As a 14 year old, Ellis Maples worked summers for his father, Frank Maples, who was the construction superintendent for Donald Ross and greenkeeper at Pinehurst Country Club. From that early experience blossomed young Ellis’ interest in golf course architecture.
Maples got his first taste of his new career in 1937 when he assisted renowned architects William S. Flynn and Dick Wilson with the construction on a nine-hole course in Plymouth, NC. Ten years later, he redesigned New Bern Country Club, where he was working as the professional. In 1948, he supervised construction of Ross’ last course, Raleigh Country Club. In 1953, he turned full-time to architecture and for the next 30 years, his firm built more than 70 courses.
Maples left his lasting imprint on Carolinas golf with such treasures as Grandfather Golf and Country Club; Bermuda Run Golf and Country Club, home of The Crosby Pro-Am, Forest Oaks Country Club, home of the K Mart Greater Greensboro Open since 1977, Gaston Country Club, Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood); Pinehurst No. 5, Greensboro Country Club (Carlson Farms); and Cedar Rock Country Club.