2018 Legends of Golf News and Notes
RIDGEDALE, Mo.– Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris was joined by golf legend and Missouri native Tom Watson and officials from the PGA TOUR Champions and Big Cedar Lodge today to announce plans for the 2018 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge and preview the latest addition to the resort’s growing golf experience, the Tom Watson-designed Himalayan Style Practice Green Complex.
Golf’s greatest legends return to Big Cedar Lodge from April 17-22 and for the first time will compete on the new Mountain Top Course designed by Gary Player, a stunning 13-hole masterpiece with some of the most spectacular views in the region that opened in August 2017. PGA TOUR Champions participants will play 67 holes across Mountain Top, Buffalo Ridge Springs – recently rated the number one public golf course in the state of Missouri by Golf Magazine, and Top of the Rock, the majestic nine-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Broadcast internationally on Golf Channel, the excitement of Legends of Golf and the picturesque setting of Big Cedar Lodge is delivered to 300 million homes in 220 countries and territories. This year’s participants include World Golf Hall of Fame legends of the sport like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson, and welcomes Champions Tour participants including Major Champions John Daly, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal, among many other past PGA TOUR champions.
Big Cedar Lodge hosts special Kids Clinic during tournament week
New this year, Big Cedar Lodge will welcome back one of golf’s greatest champions, Tiger Woods, to host a rare and one-of-a-kind Kids Clinic on Tuesday, April 17. From the soon-to-open driving range at Ozarks National, area students and golf teams will come face to face with Woods to receive tips and tricks from one of the winningest players of all time. This inaugural event is part of the company’s mission to connect new and young audiences to the outdoors through the game of golf. Though the event is closed to the public, additional information about participation, including ticketing and access to the private event, will be announced soon.
Tom Watson Putting Complex revealed
Tom Watson today unveiled the design for his newly-created Putting Complex. A Golf Hall of Fame member and native Missourian, Watson redesigned the complex with inspiration from the historic Himalayas Putting Course at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. The masterpiece now covers more than one acre of land atop Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, sitting near Mountain Top and the 18-hole Ozarks National course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw set to open later this year. The complex features two separate greens, including a Himalayan-style putting experience.
“What Johnny has done at Big Cedar Lodge – both for golf and for the people of the Ozarks – shows his true passion and commitment to this part of the country,” said Watson. “I’ve known Johnny for years and could not have asked for a better partner in the redesign of the putting course. His creativity and vision to grow the game of golf is unmatched in our industry today.”
2018 tournament highlights
PGA TOUR Champions players will add Mountain Top to their competitive schedule, playing Buffalo Ridge Springs on Thursday, April 19, Top of the Rock on either Friday or Saturday, Mountain Top on the alternate day, and closing out the week with a final round at Top of the Rock on Sunday, April 22.
Proceeds from Legends of Golf benefit College of the Ozarks (“Hard Work U”), an award-winning college that provides deserving students who lack sufficient means with the entire cost of an education allowing them to graduate debt-free. Full-time students at Hard Work U work campus jobs to defray the cost of education.
This year marks the 41st anniversary of Legends of Golf and the fifth year that Big Cedar Lodge has played host, the tournament has generated $4 million to-date.
Ticket prices and promotions for 2018 Legends of Golf
Ticket prices and packages start as low as $20 for the fifth-annual Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf:
- Military & First Responders can receive FREE general daily passes courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge (valid military/first responder ID required).
- Daily Pass tickets are available for $25 ($20 when paid with a MasterCard) and grant access to Top of the Rock, Mountain Top and/or Buffalo Ridge on any one day from Tuesday, April 17 through Sunday, April 22.
- Gold Combo Packages for $125 (or $100 when you use your Mastercard), you may purchase a Gold Ticket for admission to any course where golf is being played, every day from Tuesday, April 17, through Sunday, April 22. It's the perfect pass for serious golf fans and provides access to all the action, from the Pro-Am to Championship Sunday!
There are also special events, promotions and giveaways offering excitement for fans of all ages:
- Saturday, April 21, is Family Fun Day, where all children ages 17 and under receive free admission with a paying adult. YouTube stars and trick-shot aficionados Dude Perfect will make a special appearance on the Arnold Palmer Practice Facility at 3:00 p.m. along with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and PGA TOUR Champions golfers. All Family Fun Day guests will also receive a special gift from the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau and a free chicken sandwich courtesy of Chick-Fil-A (limited quantity available).
