Donald Ross is not the Johnny Appleseed of golf

Of course, Donald Ross has his masterpiece, well-known courses like, Pinehurst No 2, etc, East Lake and Seminole and that’s just to name a few.

But I’d say an equal or even greater feat of his was his influence in the spread of golf across America. No one knows exactly how many courses he’s designed but it’s around 400 courses throughout 31 states and 4 Canadian provinces

Just around metro Detroit where I’m located, there are tons of municipal Ross courses. Rackham, Chandler Park(both City of Detroit courses) and Warren Valley are a few of them and plenty more claim Ross had some involvement in the design. Some are better kept up than others but it’s always interesting to see what time and management/ownership has done to each course.

What local muni Ross courses do you have by you/have you played and do you enjoy playing them?

I believe Tom Bendelow owns the “Johnny Appleseed of American Golf” trademark. Designed 700+ courses all over the country.

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It’s Bendelow, who Ross has actually gone over an redone a ton of over his time (including ELGC, which Tom routed).

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I would not give Ross this title. There are exceptions in some states, but I think the vast majority of his designs were private when he designed them and most of those retain that status today. The title should go to someone who almost exclusively designed courses for the general public at the time they opened.

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The Tom Bendelow call is correct. There’s a book somewhere written with that title about him. He was paid by the Spalding Company (I think) to design courses to sell their equipment at.

https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Tom-Bendelow-Appleseed-American/dp/1878853805/ref=nodl_

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Well this thread backfired

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Hey, you learn something new every day. Didn’t know who Tom Bendelow was before this. Looks like he designed a decent amount of courses in my area as well.

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I’m with you. I thought I knew a decent amount about golf but I’ve never heard of this bendelow fellow. Looks like I have some googling to do

Edit: also seeing you mention Rackham breaks my heart. At this point the rescheduled maxamania event has “wedding” status in my personal calendar. The only thing that will trump it is a funeral, otherwise I will be there.

Edit 2: also depends whose funeral

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If you’re from Michigan, I just did some quick googling and he designed both Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills CC.

I’ve only played Rackham once but I loved it definitely my favorite out of the 3 city courses, Rouge Park, Chandler Park and Rackham.

When did they reschedule it to?

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I’m not sure, but you should check out the thread if you’re from…well anywhere I suppose. I’m actually from Cleveland and am planning to drive to Detroit for the event

This type of event is the peak of the refuge. I would highly encourage you to attend if you can.

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It only backfired if you didn’t learn something man. I live in Findlay OH and our private club is a bendelow. I worked there for a while in the shop so I know a bit.

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I work in GCA so I’m familiar with both lol

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I live in Metro Detroit so Rackham isn’t too far. I’ll have to check it out!

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I think you have to realize that some of those numbers were affected by the Depression-era WPA program to design golf courses. I’ve read that A. W. Tillinghast, Alister Mackenzie, Perry Maxwell, Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. all worked in that capacity although I think Tillinghast eventually turned against the program? Might have my facts confused.

Donald Ross also went on several cross country train trips where he stopped to map out a course, then never returned. I think 9 holes of a course in a town where I grew up was like this, although articles show the course was very well-regarded when it was built in 1928.

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I play a good bit at City Park in Baton Rouge (Strapped Louisiana, Episode 1), and it’s a Bendelow.

Shelby Golf Course in East Nashville. $16 to walk 18. The driver can stay in the bag for the whole front 9, and there are some VERY quirky holes, but man is it a fun afternoon walk. Got hit by a tornado in march that unfortunately did a lot of damage to the area, but did some much needed tree removal on the course.

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This whole thread is Old Tom Morris and James Braid erasure.

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OTM and James Braid’s North America portfolio is…somewhat lacking.

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Which refugee is out here editing wikipedia pages?
image

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That isn’t a recent edit. That’s legit Bendelow’s nickname.

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