Seth Raynor

- Published on this site: 21-10-2020 19:54:20

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Seth Jagger Raynor (May 7, 1874 – January 23, 1926) was an American golf course architect and engineer. He designed approximately 85 golf courses in about 13 years, his first in 1914, at age 40. His mentor was Charles Blair Macdonald, the creator of the National Golf Links of America, and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Raynor was also the mentor of Charles Banks who completed many of Raynor's unfinished works after he died. Banks went on to a solo design career, creating approximately 15 courses.

Raynor was born in Manorville, New York. He attended Princeton University, studying civil engineering, before leaving in 1898 without a degree. He married Araminta (known as Minta) Hallock in 1903, and for the first years of his working life, engineered drains, roads and waterworks in the area around Southampton, N.Y. where his family had relocated and where he would live for the rest of his life.

Golf course engineer, architect

In 1908, Raynor was hired to perform a boundary survey of the site for the new course National Golf Links of America, in Southampton Long Island, by Macdonald. When it opened, NGLA was considered the finest American golf course and remains one of the top design in the world. Macdonald was impressed with Raynor and the two forged a working relationship and Raynor overseeing the construction of every course designed by Macdonald from then on, including Piping Rock Club, St. Louis Country Club, and the Mid Ocean Club, approximately 15 in all. By 1914, Raynor was handling his first solo design projects, including the Country Club of Fairfield, in Connecticut, and Westhampton Country Club on Long Island, New York. Between 1914-1917, Raynor oversaw the construction of The Lido Club, designed by Macdonald. This was one of the most difficult and expensive golf projects to that date.

Raynor, who rarely played golf, never became adept at the sport, reportedly not wanting to design around his own game.

All of Raynor's courses feature adaptations of some of what Macdonald considered the ideal golf in the British Isles and Europe, such as the Redan, Biarritz, Eden, Leven, Road and Maiden. Raynor, like Macdonald and later Charles Banks, fit the concept of the originals into the particular site, never seeking to duplicate them. Raynor never saw any of the originals in person. On every Raynor golf course, though, some of if not the finest holes to be found are ones Raynor created with basing them on ideal golf holes.

Several of Raynor's designs have hosted and continue to host significant events. His Waialae Country Club in Honolulu has hosted the PGA Tour's Sony Open since the 1960s, making it one of the longest-running host sites on the Tour. At The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, his Old White TPC Course hosted a PGA Tour event. The Country Club of Charleston hosted the 2019 U.S. Women's Open won by Lee Jeong-eun also known as Jeongeun Lee6.

Raynor died with his wife by his side from pneumonia in 1926, age 51, while in West Palm Beach, Florida, to open Paris Singer's private course, often mistaken for the Everglades Golf Club, which Singer founded and Raynor designed.

Golf courses

Augusta Country Club - Bon Air Hotel, Lake Course, Private, - Augusta, GA
Bellport Golf Club - Private in Bellport, NY
Blind Brook Club - Private in Purchase, NY
Blue Mound Golf & Country Club - Private in Wauwatosa, WI
Brookville Country Club - Private in Glen Head, NY
Camargo Club - Private in Cincinnati, OH
Chicago Golf Club -- redesign of Charles Blair Macdonald's design with Macdonald's blessing - Private in Wheaton, IL
Cold Spring Country Club - Private in Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Country Club of Charleston - Private in Charleston, SC
Country Club of Fairfield - Private in Fairfield, CT
Creek Club, The - Private in Locust Valley, NY
Dedham Country and Polo Club - Private in Dedham, MA
Elkridge Club - Private in Baltimore, MD
Essex County Country Club - Private in West Orange, NJ
Essex Fells Country Club - Private in Essex Fells, NJ
Everglades Golf Club - Private in Palm Beach, FL
Fox Chapel Golf Club - Private in Pittsburgh, PA
Fishers Island Club - Private in Fishers Island, NY
Gardiners Bay Country Club - Private in Shelter Island, NY
Greenbrier - Greenbrier Course - Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV
Greenbrier - Old White TPC Course - Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV
Hotchkiss School - Semi-Private in Lakeville, CT
Knollwood Country Club - Private in Elmsford, NY
Lookout Mountain Golf Club - Private in Lookout Mountain, GA
Metairie Country Club - Private in Metairie, LA
Mid-Pacific Country Club, Private in Kailua, HI
Midland Hills Country Club - Private in Roseville, Minnesota
Minnesota Valley Country Club - Private in Bloomington, Minnesota
Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Dunes Course - Private in Pebble Beach, CA
Morris County Golf Club, Private in Convent Station, NJ
Mountain Lake - Private in Lake Wales, FL
North Shore Country Club - Private in Glen Head, NY
Rock Spring Club - Public, in West Orange, NJ
Roselle Golf Club - Private, no longer in existence, in Roselle, NJ
Rumson Country Club - Private in Rumson, NJ
Shoreacres - Private in Lake Bluff, IL
Somerset Country Club - Private in Mendota Heights, MN
Southampton Golf Club - Private in Southampton, NY
Sunningdale Country Club - Private in Scarsdale, NY
Waialae Country Club - Private in Honolulu, HI
Thousand Island Country Club - Public in Wellesley Island, NY
Wanumetonomy Golf & Country Club - Private in Middletown, RI
Watchung Valley Golf Club - Private in Watchung, NJ
Westhampton Country Club - Private in Westhampton Beach, NY
Yale University Golf Course- Private in New Haven, CT
Yeamans Hall Club - Private in Hanahan, SC


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