- Sunday, April 22, is the Celebrity Skins Shootout starting at 9:30 a.m. at Top of the Rock. This will feature a 9-hole event, including appearances by the legends of golf, actor, producer, and businessman Mark Wahlberg and singer-songwriter, and actor Kid Rock.
- FREE parking is available for all spectators.
Tickets on sale now
Tickets for this year’s Legends of Golf tournament are on sale now. Fans can purchase advance tickets by:
- Visiting BassProLegends.com
- Calling toll-free at 1-888-347-4426
- Visiting the Will Call center at College of the Ozarks Alumni Center in Point Lookout, Mo.
Big Cedar Lodge emerging as world-class golf destination
Already a top-travel destination, Big Cedar Lodge is redefining the perception of golf in the Ozarks with the highly-anticipated opening of Ozarks National, a new 18-hole course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, in fall 2018. Designed in partnership with Johnny Morris, the new course will serve as a gateway to the Ozarks National Forest and cement Big Cedar Lodge’s place as America’s next great golf destination.
Coming in 2019, projects crafted by Morris and legendary golf-icon Tiger Woods will be revealed. Payne’s Valley, a 19-hole championship course built to showcase the region’s natural beauty and to honor the late, local golf legend Payne Stewart, is the first public golf course in the United States by Woods’ TGR Design. To further honor Stewart’s legacy, Morris is also creating the Payne Stewart Learning Facility – an extraordinary practice facility that will contain a tribute museum displaying Stewart’s personal trophies, scorecards, apparel, equipment, photos and more.
Big Cedar Lodge has made a name for itself in the golf world with the 2014 re-opening of Top of the Rock, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, the renovation of Buffalo Ridge Springs, redesigned by Tom Fazio and recently ranked as the “Best Golf Course You Can Play in Missouri” by GOLF Magazine and the launch of the Gary Player-designed Mountain Top Course, the 13-hole par-3 masterpiece that features dramatic limestone formations and some of the most breathtaking views in the region.
Nicklaus and Palmer are the names behind the design of Top of the Rock, which offers a one-of-a-kind golf experience unmatched in the U.S. The natural Ozarks topography adds a unique twist to the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, which features nine Par-3 holes with magnificent views of Table Rock Lake. The Arnold Palmer Practice Facility features 16 target greens, recessed lighting and teeing decks.
The remarkable 18-hole Buffalo Ridge Springs golf course has won acclaim as one of the region’s best public golf courses. Originally opened in 1999, Buffalo Ridge Springs has since been transformed by the guiding hands of visionary conservationist Johnny Morris and renowned golf architect Tom Fazio. A 2014 redesign revitalized the course by raising every aspect to Tour-quality standards and by bringing players in close contact with nature, native grasses, and even free-ranging North American Bison from nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.
Johnny Morris has long called the Ozarks home, and remains captivated by its beauty and rich history. Big Cedar Lodge epitomizes Morris’ passion for the outdoors and his imagination as the world’s premier outdoor resort. Unique golf experiences, like all activities at Big Cedar Lodge, connect people to nature and illustrate the importance of conservation.
For more information on the 2018 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf and the golf experience at Big Cedar Lodge, news releases, fact sheets and assets are available by visiting www.bassprolegends.com/media.
About Bass Pro Shops Bass
Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”
About Big Cedar® Lodge
Located in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar Lodge is America’s premier wilderness resort. A passion of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, the 4,600-acre lakeside retreat connects families to the outdoors with a variety of nature-based experiences including fishing, boating, hiking, spa and wellness offerings, hosting over 1.5 million guests annually. Signature attractions include Top of the Rock, home to world-class golf, dining, and entertainment; and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre nonprofit wildlife preserve. Named “Number One Resort in the Midwest” by the readers of Travel + Leisure, the resort offers genuine Ozarks hospitality and a convenient location just south of Branson. Learn more at www.bigcedar.com.
About the PGA TOUR® Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of golf’s most recognizable and accomplished players, age 50 and older, including 32 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2017, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 26 tournaments in 18 states, Japan, Wales and Canada, with purses totaling more than $55 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air live, tape-delayed or in a highlights-package format in excess of 190 countries and territories, reaching more than 330 million potential households. The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow PGA TOUR Champions at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.