What a treat it is to play Mossy Oak. A group of friends and I travelled down to MS to play at Old Waverly and Mossy. We played Waverly the first day and were blown away by the course (will do a review of it shortly), only to become completely mesmerized by Mossy Oak the next day. This truly is a top class destination to come play golf, the courses are polar opposites of each other, the accommodations are fantastic and the hospitality is exceptional.
Mossy Oak is a gem of a modern design. It is incredibly fun golf course to play that keeps the player constantly guessing by forcing them to make decision after decision. This is a course where you need to and will be asked to hit all the shots in your bag. The main defenses of the course are its large and sharply edged bunkers, the large and undulating greens and with it being a rolling piece of terrain with little to no trees, the wind will always play a factor.
When out playing the course, there were a few things that struck me while playing it. Firstly the tee boxes effortlessly roll off of the previous green, there is no walking backwards/forwards etc. to find the next tee. I find this to be incredibly rare these days and it shows that the course was masterfully routed across the terrain. Secondly, you really feel like you are out in nature on the course, you almost feel like you are out on a nice hike with friends on the gorgeous land and at multiple different points on the property you can look around and have a 360 degree view of the entire which is mesmerizing. Thirdly, although it is a new course, the design almost feels old world with potential modern takes on classic template holes. Fourthly, the variety of the course is exceptional, where the holes are wildly varying lengths and you never feel like you are playing a hole similar to a previous one.
I will detail a few of my favorite holes below:
3. Is a short drivable volcano par 4. After playing the hole twice, going for the green once and laying up once, I still have no idea how best to play this hole. The green is relatively small upturned saucer, with some of the deepest bunkers on the course. Miss it in any of the bunkers and you probably won't be able to see the flag on your bunker shot. This holes forces you to make a decision and execute with full commitment on each shot and if you don't you will be happy to walk off with a 5.
I love all the holes at Mossy, but the stretch of 9-14 is my favorite.
9. Is the short. With a wedge in hand, you are playing into a very shallow and undulating green guarded by deep bunkers back and front and water to the right. Off the tee, it really doesn't look like there is much space to land the ball and you are offered a bail out to the left (which I took) which leaves a dastardly up and down.
10. Is a short dog leg right drivable par 4 with a big lions mouth bunker in the green and OB down the left hand side. On the tee, the direct line to the green is protect by bunkers and long grass, daring you to take the green on and with the OB down the left side you almost feel forced into it. To me this is the classic risk reward par 4.
11. Is kind of like a reverse redan par 3 that can play up to 250 yards, except the back bunkers are actually above the green and the water protects the right side of the green. The ideal shot here is a fade going up the left side of the green to allow the undulations to bring it back in towards the flag. As someone who draws/hooks the ball, I can't tell you how unnerving this tee shot is.
12. Is a long straightaway par 5 with trouble everywhere. There is OB all the way up the left, deep bunkers protecting the right side of the fairway, a burn running across the middle of the hole and probably the biggest false front I have ever seen on a very shallow green. My shot into green spun off the false front, and it then took me 4 shots (using 4 different clubs) to get the ball up the false front and safely on the green and I left the green with a big smile on my face.
13. Is a medium length par 4 that is almost an Alps template. There is a burn that runs up the left side of the fairway that you need to test off the tee, as there is a big mound and bunker short right of the green that blocks the view of anyone who is on the middle to right sides of the fairway.
14. Is a classic big sweeping dog leg left with the fairway pushing your ball further right. The more you take on the dog leg and keep the ball left, the shorter your approach shot will be with a much better angle into a devilish green. Like me, if you bail out to the right side of the fairway you will be left with a treacherous approach over deep bunkers, into the shallow green with deep run offs right and long.
All of the holes at Mossy Oak are fantastic and if you are ever anywhere near the area it is a cannot miss, especially with Old Waverly across the street.
Date: May 13, 2021