Riverton Country Club’s nine-hole course opened in the summer of 1900. As the club and town prospered, leaders decided in 1915 it was time to expand the course to 18 holes. The club made what is likely the most important decision in its 117-year history. For its new course, the club hired Donald Ross, considered the best architect in the game’s history. Adjacent land was purchased and the 18-hole course opened in late summer of 1917. Ross retained one original hole, today’s 14th, and otherwise used his judgment and skill that today tests the mettle of golfers on more than 400 courses in this country.
Ross is considered a genius when it comes to selecting sites for a course’s putting greens. The greens are his defense against those who might otherwise produce record low scores. Today’s 18 greens are where Ross put them 100 years ago. Nearly 70 years after his death, Ross still has more courses on Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses’ list than any other architect, and his courses still host the most national championships.