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Donald Ross Memorial

The Donald Ross Memorial is, in essence, a "greatest hits" compilation - selecting from some of the designer's best-known holes from the most renowned courses in his portfolio to create an unforgettable golf course. Acting on pure inspiration, the journey to select classic Ross-designed holes that would merge with Boyne Highlands' unique terrain would ultimately require countless miles of exploration - and years of dedicated effort. The results, however, made the effort worthwhile. In a single round of golf on the Donald Ross Memorial, players can experience the history and heritage of three Ryder Cups, eight U.S. Amateurs, 11 PGA Championships, and 14 U.S. Opens.

In an effort to ensure authenticity, yardage for most of the replica holes - and elevation changes from tees to greens - is identical to the original. And while fairway roll and contours may differ slightly, the course looks, plays and feels like a pure Donald Ross design, providing a demanding test that rewards fine play. Experience a trip across some of the most iconic golf holes from around the world, all in one round of golf on the Donald Ross Memorial.

Explore our hole-by-hole description of the Donald Ross Memorial to learn the entire story of this modern marvel in golf course architecture. And experience a hand-picked sampling of the world's finest course design - right here in beautiful, accessible northern Michigan.

The Donald Ross Memorial course is now closed for the 2017 season. Thanks for another great golf season and we look forward to the Donald Ross Memorial's scheduled 2018 Opening Day on Friday, May 11!   

The Ross Golf Center, 250 Heather Drive, Harbor Springs, MI 49740

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Course Stats

Yardage Par Rating Slope
Brown 6814 72 73.9 143
Purple 6563 72 72.3 140
Orange 6233 72 71.1/77.4 136/145
Green 5658 72 67.9/74.2 132/139
Silver 4935 72 64.5/69.8 122/129
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Course Report

Open No

Course Tour

Hole 1

Par 4
383 yards

A replica of Hole #6
Seminole Golf Club; North Palm Beach, Florida

Until 1935, when he revised Pinehurst #2 a number of times, Donald Ross considered Seminole Golf Club his finest design.  BOYNE chose to duplicate Seminole's #6 because it fit beautifully into Boyne Highlands' existing terrain and made a wonderful starting hole.  The fact that Ben Hogan once called it "the finest par 4 hole in the world" made its selection a Donald Ross Memorial must.

The hole is a masterpiece of deception.  Bunkers along the left of the fairway force a player to drive out to the right, thus lengthening the hole.  Cross bukering some 50 yards in front of the putting surface then becomes more of a threat, often resulting in an approach that ends up either short of the green, to the left, or both.

This hole is a classic in the best Ross tradition.

Hole 2

Par 4
336 yards

A replica of Hole #4
Plainfield Country Club; Plainfield, New Jersey

A delicate par 4 which gains its drama from the interesting and formidable contours in the tee shot landing area.  Pine trees play a key role in forming a thick vertical on the left side of the hole forcing play toward the valley on the right.  The small green is well bukered and slopes to the back, making it difficult to hold the green on the second shot.

Hole 3

Par 3
196 yards

A replica of Hole #17
Oakland Hills Country Club; Birmingham, Michigan

Oakland Hills Country Club is one of the country's best known courses and in on the rotation schedule of the USGA and PGA majors, including the 2004 Ryder Cup & 2008 PGA  Championship.  

After his dramatic PGA Championship victory in 1972, Gary Player dubbed Oakland Hills "the best and toughest American course I've ever played, it is certainly quite humbling."

This par 3 is one of Oakland Hills' most difficult holes and one of the country's great short holes.  The green is 30 feet above the tee, forcing the golfer to carry the tee shot over a crest to a semi-blind pin position.  It is protected on all sides by heavy bunkering with only a narrow opening at the front.  Pronounced slopes and green undulations make putting an adventure.

Hole 4

Par 4
434 yards

A replica of Hole #14
Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst #2;  Pinehurst, North Carolina

Ross came to Pinehurst permanently in 1890 but still retained his job as professional at Oakley, and later at Essex, two eastern courses. 

