Industry News

Buffalo Ridge Springs wins honor

June 4, 2019

Golfweek names Buffalo Ridge Springs at Big Cedar Lodge “Best Public Course in Missouri”

Tom Fazio Design Earns Top Honors in Golfweek’s Best State-by-State List

Ridgedale, Missouri (June 4, 2019) – Golfweek, the premier golf publication known for its in-depth coverage and rankings of golf courses nationally, has named Buffalo Ridge Springs at Big Cedar Lodge as the “Best Course You Can Play in Missouri” in the magazine’s “2019 Best” issue. For the first time, the respected publication also ranked Buffalo Ridge Springs among the “Top Courses You Can Play in America”, ranking No. 89. The national rankings are based on evaluations from more than 850 Golfweek course raters who survey more than 3,600 golf courses annually.


“We are incredibly honored for Buffalo Ridge Springs to be named by such an estimeed group of experts as the top public golf course in Missouri,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge. “Our goal with nature-based golf and everything we do at Big Cedar Lodge is to help families connect with nature and each other while showcasing the natural beauty of the Ozarks for guests from all around the world. We celebrate this award with our golf and resort team members, who are dedicated to delivering an incredible experience for our guests.”

An 18-hole marvel designed by renowned course architect Tom Fazio in collaboration with Morris, a noted conservationist, Buffalo Ridge winds throughout the beautiful Missouri Ozarks landscape with brilliantly-designed holes complemented by the area’s extreme natural beauty. Its expansive layout brings players in close contact with nature and features pristine playing conditions. Herds of roaming bison graze on the native prairie grasses that surround the golf course boundaries. Buffalo Ridge Springs covers approximately 450 acres and measures 7,036 yards from the back tees.


America’s next great golf destination
Already a top-travel destination, ranking as No. 1 resort in the Midwest by Travel + Leisure for three consecutive years, 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. In 2017, Johnny Morris and golf icon Gary Player opened the Mountain Top Course – a 13-hole par-3 masterpiece that features dramatic limestone rock formations and some of the most breathtaking views in the region.

Ozarks National, the newest 18-hole course designed by  renowned architect duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in partnership with Morris, officially opened at Big Cedar in April during the 2019 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf PGA TOUR Champions event. Featuring challenging carries and a variety of visually appealing approach shots highlighted by native habitat, Ozarks National also features a 400-foot wooden beam and plank bridge, connecting the tee box and fairway of the 13th hole that stands 60-feet above a flowing creek.

And opening in phases beginning later this year, Morris and Tiger Woods will unveil Payne’s Valley, a 19-hole course built to showcase the region’s natural beauty and to honor the late, local golf legend Payne Stewart. It is the first public golf course in the United States by Woods and his TGR Design. With Payne’s Valley, Woods and Morris will offer a course where players of all skill levels will be able to enjoy the game with each other in the beautiful Ozark Mountain landscape. The course will also feature a spectacular and breaktaking 19th hole affectionately known as The Big Rock at Payne’s Valley.

About Big Cedar Lodge
Located in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar Lodge is America’s premier wilderness resort. A passion of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, the 4,600-acre lakeside retreat connects families to the outdoors with a variety of nature-based experiences including fishing, boating, hiking, spa and wellness offerings, hosting over 1.5 million guests annually. Signature attractions include Top of the Rock, home to world-class golf, dining, and entertainment; and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre nonprofit wildlife preserve. Named “Number One Resort in the Midwest” by the readers of Travel + Leisure, the resort offers genuine Ozarks hospitality and a convenient location just south of Branson. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Epstein