The Takeaway: Routed through a residential neighborhood without a lot of change in elevation throughout the routing, my expectations were higher for Old Waverly given its perennial status on many Top 100 Public Golf Course lists. The course is solid, but Waverly’s sister course, Mossy Oak, is comfortably the more compelling track. Grade B
Designer: Jerry Pate and Bob Cupp in 1988
Cost: $45.00 - $170.00 depending upon the season Click for current rates
Phone Number: 662.494.6463
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Old Waverly Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - One Magnolia Drive, West Point, Mississippi 39773
Accolades: Ranked 3rd in Mississippi by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: The course that put Mississippi on the golfing map, Old Waverly brought national attention to the Magnolia State in 1999 when it hosted the Women’s U.S. Open (won by Juli Inkster) and followed that up 20 years later as the host site for the Women’s U.S. Amateur (Gabriela Ruffels). The brainchild of George Bryan, Mr. Bryan hired Bob Cupp and Jerry Pate to design Old Waverly which is routed around fives lakes with the largest being Lake Waverly and creates the setting for the best holes on the back nine. From an architectural design aspect there are plenty of solid holes, but nothing real exciting or engaging, and the routing through a residential development removes some of the allure of the round. That being said, the back nine is superior to the front with more movement in the terrain and water playing a strategic factor on several holes, including the final two which are often tagged as two of the best holes on the property. The course is a fairly easy walk with only mild changes in elevation although carts are available. Old Waverly is a private club but is open to public play through stay and play packages as well as some limited daily availability that can be had without staying at one of the onsite cottages. Across the street is the newer Mossy Oak golf course, a sister course also founded by Mr. Bryan, which opened in 2016 and offers a totally contrasting experience at this Gil Hanse design. The introduction of Mossy Oak is the perfect compliment to Old Waverly as the courses are so different that each style has a unique appeal base and while both courses are often found on national top 100 public golf course lists, the author gives Mossy Oak the nod as the superior track.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 445 Yard Par 4 – The finishing hole at Old Waverly is the perfect way to bring a conclusion to the round with a challenging offering along the lake. Similarly shaped and strategized as the famous 18th at TPC Sawgrass, players have to trust their swing and pick a wise line with water along the entire left side and a tree line on the right. With the hole bending left, there isn't as much forgiveness lengthwise as a straight hole would offer and then the fairway increasingly tightens as it travels to the green, so accuracy is mandatory the whole way home. The approach shot plays to a putting surface that is protected by an octet of bunkers with the best angle into the putting surface coming from the front right portion. At the end of a tournament, this is exactly the quality of hole you want to test players with.
Best Par 3: 17th Hole – 190 Yards – Placed is the southern tip of the lake at Old Waverly, the 17th hole is a testing one-shotter that plays over the water the entire way to the green. Forward tee boxes get more land to fly over, but from the back the only place to bailout is wide right. At sub 200 yards though, you should have enough confidence to attack this hole unless the flag is tucked tight to the bunker on the right where little forgiveness is found. This hole is easy on the eyes which is always nice, but also features enough trouble to make you pucker late in the round.
Best Par 4: 16th Hole – 422 Yards – The beginning of Old Waverly's best three hole stretch, the 16th hole only trails the 10th as my favorite on the property. The tee shot plays over a pond before contending with a trio of bunkers up the right side. 230 yards will carry all the sand, so the biggest concern on that line is the pond that is hidden on the other side of the landing area and is quick to drown Pro V1s that tumble toward it. If you can keep your tee shot up the left side you'll eliminate the trouble on the ground but you'll bring into play the overhanging trees. The approach shot plays uphill at least a half club and could be a full club depending on the temperature and conditions, and coming up short can kick balls backwards off the sloping face. The tee and approach shot combo is one of Old Waverly's best and most rewarding to play.
Best Par 5: 10th Hole – 543 Yards – Easily my favorite hole at Old Waverly, the par five 10th offers the best elevation changes on the property with a great tee and approach shot combination. A 275 yard tee shot will get you to the top of the hill and at the point in the fairway where the hole starts to dogleg left. The fairway bunker on the left only requires 210 yards to clear, so if you want to fly it then you can potentially catch the downslope and get some extra yards enroute to the green, but you'll be flirting with trees and rough on that line if you don't bomb it. After cresting the hill players are greeted with a fairway turning around the water with the sharpest turn being at the green as the putting surface jets out and is nearly completely fronted by water. Fearful players of a long approach with so much water in play may elect to layup but will find five pot bunkers awaiting on the right side 65 -80 yards from the green, so staying short of those would be wise. There is room on the right side of the hole to draw a ball into the putting surface while staying over land the entire flight, so if you have that in your arsenal it is a good time to bust it out. The hole is short enough to temp players to go for this green in two, but there is strategy to consider on the layup given the position of bunkers and trees; this hole would never get monotonous to play.
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 355 Yard Par 4 – The shortest par four on the course, the 6th is a great opportunity to pick up a birdie on the front nine. The tee shot plays straight away to a small bunker on the far side of the fairway 270 away, so a 3-wood off the tee can be a good choice to land in the middle of the short grass before the fairway doglegs right. The approach shot plays slightly downhill to a wide green fronted by a pond and bunker, but with a scoring club in your hand you should have no problem going flag hunting and sticking your approach shot close.
Bogey Beware: 11th Hole – 444 Yard Par 4 – There is nothing easy about the 11th hole, so gird up your loins and prepare for battle. The entire left side of the hole is flanked by water but bailing out to the right will just throw you into a forest of trees, so you have to step up and stripe one here. If getting off the box wasn't intimidating enough, the fairway width gets cut in half and gives way to the lake near the green which effectively creates a forced carry over the water and pot bunker in front unless a ball is drawn in from the right. The green is two and a half times as deep as it is wide, so accuracy comes at a premium during every moment of the 11th hole. Length, accuracy, finesse; you'll need it all to avoid a bogey here.