A mere 15 miles away from Augusta National in the rolling countryside of South Carolina lies the exclusive Sage Valley Golf Club. Property developer Weldon Wyatt established the course, acquiring a massive 500-acre site to lay out the fairways, and just for good measure, he purchased a further 1,000 acres to act as buffer zone, ensuring complete seclusion from the outside world.
Opened in 2001 and designed by Tom Fazio, Sage Valley is extra special and it’s set to become a Top 100 high flyer. With significant elevation changes and stately pines, not to mention thousands of azaleas, streams and plenty of water, this 7,245-yard course is aiming to become the 21st century Augusta.
Architect Tom Fazio is a consultant at the Masters venue so he knows what it takes to ramp up the aesthetic quotient in order to give a course that certain wow factor. For all its beauty, however, some observers feel that Sage Valley lacks a sufficient number of distinctive and exciting holes to become a true golfing great. Only time will tell…
Sage Valley is the vision of founder Weldon Wyatt and is without question one of the finest courses and private clubs in the world. I have had the pleasure of playing it about a half dozen times and each time I fall more in love with the course. The course is mere 15 miles from the famed Augusta National and in many regards is a more modern bolder version of its famous neighbor designed by the legendary Tom Fazio. Having played many of the top 100 courses I am convinced this course is as good if not better than the vast majority of the top 100 courses. The club is extremely private and primarily an enclave retreat for the select few with world class cottages, a fully lit par three course for night play, an incredible hunting lodge, fishing, spa, multiple over the top dining experiences all wrapped in an unmistakable southern charm that is hard to find outside the region. Despite the almost unmatched five star amenities and service the course is still the star of the show and as you walk the fairways one can't help but be overwhelmed by the grace, beauty and tranquility each hole provides coupled with fun interesting shots and diabolical green. The first three holes may be the best opening stretch in golf and I genuinely can not recall an even average hole. It tests every part of ones game and requires exacting skill on every shot and putt. The club is also host to the top junior invitational tournament each year and proudly support junior amateur golf which is something more top flight clubs should do in my opinion. Each time I get the call to go play I clear my schedule as it is in my opinion maybe the best all around experience in golf as the club prides its self on making every guest feel welcome. If you ever get the invitation to play it I strongly recommend you do not pass up the opportunity!