FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2020
CONTACT: Mark Ard
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced today that Mission Inn Resort & Club’s El Campeόn Golf Course, located in the city of Howey-in-the-Hills in Lake County, has been chosen as the featured course on the Florida Historic Golf Trail for the month of March.
“We are pleased to feature Mission Inn Resort & Club’s El Campeόn Course as a partner on the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Secretary Lee. “This popular, historic golf course has been a fixture in Central Florida for more than 100 years, and this family-owned, award-winning resort has been a strong partner since the Florida Historic Golf Trail began in 2014.”
The Mission Inn Resort & Club’s El Campeόn Course is located in the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills in Lake County. The town was named for William J. Howey, its founder, who was one of central Florida’s first large-scale citrus growers and land promoters. In 1914, Howey began purchasing land in the area, and by 1920 had accumulated 60,000 acres for his development project. The town of “Howey” was incorporated in 1925 and two years later changed its name to Howey-in-the-Hills. Howey envisioned a great citrus empire with the town as the commercial and shipping hub.
To attract investors and visitors, William Howey hired Chicago-based golf course architect George O’Neil to design an 18-hole golf course. O’Neil claimed that “this will be America’s most famous course in a short while.” Howey began promoting the links as the Howey Golf Club in 1916, though the course officially opened in 1917. After a decade of use, Captain Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland was brought in to rework and update the golf course. The golf course has also been known as the Chain-O’-Lakes Golf Course, Bougainvillea Golf Club and the Floridan Country Club.
Today, the 18-hole, par-72 El Campeόn Course at Mission Inn Resort & Club features six tees playing from 4,800 to 7,000 yards, allowing players of varying skill levels to either challenge themselves or enjoy the course at a more leisurely pace. El Campeόn tests players with elevation changes of more than 85 feet, rolling fairways and undulating greens.
“Our Beucher Family is privileged to have El Campeόn chosen as Florida Historic Golf Trail’s featured course for March 2020,” said Donna Line, resort owner of the Mission Inn Resort and Club. “Revered as one of Florida’s finest, El Campeόn opened in 1917, and it was designed by Architect and Golf Professional George O’Neil of Chicago. O’Neil’s other courses included Beverly Club in Chicago and Greenbrier in West Virginia, and his students included Chick Evans, Charlie Chaplin, Jack Dempsey and President Warren G. Harding. El Campeόn is renowned for its rare Florida hills, beauty, classic design and challenge. Our Beucher Family’s ownership and operation for over 55 years, and proven track record of hosting numerous championships make El Campeόn’s story one-of-a kind! It has tested players at all levels: multiple FSGA Junior Championships, 9 consecutive Florida State High School Championships, 23 NCAA Championship/Regional Events, Multiple PGA Tour Q-Schools and the Florida Senior Open. We personally invite you to experience El Campeόn, our Florida Historic Golf Trail course!”
For more information on Mission Inn Resort & Club’s El Campeόn Course, visit their website.
About The Florida Historic Golf Trail Florida’s golf history, recognized as one of the oldest in the nation, dates back to the late 1800s when a number of early courses were created along with the development of railroads and hotels in the state. The Florida Historic Golf Trail is a collection of more than 50 historic, publicly accessible golf courses throughout the state that can still be played on today. Through the Florida Historic Golf Trail, golfers can play on courses designed by world-class architects and played by famous golfers such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Babe Zaharias, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Information about the history and current day contact information for each partner course can be found at FloridaHistoricGolfTrail.com. Find the historic course near you and Come Play on History!
About The Division of Historical Resources The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical, archaeological, and folk culture resources. The Division Director’s office oversees a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites; coordinates outreach programs such as the State Historical Markers program and the Florida Folklife program which identifies and promotes the state’s traditional culture. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout the state in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations, and individuals. The Division Director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of two Bureaus, archaeological research and historic preservation. For more information visit flheritage.com.