The premier golf magazine’s Top 100 Resorts ranking is the first, most comprehensive review of elite destinations in North America and the most expansive editorial project the publication has undertaken. The list, which will appear in its October issue, was compiled by GOLF Magazine editors, course raters and valued readers who evaluated and considered hundreds of resorts.
“We are humbled to be recognized by GOLF Magazine with this incredible honor,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge. “Golf at Big Cedar Lodge is an opportunity for people from around the world to experience the natural beauty of the Ozarks. We hope this achievement inspires even more families and golf enthusiasts to come experience our genuine Ozarks hospitality and world-class golf courses.”
The recognition adds to Big Cedar Lodge’s list of growing resort and golf accolades, including Buffalo Ridge (Tom Fazio design) recent honors as the “Best Public Course in Missouri” by Golfweek. Big Cedar Lodge currently has three other award-winning courses in addition to Buffalo Ridge – Top of the Rock, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, Mountain Top Course, a family-friendly 13-hole par-3 short course masterpiece designed by Gary Player that features dramatic limestone rock formations and some of most breathtaking views in the region, and Ozarks National, the newest 18-hole course designed by renowned architect duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
Soon, Morris and Tiger Woods will unveil Big Cedar’s fifth golf course – Payne’s Valley, a 19-hole course built to showcase the region’s natural beauty and to honor late, local golf legend Payne Stewart. It is the first public golf course in the U.S. by Woods and his firm, TGR Design. With Payne’s Valley, Woods and Morris will offer a course where players of all skill levels will be able to enjoy the game with each other in the beautiful Ozark Mountain landscape with kid’s tees located further down the fairways. The course will also feature a spectacular and breathtaking 19th hole affectionately known as Big Rock at Payne’s Valley.
Morris has personally spent countless hours walking the courses, ensuring golf development at Big Cedar Lodge helps connect people to nature as well as future generations to the game. This commitment to conservation extends to the level of care given to protect the natural environment and surrounding ecosystems of the resort’s five nature courses, which has drawn the attention of the National Audubon Society. Earlier this year, Audubon awarded Big Cedar founder Johnny Morris with its prestigious Audubon Medal – one of conservation’s highest honors – for his lifelong commitment to conservation.
Currently, Morris and Big Cedar are working with Audubon to obtain Audubon Signature Sanctuary status, an environmental education and certification program for properties that follow comprehensive sustainable resource management principles. Johnny Morris achieved signature status with the Top of the Rock course 15 yers ago, one of fewer than 100 courses in the world to earn the designation at the time. A resort-wide sanctuary status designation would be the only one of its kind to encompass all aspects of golf development and the greater development of Big Cedar Lodge.
Big Cedar Lodge is a 4,600-acre lakeside wilderness resort with premiere nature-based experiences for the entire family, such as fishing, shooting, nature excursions, water sports, horseback riding and more. The resort has two marinas on Table Rock Lake and multiple family-based attractions and amenities including the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum and Lost Canyon Cave & Nature Trail. Families can also enjoy Fun Mountain, offering 50,000 square feet of endless entertainment including a full arcade, underwater-themed bowling, laser tag, a golf simulator and more year-round for kids of all ages.