to qualify for a US Women’s Open. There are actually 25 players under the age of 20 in this years’ field. This is what girls can do! Pay attention, parents of young girls!
I’m originally from North Carolina and I played some junior golf in the Pinehurst area. Back then, I just thought that all golf courses had greens like Donald Ross’ greens. I didn’t know to appreciate the character of his golf courses as a junior. I was always chipping onto those greens…because my approaches rolled off!! Maybe that’s why my teacher said I needed to learn to chip better!
Annika Sorenstam loves Donald Ross designed courses. Each of her three Open titles have come on Ross-designed layouts, including one at Pine Needles in 1996. When you win on a Ross-designed golf course, you know how to play the game.
Donald Ross was born in Scotland in 1872 and died in 1948. As a young man he became “a keeper of the green” at Royal Dornach, a course most experts consider the world’s purest links course. He also spent a year as an apprentice at St. Andrews working for Old Tom Morris. Not a bad start!
In 1899 he came to America to build a course outside of Boston. He stayed and “America became his canvas.” He designed and built Pine Needles and it opened in 1928. Pinehurst #2 is probably his ultimate achievement. His architecture trademark is in his domed greens that fell away quickly on all sides. His greens would allow run-up shots, but big trouble waited if a player missed long. Cross bunkers were another Ross trademark. He built short par-4s but only on uphill ground.
Watch for these course characteristics during the Women’s Open this weekend and you’ll really appreciate how good these women golfers truly are!
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