There’s a small tradition in Missouri you may not know about. Frankly, it was just recently, I heard about the tradition of golfing on New Year’s Day. “A little strange,” I thought to myself. “Why would somebody willingly go outside on a cold day to golf?”
“Well, it’s really not that cold,” a little guy on my shoulder whispered in my ear. “Courses close if conditions aren’t right for golfing. Only if the course is snow-covered or if the temperature is below freezing will the course close.”
The guy on my shoulder disappeared after that, but he was right. If it’s above freezing, it’s not really that cold, is it? You could always bundle up. Wearing a layer or two is a small price to pay for getting out and hitting the fairway. And, a round of golf would offer nice rest and relaxation after the holidays.
Now that I’m committed to golfing New Year’s Day, the question becomes which Missouri golf course? Luckily, Missouri is home to beautiful and award-winning courses. Deciding amongst them isn’t easy, but I’ve managed to narrow the courses to five for you.
BILL & PAYNE STEWART GOLF COURSE
The Bill & Payne Stewart Golf Course in Springfield is a great course. It is, after all, named after two legendary Ozarks golfers – Bill Stewart and Payne Stewart. For the fourth year in a row, the course is hosting its annual Chili Classic Golf Tournament. This two-person best-ball tournament does have an entry fee, but first through fifth place winners receive a cash prize. The event takes place on, of course, Jan. 1.
THE COURSES AT FOREST PARK
The Courses at Forest Park in St. Louis consist of three, nine-hole courses from which you can mix and match to make 18 (or just play a quick nine). They have events planned for New Year’s Day, too. The tournament, dubbed the Frozen Open, includes a three-team, nine-hole scramble. Your entry fee includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as green and cart fees. Forest Park is one of my favorite courses. I know the course well, so I like my chances.
THE COVE COURSE AT FOUR SEASONS
The Cove Course is another course that features some challenges with breathtaking views. Play too aggressively and you might find your ball in a water hazard; gaze off into the cove and you could lose your focus. The course doesn’t have a New Year’s Day event, but they are open (weather depending).
SHOAL CREEK GOLF CLUB
Shoal Creek is an award-winning course in Kansas City. Named one of the Best Courses You Can Play in 2013 by GolfWeek, its 6,950-yard par 71 plays very well for any player’s skill level (even for novices like myself). If you’re not looking to shoot under par, but looking to relax, it’s easy on a course as beautiful as Shoal Creek. And lucky for you, they are planning to be open on Jan. 1.
CROWN POINTE GOLF CLUB
Crown Pointe is another course that offers beauty and challenge and, depending on the weather, is open Jan. 1. The public course plays 7,069 yards, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pull out the driver. The course’s facilities include a pro shop, a driving range and, to carb-load before teeing-off, a bar and grill called the 19th Hole. Make sure you call before you head to this course on New Year’s Day (fingers crossed that it’s nice enough weather.)
I could call upon the little guy on my shoulder to help, but let me ask you: Where should I golf New Year’s Day?
Written by Daniel Doelling of H&L Partners.