The Spirit of Pinehurst: Inside Donald Ross’s Iconic Dornoch Cottage

The Spirit of Pinehurst: Inside Donald Ross’s Iconic Dornoch Cottage

Golfers seeking a unique and immersive experience can now step back in time and stay at the historic Dornoch Cottage, the former home of legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, located at the iconic Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. This exclusive opportunity allows guests to spend an evening surrounded by golf history and the spirit of one of the game’s most influential figures.

Named after Ross’s hometown in Scotland, Dornoch Cottage showcases the architect’s design preferences, with a modern brick façade at the front and a grand colonial-style rear featuring towering white columns, a nod to his wife’s architectural tastes. The cottage, situated just a short distance from the third green of Ross’s masterpiece, Pinehurst No. 2, offers an unparalleled experience for golf enthusiasts.

Guests will be welcomed with a reception, followed by a putting contest on the famed third green and a delectable farm-to-table meal prepared by Executive Chef Thierry Debailleul and his culinary team. As they sip on custom cocktails, craft beer, and select wines, visitors can explore the cottage’s extensive collection of historic memorabilia, creating an unforgettable evening steeped in golf history.

The Dornoch Cottage experience is available for groups of 30 to 60 people, with pricing starting at $2,500 for site rental and staging, and menus beginning at $130 per person. The putting contest management fee is $5 per person with a $100 minimum, and round-trip transportation from the hotel is included in the price. Décor options are also available and priced per event, allowing guests to customize their stay to suit their preferences.

An Old Photo of Dornoch Cottage

Dornoch Cottage at Pinehurst Resort is imbued with the spirit of Donald Ross, the legendary golf course architect who lived there from 1925 until his death in 1948. The charming two-story house, located just a pitch shot away from the third green of Ross’s masterpiece Pinehurst No. 2, was recently purchased by the resort and is now made available to select guests and used for special events.

The Plaque Outside Dornoch Cottage

A housekeeper at the delightful two-story residence has reported feeling the presence of a ghostly entity, and her intuition may be correct. If the spirit of Donald Ross continues to linger at 120 Midland Road in Pinehurst, he is more than welcome to once again make this place his eternal abode.

The Sitting Room at Dornoch Cottage

The cottage radiates an atmosphere of warmth and refined sophistication. Describing it merely as a four-bedroom dwelling is akin to referring to the renowned No. 2 as just another run-of-the-mill golf course, failing to capture its true essence and significance.

The Dining Room at Dornoch Cottage

The guest book in the foyer is filled with glowing testimonials from influential figures in golf, entertainment, and friends of the resort.

The Sitting Room at Dornoch Cottage

Course designer Gil Hanse stayed at Dornoch Cottage while renovating Pinehurst No. 4 and creating the Cradle short course and Thistle Dhu putting course. Hanse would work in Ross’s old office, studying the master architect’s designs in the changing light.

The Master Bedroom at Dornoch Cottage

During his time at the cottage, Hanse would often find himself seated at the wooden desk in Ross’s compact office, either tending to administrative tasks or simply immersing himself in the ambiance and rich history of the space. However, Hanse confessed that despite his hopes, the spirit of Ross never made an appearance to accompany him during these moments of reflection.

Donald Ross’ Office at Dornoch Cottage

The story goes that Ross chose to put [his office] on the front side of the house and leave the light on so that anyone passing by on foot or on the trolley would think he was working on his next project.

Donald Ross’ Office at Dornoch Cottage

When one stands in the den, gazing out the window towards the point where the third, fourth, and fifth holes of Course No. 2 intersect, it’s not difficult to envision Ross himself standing in that very spot, deep in thought as he contemplates what is widely regarded as his crowning achievement in golf course design.

The Back Porch at Dornoch Cottage

The house itself was a collaboration between Ross and his wife Florence, blending her preference for an old-style southern mansion look in the back with his favored Spanish-inspired design facing Midland Road.

The Backyard at Dornoch Cottage

The resort has carefully preserved the charms of the past while integrating contemporary touches across the property.

The Back of Dornoch Cottage

The essence of Pinehurst and the enduring legacy of the visionary who played a pivotal role in shaping its identity find their home at Dornoch Cottage, where their presence continues to be felt and celebrated.

The Back of Dornoch Cottage

To learn more about Dornoch Cottage and Pinehurst Resort, visit Pinehurst’s Group Activities website.