Caddie service, multiple “Best New” designated playing venues, Audubon International Signature Sanctuary certified courses, and luxury lodging are some of the highlights that visiting players can look forward to experiencing in Branson this season.
Caddies are offered in the destination, specifically at three of its 10 courses. Players can find them at Big Cedar Golf’s 18-hole courses – Payne’s Valley (Tiger Woods design), Ozarks National (Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) and Buffalo Ridge (Tom Fazio and Johnny Morris).
“We have created a team of caddies including a mix of professional caddies who spend their winters in Florida and Arizona and new local caddies learning the trade,” said Big Cedar Golf spokesman, Matt McQueary. “We’re proud to say that this is a home-grown caddie program, which is rare in the Midwest, and we are honored to be able to offer it to our guests.”
With five courses overall including two short courses – Mountain Top (Gary Player) and Top of the Rock (Jack Nicklaus) – Big Cedar continues to make the southwest Missouri Ozarks one of the world’s most compelling places to enjoy the game.
Branson’s other five courses add variety and value, not the least of which begins during the spring shoulder season. For example, golfers at The Pointe can play 18 holes excluding tax for $59.99 through April 10. Discounted spring greens fees are in place at Thousand Hills Golf Resort and LedgeStone Country Club until April 1 when peak season rates begin. Holiday Hills was Branson’s first golf course and is currently one of its most affordable ones. At less than 6,000 yards, it is also one of its most player friendly.
Open to the public but in high demand, Branson Hills “Twilight Zone” membership is a way to play the top-rated course designed by Chuck Smith and Bobby Clampett frequently with special perks starting at 2 pm daily throughout the season. These include $300 credit available for food and beverages, 10% discount at The Magnolia Grille and the Pro Shop, monthly dinners, unlimited range balls and practice facility access, and preferred guest rates. Twilight Zone membership starts at $2,086 for individuals, $2,950 for couples and families.
Some of the biggest news in the Branson golf destination this season has to do with environmental best practices. According to Big Cedar, it has become the first resort in the world to received Signature Sanctuary status on all five of its courses from Audubon International, a global not-for-profit conservation leader. To achieve this important distinction, the courses had to meet the highest standard of conservation-minded course design and sustainable operation.
“Achieving this designation is no easy feat for one golf course, let alone five, given the rigorous certification process that takes years and includes several onsite visits from Audubon International staff,” said Matt McQueary of Big Cedar Golf.
The achievement aligns with the vision of noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, who created Big Cedar Lodge to connect more people to nature and has gone on to become one of America’s conservation leaders.
“Branson has established itself as one of the country’s finest destinations for discerning players – we’re home to five of the state’s top 10 rated courses with three nationally ranked – and the best part is that we offer different course types, price points, lodging options and after-golf attractions,” said Lynn Berry, Explore Branson’s Director of Communications. “There’s something for everyone’s taste both on and off the courses.”
Annually voted a TripAdvisor community top U.S. destination, Branson is packed with visitor delights. Some of Branson’s most popular offerings are dozens of live entertainment theatres, iconic Silver Dollar City theme park, Ozark Mountains’ majesty, three pristine lakes, award-winning museums, shopping venues, scores of restaurants of every kind, and a plethora of lodging options – from private rentals and hotels to luxury cabins, lodges and condos.
For more information about Branson visit www.ExploreBranson.com.