Golf is a solitary game, whether you play with pals, family or alone, just for fun or in an organized tournament. It matters not if you are a scratch player or play to an 86 handicap; it all boils down to you playing against you. Every shot you take is just you, the ball and the terrain. That’s why golf is so exhilarating, from age five to age 100.
Here are a few challenging courses located at or near a Missouri State Park; camp, fish, swim and relax in the state park before and after an 18-hole adventure. At most courses during “the season,” reservations are highly recommended. All of the State Parks have camping facilities – again, reservations recommended – picnic sites and other attractions.
- Less than 10 minutes from Table Rock State Park, The Pointe Royale Golf Course offers 18 holes along the banks of Lake Taneycomo. There is water on 12 holes; bunkers on every hole. Table Rock State Park, five miles west of Branson, features a marina, scuba diving, fishing, a boat ramp, camping, paved walking and bicycle trails, and picnic sites with a shelter.
- Ste. Genevieve Golf Club is 10 minutes west of Ste. Genevieve, the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi River. The club is about a dozen miles northeast of Hawn State Park. The course is a player-friendly layout, with four sets of tees and fairways lined with pine trees. Hawn State Park is one of Missouri's most scenic and unspoiled landscapes. it includes hiking trails and a 10-mile backpacking trail.
- Graham Cave State Park is home to a shelter cave that was inhabited more than 10,000 years ago. A 20 minute drive southeast takes you to Loutre Shore Country Club, three miles north of Hermann. The nine-hole course has two sets of tees, allowing for a “back nine” that is different from the “front-nine.” As we are sure you know, Hermann is home to several of Missouri’s top wineries.
- The Lake of the Ozarks area is jammed with quality golf facilities. Dogwood Hills Golf Club is a full service resort, including the only lighted practice range in the lake area. This award-winning course is only five minutes from Missouri's largest state park, Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Among the park’s many activities are: 89 miles of shoreline; beaches; boat-launching; marinas; hiking; mountain biking and equestrian trails; and the fascinating Ozark Caverns.
- Stone Hedge Golf Club in Marshall features 9-holes of superb links-style play with four sets of tee markers and two lakes that come into play on five of the holes. They have a restaurant, swimming pool and bar. About 12 miles northwest, Van Meter State Park holds remnants of an American Indian village, including a hand-dug earthwork, called the Old Fort, and several burial mounds. Exhibits inside the American Indian Cultural Center showcase the history of American Indians in Missouri.
So there you have it: five locations for a family outing, some great outdoor fun exploring nature, and an invigorating round of golf. And this only scratches the surface of golf in Missouri. Tee it up and keep your head down. Fore!
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