In less than a year following his arrival, he designed the first nine holes of famed Pinehurst #2 and followed it a year later with a second nine.  Never content with his efforts, although it was one of his finest courses in the country, he tinkered with it until his death, remodeling it no less than four times in 48 years. Pinehurst #2 became the laboratory where he developed many of his concepts of what a great course should be. 

The hole is pure Rossian. The tee sits atop a high knoll. A bunker is located deceptively about 50 yards in front of the green, partially obscuring it.  The green complex is perhaps the most dramatic of the entire Pinehurst course with a series of rolls and contours to be carefully reckoned with.

While long, difficult and deceiving, it's not tricked up or artificial. A great natural hole where par is well deserved.

Hole 5

Par 5
617 Yards

A replica of Hole #13
Oak Hill Country Club, East Course;  Rochester, New York

This famous Ross course has been the scene of titanic struggles since 1934. Early winners of major tournaments have included Leo Diegel, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.

Charles Coe won the U.S. Amateur here in 1949. In 1956, Cary Middlecoff beat Ben Hogan and Julius Boros for the U.S. Open title, and in 1968, Lee Trevino won the U.S. Open at Oak Hill Country Club for his first professional title, edging Jack Nicklaus by four shots.

Oak Hill Country Club's 13th is its most famous hole, known for its "Hill of Fame" where plaques honoring golf legends are attached to magnificent oak trees on the horseshoe ridge that encircles the green. The green itself nestles in a bowl, creating an amphitheater for spectators.

The landing zone for the drive is ample, but the narrow landing area for the second shot usually calls for a lay up, requiring a medium iron for the third shot. The green is not severely contoured, but has several difficult pin placements.

During the 1980 PGA Championship, the stroke average on this par 5 was 5.29, yielding only 41 birdies.

Although Oak Hill Country Club has undergone many alterations, first by Robert Trent Jones and later by George Fazio, it still retains many of Ross' original design features.

Hole 6

Par 4
402 Yards

A replica of Hole #2
Scioto Country Club;  Columbus, Ohio

This famous Ross course is where Jack Nicklaus learned the game, where legendary Bobby Jones won the 1926 U.S. Open, and where the National Amateur, Senior U.S. Open and other memorable golfing wars have been fought.

The hole cloned by Boyne is Scioto's #1 handicap hole. It doglegs slightly right to a turtleback fairway. Deep bunkers on the right force the golfer to the left on the drive. Reputedly, Nicklaus was the only player ever to clear the right fairway bunkers on his drive.

Bobby Jones, although a long, accurate driver, opted to drive with a four wood from the tee to the crest of the fairway in the 1926 U.S. Open. While left with a longer second, he avoided the bunkers and won the tournament.

Hole 7

Par 4
336 Yards

A replica of Hole #18
Inverness Club;  Toledo, Ohio

Opened in 1919, venerable Inverness Club has hosted many tournaments, beginning with the 1920 U.S. Open. Its 18th hole is one of the shortest par 4 finishing holes of any course on the major championship circuit. But it's no pushover. The bunkering and the natural contours of the green make the hole much more difficult than the yardage indicates.

In the third and fourth rounds of the 1979 U.S. Open, Bob Tway bogied the hole. Seven years later, tied with Greg Norman after 71 holes with the PGA Championship title on the line, Tway again found trouble here, bunkering his second shot. Norman's second hit the green and spun back into the fringe.

Then came the historic shot that won the tournament, brought sweet revenge to Tway and was witnessed by millions of TV viewers. Tway's sand wedge shot went into the hole for birdie and the 1986 PGA Championship was history.

Hole 8

Par 3
181 Yards

A replica of Hole #11
Charlotte Country Club;  Charlotte, North Carolina

Designed by Ross in 1913 and opened in 1926, the Charlotte Country Club was renovated by Robert Trent Jones in 1960. In 1968, the greens were converted from Bermuda grass to bent in preparation for the 1972 U.S. Amateur Championship. 

Like most par 3s at Charlotte Country Club, the 11th is relatively short. This is the first hole on The Ross to use water as a design feature. The golfer must carry a small lake to reach the green.  Several tees located at different elevations offer many different looks and lengths to this par 3 gem.

