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Legends of Golf: Pro Golfers Play Where the Buffalo Roam

silhouette of golfer hitting a ball on golf course during sunset
by: Maggie Kouri Hill | March 31, 2017
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The Bass Pro Shops’ Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge returns to the Ozarks on April 19-23, taking place at the Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge, two of Missouri’s top golf courses. This will be the fourth of a five year contract since the PGA®* decided Branson, Missouri deserved a shot at hosting this prestigious event back in 2014. Big Cedar Lodge hosts the Legends of Golf in Branson, MissouriPhoto by http://bassprolegends.com/


The Courses

Top of the Rock, designed by architect Johnny Morris with the assistance of golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer is the first-ever 9-hole, par-3 course to host a PGA Tour®* event, opening in 2014. It is thought to be one of the most incredible golf experiences ever developed, taking nearly eight years to shape the course out of the beautiful Ozarks landscape.
Top of the Rock golf course

Buffalo Ridge, staged in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, is an 18-hole public golf course that re-opened in 2014. It was previously known as Branson Creek Golf Club which was designed by Johnny Morris and fellow architect, Tom Fazio in 1999. It is here that spectators will have the opportunity to see free-roaming buffalo, hence its name.
Buffalo Ridge golf course

Pro-Am
Both Wednesday and Thursday’s Pro-Am begins with a 9:00am shot gun start, where a total of 52 teams determined by the PGA Tour Champions, featuring four amateurs and one professional golfer, will compete. Both days, only 26 teams will play 18 straight holes at Buffalo Ridge while the other half split. Only 13 teams will play in the afternoon at Top of the Rock while the balance participate in an Outdoor Pro-Am Activity, such as Shooting Sports (clays or archery) or Fishing (bass or trout).

Official Tournament
Friday commences the first round of the official tournament, divided into two PGA Tour players divisions: 50-65 and 65 and older, offering a total purse of $2.4 million, and will continue to Sunday’s championship round where the next victors of this prestigious PGA tournament will be crowned.

Tickets for the Legends of Golf event are on sale now. Call 800-227-7776 for more information.

The Players
The players at the Legends of Golf tournament
Some of the biggest names in the history of golf will compete in both the Pro-Am and official tournament. Among them are Jack Nicklaus, regarded as the most accomplished golfer of all time; Gary Player, winner of 165 tournaments worldwide; Hale Irwin, member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Missouri native; Tom Watson, one of PGA Tour’s greatest players and also a Missourian; and many more.

This year marks the 40th anniversary milestone of the Legends of Golf which made its debut in 1978 at Onion Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas. Sam Snead and his partner, Gardner Dickinson were crowned the first Legends of Golf title winners beating out the Australian team of Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle. Snead and Dickinson both took home $50,000 each.

While the tournament is broadcasted by The Golf Channel to more than 200 countries, there’s nothing quite like witnessing these golf legends first-hand. We recommend you book accommodations well in advance!

Accommodations
Welk Resorts Branson lodges
Stay at The Lodges at Timber Ridge by Welk Resorts Branson. Close enough to ensure you don’t miss out on all of the action while enjoying pure luxury accommodations.

Jack Nicklaus , Arnold Palmer and Gary Player pose for a photo on the first tee during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament

Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Honorary starters from left Jack Nicklaus , Arnold Palmer and Gary Player pose for a photo on the first tee during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Come check out this unique event and see two of “The Big Three”, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who will undoubtedly pay tribute to their third compadre, recently lost legend Arnold Palmer, rightfully nicknamed ‘The King’.

*PGA and PGA Tour are registered trademarks of The Professional Golfers Association of America, which is not affiliated with Welk Resort Group, Inc., its parent, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

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