It all started with Donald Ross

Hope Valley Country Club is the “total gem” of Donald James Ross, golf’s most famous and prolific architect.

DOCUMENTED

Hope Valley:
A rich history

Of the 385 courses designed by Ross, perhaps only at Hope Valley in Durham, North Carolina did he have such a comprehensive role. Even before the citizens organizing the club would accept the real estate developer’s offer of a golf course, they insisted Donald Ross see the property and determine if it was suitable for a high grade golf course and country club. OPPOSITE: A few rare original hole layouts Donald Ross used for Hope Valley Country Club.

Moreover, Ross designed the course, made on-site inspections during construction, shared in planning its surrounding roads and buffer land, and had a personal acquaintance with the club architect.

Unchanged since 1926

Equally unique, the course of today is almost identical to the original 1926 layout of Hope Valley. The nines were reversed in the late 1920s. Over the years, several well-known architects such as Perry Maxwell, Dan Maples, and John LaFoy have left their imprint. The last total renovation based on Mr. Ross’s original plans was in 2003 by Brian Silva. Members and their guests are reminded on the score card, “When you play Hope Valley, you are part of golf history.”

A feat unparalleled in 2 generations

At Hope Valley Country Club, on April 1, 1945, Byron Nelson won the Durham Open, his fourth victory, of eleven tournaments in a row — a PGA TOUR record, which will probably never ever be duplicated. which we’re sure you will agree will never be duplicated. (for reference, in second place for most tournaments won in a row is Tiger Woods with 7).

Byron Nelson on Hope Valley

Byron spoke of his memories of Hope Valley in his autobiography, How I Played the Game: “The following week (spring 1945) we were at the Durham Open playing the Hope Valley course, which was a very good one. We played two rounds the last day, and the 18th hole was a slightly uphill par 3 of about 210 yards. In the morning round, I used a 1-iron, put the ball four feet from the pin, and made birdie. In the afternoon, I started out one shot behind but shot 65 to win by 5. Toney Penna finished five stokes behind me at 270. The icing on the cake was when I reached 18, got out my 1-iron and made another birdie.

Talking about that tournament reminds me that in 1990, the 45th anniversary of my streak. I was greatly honored by a party at Durham. My good friend Buddy Langley, the head of GTE Southwest, got together with the folks at Hope Valley, who in turn contacted the other nine clubs still in existence (Tam O’Shanter was gone, unfortunately – it had been sold and made into a development), and invited them all to come and celebrate. They had a beautiful plaque made to commemorate the event and installed it at the 18th tee. There was a little scramble tournament and a party that night, and everyone had a very pleasant day. I’m always amazed that people think so much even today of what I did so long ago. I guess it’s a good thing they do, or I might think I dreamed it all up.”