The Loop

Donald Ross lived at Pinehurst, but where is he buried?

June 22, 2011

I've never been to the graves of Old and Young Tom Morris, who are buried near the St. Andrews Cathedral in Scotland, but I know thousands of people visit every year to pay homage to the father/son pair of golf pioneers. [#image: /photos/55ad7420b01eefe207f6a89a]|||Ross_3.jpg|||In the spring of 2010, during a break in his annual buddies trip, Tom Pashley was one of the thousands of visitors. Inspired as a fan of golf, tradition and with strands of PR in his DNA, the Executive VP of Sales and Marketing at the Pinehurst Resort embarked on a personal mission. "The gravesites of Old and Young Tom Morris are such an iconic stop on a trip to St. Andrews, I couldn't help but wonder where Donald Ross was buried," says Pashley. "And I wondered what it would take to get him to Pinehurst."

Amid a slew of doubters and naysayers, Pashley first needed to figure out where Ross was buried. "Eddie Mac, our thespian caddie who's well-read, told me Ross was buried in Newton, Mass."  Pashley took it from there. He Googled cemeteries in Newton and found only one. "They were quick to reply," says Pashley.  On June 6, he received this e-mail: __*Yes, Donald Ross is here at Newton Cemetery. He is in Section J, Lot 294.*____* *____*The office is open from 8 to 4. If you could stop by we will give you a map to that location. If not, we do have a security truck driving around and they could direct you.*____* *____*Hope this helps, Newton Cemetery*__ Pashley was one step closer to The Grave, so to speak. During a recent trip to Boston for unrelated business, he added a day to visit Donald Ross.  Based on what he would find, Pashley says that he knew he was either going to be more convinced to bring Ross back to Pinehurst, or he was going to give up. After a 15-minute drive, west of Boston, Pashley says, "I came across one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen. There are trees, fountains and ponds. There were people feeding ducks. It was very nice." Immediately, based on the setting, Pashley knew his cause had just become more complicated. And then he found Section J, Lot 294. [#image: /photos/55ad7420add713143b4256c2]|||Ross_2.jpg||| *(Pashley, 42, is a 3 handicapper who found Donald Ross;****he left behind a quest and his hat.)*

Located on a steep slope, "I'd guess it would stimp about a 30," says Pashley, Ross was buried next to his wife, Janet, his daughter, Lillian, and her husband, Richard.  The writing was on the tombstone; it was time to abort the mission. There was no way Pashley could move Ross AND his family. "It would've been different if I had discovered he was buried by himself in a smog-filled alley," Pashley says. "It was the end of a quest."


(You can follow me and my travels on Twitter: @Matt_Ginella.)