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.[1][2]

Seth Raynor
BornMay 7, 1874 (1874-05-07)
Manorville, New York, United States
DiedJanuary 23, 1926 (1926-01-24) (aged 51)
Nationality United States
Alma materPrinceton University (did not graduate)
Occupation(s)Engineer, Golf course architect

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, architectEdit

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,[3] in Connecticut, and Westhampton Country Club[4] on Long Island, New York. Between 1914 and 1917, Raynor oversaw the construction of The Lido Golf Club, designed by Macdonald.[5] 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.

Notable golf coursesEdit



  1. ^ Pioppi, Anthony (2010-11-18). "Seth Raynor: paradoxical designer". Golf Course Architecture. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  2. ^ "Seth Raynor - golf course architect - golf courses built, articles, related information". 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  3. ^ "Country Club of Fairfield - Fairfield, CT - History".
  4. ^ "Home - Westhampton Country Club".
  5. ^ "A brief look back at the original Lido Golf Club in its "centennial" season". Golf on Long Island.
  6. ^ "Golf Course Architecture Timeline". Golf Club Atlas. 2005-05-02. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  7. ^ "Seth Raynor". 1926-01-23. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
External image
  Photo of Seth Raynor

External linksEdit