Seth Raynor

Full Name
Seth Jagger Raynor
Year of Birth
1874
Year of Death
1926 aged 52
Place Born
Manorville, New York, USA
Place Died
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

“He scarcely knew a golf ball from a tennis ball when we first met,” wrote C.B. Macdonald in Scotland’s Gift – Golf, “and although he never became much of an expert in playing golf, yet the facility with which he absorbed the feeling which animates old and enthusiastic golfers to the manner born was truly amazing."

Long Island-born Seth Raynor graduated in 1898 from Princeton University with a degree in Engineering and Geodesy and subsequently went on to run a successful landscape and surveying business in Southampton.

“His introduction to golf design came quite by accident,” wrote Geoff Cornish and Ron Whitten in The Golf Course, “when he was hired by Charles Blair Macdonald in 1908 to survey the property that would become The National Golf Links of America. Raynor so impressed Macdonald with his engineering knowledge that he was hired to supervise construction of The National. Once it was completed, Raynor went on to construct several more courses for Macdonald, including Piping Rock, Sleepy Hollow, The Greenbrier, and Lido.”

“He scarcely knew a golf ball from a tennis ball when we first met,” wrote Macdonald in Scotland’s Gift – Golf, “and although he never became much of an expert in playing golf, yet the facility with which he absorbed the feeling which animates old and enthusiastic golfers to the manner born was truly amazing, eventually qualifying him to discriminate between a really fine hole and an indifferent one.”

“Unlike the wealthy Macdonald, who never accepted a fee for his work, Seth had to run his business to earn a profit.” Wrote George Bahto in The Evangelist of Golf. “C.B. was usually fortunate to have selected the land himself. Raynor, on the other hand, was obliged to use what each club gave him. Often that land proved to be a trying challenge.

It was here, in difficult circumstances, that Raynor’s brilliance shone brightly. On courses like Chicago’s Shoreacres, his gift for visualizing routings and adapting classic strategies ...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Seth Raynor

Blue Mound

8th Wisconsin - Best in Area

Gene Sarazen won the USPGA Championship at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in 1933, seven years after Seth Raynor had set out an 18-hole course crammed with replica holes such as a Biarritz and an Eden.

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Camargo

1st Ohio - Best in Area 23rd USA Ranking 24th North America Ranking 49th World Ranking

The Camargo Club is set amidst undulating countryside on the edge of Cincinnati in the State of Ohio. It’s a Seth Raynor jewel which opened for play in 1925.

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Dedham

25th Massachusetts - Best in Area

At 6,223 yards, the Seth Raynor-designed layout at Dedham Country & Polo Club is a little short, thanks largely to it having only two par fours in excess of 400 yards and one par five longer than 500 yards.

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Essex County Country Club

9th New Jersey - Best in Area

Essex County Country Club is one of the elder statesmen of American golf, incorporated way back in 1887. The course that’s played today goes back to 1918, the work of a rookie golf course designer, A.W. Tillinghast.

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Fox Chapel

5th Pennsylvania - Best in Area 94th USA Ranking

The affluent Pittsburgh suburb of Fox Chapel is home to one of Seth Raynor’s best, yet least celebrated designs... Fox Chapel Golf Club.

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Greenbrier (Greenbrier)

Gem USA - Best in Area

The Greenbrier course suffered major flood damage in June 2016, so Phil Mickelson Design was commissioned to renovate eight original holes and build ten new ones. The new course is expected to open in 2019.

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