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BRANSON NEWS: For the uninitiated, there are two Branson, Missouris – the one you think you know and the one that actually exists.
Most of the surprises are courtesy of Johnny Morris, Founder of Bass Pro Shops, an area native who has spared no expense gussying up the place. Over the past 30 years, Morris has helped transform a Branson that has become as much an outdoor playground as it is a live entertainment Mecca.
The best news for golfers is that Morris has recently become a passionate advocate of the sport. In an era when course construction is severely restrained – at least in America – Morris is plowing ahead with high-end projects by rainmakers in the field.
For example, at Buffalo Ridge Springs – a Tom Fazio design which hosts the PGA Tour Champions Legends of Golf event every April – players can glance over to the next bluff where courses by Tiger Woods and the illustrious design team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore are being built alongside a fascinating Gary Player short course, which opened in August.
Five miles to the southwest, near Morris’s dazzling Big Cedar Lodge, Top of the Rock Golf Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is a monument to conspicuous construction. Each of its nine lavish par-3 holes is a postcard. So is the incredible synthetic driving range, designed by Arnold Palmer.
Woods was so enamored of the site that he will build another course for Morris, and also a par-3 that will encourage junior play.
For those who’ve never considered Branson a golf destination, it’s time to lose those preconceived notions and consider the area’s eclectic collection of courses.Here are the ones that any golf trip to Branson should include.
Buffalo Ridge Springs
Ranked No. 1 among publics in Missouri by Golf Magazine, Buffalo Ridge Springs …
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