Lake Wales ◦ Florida ◦ USA
Golf at Mountain Lake

A round on par with perfection.

Does Seth Raynor ring a bell? In the venerable lexicon of golf course design, few names are bandied about with greater reverence. His vision for the Mountain Lake golf course, begun in 1916 and lovingly nurtured since, has remained steadfastly true to its original character. So much beauty and so many challenges, not the least of which is trying to keep your head down while admiring a stunning example of the Golden Age of golf course architecture. Mountain Lake’s timeless appeal spans multiple generations of both members and staff. Just ask our golf pro, who arrived here 17 years ago with his young family and still calls it home. This is not just any 18-hole round. This is getting your golf pencil out and adding Mountain Lake to your bucket list.

Mountain Lake

When it comes to name-dropping, we get a free drop.

While never a self-proclaimed expert golfer, Seth Raynor’s ascension into the hierarchy of course design proved as meteoric as any in history. Originally hired as a surveyor and construction supervisor by Charles Blair “C.B.” Macdonald, the Father of American Golf Course Architecture, Raynor eventually followed in his mentor’s prodigious footsteps by replicating hallowed golf holes from across the pond.

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As Macdonald keenly observed, “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 paying homage to such venerated golf holes as The Biarritz, Eden and The Alps, among others, and incorporating them into his original designs. Raynor also embraced some of Macdonald’s personal favorites – The Cape Hole and the Double Plateau Green – and melded them into his own design repertoire.

While repetitiveness in modern architecture is oft-criticized, Seth Raynor laid out his golf courses according to an ironclad formula. His collection of masterpieces proves that in the hands of a legitimate genius, repetition can indeed be a thing of beauty. The golf course at Mountain Lake, as beautiful as ever, remains a shining example of that fact.