top of page

News: Early Spring 2024: The Prairie Raynor

Chicago Golf Club and Grant Books Ltd Announce the Publication of The Prairie Raynor, by John Moran and Rand Jerris, Ph.D.

Here from the book’s dust wrapper are excerpted quotes, which set the stage for what the authors amplify with fascinating exposition and timeless style:

From Charles Blair Macdonald: “Wandering over the links, inhaling and enjoying the fresh air of country, the senses are awakened and all alert, one takes pleasure in the landscape, watching the varied shades of sunlight and shadow, which become gentle features of the game, until sunset, happily tired, he is primed to enjoy a good dinner and a restful evening. No game gives a player’s better nature a wider scope, and herein is its charm.”

From Seth Raynor: “Well, one thing is certain: no course can be a great course without a beautiful setting.”

From H.J. Whigham (Mr. Macdonald’s son-in-law): “Raynor used to sit in the tower of the Wheaton clubhouse amazed at the magnificent sweep of that wide landscape and then he went down and produced a course that exactly fitted the prairie. A fine generous sweeping course, where a man may open his shoulders and fill his lungs and hit with all his might.”

Chicago Golf Club is among the most historic clubs in the United States, dating to its founding in 1892. The club was one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association and has been the host for ten national championships and two Walker Cup matches. The club’s Wheaton course is an essential element in its long history, dating back to May 30, 1895, when play began on a course laid out by the club’s founder, Charles Blair Macdonald.

During and after World War I, Chicago Golf Club faced an existential crisis created by a declining membership and the ongoing degradation of the club’s golf course. These crises challenged the club’s reputation and threatened its continuing aspirations to be a premier championship site.

In response to an inquiry in 1917, Macdonald instructed his old club to “scrap” its golf course and sent his talented protégé, Seth Raynor, to develop a new golf course in keeping with the latest design philosophies. A small group of members, the Casabiancas, agreed to underwrite much of the construction of Raynor’s course, enabling the club to initiate the project in 1921.

Immediately upon his arrival in Wheaton, Raynor was inspired by the wide, open landscape. He sat in the club’s clock tower staring out at the old course and swelling prairie, ultimately producing “a course that exactly fitted the prairie. A fine generous sweeping course, where a man may open his shoulders and fill his lungs and hit with all his might” (H.J. Whigham).

The Prairie Raynor is the authoritative story of the creation and stewardship of Seth Raynor's creation at Chicago Golf Club, written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Raynor's course in 1923. The book includes more than 350 images (and 350+ footnotes), providing an extraordinary visual record of a golf course widely regarded as one of the finest in the world. Written by club historian John Moran and noted golf historian Dr. Rand Jerris, with champion golfer and golf architect Ben Crenshaw contributing a moving Foreword, The Prairie Raynor will inform and engage both long-time members and lovers of Golden Age golf courses. It describes, in both golf and artistic terms, why Raynor’s creation in Wheaton remains architecturally significant one-hundred years later.

This is a limited edition, with approximately 300 copies being made available to non-members.

The Prairie Raynor can be ordered in two ways:

  1. For order destinations inside the United States, please order at  The price is $200, plus handling, insured and tracked shipping, and postage.

  2. For order destinations outside the United States, please order at The price is £165, plus handling, insured and tracked shipping, and postage.

Published in a limited-edition of 1,000 copies at 332 pages, including over 300 images and multiple fold-outs.

Printed on acid-free paper, with sewn cloth covers and dust wrapper, and with colour illustrations throughout.

Designed and typeset by Hughes & Company at Pershore, England and printed and bound by Henry Ling Ltd at Dorchester, England.

Shipping weight is 3 kg.

Best regards,

D M Wilson, III


Grant Books Ltd


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page