New Gary Player Short Course Now Open at Big Cedar Lodge


New world-class short opens at Big Cedar Lodge, cementing its position as America’s Next Great Golf Destination


RIDGEDALE, MO. (January 25, 2018) – What do you get when you combine the “Walt Disney of the Outdoors” with one of the most creative shot makers of all time? A spectacular mountain-top course high atop Missouri’s beautiful Ozark Mountains.

Mountain Top, a world-class short course designed by golf icon Gary Player and noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, is now open at Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Winding through remarkable rock formations and showcasing some of the most dramatic views in the Ozarks, the 13-hole, walking-only course promises to capture the emotions of pros and amateurs alike. Players will pass through striking 300 million-year-old limestone cave-like formations to find breathtaking views from each tee.
“We’ve built hundreds of courses over the years, but never one as drastically stunning as this,” said Player. “The transitions between wonderful rock formations and magnificent views make this a true national treasure. Mountain Top reveals 300 million years of nature’s hidden talents. Like Augusta when you come to hole 11 and can see 12 and then 13, the course unfolds to present a story of golf and the Ozarks that is truly amazing.”

Connecting Golfers to Nature’s Beauty

Traversing across and through rock formations, the par-3 course unfolds along elevated ridges that look down on lush valleys in all directions. The perspectives evoke emotion toward the overwhelming beauty of nature while also connecting golfers to the rich heritage of the storied land. The course begins graciously with a gentle slope and then gives way to craggy outcroppings and uphill approaches. The views provide a backdrop for countless shot variations that challenge players of all ages and skill levels. Moving between the third green to the fourth hole, players cross a winding bridge that allows them to walk to the edge of the earth. With staggering tees and unique angles, the course opens itself to present intriguing shots for a wide range of players. Players will have their hands full with three holes eclipsing 200 yards in length from the back tees.

“I have loved working with Gary Player to create this remarkably unique golf environment that highlights the natural beauty of the Ozarks and complements our existing golf offerings,” said Morris. “Our shared passion for the outdoors and interest in growing the game of golf has made this partnership very special. We are building an experience unlike anything that’s been done before that will bring golfers of all ages and skill levels together and create lasting memories for our guests.”

Mountain Top will join Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge Springs as courses played during the 2018 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge. The tournament will take place from April 16th-22nd 2018 and has confirmed Big Cedar Lodge as its host for the next four years.

America’s Next Great Golf Destinationmerica’s

Already a top-travel destination, 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, and the renovation of Buffalo Ridge Springs, redesigned by Tom Fazio and Morris and recently named the “Best Golf Course You Can Play in Missouri” by GOLF Magazine. The property is advancing Morris’ vision for a world-class outdoor resort that combines a shared appreciation for conservation and a premier golf experience through Big Cedar Golf: Nature’s Finest.

Top of the Rock, Buffalo Ridge, and Mountain Top will soon be joined by two additional world-class golf experiences. Ozarks National, a new 18-hole layout created by the renowned design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw is scheduled to open in fall 2018. In 2019, projects crafted by Morris and 79-time PGA Tour winner Tiger Woods will be unveiled at Big Cedar Lodge. Payne’s Valley, a 19-hole 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. For more information about course developments, visit


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, shooting, 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 park. Named “Number One Resort in the Midwest” by the readers of Travel + Leisure in 2016 & 2017, the resort offers genuine Ozarks hospitality and a convenient location just south of Branson. Learn more at

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Rachel Wille
KemperLesnik or 507-403-9347