Ladies and Gentlemen,
I need your help. I became addicted to golf later in life; not until I turned 31 years old did I truly began to play in earnest. Up until that point I believe the number of rounds played in my life sat in the single digits. Ever since I decided to make this my hobby I’ve spent countless hours hacking away on the course. It has quickly moved from a hobby to the thing I am most passionate about outside of the big F’s (family/faith/friends).
I began to think yesterday on my 38th birthday about a long term golf goal. I’ve come to accept the fact I’ll never be a low digit handicap, hell even a high digit handicap feels light years away. What I do love is seeing new courses for the first time and reveling in all the little details. I’ve been fortunate in the last 2-3 years to begin playing courses which make me feel it deep down in my plums. Quickly becoming my favorite type of architecture, beginning in May of last year, were the Seth Raynor designs.
Now I know some of you on here are aware of my affinity for Raynors. I love everything about them…the template holes, rectangular bunkers, tee lengths that make playing the correct shots crucial, and especially how his courses were built for walking. A warm summer afternoon strolling a Raynor course is about as spiritual an experience as I can have while enjoying this game we all love.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I am embarking on a quest that, in the best of scenarios, will take multiple years to complete. There’s also a high likelihood that I may never have the chance to complete my mission, given the fact that nearly every single design I’m speaking of is a private club (some completely out of reach for all but a select few). This is my long term goal:
I want to play every original solo Raynor design or renovation still standing in these United States.
This is not a top 100 trek around the world (@Edge62 already has that covered for us). Will it take me 5 years to complete? 15? 30? Who knows, but I sure as hell want to try. And I want as much of this to happen as organically as possible. Meeting people throughout my travels, bonding with fellow golf nuts, maybe attending a Fried Egg event in 2025…the journey is 80% of the fun!
To track progress, I’ve charted the courses on Google Maps that seem to fall within this bucket. I have also gotten a small start by playing all three of his courses in the Twin Cities area last fall, so I’m not starting from scratch. The courses I’ve played are marked in blue, while unplayed courses have a yellow marker. There is a LOT of yellow on this map
What I need from the Refuge is feedback…are there any courses that I’ve left off? Knowing that some tracks are still debated as to whether they’re true Raynors, I’m erring on the side of caution and including any on the fence. Are there courses on the map that we know are not Raynors and should be removed?