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Our favorite places to play

The ninth hole at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point

The ninth hole at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point

More Mississippi Business Journal readers play golf than any other sport, and they have chosen their favorite places to play in the Magnolia State

To those that play, golf is a passion, an obsession, a romance and a nice acquaintanceship with trees, sand and water, veteran sportswriter Bob Ryan said.

Waxing philosophically about the sport, late journalist Grantland Rice once wrote “eighteen holes of golf will teach you more about your foe than will eighteen years of dealing with him across a desk.”

No sport has been more romanticized, and vilified, by its participants than golf.  The gentlemanly game has been often compared to a love affair — if you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun. If you take it seriously, it will break your heart.

Business deals are often struck on a golf course. But make no mistake, so are relationships between father and son, mother and daughter and even total strangers.

Be it in the boardroom or at the family dinner table, golfers enjoy talking about golf almost as much as playing it.

Despite heated objections from some, golf is still a game.

It’s a game of mistakes and unpredictable fortune. If it weren’t, golfers would never miss a fairway, a green or a putt. In addition, there would be no unfortunate bounces — every ball would go exactly where the golfer wants it to go.

No one has ever perfected the game of golf — not even Tiger Woods — but to the average weekend golfer, what matters is the experience of a day on a great course, walking lush fairways with family or friends and stroking a little white ball with a stick.

For readers of the Mississippi Business Journal, selecting the top golf course in Mississippi might be akin to choosing a favorite ice cream.

After all, whether judging the beauty and splendor of a golf course or the taste factor of a premium ice cream, choosing the best boils down to the subjectivity of the person doing the judging.

In a recent unscientific web poll conducted by the Mississippi Business Journal, folks left little doubt about their choice for Mississippi’s favorite golf course to play.

Drum roll, please.

And the winner is … Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point.

“We are very pleased to be named by your readers as Mississippi’s favorite course to play,” said Bill Colloredo, general manager of Old Waverly.  “We’ve put a lot of work into our golf course, and I agree whole-heartedly with the results of the poll. There’s a lot of buzz around the state about the renovations to our greens and putting surfaces.”

Business Journal readers came out in overwhelming numbers for Old Waverly, as the 22-year old course garnered a whopping 37 percent of the vote.

The next closest was The Preserve Golf Club in Vancleave with 18 percent, while The Dogwoods at Hugh White State Park in Grenada finished with 16 percent of all votes tallied.

Ironically, only The Preserve and Hattiesburg’s Timberton Golf Club made Golfweek’s 2010 “America’s Best Courses You Can Play” in Mississippi. To determine its list, the magazine dispatched raters from across America to examine courses for their overall strength, from greens to feature shaping.

The Business Journal’s top five golf courses were selected by its readers, which were asked simply to click on their favorite track to play in the Magnolia State.

— Nash Nunnery

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