Missouri is home to dozens of golf courses in some of the state's most beautiful places. Whether you're new to the game or a seasoned player, you can test your skills on courses designed by some of the biggest names in the sport. After you've finished a round or two, there's plenty more to experience – outdoor adventure, exciting entertainment, family fun, and fantastic food and drink. So grab your clubs – and pack your bags – you'll want to stay awhile.
Big Cedar Lodge, located 10 miles south of Branson, features five golf courses in the heart of the Ozarks. Top of the Rock Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, offers sweeping views of Table Rock Lake as well as waterfalls, creeks and ponds. At the Tom Fazio-designed Buffalo Ridge, you'll see bison grazing on native grasses, eye-catching rock formations and caves.
The resort's newest course, Payne's Valley is the first public-access course designed by Tiger Woods. The course pays tribute to Ozarks native and World Golf Hall-of-Famer Payne Stewart and finishes with a dramatic 19th hole.
Big Cedar Lodge has several dining options including the Osage Restaurant and Arnie's Barn. Accommodations include luxury rooms, cabins and cottages. The resort also includes a marina, spa, hiking trails and 50,000-square-foot family fun center.
You can find more lodging, dining and entertainment options a short drive away in Branson. Live shows are filled with a variety of music, magic and comedy. Other attractions include the Titanic Museum, The Branson Ferris Wheel, the Aquarium on the Boardwalk and the award-winning Silver Dollar City theme park.
Choose from a wide selection of restaurants and cafes. Enjoy fine dining at Level 2 Steakhouse, or sample some barbecue at Gettin' Basted. There's lots of places to shop – downtown Branson, the Grand Villages Shops and Branson Landing, featuring a lakefront boardwalk and outdoor fire and fountain show.
Lake of the Ozarks Area
The Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail includes several standout courses. Old Kinderhook Golf Course, designed by Tom Weiskopf, is carved out of the Ozark hills and features rolling terrain and rock-lined waterfalls. Beautiful lake views are on display at The Cove at the Lodge of the Four Seasons – the resorts' flagship course.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer designed the original 18-holes at the Osage National Golf Resort. An additional nine holes have been added to the course, which boasts towering Osage River bluff views.
Once you're off the links, you'll want to spend time on the water. Marinas throughout the area provide boat rentals for fishing, skiing and cruising the expansive lake. For more outdoor adventure, explore Ha Ha Tonka State Park with 15 miles of hiking trails, a natural bridge and the intriguing remains of a European-style stone castle. Go below the surface at Bridal Cave to see amazing rock formations and an underground lake. Discover more family fun at Miner Mike's and Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park.
Choose from a variety of dining options such as JB Hook's, Baxter's Lakeside Grille and 1932 Reserve. Waterfront bars and grills offer live entertainment and lakeside pools. Spend some time shopping at the lake's boutiques, galleries and antique stores. You can browse more than 20 shops at The Landing on Main Street.
Golf in the City
There's plenty of golfing opportunities at public courses in Missouri's metro areas.
In the Kansas City region, play a round at Stone Canyon Golf Club, a Greg Norman-designed course with rolling hills and rugged rock outcroppings, located just outside Blue Springs. North Kansas City's Shoal Creek Golf Course has interesting elevation changes amid the picturesque landscape.
Tapawingo National Golf Club in St. Louis features three, nine-hole courses designed by Gary Player. Golfers can combine any two of the courses for an 18-hole experience. Missouri Bluffs Golf Club, a Tom Fazio-designed course in St. Charles, presents a challenging layout and scenic vistas.
Off the course, pair golf with great food and drink at Top Golf in Chesterfield. Tee off from a climate-controlled hitting bay toward a target in the outfield. Micro-chipped balls make score keeping easy.