Hole #8: In the Style of Seth Raynor (1874-1926)
In 1908, Long Island civil engineer Seth Raynor was hired by C.B. Macdonald to survey the property that would become the National Golf Links of America. Macdonald was so impressed with Raynor’s engineering knowledge that he hired him to supervise construction of the course. Raynor went on to build all remaining courses design by Macdonald. He also designed and remodeled over 100 courses of his own, all in the Macdonald style of superimposing versions of famous British golf holes onto a variety of landscapes. His courses included Fishers Island in New York, Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh, Camargo in Cincinnatti, Shoreacres and a revised Chicago Golf Club in Chicago, Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Monterey Peninsula in California, and Yeaman’s Hall in Charleston, S.C. Raynor died at age 51 of pneumonia. His unfinished projects were completed by his assistant, Charles Banks.
The geometric nature of Seth Raynor’s architecture worked especially well in hilly terrain. Our par-3 8th climbs a hill to a Raynor-type stair-stepped green. The string of bunkers on the left subconsciously persuades golfers to aim a bit right, away from a steep drop-off farther left. Likewise, the flat, deep bunker left of the green isn’t as penal as it may seem. It can actually keep shots from caroming down the hill on the left.