Donald Ross is not the Johnny Appleseed of golf

alt-right johnny appleseed=florida man

Old Tom Morris is basically the most important person in the history of golf.

Trivia: People imagine nice-ol’ Johnny Appleseed crossing America, planting apple trees with plump, delicious apples for everyone to eat.

Fake news. Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) was planting trees that made small, bitter apples. His apples were mostly used for America’s favorite beverage back then… hard apple cider.

Chapman basically went ahead of the settlers, planting orchards that he could sell to the settlers who were following so they could make apple cider. Hard cider was basically safer for drinking than anything else back then, including most sources of water.

During prohibition, the FBI chopped down many of his orchards.

Bendelow’s a menace


Do you have sources for any of this info? Which WPA projects did MacKenzie work on? Ross? Maxwell?

Can you talk more about these cross country train trips Ross went on, never to return? Which courses were designed in this manner? Roughly how many of his courses were done this way?


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I’m getting way out of my depth here. :slight_smile:

I’m gonna have to ask for some GCA guy to step in and answer. The course I was referred to where I grew up was Highland County Club in LaGrange, GA. I’ve played it, but I wasn’t a country club kid growing up. My wife lived on the course though.

My impression is the more we learn about Ross, the more involved he was with his designs than previously thought. It would be incredibly cool if a good life timeline was developed for Ross such has been done for Dr Mac.

It also seems as though some people are re-evaluating the quality of Bendelow’s work and it is sometimes better than the previous generation reckoned. As with all this stuff, these days it can be very difficult to know who did what and when. To a large degree at many places its guesswork.


While not a muni I’d be remiss not to mention French Lick Resort in Southern Indiana. There is a Donald Ross course there, aptly titled The Donald Ross Course, formerly the Hill Course and host the the 1924 PGA Championship. It can be played for $75-125 depending on the time of year. There is also the Valley Links Course, which is 9 holes of an original Tom Bendelow 18.

If you design 600 courses in a 35 year period or 400 courses in a 48 year period then you are not going to be able to spend a lot of time on many of them.

Metacomet (RIP) in RI is was amazing

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