The building project near Branson, Mo. is taking place west of the clubhouse and in the middle of the Woods course that opened in 2020. Construction goes from the top of the mountain down into an area of land that was previously an open field. All profits from greens fees will support conservation efforts in the Ozark Mountains through the Johnny Morris Conservation Foundation.
Payne’s Valley, the first Tiger Woods-designed public golf course, will soon have a new Par 3 layout within its borders near Branson, Mo., the Springfield News-Leader reported. The construction project is taking place west of the clubhouse and in the middle of the Woods course that opened in 2020. The construction goes from the top of the mountain down into an area of land that was previously an open field.
Multiple construction vehicles were seen working among the mounds of dirt before wrapping up for the day, the News-Leader reported. Construction is still in its early stages and no timetable for completion was shared.
“We believe what is taking shape will offer one of the most extraordinary Par 3-course experiences anywhere,” Bass Pro said in a statement. “As well, it will be fun! In fact, we are sure it will be one of the most fun experiences in the world!”
Bass Pro did not say whether Woods would be involved with the project, the News-Leader reported. Construction is in the middle of the course that he designed.
Bass Pro Shops noted in its statement that the course will be committed to sustainable conservation practices in both its development and operations practices, the News-Leader reported.
“This approach will be the same diligent process that has earned Audubon Signature Certification for our five other courses,” the statement added. “Additionally, all profits from green fees will directly support conservation efforts here in the Ozarks through the Johnny Morris Conservation Foundation.”
Payne’s Valley, which opened in 2020, is an 18-hole course adjacent to the Buffalo Ridge site and is the newest part of the Big Cedar Lodge stable of courses south of Branson, the News-Leader reported. Woods opened the course with the “Payne’s Valley Cup” event in Sept. 2020, which also featured Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Justin Rose.
The course is named after Ozarks legend Payne Stewart, who attended Greenwood Laboratory School on Missouri State’s campus, the News-Leader reported. He won three major championships in his career and was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001. The sports world was shocked when he died in an aviation accident at the age of 42.
Payne’s Valley features a 19th hole that was designed by Bass Pro Shops CEO and founder Johnny Morris that includes a hole on an island and a breathtaking view of waterfalls tucked away in the valley below the clubhouse, the News-Leader reported.
Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge had been unusually silent, in terms of golf, in recent years following its opening, the News-Leader reported. None of its five courses has hosted a national-level event since the Payne’s Valley Cup or a PGA TOUR Champions tournament that took place at Ozarks National in the month prior.
The lack of major events could be attributed to the success the course has had since opening to the public, the News-Leader reported. Payne’s Valley is often booked months in advance as golfers seek the experience of playing on the course.
Bass Pro discontinued the “Legends of Golf” PGA Tour Champions event in 2019 after it made its debut in 2014, the News-Leader reported. The golf destination also hasn’t hosted a celebrity event that coincided with Legends of Golf since before the pandemic.
Prior to the Payne’s Valley opening, the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-designed Ozarks National course was the latest to be unveiled in 2019, the News-Leader reported. The Big Cedar Lodge golfing catalog also includes Buffalo Ridge, Top of the Rock and Mountain Top.
A growing trend in new golf courses has been the addition of lights to expand hours of operation, the News-Leader reported. None of the courses in Big Cedar Lodge’s current catalog offer night golf.
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