Appeared in May/June 2006 LINKS
Since the 1895 U.S. Open at Newport, 561 men’s and women’s major championships had been contested in the United States before Mississippi finally had a home worthy of its first major: Old Waverly Golf Club, site of the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open.
Conceived in 1986 by George Bryan, then a senior vice president at Sara Lee, the Jerry Pate-Bob Cupp collaboration opened two years later in the small town of West Point in northeast Mississippi. The design is set on rolling terrain featuring dense forest, and water comes into play on 10 holes, most memorably on the difficult 445-yard closer, which requires a perfectly judged approach over a corner of Lake Waverly to a viciously tilted green.
Juli Inkster negotiated all of Old Waverly’s hazards and tapped in on that green to win the ’99 Open. The USGA will deliver an encore performance with the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in October.