Big Cedar Lodge was again awarded the “Best Course You Can Play in Missouri” in Golfweek’s 2020 annual rankings list with Ozarks National earning this year’s top spot following its grand opening last year, according to a press release.

Immediately behind Ozarks National on the list was last year’s winner, Buffalo Ridge at Big Cedar Lodge. The combination of both courses ranking as the best in the state further help solidify Big Cedar Lodge as “the premier golf destination in the Midwest and America’s next great golf destination,” according to the release.

“We are honored to have been recognized by Golfweek, one of the most prominent publications in the game of golf,” Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge, said in the release. “The entire Big Cedar Lodge team is very passionate about sharing our beautiful Ozarks with the world, and I couldn’t be prouder of their commitment to connect more people to nature through these beautiful courses. We hope this recognition brings more people to enjoy the safe, secluded and rejuvenating outdoor experience our nature golf courses offer, particularly at a time when social distancing has never been more important.”

In addition to ranking as the “Top Courses You Can Play in Missouri,” Ozarks National ranked No. 64 on “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.” Last month, the course hosted the 113th annual Missouri Amateur Championship. Buffalo Ridge ranked No. 83 on “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.” 

Together, the two courses will host back-to-back PGA Tour Champions events, The Charles Schwab Series at Bass Bro Shops’ Big Cedar Lodge, in August. All rankings were released in Golfweek’s July issue, which are based on evaluations from more than 850 Golfweek course raters who survey more than 3,600 golf courses annually.

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.

That course will join Ozarks National; Top of the Rock, a Jack Nicklaus-designed par-3 course in nearby Ridgedale, that features a seamless display of nature and golf at its finest, overlooking Table Rock Lake; the Buffalo Ridge Springs Course, designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio and bringing players in close contact with nature, native grasses and free-ranging North American bison from nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park; and the 13-hole Mountain Top course, designed by Gary Player and delivering unparalleled thrills for golfers passionate about nature and golf.

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 years 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.

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