Golf fans will have a chance to see some of the PGA Tour Champions’ top stars in action when The Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf returns for the fourth time to Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Mo.
Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino highlight the field set to compete starting Friday at Top of the Rock, the only par-3 course used by the PGA Tour, and Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course.
Collectively, competitors in the field have an amazing list of accomplishments, including 86 major championships on the PGA Tour; 80 major titles on PGA Tour Champions; and 778 PGA Tour titles and 549 PGA Tour Champions victories. The field includes 16 current World Golf Hall of Fame members, with two set to be inducted later this year (Davis Love III and Ian Woosnam).
Regular Champions Tour participants will play 54 holes and determine a champion next Sunday. The Legends Tour will crown a champion after 36 holes, making way for a Skins game starting at 10 a.m. Sunday involving Nicklaus, Player, Trevino and some special guests.
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Player was the center of attention when he and Ben Crenshaw appeared at the tournament’s media day last month.
“If you can’t get inspired by Gary Player, you’re nonexistent,” Crenshaw said.
Player and Crenshaw are doing more to help golf in the area than just participate in the Legends of Golf. They are involved in new courses being built near the Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course.
Player designed a course that has 13 par-3 holes that is designed for families to play together in under 2 hours. It could open later this year,
Player, who age 81 is still known for his physical fitness, said he likes that the course is intended to be walked and that it will challenge golfers of all levels.
“Believe me, I don’t know of many courses you can walk anymore,” Player said. “You’ve got to be a mountain goat. Here, a lady of 70 can walk around this golf course.”
Also coming to the area just south of Branson is a full-length course designed by the golf architecture firm led by Crenshaw and Bill Coore. It could open in the fall of 2018.
Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said it will be called “The Ozarks.”
“I’ve loved every trip I’ve made here, and I’ve been here a lot of times,” Crenshaw said. “To watch it come out of the ground, and to match your expectations of what you think the property would yield, that’s why we’re here. It’s magnificent to just be out there, because you can see so much.”
Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf
Where: Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course, both just south of Branson.
Schedule: Wednesday-Thursday, gates open for practice rounds at 8 a.m., play starts at 9; Friday and Saturday, gates open at 7, play starts at 9; Sunday, gates open at 6, play starts at 7:30
Special events: Family Fun Day, 3 p.m. Saturday, Top of the Rock Arnold Palmer Practice Range; Skins Shooutout, 10 a.m. Sunday, Top of the Rock.
Tickets and more information: Daily passes are $25 and discounts are available for military members, veterans and first responders. For more information, go to www.BassProLegends.com.