Donald Ross was born on November 23rd 1872 in St Gilbert Street, Dornoch. There on rumpled dunesland, he grew up playing the game of golf on one of the world’s purest links – Royal Dornoch. Ross was educated in Dornoch and as a young man was the “Keeper of the Greens”. He became the first golf Professional at Dornoch and went on to become one of the finest golf architects to design courses in America, Scotland, Canada and Cuba.
Ross, the son of a mason, was an apprentice carpenter for five years before he went to learn the art of club making at Forgan’s in St Andrews, with “Old” Tom Morris, four time Open Champion. He would serve a further year at Carnoustie refining his skills and later returned to Dornoch in 1893. At this time Ross would meet his future wife Janet Conchie who was on holiday with her family.
Ross now had the skills to produce clubs, look after the greens and play golf to a high standard; Ross was the perfect candidate for the first golf professional at Dornoch. However the keeping off the greens was not his life passion, it was work that he hated but he later recalled that it was the best training he could receive for his future life. His personality and in depth understanding of the game was ideal for delivering a service to the members of Dornoch, his younger brother Alec later became his golf apprentice and was also a talented golfer.