Missouri Outdoor Fun, a Playground for Legends

Blue skies, a nice breeze and Jack and Gary are in the hunt. The air is balmy, a perfect backdrop for Missouri outdoor fun.

Yes, Saturday was a great day to experience the Missouri Ozarks and the first-ever Big Cedar Legends of Golf tournament, played at the Buffalo Ridge and Top of the Rock courses just south of Branson.

Making it out to Buffalo Ridge to see Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino tee it up was the thrill of a lifetime. Their threesome was perhaps the event’s premier grouping for the fans looking to share in a piece of golf – and Missouri – history.

After Mother Nature caused a few problems earlier in the week (and threatened to do so again Saturday morning), overcast skies gave way to beautiful sunshine, creating great conditions for players and spectators alike.

Top of the Rock Golf Course

Top of the Rock Golf Course during the PGA Champions Tour, Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf sponsored by Bass Pro Shops in Missouri.

One of the highlights of the day for me had nothing to do with a fantastic shot or a lucky bounce, but camaraderie. On the back nine (perhaps No. 10 or No. 11), Player appeared to be suffering from leg cramps and called a trainer to assist with stretching exercises. After Player got up and hit his tee shot, Nicklaus put his arm around Player and the two shared what can be best described as a legendary moment.

Missouri’s own Tom Watson played Saturday at Buffalo Ridge, too, and he was quick to engage onlookers with a joke and a smile.

As if having icons such as Nicklaus, Watson, Nick Faldo, Player and another Missourian, Hale Irwin, in the field wasn’t enough, the rolling Ozark hills and beautiful Table Rock Lake serve as a dramatic backdrop to this unique event, giving spectators a glimpse of both legendary golfers and legendary scenery.

Top of the Rock Golf Course

Top of the Rock Golf Course is breathtaking.

While golf is in the spotlight this weekend, the tournament serves as a great showcase for Missouri’s natural beauty and its amazing lineup of things to see and do. Don’t miss that “legendary” golf action at the jaw-droppingly beautiful Par-3 Top of the Rock Course, described by more than one tournament-goer as “amazing.”

Top of the Rock Golf Course

Top of the Rock Golf Course

Can’t make it in this weekend? Don’t worry, the Show-Me State has options to consider year-round, whether you’re interested in golf and outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking, or you’d rather explore a museum, see a live performance, relax poolside, go on a shopping spree or be pampered at the spa.
Southwest Missouri

Views from Top of the Rock, camp sites at Table Rock Lake and a fast-paced boat ride: legendary playground material!

Start planning your next Missouri getaway!
Written by Stephen Foutes, part of the VisitMO team. Find him on Twitter @MOtravelguy.