Branson Golf established itself as the nation’s most-compelling rising-star destination through an astounding addition of courses, off-course activities, and more in the recent past. This fall is an ideal time to visit thanks to superb weather, stunning foliage, new amenities and a slew of convenient transportation options. And then there’s the commencement of shoulder season, a time when the courses are less crowded and the value skyrockets.
Branson’s 10 golf courses will unveil after-peak-season golf rates and stay-and-play packages in the coming weeks, making now a smart time to book upcoming visits and rounds. Once that’s done, plan your transportation – either into one of the SW Missouri Ozarks’ airports (Springfield or Branson), or by vehicle (Branson is within a one day’s drive for one-third of the country). Branson-Springfield International Airport (SGF) is a popular hub for a variety of commercial flight options. Branson Airport has fewer commercial selections but does provide several low-fare options provided by Frontier Airlines and many private airplanes fly into the airport due to its perfect location and the demand for the amazing golf.
Once in Branson, tee it up at a variety of exceptional courses that are close to one another, hold critical acclaim, and offer great restaurants, lodging, and after-golf diversions. These include Thousand Hills, a golf resort that is home to great lodging variety (from cabins to condos) and is closest to the destination’s dozens of live entertainment theaters.
In its first full season, Tiger Woods’ first public course in America (Payne’s Valley) is a must play. An inspiring 18 regulation holes await plus an additional “banger” – the bonus “Big Rock,” a par-3 island green surrounded by seven stories high limestone walls with waterfalls cascading down them.
Eight other good to great playing venues will charm players, including the top-three-rated courses in Missouri and four of the top 10:
- Ozarks National (designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) – named the best new public course in the U.S. when it opened in 2019 by Golf Digest,
- Buffalo Ridge (a Tom Fazio-Johnny Morris collaboration) – that comes by its name honestly with live buffalo grazing adjacent to the brawny, scenic layout,
- Branson Hills (designed by Chuck Smith and Bobby Clampett) – unfurls a robust routing that ingeniously combines a diverse yet complementary collection of holes, and
- LedgeStone (authored by golf course architect Tom Clark) – one of Branson’s most popular courses, it thrillingly highlights the region’s mountainous terrain.
Two par-3 short courses – Top of the Rock (Jack Nicklaus) and Mountain Top (Gary Player) – are acclaimed and wonderful to play after morning rounds on the destination’s 18-hole designs. The Pointe and Holiday Hills are player friendly venues that are particularly affordable and fun.
The golf is great in Branson however players cannot live by the game alone. Fortunately, the destination bursts with many more things to do and places to go – three lakes and water sports, iconic Silver Dollar City theme park, breweries and wineries, museums, historic downtown, contemporary waterfront town center (Branson Landing), live entertainment, and a plethora of family friendly establishments. Hundreds of restaurants, scores of lodging choices, and seasonal festivals put an exclamation point on Branson visits.
If you’re a fan of playing golf amid colorful fall foliage, Branson is an exceptionally vibrant place to tee it up each autumn. Thousands of acres of hardwood trees and several courses with little to no surrounding development make for picture-perfect play.
“Branson is a remarkable place to visit year-round, but fall is particularly appealing thanks to all that our destination offers this time of year,” said Lynn Berry, Director of Communications, Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau.