Historic Markers Across Florida

Mayfair Country Club

Marker ID:  
Location: country club on Country Club Rd north of Lake Mary, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 46.833    W 081° 19.145
  28.78055    -81.31908333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMQ5RH


(Side 1)
The Mayfair Country Club is a portion of a 20,000 acre tract of land purchased in 1848 for $40.00 by General Joseph Finegan, who later became the commander of the Confederate forces in their victory at Olustee, Florida. In 1870 Henry Sanford purchased the tract and in 1878 sold a portion to Charles Amory. Amory, a retired sea captain, cleared much the land, planted citrus trees and the double row of oak trees that still line the main entrance. He built a ship-shaped house, a part of which is the Mayfair clubhouse.

The City of Sanford bought 152 acres in 1922 and hired noted golf architect Donald Ross to design an 18 hole municipal golf course, which opened in October 1922 as the Sanford Country Club, with only 4 holes completed. In September 1924 the entire course was opened with greens fees of $1.00 a day for visitors, $.50 for city residents and 30 daily tickets for $20.00. Due to financial hardships the city leased the course from 1928 until 1932, when it resumed control with financial pledges from local businessmen. Resident managers during that period included Ed Levy, Andy Caraway, Tom Bolt, and Ray Lundquist.

(Side 2)
After World War II the city leased the club to local businessman Hugh Whelchel. The New York Giants baseball club, which had its spring training headquarters in Sanford from 1948 to 1959, bought the lease in 1953 and renamed the course Mayfair Country Club. From 1958 through 1961 the course was on the professional golf tour and played to many noted golfers including Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen, Julius Boros, Sam Snead, Babe Zaharias and Arnold Palmer.

When the Giants left in 1965 the lease reverted to Mike Whelchel, son of the original lessee, who in 1972 subleased it to the trio of John Pierce, Howard McNulty & George Billups, until Jack Daniels assumed control 1981.

Seminole County Historical Commission