Hole 9

Par 5
497 Yards

A replica of Hole #11
Bob O'Link Golf Club;  Highland Park, Illinois

Opened in 1916 as an exclusive men's golf club, Bob O'Link Golf Club has long been listed among "America's Top 100 Courses". With the exception of the Western Amateur in 1928, the club does not solicit or hold major tournaments as a matter of policy.

Among its many outstanding holes is the 11th, which fits perfectly into the terrain reserved for the front nine finishing hole of The Ross.

One of its outstanding features is a beach bunker, a long grassless ribbon of sand which parallels the right side of the green and slopes sharply down to the edge of a lake. (Automatically add a stroke to your card if you fade into this hazard.)

Sneaky long players can reach the green in two, but must avoid a cloverleaf bunker in front of the green and another at back. The two bunkers were not included in Ross' original design, being added later to make gamblers think twice before going at the green in two.

Hole 10

Par 4
422 Yards

A replica of Hole #14
Royal Dornoch Golf Club;  Dornoch, Scotland

Designed by renowned Tom Morris, this hole from Royal Dornoch Golf Club adds a wonderful dimension to The Ross. It was where Ross learned his trade as a club maker and golf professional. And where under the tutelage of Morris and John Southerland, Ross developed many of his ideas about golf course architecture.

Not as well known as other British courses which host the British Open, Royal Dornoch Golf Club is ranked by many experts as being among the ten greatest courses in the world. Playing it for the first time, Tom Watson described the experience as "the most fun I've ever had playing golf in my life".

The 14th may be its most recognizable hole. The hole calls for a slight draw off the tee. The approach shot onto the green favors a high ball flight and slight fade.

Hole 11

Par 4
339 Yards

A replica of Hole #13
Salem Country Club;  Peabody, Massachusetts

When the Salem Country Club course was completed in 1928, Donald Ross stated that its 13th green was the finest he had ever designed. The hole itself is the members' favorite according to club officials.

Typical of Ross, the green sits on a knoll - Ross' favorite type of greensite. It is small, severely undulating, well-bunkered and surrounded by heavy tree cover.  Although short for a par 4, reaching and holding the green from the fairway valley calls for a near perfect second shot.

The members contend that "Salem Country Club is the best course in New England. It's a rarity to have 18 great holes on one course."

Other than enlarging some tees, the course has not been lengthened nor remodeled since it opened and most likely never will be.

Majors hosted by Salem Country Club include the Women's Amateur in 1932, the Men's Senior Amateur in 1977, the U.S.G.A. Women's Open in 1954, won by Babe Didrickson Zaharias, and the 1984 Women's Open, won by Hollis Stacey.

Hole 12

Par 3
159 Yards

A replica of Hole #3
Detroit Golf Club, North Course;  Detroit, Michigan

This is a short hole that Ross created from fond memories of a similar par 3 at Royal Dornoch Golf Club and which Boyne has reproduced from the Detroit Golf Club.

Built on relatively flat terrain, the hole is nonetheless dramatic and picturesque. The green is ample in size but is elevated about four feet above the fairway, falling off sharply on all sides. A large bunker protects the front of the green.

Ross spent considerable time at this Detroit club.  His brother, Alex, was the head professional until 1954, a tenure of 37 years.

Hole 13

Par 5
510 Yards

A replica of Hole #15
Seminole Golf Club;  North Palm Beach, Florida

This dramatic par 5 utilizes several Ross design strategies.  The fairway is divided into two distinct landing areas which are separated by sand bunkers and pine trees (palm trees at Seminole). 

The gambler's way to go is to choose the right landing area between the bunkers and the large lake.  The golfer then has a chance to reach the green with his second shot, but must carry the same lake again where it necks into the fairway.

The safe play is to hit to the left from the tee, avoiding the bunkers and also avoiding the need to carry the water on the second or third shot.

