Born in Scotland in 1872, Donald James Ross started his working days as a carpenter. Because he lived close to Royal Dornoch Links, he developed an interest in golf. He trained as a golf professional at St. Andrews, returned to Dornoch in 1893, and remained until 1898 when he emigrated to Boston, MA, where he became a pro-greenkeeper at Oakley Country Club.
In 1890 he moved to Pinehurst Country Club and remained there until his death in 1948. Mr. Ross later became interested in golf course architecture and went on to design, build or remodel more than 600 courses, including Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole, Dunedin, Inverness and Oak Hill.
As a player, Ross won the inaugural North and South Open in 1903 and repeated those victories in 1905 and 1906.
He was inducted into the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977 and into the Carolinas Hall of Fame in 1981.