Mountain Top Course
A Gary Player Designed Par 3
Gary Player and Johnny Morris combined to create a world-class short course at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri.
Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops founder and noted conservationist, and golf icon Gary Player share a similar passion for nature and golf. Through a joined pioneering spirit they created a renowned golf experience, delivering a special offering for the guests of Big Cedar Lodge, which is ranked as one of the top resorts for families in America. Mountain Top is truly NATURE'S COURSE®.
“We’ve built hundreds of courses over the years, but never one as drastically stunning as this,” said Player. “The transitions between wonderful rock formations and magnificent views make this a true national treasure. Mountain Top reveals 300 million years of nature’s hidden talents. Like Augusta when you come to hole 11 and can see 12 and then 13, the course unfolds to present a story of golf and the Ozarks that is truly amazing."
At the heart of the Morris and Player project, which opened August 31st 2017, is creating enjoyment in the game of golf for all ages and skill levels.
“Gary Player Design used creative, unique, and untraditional concepts to help all members of the family enjoy the game,” said Scott Ferrell, Gary Player Design President.
Known as the Black Knight, Player is one of the original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame and is the International Ambassador of Golf. He has been a longtime promoter of growing golf around the world, and, as such, his Gary Player Design projects have consistently emphasized playability for all levels to enjoy the game.
“All of us at Big Cedar Lodge are honored to have Gary Player help us create a special golf experience in the Ozarks. My son and I had the opportunity to visit Gary at his ranch in South Africa, where his brother Ian is a renowned conservationist. Gary and I share many things in common and it did not take long for me to realize that we are both nuts about rocks and nature. It quickly became apparent to me that I had just met one of the nicest and most enthusiastic men on earth. That is what is going to make this project so fun—our shared passion to get young people outside spending more time in outdoor sports,” Morris said.
Already a top-travel destination, Big Cedar Lodge has made a name for itself in the golf world with the 2014 re-opening of Top of the Rock, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, and the renovation of Buffalo Ridge Springs, redesigned by Tom Fazio and Morris and recently named the “Best Golf Course You Can Play in Missouri” by Golf Magazine. The resort is advancing Morris’ vision for a world-class outdoor resort that combines a shared appreciation for nature conservation and a premier golf experience.
Mountain Top will be closed from November 1st, 2017 - March 15th, 2018.
Mountain Top Course Facts
Bass Pro Shops founder and noted conservationist, Johnny Morris, has teamed with golf icon Gary Player to create a world-class short course that will deliver an unparalleled experience for golfers of all skill levels and ages. Winding through breathtaking rock formations and showcasing some of the most dramatic views in the Ozarks, the spectacular Mountain Top Course designed by Gary Player sits high atop the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
The 13-hole routing features multiple tee-box locations to create a variety of different approaches to each hole. This feature allows players the chance to attempt different angled shots as they move around the course to add intrigue or to bring younger players into better position to land on the green. Sight lines and vistas punctuate each hole, while bridges and passage ways make the trip from green to tee box memorable.
- Player and Morris wanted every hole on the walking-only course to feature multiple tee boxes, accommodating golfers of all ages and skill levels, attracting families and experienced players alike.
- Thousands of hours went into pick and shovel excavations that revealed dramatic limestone formations, creating an over-the-top experience that golfers will never forget.
- Mountain Top provides golfers with some of the most stunning views in the region as the backdrop for countless shot variations that challenge the senses of golfers at any level.
- A unique winding bridge connects the third green and fourth tee, bringing players to the edge of the earth by traversing 300-million year old natural rock formations.
- One of the most dramatic arrivals on the course occurs after players leave the ninth green and journey through cave formations where Morris has carved a nature trail through the ancient formations leading to a stunning mountain-top tee complex on hole-10.
- Morris, known for his keen eye for detail, developed the uniquely designed 13th hole. Featuring a green that sits just near the clubhouse, this creates a grand-finale to an already incredible golf experience.
- Pre-round complimentary warm up practice balls will be available at Buffalo Ridge.