Foreword. Introduction: The Legend We Hardly Know. My Reasons Why. How I Got My Start. My Design Standards. Stop Throwing Stones. Location, Location, Location. Locations To Be Avoided. A Course Divided is No Course. Good and Bad Shapes. How Much Land Is Needed? Design on Land, Not on Paper. Protect Your Club. Each Course Must Be Original. Each Course Must Have Strategies. The Ideal Course. Where to Put the Clubhouse. The Opening Holes. Zigzag the Holes. Where to Put the Greens. The Best Approach to the Green. Redan and Punchbowl Greens. Long versus Short Holes. Adjustable Tees. Water Hazards. Blind Shots. Long and Short Par 4s. Many Long Courses Are Uninteresting. Nine versus Eighteen Holes. Bunkers. No Bunker Is Misplaced. Scooped--Out Pits. Sunken Pits with Raised Faces. Pot Bunkers. Mound and Pot Combinations. Diagonal Bunkers. Natural Hazards. Hummocks. Irregular Mounds. Long Grass. Grass Hollows. Deep Grass Ravines. Building the Course. Boulders. Trees. Brush. Don't Slight Drainage. Drainage, Drainage, Drainage. Draining Putting Greens on Sandy Loam. Draining Putting Greens on Clay Soils. A Cheaper Method of Draining Putting Greens. Don't Build Greens and Mounds Separately. When to Prepare Putting Greens. Building Tees. Draining Tees. Preparing Fairways. Ploughing. Lay on the Lime. Fairways on Sandy Soils. Proper Turf. Using Old Turf. Seeding Putting Greens. Seeding Tees. Seeding Fairways. Don't Overfertilize. Mowing New Turf. Mowing Greens. I Don't Much Care for Rollers. Change That Cup. Don't Ignore Tees. Replace Those Divots. Good and Bad Bunkering. Draining Bunkers. Blasting. The Need for Water. Don't Overwater. Don't Handicap the Architect. Skokie. Aronomink. Inverness. Seminole. Oakland Hills. Pinehurst. Dornoch. Greenkeeping versus Club Professionals. The Return of Shotmaking. The Game Is Easier Today. Spoiled Golfers. Who Needs a Golf Course Critic? Public Golf. Florida versus California. Are British Courses Better? Behind the Scene on a Project. Do Golfers Need Rules? One Rule That Is Necessary. Why I Don't Gamble. My Debt to the Game. A List of Prominent Golf Courses Designed. Donald J. Ross. Acknowledgments. Afterword. Photo Credits.
Donald Ross, one of Scotland's great exports to America, has designed or remodeled some of the most magnificent and challenging courses on the planet. His commentaries on the rationale behind his architecture, penned before World War I but only recently rediscovered, present a continuous fairway of graceful and thoughtful insights into the game. Is there a golfer alive who can't make use of such gems as "Holes should be trapped so that par golf depends upon skill rather than upon strength," or "Hazards are placed so as to force a (golfer) to use judgment and to exercise mental control in making the correct shot"?