By Mike May
If you want a genuine Southern golf experience that is complemented by rolling hills, loblolly pines, and blooming dogwoods, visit the Mount Vintage Golf Club in North Augusta, South Carolina. It is only a 20-minute drive from the Augusta National Golf Club in nearby Augusta, Georgia.
Mount Vintage Golf Club has many of the shared physical characteristics of its more famous neighbor, but Mount Vintage is available, accessible, and affordable for outside golfers.
Golf Magazine said about Mount Vintage,
“Nothing matches playing Augusta National……but if you’re looking for a course with a similar look, try Mount Vintage Golf Club.”
As soon as you set foot on the grounds of Mount Vintage, the atmosphere is eerily similar to Augusta National. From the clear and simple signage, well maintained grounds, first-class warm-up facilities, plus a clubhouse that predates the construction of the golf course. The pro shop, the grille, and the locker rooms are built in such a way that they form a quasi-amphitheater, which provides a cocoon-like setting for the practice putting green and the driving range.
The perimeter patio, attached to the clubhouse, is complete with rocking chairs, to unwind and relax after your round.
The clubhouse, originally called The Shaw House, was built in 1840. Six generations of Thomas Lewis Shaw’s descendants lived in the home, before it was moved to its current location in 1995. In 1999-2000, The Shaw House was restored to serve as the clubhouse, with new additions for the grille and locker rooms.
The cart barn is also memorable. It was once a traditional, old-fashioned barn, transformed from a home for livestock, to a safe haven for golf carts.
Mount Vintage features three different nine-hole layouts – Vintage, Chester, and Independent. Established in 2000, Mount Vintage has the look of a golf course that was designed by peers of Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie, the architects of Augusta National.
Just as Augusta National tugs at your heart strings, when you see it, Mount Vintage evokes similar emotions. Golf’s finest Gentleman, Bryon Nelson referred to Mount Vintage as a “magnificent layout.”
Another aspect of Mount Vintage, which evokes memories of Augusta National is the presence of many stacked-stone bridges that crisscross the property’s many streams, creeks, and ponds. Visions of the Hogan, Nelson, and Sarazen Bridges at Augusta National immediately come to mind.
“Customers have told me often that our customer service is outstanding,” says Jeff Marks, head golf professional at the Mount Vintage Golf Club. “The staff goes the extra mile to ensure that all guests and members have a first-rate experience every time they visit Mount Vintage Golf Club.”
When you play the Vintage, your decision making will be tested because eight of the nine holes have either an uphill or downhill shot at one time or another. Straight-away par fours are non-existent at the Vintage.
After you walk off the 9th green at the Chester, you’ll want to return to the first tee and play those nine holes immediately. Overall, the Chester is a memorable blend of dogleg par fours, risk & reward par fives, and captivating par threes. The Signature Hole for Mount Vintage is the 6th, a downhill, 537-yard par-five, that has a stream bordering a portion of the left side of the fairway and crosses in front part of the green to catch an errant approach to the putting surface.
Opened in 2008, the Independent is impacted by water on eight of the nine holes. The most scenic hole on the Independent course is the downhill par-three 8th hole. From the tee, a number of bubbling brooks feed a pond, which protects the front of the green. If you don’t swing with commitment, your tee shot will end up wet. Not surprisingly, the 8th hole has been named to PGA.com’s South Carolina Dream 18: Hidden Gems.
If you want a Southern golf experience complemented by rolling hills, loblolly pines, and blooming dogwoods? The Mount Vintage Golf Club awaits your arrival.
To find out more about Mount Vintage Golf Club visit their website: www.mountvintagegolf.com, or call 803-279-5422.