Donald Ross is a name synonymous with golf. During the early 20th century, he was instrumental in crafting the American golf course landscape. Responsible for designing and redesigning more than 400 courses, Ross brought his Scottish heritage to America and created a career unmatched by his peers. Donald Ross courses have hosted U.S. Opens, PGA Championships, Ryder Cups, and many other prestigious PGA and LPGA events. Just as Ross strived to design the greatest courses in the world, Donald Ross Sportswear aims to provide golfers with the finest golf apparel.
Founded in 2008, Donald Ross offers a full line of classically designed golf and lifestyle apparel. Aimed at the country club golfer, the company utilizes performance fabrics to offer shirts, outerwear, shorts, and accessories in classic, fuller fits. All are perfect for 18 in the Saturday men’s group followed by drinks and lunch with your wife post round.
Donald Ross Technology
Donald Ross Sportswear is a company inspired by a simpler time; a time when golf was a gentleman’s sport. The company is strategically swimming against the slim fits and casual, athleisure trends that are dominating golf fashion. Throughout the entire collection, Donald Ross combines traditional styles and cuts with modern fabrics and materials.
My favorite fabric and technology advancement is what Donald Ross calls, “Liquid Cashmere Fleece.” When a company combines the hand feel of cashmere with the ease of fleece, you have to take notice. I certainly did. After wearing the pullover, I wanted to wrap myself in this fabric. (Maybe Donald Ross can add blankets to the collection.) This is one cozy fabric that is perfect for layering pieces. The pullover is lightweight and at the same time insulates the body to keep you warm as the temperature dips. It is hearty enough to handle cold weather golf this fall and stylish enough to be worn off the course.
The hallmark of the Donald Ross Sportswear collection is their knit polo shirt. The shirt is constructed from 100% micro-polyester, providing a silky smooth, luxurious feel. The knit polos are light on the skin and move nicely throughout a full golf swing, not bunching or pulling at any time. All the tops are breathable and dry quickly and they will not become victims of the laundry. They can handle multiple washes without stretching, shrinking or fading.
A Timeless Classic
All successful golf apparel companies have a signature product; a product worthy of being called the best in the industry season after season. FootJoy changed the golf shoe industry, G/FORE modernized golf gloves, and Donald Ross has taken the polo to the next level. The short-sleeved staple is offered in a multitude of colors, stripes, and patterns and should be a go-to for golfers looking for premium polos in classic fits.
The style of Donald Ross reminds me of the polos of yesteryear, like the ones worn by Palmer, Nicklaus, and Player. They possess a classic style with modern touches (think three and four button plackets and self-collars). Constructed from 100% moisture wicking micro polyester, the shirts are supple to the touch. My two favorite polos include the “Neat” print and “Mini Check” pattern. Multiple times I wondered if I should really be wearing a shirt this nice on the course. I had to ask myself, “Should I reserve these polos for the office or dinner out with my wife?” The broad array of patterns and solids enables a wide range of golfers to find multiple polos to fit their style.
Donald Ross does not name their polos but instead uses a system of numbers to identify their clothes. The company sells directly to golf courses and clubs, however, they do not currently sell directly to consumers. Hopefully, this change will happen in the future. Just know this, if you see a Donald Ross polo, and the fit is right, add one to your golf or casual Friday collection. Also, tell your spouse or partner to pick one up for you as a little treat the next time they are in the pro shop.
Donald Ross Favorites
Although polos are the largest part of the collection, the true shining stars for me are the layering pieces. Offered in multiple styles and colors, the long sleeves, short sleeves, and vests are perfect for this time of year when the temperatures turn cold. The traditional pullover is constructed from a durable micro-poly/spandex interlock knit providing warmth and wind protection. If you are looking for a great holiday gift idea for a golfer, a Donald Ross polo combined with a pullover or vest is a sure way to put a smile on that special someone’s face.
Another one of my favorite aspects of the new line is the range of accessories. Donald Ross offers fun and modern boxer shorts to fit every golfer’s desires, plus a complete line of traditional golf belts. The belts can be customized with club colors, names, and logos embroidered on the webbing.
Donald Ross designs for the golfer desiring a traditional fit. The shirts offer generous fit through the body and sleeves that tickle the top of the elbow. This classic fit is ideal for the golfer wanting comfortable fitting shirts and pants that are on the other side of the spectrum from the slimmer, tailored fits being produced en masse by other golf brands. Word to the wise, Donald Ross’ tops run large, so size down to dial in a ‘closer-to-the-body’ fit.
More than sixty-five years after his passing, Donald Ross continues to be a stalwart in the game of golf course design. His commitment to tradition still lives on in hundreds of courses around the world. This same tradition is what drives Donald Ross Sportswear and sets the brand apart in the competitive world of golf apparel.
Look for Donald Ross Sportswear in your country club pro shop.