Bucket-list golf destinations must have a variety of exceptional golf courses that are close to one another, hold critical acclaim, and offer great restaurants, lodging, and after-golf diversions. Branson Golf checks all those boxes, but has something nowhere else does – Tiger Woods’ first public course, new courses opening virtually every year for the past five years, and an ever-growing collection of high-profile competitions that have legendary players raving about the destination.
Two PGA TOUR Champions events were played here in August, including one at which Phil Mickelson made his tour debut and won in mesmerizing fashion at Big Cedar Lodge’s Ozarks National, the Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design that earned “America’s Best New Public Course 2019” by Golf Digest.
Next on tap is a match-up of epic proportion, Americans Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas prepare to take on European standouts Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose. The Payne’s Valley Cup will take place Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, and will serve as the official debut of Payne’s Valley, the first public-access course in the U.S. designed by Tiger Woods’ TGR Design.
Whenever Woods is involved in anything, the golf world takes notice. And his partnership with Big Cedar Lodge Founder Johnny Morris has resulted in a scintillating golf course that is as beautiful as it is anticipated. Anyone who knows Morris, the noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops Founder, knows anything he does, he does to an astounding degree. That’s on display at all five Big Cedar Lodge golf courses, which also include Top of the Rock (Jack Nicklaus design), Mountain Top (Gary Player), and Buffalo Ridge (Tom Fazio and Morris).
As if what Morris is doing isn’t enough to command attention, accolades for Branson Golf courses this year have illuminated that it’s not just Big Cedar Lodge that makes the destination a must-experience place. Four Branson courses were rated among the top 10 in Missouri – Ozarks National (No. 1), Buffalo Ridge (No. 2), Branson Hills (No. 3), and LedgeStone (No. 7). Additionally, Ozarks National and Buffalo Ridge were honored as “Top 100 Courses You Can Play in America,” ranking nos. 64 and 83, respectively (out of roughly 13,500 U.S. playing venues).
“Branson has become a world-class golf destination, and we have incredible hotels, resorts, restaurants and much more to accommodate visitors,” said Lynn Berry, Director of Communications, Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Thousand Hills (Bob Cupp design), The Pointe, and Holiday Hills complete Branson Golf’s roster of 10 courses, and each has earned appreciation for their playability and value.