Hole 14

Par 4
435 Yards

A replica of Hole #2
Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst #2;  Pinehurst, North Carolina

The fabled 80-year-old course #2 at Pinehurst Country Club perennially ranks as one of the greatest courses in the world. While Ross never thought it to be his best, he did consider it to be "the finest test of championship golf that I have ever designed".

George Fazio, a great golf architect himself said, "From 40 yards into the green, Pinehurst #2 is perhaps the finest golf course in the world". Sam Snead called it the "ultimate challenge".

Site of the 1936 PGA Championship and annual host to the prestigious North-South Amateur, every hole is a test. And few are more demanding than this par 4. It's long by any standard. The terrain is relatively level, but the second shot calls for a strong carry aimed to the right side of the green. A safer play is a shot to the left, a typical Ross escape route which still makes par a possibility with a good chip and putt.

Hole 15

Par 4
377 Yards

A replica of Hole #11
Aronimink Golf Club;  Newton Square, Pennsylvania

Aronimink Golf Club is a Ross gem long listed among "America's Top 100 Courses".  It was at Aronimink where Gary Player won the PGA Championship in 1962. Virtually unchanged since originally designed by Ross, it underwent an updating in 1988 by Robert Trent Jones.

How significant the changes on the old #11 remain to be seen. Perhaps minor, for the late Richard Tufts of Pinehurst wrote: "A sympathetic adjustment of bunkering and a few new tees are all that is required to make a Donald Ross course a better test for present day golf than most courses now being built."

Boyne's reproduction of Aronimink's #11 matches the Ross design before remodeling. It requires a long second to a small, well-contoured green sitting atop a knoll high above the fairway.  Bunkers guard the side and back where a wandering approach is likely to kick into the sand or rough as Ross had craftily planned. Changes notwithstanding, Aronimink GC "will always remain the Donald Ross Course," say the membership.

Hole 16

Par 5
568 Yards

A replica of Hole #10
Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst #2;  Pinehurst, North Carolina

Pinehurst's 10th is an example of several Ross design principles.  The tee shot landing zone is generously wide, supporting Ross' conviction that the longer the shot the more margin for error the player should be allowed.

The hole tightens for the second shot, however, right along with the player. A cross bunker guards a smaller landing area. The long, the skilled and the brave have the option of flying it, setting up a short third.  Those of lesser skills should opt to aim to the right of the bunker, the prudent way to go. This option leaves a longer approach, but compensates by presenting an elevated view of the green.

This hole was the turning point in a victory by Ben Hogan in a Ryder Cup match when Hogan birdied the hole and went on to win the match.

Hole 17

Par 3
184 Yards

A replica of Hole #8
Wannamoisett Country Club;  Rumford, Rhode Island

Wannamoisett Country Club was named after an Indian tribe that once roamed the Rhode Island area. One of the oldest courses in the country, it first opened as a 9-hole layout in 1898.

In 1913, Donald Ross redesigned the original 9 and added 9 more holes, compacting the full 18 into 104 acres of championship golf. It's said to be the finest course ever designed in such a confined space.

Wannamoisett's 8th hole was selected by Boyne for The Ross course. With bunkers located some 20 yards in front of the putting surface, it's a classic example of deception... a Ross trademark that has scalped many a great player in North East Amateurs and other tournaments.

Hole 18

Par 4
438 Yards

A replica of Hole #16
Oakland Hills Country Club, South Course;  Birmingham, Michigan

Named "The Monster" by Ben Hogan when he won the 1951 U.S. Open, Oakland Hills has long been recognized as one of the most respected courses in the country. Hogan's 67 in the final round is considered by golf historians as one of the finest rounds of golf ever played.

The dogleg 16th hole is the most spectacularand most feared hole on the course.  In the 1972 PGA Championship, Gary Player hit a nine iron from the rough over the willow trees to within four feet of the pin. This historic shot, which Player said was "one of the best shots of my career," led to victory two holes later.

It was also the pivotal hole in Arnold Palmer's 1981 Senior Open Championship. In an 18 hole playoff, Billy Casper and a club pro entrant, Bob Stone, hit into the water. Palmer parred and went on to win the title.

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