Golf Club Atlas Interviews Donald Ross Author Chris Buie
The Life and Times of Donald Ross is the talk of the golf world and author Chris Buie is being toasted across the internet for his in-depth look at this architectural legend. Most recently, Golf Club Atlas (click here) took time to interview Buie and get inside the author’s head about The Life and Times of Donald Ross.
Below is an excerpt from the interview with Golf Club Atlas:
What was Ross like?
Answering that question was the real point of the book. It was an attempt to provide a fulsome portrait of the man. There were no grand preconceptions. As it turned out, the facts propelled the book toward some expansive conclusions.
On first impression, he could appear to be just another well-to-do, somewhat stuffy man. He wasn’t demonstrative or flashy; “proper” would be a good word to characterize how he appeared to be. He was, in fact, proper. This was no façade. The only thing out of the ordinary one might have picked up at first was an uncommon gravitas.
As you kept uncovering information, how did your perceptions of him change?
In starting out, I suspected that possibly he wasn’t quite the genius he’s been called so many times. I also suspected I’d like him a bit less after a hard close-up look. Those two notions turned out to be entirely wrong. He really was staggeringly brilliant. He was also very balanced with an active sense of humor. He was reported by many sources to be a likable man whose eyes sparkled regularly.
At the same time, he could be rather stern with employees, boorish guests or whomever he thought was out of line. “Rabble” was the term he used for such people. It would be a mistake to say he walked around glowering though. The tough side would come to the fore primarily in relation to work as a way of motivating employees to sharpen up. When you’re the boss of so many people (sometimes thousands) it is not possible to get the team moving along while being a softy.
So, the tough side was there and it was a part of who he was. However, he once remarked that although few would know it, his brother (Alec) had a heart of gold. Almost certainly, beneath all the layers that would have been the case with Donald, as well. His letters to his daughter strongly suggest this.