Our product was born from a simple idea. Create performance-fabric golf polos tailored for the country club lifestyle. The focus has always been on the golfer; creating garments that perform on and off the course. Over the past fifteen years we have developed a premium name in the highest level golf shops and clubs throughout the world. While the core of our business has remained here, the brand has expanded to new product categories and now provides two unique fits: Sport & Classic. In keeping with the lofty reputation of the Ross’ name, we hold true to timeless style and quality while delivering innovative performance golfwear.

One of the most unique aspects of the brand is how much the product and company is inspired by the man we’re named after. The company gained exclusive rights to Donald Ross’ name and likeness in 2015. It is a responsibility we hold with pride, and keep a certain knowledge of the esteem his name holds within in the golf world. Much of his history and values continue to be the foundation for how we do business. We keep our past in mind and future in sight.

Tenets of the Product

From the founder and CEO himself, Rob Stein delves into how his past in golf and menswear grew into the brand you know and love: Donald Ross Sportswear.

Rob at Spyglass Hill in 1974

“I have worked in the apparel industry my entire life.

I started my career in retail in 1983 at the Baskin Clothing Company in Chicago. I moved to New York and trained at the J Schoeneman Company in the private label division. Later promoted to Midwest sales for the Burberry Tailored Division and eventually I found myself back in Chicago working with Corbin Ltd as a territory representative. It was a pleasure working with the finest menswear stores in the country. I loved the job, the product, and the community. After ten years at Corbin, I moved into the men’s sportswear side of the business at Bobby Jones, then on to brand management with Pringle of Scotland, after which I was promoted to GM of Jack Nicklaus apparel.

All this to say, my career has taken me to all edges of the sports apparel industry and Donald Ross Sportswear was truly a culmination of those experiences. I had gained plenty of training and practice for my next adventure!

Right around 2000 I started to contemplate the idea of starting a business that catered to the classic customer in the golf market. As modern synthetic performance yarns began to evolve my dream really took hold. It was then that I decided to combine these fabrics with classic styles. This was unique to the industry at the time and was met with lots of skepticism, but I believed that this would truly bring something new and desirable to consumers. I was very fortunate to have a handful of top golf professionals who supported my idea.”

“Thank you: Bob Ford, Michael Harmon, Bruce Patterson, Don Wegrzyn, Larry Dornisch, Scott Nye, Doug and Gina Steffen, Annie Vanzant, and many others for your constant support!

While dreaming up the core values of the Donald Ross brand, I also began to dream of building a brand around the Donald Ross legacy. This inspired me to get to know Ross’ heirs. After many meetings and dinners, the Ross family agreed to work with me. The roots of the brand you know today now really began to take hold.”

“Today we are still the same reliable and dedicated provider. We now have 17 full time employees, and close to 25 reps worldwide. We have an incredible roster of green grass accounts, a strong tournament program, and a fantastic e-commerce business! Donald Ross remains at the core of our identity. His values of quality, attention to detail, and craftsmanship are at the heart of the product we bring to you every day. It has been such a pleasure to create beautiful product for my favorite game on earth.

Love the business and love the game. ”

Donald Ross was a Scottish-American golf course architect who made a significant impact on the design and development of golf courses in the United States. Born on November 23, 1872, in Dornoch, Scotland, Ross grew up in a region known for its rich golfing tradition. Ross began his career as an apprentice to Old Tom Morris, a legendary figure in golf course design. He worked with Morris at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, and gained valuable knowledge and experience in the art of golf course architecture. In 1899, at the age of 26, Ross decided to move to the United States, attracted by the growing popularity of golf in the country.

Upon his arrival in the U.S., Ross settled in Boston, Massachusetts. He initially worked as a club professional at the Oakley Country Club while continuing to develop his skills as a golf course architect. In 1900, Ross designed his first golf course, Oakley Country Club in Watertown, Massachusetts. This marked the beginning of a prolific career that would span several decades and leave an indelible mark on the American golfing landscape.

Donald Ross quickly gained recognition for his ability to create courses that were challenging, yet aesthetically pleasing. He incorporated elements of the natural landscape into his designs and emphasized strategic shot-making, requiring golfers to think their way around the course. His philosophy was to create courses that rewarded thoughtful play rather than relying solely on brute strength. Throughout his career, Ross designed or redesigned over 400 golf courses across the United States. Some of his most renowned works include Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, Seminole Golf Club in Florida, Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan, and East Lake Golf Club in Georgia, among many others. His designs often featured undulating fairways, cleverly positioned bunkers, and challenging greens that demanded precision putting.

In addition to his design work, Ross was also an accomplished player and won several golf tournaments. However, his true passion and legacy lay in his architectural contributions to the game. His designs became synonymous with excellence, and his influence on golf course architecture in the United States cannot be overstated.

Donald Ross passed away on April 26, 1948, but his legacy continues to shape the world of golf. Many of his courses remain in operation today, and his design principles continue to influence modern golf course architecture. Golfers around the world continue to appreciate and enjoy the strategic challenges and natural beauty of Donald Ross-designed courses, making him one of the most revered figures in the history of golf course architecture.