Truth be told, I have played a lot of golf in my life. Not as much as I like, but enough to make most people jealous. I have been fortunate enough to play from coast to coast. From venues that have hosted wars at the shore to the home of american golf. From goat tracks to G.O.A.T tracks that don't wan't to be named because they don't crave the publicity. Let's just say that if I were to never play the game again, I've had a good run.
Golf has always been fun for me (save the years where my swing disappeared because of time commitments, raising children, work, etc, etc, etc). The swing is back, my kids now play Junior Golf and they don't mind traveling with me to play golf.
My oldest son and I are on a mid west road trip before he turns into a teenager (the trip will be detailed in later blogs once it's over and I can decompress). We recently spent 4 days at Big Cedar Lodge just outside of Branson, MO. You might not think of southern Missouri as a golf hotbed...please re-think that notion.
I HAVE NEVER HAD A MORE FUN ROUND OF GOLF...REPEAT...I HAVE NEVER HAD A MORE FUN ROUND OF GOLF then when my 12 year old son and I played Mountain Top Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge. Mountain Top is a 13 hole (you read that right...13 holes) par 3 course. This is not pitch and putt, this is big boy, hit a real golf shot, on top of the world par 3 golf course. Playing at just over 1100 yards (depending on pins) this course will have you hit every iron in your bag (maybe even more if some of the tees are back which can stretch holes to well over 200 yards). Your short game will be tested, your long game will be tested and yes, you're putting will be tested big time. Every hole is different, every hole is glorious. No, I did not play for free, I paid and I would gladly pay more than what they charge. $93 for my son and I to play. The course is walking only (something the Black Knight insisted on), has Zoysia grass fairways, pure greens and undulation that turns the course into a golfers playground. I could play every hole 5 times and hit different shots each time. There are so many options, sometimes too many, that you can drive yourself crazy over your tee shot. You can make birdies, you can make triples and you can make holes in ones.
My son and i had 3 legit looks at a hole in one, alas it was not meant to be. I did finish one over par. My undoing was the long 194yd 12th with a green that looks like it is perched on the edge of the world with a pin dangling in the either. Below the hole is the most spectacular view of Payne's Valley (Big Cedar Lodge and TW's new addition to the golf world...again more details on that later).
The service is other worldly but not overly aggressive. You are meant to feel like a guest but you are more importantly made to feel like you belong there. Big Cedar Lodge has found a niche with this course and it needs to have the brightest light in golf shown on it.
I got a chance to speak with everyone from the starter to the turf management crew. Everyone was more than generous with their time. The tee times are well spread apart and waiting is never a problem. We were the first ones off at 9:30 one morning and did not see anyone else until we were on 11 and we saw a group up the hill on 4.
I know I did a good job describing Mountain Top but you need to play it yourself in order to understand and appreciate how fun and majestic golf can be. If you are anywhere in the area do yourself a favor and make a tee time. I already have plans on going back next summer.
Go get our out of this world golf shirt which is the only appropriate shirt to wear after a round at Mountain Top Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge.
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