Mayfair Country Club was a portion of a 20,000 acre tract of land purchased in 1848 for $40 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 sold a portion to Charles Amory, a retired sea captain, who planted citrus trees and the double row of oaks that still line the main entrance of the golf course to this day. Also, his ship-shaped house is still used as a clubhouse (The Oak House Restaurant) for all of the golfers to enjoy dinner & a drink at the rounds end. In the 1950’s, Mayfair Country Club became a tour stop for professional Golfers, with the PGA tour hosting “The Mayfair Inn Open” with golf legends like Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Moe Norman and Ben Hogan attending this event multiple times. This attention attracted some other big names to play the very same grounds, such as Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.
The open Layout to Mayfair Country Club was a result of back-to-back high category hurricanes in the early 2000s. Over 200 trees were uprooted and many of which were the historic oaks that surrounded these grounds for hundreds of years. These oaks were responsible for giving Mayfair Country Club a very strong defense to golfer’s tee shots as well as approach shots into the greens. Now the layout seems open and forgiving to the majority of novice golfers today, and there are 4 sets of tees to choose from. These tees range from 5,007 yards to 6,403 yards, which accommodates all golfers of all different skill levels. Mayfair’s fairways tend be wider (as is typical for 1922 design) as well as the loss of some strategic oaks, however, the approaches are challenging enough to ensure that all players will feel competitive as they navigate these grounds. The city of Sanford is dedicated to restoring this Historic Golf Course and Facilities to an enjoyable atmosphere were golfers can soak in the rich history of Mayfair’s golden past. Golfers visiting Florida absolutely love the professional hospitality they receive at Mayfair Country Club, and can feel the rich history from the 1st tee all the way until the finishing putt.
In 1927, the Sanford golf course was host to a golf match between Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen. On the 6th hole, a member of the gallery stepped on Gene’s golf ball, and buried it in the ground which resulted in Gene scoring a bogey “5” for the hole. It was not to be Gene Sarazen’s day, because when they arrived on the 13th tee box, Gene’s tee shot struck a spectator in the head resulting in a thirty-yard bounce in to a sand bunker. Walter Hagen won this match 5 and 4.