Golf Course Architecture - Issue 56: April 2019

Illenis erume sitatatur maio int maxim alitiis dolor atquatium que vit exeria paritio reiuntia vellest, sequissit voluptis int, alit 69 THE BI LTMORE , MIAMI , USA Adam Lawrence visits the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, where Brian Silva has just finished a restoration of the Donald Ross-designed golf course, and reflects on the Scottish exile’s influence on American golf I t is appropriate that Harry Colt and Donald Ross should have met, early in both their careers, on the Old Elm Club job in Chicago in 1912. Ross really was at the start of his long march to bring quality golf to much of America, while Colt, as I guess is inevitable since he was working several thousand miles from home, had already earned himself a reputation as an expert in the nascent world of golf design. The aptness of the story is ruined a bit by Colt’s well-known failure to get Ross’s name right – in his report to the founders of the club he referred to him as ‘Douglas’ Ross, though he did speak with enthusiasm about his abilities. Nevertheless, despite their radically different backgrounds – Colt, captain of Cambridge and an R&A member at 22, Ross the son of a Dornoch stonemason who arrived in America in 1899 with two dollars in his pocket – the two men went on to play remarkably similar roles in the story of British and American golf. They were the men who brought quality golf to the ordinary golfer; to this day, if you are playing an old British course that you don’t know much about, and you find it way better than you expected, odds are it has a Colt heritage. Similarly in the United States, the almost 400 Ross courses make him by far the most important architect in the country’s golfing history. Whether by intention or by necessity – because they were both so busy – Colt and Ross both evolved the golf industry’s first systemised construction models. Colt, by persuading road builders George Franks and Claude Harris to start the world’s first specialist golf course contractor in