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Sunday
Dec132015

Review: Discovering The Legend Film (Donald Ross)

Cob Carlson wrote, produced, directed and edited Donald Ross: Discovering The Legend. This loving two-hour documentary is a combination of classic life story and architectural analysis accurately depicting the incredible journey made by the Dornoch-born Scotsman.

Carlson's film surprises at key moments both early and late in the documentary with its telling of Ross's courageous journey to America, the tragic passing of his first wife and later, his fiance, followed by his late-in-life years of reflections. Aided by strong guest cameos (Nicklaus, Crenshaw) and the reading of letters from Ross's great grandson, Discovering The Legend manages to capture the magnitude of Ross's impact on American golf. More profound than his architectural career is his classic immigrant story and the powerful reminder that so many made courageous journeys to the United States with little more than the tools of their trade.

You can purchase the film for $20 here, as well as see options for multiple copies for your fellow Ross course green committee members. There are also film extras at the offical site.

I was inspired by the film to make a year-end contribution to the Tufts Archives, which is featured in the film and is housing so many Ross plans and artifacts.

Here is the trailer:

Donald Ross Trailer 12/15 from Cob Carlson on Vimeo.

I interviewed Carlson on Morning Drive this week:

We discussed the film and who would play Ross in a feature film after the interview.

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Reader Comments (11)

Donald Ross Star shines bright over there but surprisingly can hardly be seen over here.

Now surely that is an opening for a good honest discussion on GCA with Ross being the focal point between the Old & New Golfing Worlds ?
12.14.2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlbatross
Thanks so much, Geoff, for the heads up. I just ordered the film. Viral marketing at its best!
12.14.2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike Greene
Melvyn in the last decade or so a cottage industry has sprung up surrounding the "restoration" of classic Donald Ross layouts which have been desecrated over the years by ill-informed members as well as lackadaisical maintenance practices.

Greens committees moved tees, rerouted holes, changed green contours they deemed too severe or benign, added/removed traps, planted assloads of trees. Maintenance folks gravitated towards cutting the greens in a circle and lost lots of sq footage and pin locations. Years of sand being blasted out of traps changed green contours a foot or more in height, etc....

....so, a LOT of courses here have embarked on restorations that in some cases have been nothing short of extraordinary....and at least a few "architects" have built a nice business executing a plan to put these courses back to how they were....or at least as close as possible.

Are you seeing a similar movement there in the Old World?
12.14.2015 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF

Nice try though....Read any of Melvytross' past posts...they're all the same
12.14.2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoker
Roker

No they are not they are all about Golf, Equipment, GCA, Strategic less penal, assisted use of aids and actual commitment to all aspects of the game. Given accounts of the early design processes, found and shared original design drawing including Muirfield. Questioned the current views of the game and been a great supporter of ball rollback.

On that basis yes they may be all the same, but unlike the non golfers I waste not my time on the best top 20 or 30 or 100 courses as they are subjective to moods, weather, time of year and ones general disposition - in other words totally pointless as one man's meat is another poi.......

I try to reconnect those interested in golf with the great days of golf to design and to the full enjoyment of playing golf in the original unaided way.

My problem is that the majority today think score before playing golf, they see what is easy, decline penal and then dare to say they have risen to the challenge of playing golf using carts distance aids and the best equipment and outside advice money can but to achieve a lower score. My view golf transcends score, score is just one of the ways of trying to balance ones game, its not golf its selling your Soul to the easy options, its has little to do with The Royal & Ancient Game of Golf. - The modern game is corrupt, we have weakened our own resolve chasing the easy options yet we look so proud of ourselves when we have hardly achieved anything.

In truth you have missed much which golf can offer then accused those who honour the game of various things to try to give your stance some credibility. So all my comments are all the same .
12.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlbatross
@Melbatross,

How do you know Roker's positions on GCA, carts, distance-measuring and advice from caddies? Can you point to any posts by Roker in regards to those topics?

In truth (to borrow from your last paragraph) you're assuming, once again, that someone who thinks you're a repetitive blowhard also disagrees with you regarding your pet topics.

Maybe Roker just thinks you're a blowhard.
12.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Melvytross,
Not to beat the horse, but DTF asked a simple question at the end of his post.
Are you seeing a movement to restore/preserve the courses of the era you care so
much for?
We have seen a good deal of restoration in the USA on our younger golden age courses.
We have seen a lot of bastardization of those courses as well, but hope springs eternal as many
early century clubs begin to realize the treasure they have.
12.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoker
Roker

I gave a good informed answer to DTF question but it was removed from the site - I tend to answer most questions but if my comments are removed then can't do much to stop that.

Treasure indeed did they have , some lost to Tree nuts who believe that trees are some sort of living GCA design - not so IMHO as just too random growths. However pretty does not make a good golf course.
12.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlbatross
Roker

Most of our old course have not seen the changes that you have done to your courses. Luffness New is so much traditional golf that its hardly changed - but things do not necessary stay still no do they change at the pace the R&A inflict upon our Open Courses.

We have found many a lost courses over here thanks that closed in the 1940's that but kept alive by the memories of there great grand children. We have uncovered course that are still open but found that the Holes that where once considered original were added 80 years ago not 150 years ago - An article surfaced 7 years ago about Dornoch and part of the course that had been in play from OTM days.

The game is very much alive once you get away from the newer international clubs - used mainly by you guys as we tend to you the real old courses to keep in touch with the game of our forefathers. Golf's Missing Links web site has assisted in generating interest in our old and missing courses as well as those still in use. That is good news be it here or over there.
12.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlbatross
There we go.
Thanks
12.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoker
I ordered the dvd and watched it a few days ago. I was disappointed. I was looking for an analysis of the design elements that make a Ross course different or better than other courses. I didn't see a single comment during the entire film that offered any analysis regarding course design. Nothing about routing, although several people did say his routing was superior. I kept asking Why? What makes his routing superior? There were plenty of images of his course designs, but no discussion of why they were good. Similarly, there was no discussion about what makes a particular hole better than another. Nothing about bunker placement, fairway width, green size or design. Nothing about course design at all. It really was incredible that a film dedicated to Donald Ross never discussed WHY his designs were superior.
12.25.2015 | Unregistered Commenterwill

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