Golf Course History
Colonel George Hampton Young moved from Georgia and built a spectacular antebellum mansion for his bride on the banks of the Tombigbee River. Tragically, before the magnificent home was finished, Colonel Hampton’s wife died. But as a man of vision, the Colonel pushed forward and when the homestead was mostly complete in 1852 named it “Waverley,” the main character and title of the first novel of Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. Waverley lost great friends and love but persevered to start life anew. Waverley succeeded and so, too, would Colonel Young. One hundred thirty years later, another George living in the Golden Triangle region of west Mississippi, seized upon a mission not unlike the young colonel’s and sought to make something extraordinary for those he knew and loved.
George Bryan and his wife, Marcia, familiar with the mansion and wanting to create something truly special, sought to highlight nature’s splendor and fulfill a shared dream. Waverley Mansion would be the backdrop for a world-class center of golf and recreation. Those initial plans, thwarted by circumstances, were not to be realized. But as with Colonel Young, this George, his wife and 29 other founders persevered. These visionaries found a piece of property not far from Waverley Mansion. Although the history and uniqueness of the mansion were not present, they understood that a diamond does not come out of the ground cut and full of sparkles. This enterprising group sought to allow the beauty they saw in their minds’ eye to emerge through the skillful hands of those who knew how to bring it out.
U.S. Open winner Jerry Pate and course designer Bob Cupp were enlisted to trim away from the undeveloped nature of 360 acres of pasture and prairie located near West Point, Mississippi, and add to its history, beauty and success. “Old Waverly, The Golf Club of Mississippi,” with a grand entryway leading to the clubhouse that reflects the original mansion’s aura and a greenscape that evokes quiet awe was the result. Beauty of the local region was drawn out and allowed to sparkle with the hard work and a devotion to detail. In just a few short years the Bryans’ vision had morphed from idea to reality and Old Waverly opened formally in September 1988.
Old Waverly’s 18-hole championship course excels, having been named to Golfweek’s Top 100, Golf Digest’s Top Course in Mississippi for too many years to count and Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses. Since 1990, Old Waverly has hosted numerous events including the men’s and women’s SEC Championship, Southern Golf Association Women’s and Junior Championships, the 2006 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, as well as the 1999 U. S. Women’s Open. Seven thousand eighteen yards of undulating fairways, four lakes, numerous sand oases and well manicured greens surrounded by tall pines and numerous hardwoods have been at the center of the rising and falling of many competitive golfers of all ages and both genders from all across the United States and the globe as they did their best to do better than par.
Driving from the main gate to the clubhouse, it seems as if Old Waverly had been established at the turn of the century. With its grand architecture and many mature trees, it is hard to believe the club is a mere teenager. But it is the attention to detail at every turn that establishes Old Waverly as a truly special place. Numerous lush gardens punctuate the property with color and variety year round. One remarkable example is the Lavender Rose Garden modeled after an old English traditional rose garden where loving care brings forth a wondrous burst of fragrance and color.
Old Waverly is not just about golf; Old Waverly is about living. In addition to the nationally known course with its reputation for challenging golf and cultivated beauty, the attention to detail extends to the many other aspects of the Old Waverly Golf Club. The Old Waverly Culinary Staff expertly creates ever-changing menus that highlight unique Southern cuisine, providing pleasure for every palate. Everyone is assured of a splendid dining experience. Whether you desire a quick bite in Murphy’s Pub or a more relaxed time in the Grill, there are savory choices down to the selection of Napa Valley Monticello Vineyards as the signature wines for Old Waverly.
Luxury accommodations for the most discriminating guests and members are also an important aspect of the Old Waverly experience. Many members and guests enjoy using the seven, four bedroom cottages on the shores of Lake Waverly. Each cottage has a common living center with a sitting area, wet bar, coffee station, under-the-counter refrigerator with icemaker, microwave and covered porch with a panoramic view of the lake and the course. Each bedroom has a private bath and individual flat-screen television. Private villas and condominiums, and complete luxury homes, are also available. And to meet the desires of these guests and members, Old Waverly provides lighted Rubico tennis courts, a swimming pool complex and fitness center.
Sir Walter Scott’s hero, Edward Waverley, as he headed home passed through a royal park. Scott writes of his experience, “With a mind more at ease, Waverley could not have failed to admire the mixture of romance and beauty which renders interesting the scene through which he was now passing…” Everyone who passes through Old Waverly today cannot help but experience “a mind more at ease.” Each person who plays on the course and watches their ball fall to the bottom of the hole and then looks to the nature that surrounds each green cannot help but “admire the mixture of romance and beauty.” Old Waverly is not just about golf; Old Waverly is about living-successfully.