The golf courses at Big Cedar Lodge recently hosted the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops and the two courses – Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge (Springs) – have quickly shot up the list of most popular courses.
According to Yahoo Travel, the two courses ranked among the Top 10 most searched golf destinations on Yahoo Search.
“Since hosting the tournament and having it broadcast on national TV, we’ve achieved our main goal to showcase the Ozarks for a national audience and demonstrate that Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge are national-caliber golf facilities,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and owner of Big Cedar Lodge. “We’ve been very pleased with the positive recognition and praise the courses and facilities have earned from the legendary golfers as well as golf fans around the country.”
Top of the Rock was ranked No. 4, sharing the top five spots with such notable and recognized destinations as TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (No. 1); Pebble Beach Golf Course, Pebble Beach, California (No. 2); Harbor Shores Golf Course, Benton Harbor, Michigan (No. 3), and Shoal Creek Golf Course, Shoal Creek, Alabama (No. 5). The Buffalo Ridge Springs course ranked No. 8 on the list, followed by Whistling Straits Golf Course, Kohler, Wisconsin (No. 9) and Wade Hampton Golf Course, Cashiers, North Carolina (No. 10).
Here’s what some of the golf legends who participated in the Legends of Golf event had to say:
“I've played a lot of nine-hole golf courses and I've never seen anything compared to Top of the Rock. I thought Augusta's was enjoyable but this is way better,” said Gary Player, international golf legend.
“I was blown away when I first got here, drove up the winding road and saw the clubhouse, the range, the Himalaya putting green,” said Peter Jacobsen, legendary golfer and broadcaster.
“There are no comparisons, there's nothing like this anywhere in the world. It's unbelievable what Johnny's passion is for his community and the will he has to want to create something like this. It's over the top,” said Fred Funk, winner of the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops event, along with his playing partner, Jeff Sluman.
As one of the nation’s leading conservationists, Morris has put his energy and creativity behind preserving the habitat of the Ozarks. Presenting a natural golf experience at Big Cedar Lodge is part of the overall plan to create the premier outdoor destination, which includes Johnny Morris’ Top of the Rock Heritage Preserve. Highlighted within the preserve is Top of the Rock, a tribute to the purity of golf that features a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Course, an Arnold Palmer-designed Practice Facility, a 70,000 square-foot putting complex called the Himalayas, designed by native Missourian, Tom Watson, and Arnie’s Bran, relocated from Arnold Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Buffalo Ridge Springs Course, previously rated by Golf Digest as one of the state’s top public courses, now returns to public play following the end of the tournament. After a re-design by renowned golf course architect and Branson Creek designer, Tom Fazio, and conservationist Morris, the Springs course features new approaches to greens that are lined with native Missouri grasses and foliage to create a natural golf experience. Buffalo now roam the native areas alongside the fairways to create a one-of-a-kind nature themed golf experience. The 6,900 yard golf course follows the ridges and creek valleys of the Ozarks in a true natural showcase of the region.