A GOLF HISTORY BIOGRAPHY by NEIL CRAFTER & JOHN GREEN
Alex Russell is regarded as perhaps Australia’s finest ever home-grown golf course architect. He served as the Australian partner of the famed Scottish architect Dr Alister MacKenzie in the design and construction of the West Course at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, and was solely responsible for the design of Yarra Yarra, Royal Melbourne’s East Course, Lake Karrinyup in Perth and Paraparaumu Beach in New Zealand, all highly rated courses. However, he is important to the story of Australian golf for much more than just golf course design as he was a champion golfer, winning the 1924 Australian Open as an amateur, amongst numerous other national and state titles.
Discovering Alex Russell: The Man and his Legacy by Neil Crafter and John Green uses detailed text, period archival photographs, maps and plans to bring together the many threads of Russell’s life. The book commences by discussing the emigration of several of Alex Russell’s forebears from Scotland to Tasmania. Philip Russell (Alex Russell’s great half-uncle) was the first of several brothers to emigrate to central Tasmania in 1831, and other brothers and cousins followed, initially to Tasmania, and then to the Western Districts of Victoria. Alex Russell’ great uncle, George Russell, in 1837, was one of the earliest settlers in the Western District, while Alex’s grandfather, Alexander Russell, settled in the Beaufort area of Victoria in 1847 and named his property ‘Mawallok’. The history of this well-known Merino stud is covered in the book, along with Alex’s achievement in becoming one of the most successful breeders of Merino rams and ewes of his time.