FDR Welcomed the Donald Ross Society to Warm Springs
 Home of the Roosevelt Golf Course, Meriwether County, GA


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Franklin D. Roosevelt came to Warm Springs Georgia in 1924 in hopes of recovering from the effects of Polio. His love for the area and hopes for the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation led him to build a small white clapboard cottage on these pine-scented slopes. The house was completed in 1932 while F.D.R. was serving as Governor of New York. During F.D.R.’s four elected terms as the 32d President the cottage became known as “The Little White House.” An enthusiastic golfer before his illness sidelined him, he respected Donald Ross and asked him to build a golf course for the resort. This hilly course (only 9 of the proposed 18 holes were actually built) has been virtually unmolested since its construction in 1926, and features small, well-bunkered greens loaded with subtle breaks. A creek comes into play on five holes. The fairways are lined with pines and oaks, and the course offers an additional set of men’s tees that can be used when playing an eighteen hole round.

Roosevelt can be seen in the photograph above taken when he met with us (or so it seemed) and spoke of his hope of one day holding a “President’s Open Championship on his golf course. He shared with us the original plans drawn up by Ross and we were fascinated by photographs made during the architects many visits to the site.


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But there was more in store for Society members than just this little gem in Warm Springs as we included visits to Highland Country Club in La Grange, and the fabled East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, both also spectacular Ross designs.

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Highland maintains the flavor of golf in the early twentieth century, not only on its unspoiled golf course, but also in its comfortable old style clubhouse and the warm hospitality of its members. Over a tasty southern cooked dinner we were entertained by a long-time member, nicknamed “Sweetpea” who told stories of meeting Bobby Jones and shared copies of old newspaper articles and autographed tournament programs that told of the days when the giants of the game played at Highland.

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At a very special Private Dinner at East Lake Country Club we met Bill O’Callahan a partner in Bobby Jones law firm who would join us for golf the following day and treat some of us to a fascinating tour of the new Atlanta Athletic Club nearby where a fantastic collection of Jones memorabilia graces one of the country’s most splendid club houses.

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The East Lake Golf Club was the home course of Bobby Jones when it was the Atlanta Athletic Club and is now permanent venue for the PGA’s season ending Tour Championship. In 1994, Rees Jones restored Donald Ross' original golf course layout. In the photograph above, we see Society member Wayne Aaron resplendent in his plus fours using his mashie niblick to solidly move the ball toward the challenging island green at East Lake. Both Aaron and Society President Stratford played their Georgia golf with hickories which added to the sense of history as we stepped back into the past for springtime in Georgia.

The Society owes special thanks not only to the golf clubs and members who offered us wonderful southern hospitality but also to the Chairman of our Outings Committee, Derek Dobbs for his meticulous planning and the orchestration of a very special event.


Ross Society Featured in GSGA "Golf Georgia" Article 

Note: We have received permission from author John Companiotte and Golf Georgia (official publication of the Georgia State Golf Association) to publish on our website the article written for the May / June edition on Ross courses in Georgia. The March Outing by the Society is also referenced. We are most appreciative.  Please click on the link below to read:

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