Courses

The 10 best golf courses from Donald Ross

The crown jewels from one of the sport's greatest architects

The 2018 FedEx Cup kicked off at The Northern Trust, held this year at Plainfield Country Club. The Edison, N.J. estate was designed by Donald Ross, who laid out or reconstructed more than 400 golf courses in his lifetime, including Aronimink Golf Club, host site for another FedEx Cup Playoff event, this week's BMW Championship. In honor of one of the game's greatest architects, here are the top-10 courses from Ross.

1

Pinehurst No. 2 - Pinehurst, N.C.

Pinehurst No. 2 - Pinehurst, N.C.
Donald Ross, who made the Village of Pinehurst his home for the better part of his life, called the No. 2 course, "The fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed." It has held six majors and a Ryder Cup, and was former home to the North and South Open, which was once regarded as a top non-major tournament on tour.
2

Plainfield Country Club - Edison, N.J.

Plainfield Country Club - Edison, N.J.
Aside from its rotation in the FedEx Cup, Plainfield has also hosted a U.S. Amateur and a U.S. Women's Open. The course is noted for its tight confines and blind approach shots.
3

Oakland Hills (South) - Bloomfield Township, Mich.

Oakland Hills (South) - Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Oakland Hills has hosted 12 majors since opening in 1916, as well as a Ryder Cup and the Western Open, with some of the biggest names in golf - Nicklaus, Hogan, Palmer, Player - among its winners. Oakland Hills is known for its rolling fairways and its natural use of the environment to shape the course.
4

Scioto Country Club - Columbus, Ohio

Best known as the home of Jack Nicklaus, Scioto has hosted a wide range of events (U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, U.S. Amateur). The fairways are hugged by gargantuan trees that turn wayward drives into high numbers. The par-5 eighth is constantly ranked as one of the more visually arresting holes in the country.
5

Aronimink Golf Club - Newtown Square, Pa.

Aronimink's unforgiving greens constantly rank the course among the hardest in the world. It has hosted the U.S. Amateur, PGA Championship, U.S. Women's Open and AT&T National.
6

East Lake Golf Club - Atlanta

East Lake, now host to the season-ending Tour Championship, was Bobby Jones' home course in his youth. While its design has been called simplistic by critics, many of Ross' design traits remain evident in East Lake's construction.
7

Inverness Club - Toledo, Ohio

Inverness played a significant role in the history of local golf professionals. In a period when the profession was looked down upon, Inverness was one of the first courses to allow pros in the clubhouse. The grandfather clock at Inverness is a gift from Walter Hagen for this generosity.
8

Seminole Golf Club - Juno Beach, Fla.

Designed in 1929, the old Ben Hogan haunt is ranked No. 12 in latest Golf Digest Top 100 Golf Courses list. Architect Rees Jones once said, "Seminole is probably the best bunkered course in America. A shot that hasn’t hit the proper portion of the green is likely to wind up in one of the greenside bunkers.”
9

Oak Hill (East) - Pittsford, N.Y.

Ranked as No. 15 on latest Golf Digest Top 100 Courses list, the course has hosted six U.S. Opens/PGA Championships, with the latter reportedly returning to Oak Hill in 2023. Its signature hole - the 600-yard 13th -- is one of the hardest par 5s in golf thanks to a winding construction and length.
10

Wannamoisett Country Club - Rumford, R.I.

Constantly ranked as one of Rhode Island's best, what Ross' Wannamoisett lacks in distance (under 6,700 yards) it makes up for in bunkered greens and thick rough. Host of the 1931 PGA Championship.