Old Waverly Golf Club Review & Rating
Businessman George Bryan, the proprietor of Bryan Foods which is now part of Sara Lee, was the mastermind behind Old Waverly Golf Club. He picked two of the best, Jerry Pate (US Open Champion) and Bob Cupp, to design Old Wavery and they created a masterpiece that according to one source "captured the essence of the Scottish Highlands with the graceful setting of the old south."
The course plays through some of the most scenic acreage in the Mississippi Black Prairie, around beautiful Lake Waverly, white sand bunkers, and tree-lined fairways with some huge beautiful southern mansions. Each hole is unique and home to its own set of challenges that put a premium on accuracy and shotmaking.
Old Wavery has been a fixture among the various "Best of" lists published by the biggest names in Golf Media and some of the accolades and awards over the years include:
- Golfweek's Top-100
- Golfweek's #1 Residential Golf Course in Mississippi
- Golf Digest's Top-100
- Golf Digest's #1 Golf Course in MS
The front nine of Old Waverly meanders through the gated community with a long forested stretch from holes four to seven and Lake Waverly sets the tone for the more difficult back nine. Both nines are a joy to play, in excellent condition, meticulously maintained, well landscaped, and scenic. Each of the holes have a unique personality but some that we really liked include:
- #1 is a 389 par 4 that sets the stage for what to expect on the rest of your round – an elevated tee shot, thick forest on both sides of the fairway, a huge bunker in front of the tee boxes covering three quarters of the fairway plus 5 more bunkers, three of which with a pond guard the big green
- #7 is a 205-yard par 3 with a cascading waterfall named "Palmer Falls," named after Arnold Palmer, that winds its way in front of the green
- on #8, a 454-yard par 4, have your sand game ready because the fairway twists and turns through a minefield of 8 fairway bunkers (one of which is in the middle of the fairway) plus another 3 guarding the green
- #11 requires some shot making and risk taking to avoid the lake that goes from the tee box to the back of the green – the tee shot needs to avoid the lake and trees and the approach shot will most likely need to carry the lake which pinches the fairway and leads to a green with water, a small pot bunker, and a long beach on the left
- #15 through #18 are all excellent with a combination of a gut-wrenching risk-reward opportunities, plenty of bunkers, elevated tee boxes, tight fairways, dog legs, and lakes and creeks
When we played the greens were in perfect condition, ran at a manageable speed and very true, but the breaks can be subtle. There are also some tiers, ridges/spines, and plenty of slope. All of the greens are guarded and are various shapes and sizes, ranging from 27 to 50 yards deep.
The fairways at Old Wavery were also in excellent condition. Trees, water, mounds, and strategically placed bunkers require accuracy off the tee box. They range from tight to wide open and the six dogs legs require a good shot off the tee box to position you for the approach shot.
If you like sand, you'll love Old Waverly – it's home to over 100 bunkers strategically placed in the fairways and guarding the greens. They are well maintained with thick soft sand and they range in size from small pot bunkers to some tractor trailer-sized monsters. Most of the faces are steep, so don't expect to roll out.
Just down the road from Old Wavery Golf Club is Mossy Oak which was also inspired by George Bryan and designed by Gil Hanse. It's an outstanding and award-wining links-style course and a must play – read our review of Mossy Oaks to see why.
Old Waverly is a private course but as a guest in one of the several stay and play options (cottages, villas, and condos – or the cottages at Mossy Oaks) you can play the course. Make sure play them both. George and the designers have created a world-class golf experience and perfect golf destination! Read our article on a Stay & Play at Mossy Oak.
Read more about the fantastic courses and stay and play options we enjoyed on our Mississippi Golf Vacation.
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The Clubhouse is stunning with fine dining to casual pub options. The pro shop and practice facilities are excellent. The service is the epitome of Southern Hospitality.