The year was 1917 and George O’Neil, a golf professional and distinguished architect from the Chicago Golf Club, had just watched workers put the finishing touches on his brand new course, The Floridian. O’Neil, swelling with pride, could not wait to strike his first drive on the new course. The thought of hundreds, or even thousands of golfers playing on his masterpiece each year had him smiling from ear to ear. Little did he know that 100 years later, golfers from around the globe would still be flocking to Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida to tee it up on his course.
In a state where golf courses are as common as corner stores, The Floridian stood apart by being one of the first to feature grass greens. In the early twentieth century, oiled-sand was the common building material for putting greens. Golfers would use a two-sided rake on the sand once they reached it. A smooth side would be used to give the ball a flat path to the hole, then the toothed side would be used to remove footprints and ball marks. This tedious job became quite the hassle, which grass greens solved. In addition to these state-of-the-art greens, The Floridian was just the second course in the state to be built to the regulation length of 6,300 yards.
Since then, a lot has changed in the game of golf and our beloved course has changed along with it.
•In 1926, Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland designed and constructed several enhancements.
•In 1964, the Beucher family renamed the course El Campeón, which translates to The Champion.
•In 1990 routing of the course was changed when a new clubhouse was constructed.
•In 1992, Las Colinas, a more generous, amateur friendly course was opened at Mission Inn Resort & Club.
•In 2015, El Campeón was rated the #2 course in the country by Golf Advisor, and #1 in Florida.
For all that has changed since 1917, El Campeón has proved it can stand the test of time. Mission Inn Resort is proud to One of the South’s oldest golf courses, 18-holes of championship golf surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. Click here to find the perfect golf getaway for you and your friends at Mission Inn Resort & Club.