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Gil Hanse to start work on Mississippi golf course

February 25th, 2015

Author: Martin Kaufmann
Architect Gil Hanse, right, and developer George Bryan are part of the Mossy Oak Golf Club project. (Martin Kaufmann) Architect Gil Hanse, right, and developer George Bryan are part of the Mossy Oak Golf Club project. (Martin Kaufmann)

Gil Hanse's hectic schedule is about to get even busier.

The in-demand architect is scheduled to start work next month on a new course in West Point, Miss. The course, which will be called Mossy Oak Golf Club, is being developed by George Bryan, who also developed the adjacent Old Waverly Golf Club.

Bryan purchased the former dairy farm in 2012, then recruited Hanse to draft plans for the site.

“When Gil came in, he’s not a high-pressure kind of guy. He’s a common-sense kind of guy,” Bryan said. “He walked the property and said, I think this could be a very special kind of property.”

The property is 175 acres of wide-open meadow, with a smattering of oak trees. Bryan said the topography of the site is “like Shinnecock Hills or National Golf Links.” He said Hanse intends to move only about 60,000 cubic yards of dirt during construction.

“You’ll be able to stand on the sixth hole of the new club and see all 18 flags,” Bryan said. “I don’t know if there are any other places where you can do that.”

Bryan is selling 76 founding memberships, at $100,000 each, to pay for construction of the course. He said he already has sold 80 percent of those memberships, many to existing Old Waverly members.

The name is derived from the outdoors brand Mossy Oak, a division of Haas Outdoors, which is headquartered in West Point. Toxey Haas, who founded the company in 1986, joined Bryan in co-founding Mossy Oak Golf Club.

Along with the 7,400-yard golf course, Bryan is building a clubhouse and onsite lodging. He said Mossy Oak will be open to the public and stay-and-play guests, who also will have the opportunity to play Old Waverly. Bryan is hopeful that the two clubs will draw golf tourists to the east-central region of Mississippi.

Bryan said he hopes for a soft opening by the fall of 2016, with regular play starting the following spring.

Hanse also designed Mossy Oak’s practice area, which will serve as the home of Mississippi State’s golf teams. A 6,400-square-foot team clubhouse is scheduled to be completed this year.

– Bradley S. Klein contributed to this report.