WEST POINT, Miss. -- It doesn't get much better in Mississippi than Old Waverly Golf Club.
The semiprivate club is accessible for anyone who books a stay at one of its cottages, villas or condos. Getting inside the gates unlocks a classy golf experience. The staff is friendly, the true epitome of Southern hospitality. The clubhouse is comfortable with multiple areas to dine in or have a drink. The whole place, built by the Bryan family in 1988, just exudes class.
The 7,088-yard golf course is a keeper, a Jerry Pate/Bob Cupp design that hosted the 1999 U.S. Women's Open won by Juli Inkster. It roams through the gated community with a long forested stretch from holes 4-7 and Lake Waverly setting the tone for the more difficult back nine. The par-3 seventh is particularly memorable with "Palmer Falls" -- a water feature named after Arnold Palmer -- winding its way in front of the green.
The strongest challenges hug the shores of Lake Waverly. The 10th hole, a 543-yard par 5, might be the most interesting. Its fairway sweeps up a ridge, then falls and bends left to a green guarded by the lake. The par-4 11th plays long at 444 yards with the lake all along the left side. The 12th and 17th holes, two testy par 3s, require shots over water. The finishing hole, a 445-yard par 4 that doglegs left, delivers the ultimate gut check. Those who flirt with the lake are rewarded with a shorter approach to the green. Those who bail out right face the monumental task of taking on the water.
With the new Mossy Oak Golf Club designed by Gil Hanse across the street, Old Waverly became one of the most coveted golf getaways in the South, especially on college football Saturdays when the Mississippi State Bulldogs, located in nearby Starkville, host another rugged home game in the SEC.