Streamsong Resort, Red Course

Mountain Lake Colony Club

USA, Florida
5.8 (6)
Course Opened: 1918

From the club website:

From his humble beginnings in golf course design – he was hired to perform a boundary survey of the site for Charles Blair Macdonald’s National Golf Links of America on Long Island – Seth Raynor’s ascension into the hierarchy of golf design was as quick and sure as any in history.

Of the 50 or so courses he designed or co-designed, fully 9 are in GOLF MAGAZINE’S Top 100.  Raynor is topped by the 11 Donald Ross courses on the list, but the quality of his work comes to light when one considers that Ross was responsible for over 300 course designs.

Courses designed or co-designed by Raynor include Yale University, Lookout Mountain, Chicago Golf Club, Shoreacres, St. Louis, Blind Brook, The Creek Club, Fishers Island, Piping Rock, Camargo, Fox Chapel, Charleston, Yeamans Hall and Mid Ocean, among others. Trained by Charles Blair Macdonald, the Father of American Golf Course Architecture, Raynor closely followed in the footsteps of his mentor by replicating famous golf holes from "across the pond".

As Macdonald had written, "The courses in Great Britain abound with classic and notable holes, and one only has to study these and adopt their best and boldest features." And adopt Seth did, unabashedly and unfailingly reproducing versions of classic golf holes such as The Biarritz, Eden, and The Alps, among others at each of his original designs. Raynor also took several of Macdonald’s favorites – The Cape Hole and the Double Plateau Green – and added them to his design repertoire.

The restoration that took place in the summer of 2002 of the Raynor layout at Mountain Lake used vintage aerial and ground photos to guide the work. The early photos showed many of the Raynor classic greens, as well as a golf course that originally was more profusely and randomly bunkered. These bunkers, in concert with the greens, gave the original golf course much of its playing interest, drama and shot values.

While modern architects are often criticized for repeating themselves, Seth Raynor laid out his courses according to a predictable formula. His collection of uniquely high quality courses proves that in the hands of a design genius like Raynor, repetition can be a truly beautiful thing.  And with its restoration complete, Mountain Lake has regained its proper setting in the collection of landmark Seth Raynor golf courses.


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