Seth Raynor is responsible for several courses that could vie for world’s best collection of Par 3s, but Pete Dye was committed in declaring that Camargo, outside of Cincinnati, had the very best. Considering Dye often avoided anything “template,” this is telling praise.
Four of the most prized short template holes are featured at the highly exclusive club, including the Redan, Eden, Short and Biarritz (which has always been maintained with the front plateau cut to fairway length, as was its historical intent).
There are obviously Raynor layouts in Long Island and Chicagoland that many will hold as his very best, but Raynor went out near the top of his game, as Camargo ended up being one his last designs, prior to his death at the age of 44 (construction ended a year following his passing). Camargo’s eventual pro and superintendent, William Jackson, made some tweaks right off the bat, for example not implementing the second fairway at the No. 12 “Channel” hole. The core of Raynor’s design, and the rolling land it was built upon, ensured its acclaim, however.
A Robert von Hagge renovation during the ‘80s attempted to introduce a bunker style more trendy at the time, but the allure quickly lost its sparkle. Tom Doak and Renaissance Golf came in at the onset of the millennium and returned Raynor’s revered geometric aesthetic.