Donald J. Ross and Gen. George Catlett Marshall Jr. are the two most famous residents of Pinehurst. They were contemporaries. Ross was born in 1872 in Dornoch, Scotland, and died in 1948. Marshall was born in Uniontown, Pa., in 1880 and died in 1959.
Marshall’s career and legacy are well known. After World War II, he purchased a winter home in Pinehurst on Linden Road and greatly enjoyed living in this friendly community the last 15 years of his life. A monument to the general is in Marshall Park, opposite the entry to the Pinehurst Country Club. He was pictured on a 20-cent U.S. postage stamp in 1965.
Ross, Pinehurst’s other famous resident, designed more than 400 golf courses in the United States, Canada and Cuba, of which 325 still operate. His favorite: Pinehurst No. 2. His courses are still selected for multiple professional championships and tournaments. Ross-designed courses have also hosted Ryder Cup tournaments played in the United States.
Ross was a champion golfer, winning major tournaments in America and doing well at the British Open. Here he was a club maker, instructor, director of golf, grass experimenter, course designer and builder. He was a founder of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. His correspondence and perhaps half of his original architectural drawings are preserved and reside here at the Tufts Archives.
Ross should become the second Pinehurst resident honored on a U.S. postage stamp. Of all U.S. stamps issued to date, just three golfers have been featured: Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Bobby Jones on 18-cent stamps issued in 1981, and Francis Ouimet on a 25-cent stamp in 1988.
Zaharias is considered one of America’s greatest female athletes of all time. She excelled in golf, baseball, basketball, track and field. She set four world records, winning two gold medals and one silver for track at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. She is the only athlete to win individual medals in running, throwing and jumping events. She became America’s first female golf celebrity and a leading player in the ’40s and ’50s. She won the 1946 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the 1947 British Ladies Amateur and three Women’s Western Opens. She won 82 golf tournaments. She even pitched in major baseball games and participated in men’s golf tournaments. She holds the record for the farthest baseball thrown by a woman.
Bobby Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club and co-founded the Masters Tournament. He was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete at a national and international level. From 1923 to 1930 he dominated amateur golf. His famous “Grand Slam” consisted of victories in the four major tournaments of his era — the open and amateur championships in America and Britain — in 1930. He played in 31 majors, winning 13 and placing among the top-10 finishers 27 times.
Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open Tournament in 1913 on his 20th birthday at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts accompanied by Eddie Lowery, his 10-year-old caddie. He beat British favorites Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, and was the first amateur to win the U.S. Open. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Baseball players are more generously
recognized on postage stamps. Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Mantle, Roy Campanella, Lou Gehrig, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Rube Foster, Ted Williams, Larry Doby, Willie Stargell, Joe DiMaggio, Dizzy Dean, Cy Young, Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb have appeared on our stamps, as do four baseball fields.
Football is represented by Jim Thorpe, Knute Rockne, Ernie Nevers, Bronco Nagurski, Walter Camp and Red Grange. Football coaches Bear Bryant, Pop Warner, Vince Lombardi and George Halas are featured.
Various Olympics games are featured 18 times. Boxers Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Louis are shown. Wilt Chamberlain represents the NBA, Lance Armstrong is recognized for bicycle racing, and Wilma Rudolf for sprinting. Stamps illustrate volleyball, softball, bowling, tennis, steeplechase, horse racing, polo and skiing. Olympians Jesse Owens, Ray Ewry, Hazel Wightman, Eddie Eagan and Helene Madison are shown. A basketball and hoop represent the sport’s centennial, and World Cup Soccer was not forgotten.
Famous golfers and golf course architects have been neglected by the postal service. I recommend that Donald Ross be honored with a commemorative stamp, to be issued on the 150th anniversary of his birth, Nov. 23, 2022.