I have a confession to make. I’m married to a golf addict. I learned to golf in the interest of matrimonial harmony (to call me a duffer is to insult duffers everywhere) and I watch a lot of golf. I’ve always liked watching the older golfers best (more finesse in their games), and I think a skins game is absolutely the most entertaining.
It’s almost like the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, April 19-23, was designed with me in mind.
This amazing PGA TOUR event is in its fourth year at the gorgeous Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge Springs courses near Branson. The tournament is celebrating its 40th anniversary as the PGA Tour Champions’ longest-running event – and, in my humble opinion, it’s going to be the best one yet.
Start with the greats: Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson and Hale Irwin (both Missouri born and bred!), Lee Trevino and Ben Crenshaw – all playing in the Legends Division (ages 65 and older). You just can’t beat a line-up like this.
Add in the “youngsters” – players aged 50-64. This group is really fun because new people join the tour every year. After missing eligibility last year because his birthday fell four days short, the golfer known as “Wild Thing” will be teaming up with last year’s Champion, Michael Allen. We claim John Daly as one of our own here in the Show-Me State since he went to high school in Jefferson City, was a Missouri state champion and his first pro victory came in the 1987 Missouri Open. The only thing that can overshadow his play at the tournament would be his wardrobe. Let’s just say, his attire lives up to his nickname. He’ll be hard to miss out on the course.
In addition to the new guy, you’re sure to find a favorite pro in the Legends field, which boasts such names as Davis Love III, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Ian Woosnam and more.
Throw in a dash of celebrity with the one-of-a-kind Pro-Am on Wednesday and Thursday, which combines golf with an outdoor experience: shooting sporting clays or archery, or fishing for bass or trout.
The tournament format changed a bit this year; the Legends Division will be playing 18 holes on Friday and 18 holes on Saturday, with the crowning of the winners on the Buffalo Patio at Top of the Rock Saturday afternoon.
But never fear, the Legends are not leaving the field of battle that early. The icing on the cake (at least for me) comes on Sunday when they play a 9-hole, par-3 Skins Game!
Ticket prices and packages can be found on the tournament website, and if you’re looking a place to stay or for fun things for the rest of the family to do in the Branson area while you enjoy the best golf event ever, check out VisitMO.com.
Thanks, Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf and the PGA TOUR. You’re giving us Legends and Champions playing incredible golf on spectacular courses, during a spring weekend in the Ozarks when the dogwoods are in bloom and a Skins Game on Sunday. The golf addict and I will see you there.