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Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton

Cashiers, North Carolina
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Patrick Koenig
Patrick Koenig
ArchitectBadgeTom Fazio
Cashiers, North Carolina

Wade Hampton Golf Club was named after the Confederate cavalry leader, General Wade Hampton III, who was also Governor of South Carolina and later US Senator during the 19th century. Surprisingly, the Wade Hampton Golf Club is a totally modern and thoroughly exciting affair. However, you’ll need an invite from one of the members to play this “Tom Fazio Masterpiece” as it is lovingly referred.

Opened for play in 1987, the course caters for golfers of all levels, measuring a manageable 5,120 yards from the forward “Chimney Top” tees, named after the Blue Ridge Mountain peak which provides a dramatic backdrop, exemplified on the short par four 12th. Gigantic pine trees that are simply dwarfed by the sheer white rock face of Chimney Top Rock surround the green and the approach on 12. However, going back to tees, you’ll need your game intact to tackle the tips, better known as the “Fazio” tees, Wade Hampton stretches out to a whopping 7,109 yards from here.

GalleryPatrick Koenig
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Patrick Koenig

Categorized as a mountain course, Wade Hampton has slick, undulating greens and tight fairways. Despite its mountain setting, the elevation changes are relatively modest but be prepared to take on plenty of water hazards. Wade Hampton is probably Tom Fazio’s greatest design achievement; it’s certainly the best mountain course in the USA.

In his book, Golf Course Designs, Fazio (one of the Wade Hampton's founding members) mentions Wade Hampton more than any of his other designs, including Shadow Creek, Butler National, Galloway National and the Quarry at La Quinta. In the section about green settings Fazio commented, “the third green at Wade Hampton in Cashiers, North Carolina, is set into the base of a tall hill, and behind it is a waterfall that has been there for centuries. In this mountain setting, the green rests near the valley floor surrounded by steep elevations with mature evergreens and oaks marching up the slopes whose scale is brought into sharp focus by the cascading water. This is as good an example of a natural green setting as any.”

The course reopened in the summer of 2018 after a year-long renovation by Fazio Design. All of the putting surfaces were reconstructed to USGA specification, with underground drainage replaced and re-connected to the existing SubAir infrastructure. Putting surfaces were reseeded with Pure Distinction bentgrass, green surrounds replaced with Crystal BlueLinks bentgrass, and greenside bunkers rebuilt with a Capillary Concrete bunker lining.

Links Magazine drew the following analogy: “If Wade Hampton Golf Club were a painting, it would either be on display somewhere or locked away as a part of some collector’s private gallery.” Its exclusivity might suggest the latter.


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Course Architect

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Tom Fazio

Born in the northwestern suburbs of Philadelphia, Tom Fazio entered the business of golf course architecture as a teenager in 1962, assisting his uncle George in course construction.

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