Ballin' in Branson: World class golf in Missouri
Branson, Mo., is best known
as the "live entertainment capital of
the world” — kind of like a PG-rated Las Vegas
in the Ozarks.
And really, it's
hard to argue with a place that has played
host to Robert Goulet
and the Osmonds. But beyond Branson's
twinkly lights, there's a
lot of world-
class golf to be played.
Daly's Murder Rock Golf Club
When people hit a great drive here, I bet they
love to turn to
their foursome and say, "I really murdered that
one, heh heh." All
joking aside, this
frighteningly named monster of a course
combines lush conditions
with sweeping views of the Ozarks. And since
its opening in
2007, the name
has gotten around; Golfweek called Murder
Rock one of the best
public courses in America. John Daly added his
own name to the
track through a
licensing deal in 2008, but he may not have
helped its reputation
- he immediately gave a bizarre shirtless
interview from the
course’s first tee.
Since then, though, Murder Rock has received
positive buzz from
its top-notch conditions and a breezy location
on the highest
mountain in the
Branson Creek Golf
Tom Fazio is perhaps the most-decorated golf
alive today, and he put his talents to good use
at Branson Creek.
Named the No.
1 public course in Missouri by Golf Digest, this
track is remarkably
priced considering its pedigree: $99 during
peak season and as
low as $48 in
the off-season. So even if you don't have
crazy Fazio money,
you can still get on this Branson gem.
LedgeStone Country Club
While LedgeStone offers similar Ozark views to
courses, it really kicks it up a notch with the
border several of the holes, and even the
practice putting green
is placed next to a babbling waterfall. The
course itself tops out
at nearly 6,900
yards from the tips with a diabolical slope
rating of 132.
LedgeStone doesn't get the press that the
courses do, but it's still a
solid pick to add to your Missouri golf trip.
Payne Stewart Golf
Back when Ian Poulter was still slinging Top
Flites in an English
pro shop, Payne Stewart was the PGA Tour's
And he had the
game to back it up, too. This Missouri native
won two U.S.
Opens and a PGA Championship before his
tragic death in 1999.
His namesake course
in Branson pays homage to the Hall of Famer
with a layout that's
among the best in Missouri. And after your
round, you can stop
by the "Many
Faces of Payne" pub to check out Stewart's
collection. But the coolest detail of all? Each
hole at the course
is named after
an anecdote from Payne's life, from hole No. 1,
to the finishing hole, "Fatherhood."
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