Who is Seth Raynor?
There is one thing we know about Seth Raynor; there’s little information about him, and even less written from him. Most articles written from Raynor are from club letters that he was working with, in their Greens Committee minutes. He was a very reserved individual, the complete opposite of his mentor, C.B. Macdonald. The majority of Golden Age architects were authors, accomplished players in their own right, and had careers of self-promotion. Raynor rarely even played the game, didn’t do interviews, and didn’t write much but a few sentences in print. However, his understanding of architecture and strategy, speak for itself. His short, but inexhaustibly-busy career lead him to an early death in 1926. Many in the architecture world, feel like his portfolio of work could have been considered the greatest collection, if it wasn’t for his early departure.
With only having 100 courses to Raynor’s name, it’s created a rarity of playing one. For many decades, his courses lacked attention and praise, while architects like Donald Ross and A.W. Tillinghast received more accolades. It has been written that during those decades, most Ross and Tilly courses were being restored, bringing more attention and demand for memberships. Raynor courses stayed back in the shadows, mostly because of the common evolution of courses becoming less of their originality over decades of use. That time of being in the shadows is over. With each passing year, more Raynor courses are now being restored and renovated, bringing his design principles into the media, and exposing his unmistakable work to the golf masses. There isn’t a more popular architect right now than Seth Raynor. His stock is on the rise because of that uniqueness, fun factor, and strategy. Each course in his portfolio that restores those aspects, and his Templates, only raises his stock, bringing more understanding that his designs didn’t need the self-promotion outlets, that they speak for themselves.
Blue Mound Golf and Country Club, Wisconsin
The following links offers some great background on learning more about Seth Raynor, his background, and career: