Mountain Lake - Florida - USA

Mountain Lake,
2300 North Scenic Highway,
Lake Wales,
Florida (FL) 33898


  • +1 863 676 5900

  • John Delcamp

  • Seth Raynor

  • Paul Tessier


Mountain Lake is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets and was originally listed on this website in October 2006 as a hidden gem. Since then, we have expanded our Florida Best In State listings and this 1916 Seth Raynor classic has finally made it onto a ranking list.

Located in the Central Florida lake region, Mountain Lake is part of a community that dates back to 1915. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. whose dad was considered the “father of American landscape architecture” designed it.

The course itself is a quintessential classic but it took significant restoration effort at the turn of the new millennium by Brian Silva – aided by vintage aerial photography – to rediscover lost Raynor bunkers and greens that had been improperly modified over the years.

Mountain Lake can now hold claim to being an authentic, classical Seth Raynor course, which will no doubt become more widely recognised.

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Reviews for Mountain Lake

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Description: Seth Raynor moved very little earth at Mountain Lake. The holes sit on rolling terrain not typically associated with Florida. Rating: 6 out of 6 Reviews: 4

Just off one of the strip mall-infested highways that abound in Florida lies one of the state’s original gated communities—and among its most charming. As at Fisher’s Island, Seth Raynor was teamed with the Olmsted Brothers (sons of Frederick Law Olmsted) to create Florida’s first gated community cum golf course. Though Mountain Lake lack’s Fisher’s spectacular views, it’s peppered with the same Raynor features that delight the golfer at both courses. Template holes include Double Plateau, Maiden, Biarritz, Eden, Punchbowl, Short, Road and Alps. Raynor’s signature squared off greens abound. A note on template holes in general: While a couple at Mountain Lake (most notably Alps and Road) are pale versions of the originals at Prestwick and the Old Course, those who make that comparison miss the point: Raynor saw them as templates and copied the strategic challenge, but not necessarily the hole. Not all the work is Raynor’s, however. In the early years of this century, the club hired Brian Silva to restore Raynor’s work. Silva did an outstanding job, even going so far as to square off the corners of some bunkers. Charles Banks also contributed. Soon after Raynor’s untimely death, the former assistant returned to add the par 5 8th hole—a version of “Raynor’s Prized Dogleg”. Banks also built the Short hole at that time. In 2015 the green on Short (#9) was changed to include a doughnut, a round ridge with a slight depression inside, found on only a handful of other Raynor courses. There’s even a bit of MacKenzie-style camouflage here. My favorite drive is from the 12th tee, where three bunkers obscure the fairway entirely. It turns out one of the bunkers is on the far side of the fairway and there is room to place one’s drive among the three in the fairway. But even then, as at many of the holes here, Raynor includes a line of charm, where the risk of driving near a hazard is rewarded with a superior angle to the green. The challenges do not, however, end with the approach shots. Once on Mountain Lake’s greens, the golfer is confronted with Raynor’s lovely contours. There are only a couple Florida courses I’d rather play than this one.
6 / 6
Mountain Lake
March 06, 2016


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Mike
March 09, 2016
Mountain Lake is certainly the best "winter Raynor" out there with its location in Florida. Much, much more consistent than Black Diamond in Florida, which has four spectacular quarry holes, but not much else. I play with a nationally ranked senior amateur, and he places it with TPC Sawgrass for best in Florida, and ahead of Seminole. It is the true hidden gem, as very few have heard of it.
Very underrated and unknown golf course. Fun to walk, play and putt. Love the history as well.
6 / 6
Mountain Lake
February 12, 2015


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A true hidden gem that doesn't get talked about too much. I loved the square greens and bunkers....biarritz, redan, and a fairly good amount of hills for the middle of florida.
6 / 6
Mountain Lake
November 18, 2014


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beutiful course...square greens and bunkers...a real step in time when you play here ...old florida (you feel like you are stepping back 100 years in time 100) ...they grow their own citrus fruits at the club..so serve their own orange & grapefruit juice...the course is first classs...complete with a `Redan` par 3 (copied from North Berwick...if you get a chance definately play it
6 / 6
Mountain Lake
September 06, 2012


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