Tom Watson says Ozarks becoming mecca for golf
Players on the Champions Tour won’t be the only ones getting attention at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf tournament coming to the Ozarks.
Justin Timberlake and other stars are sure to be in the spotlight as well during the event at the Top of the Rock and new Ozarks National golf courses in Hollister, Missouri.
While golf fans will enjoy seeing players such as Tom Watson of Kansas City and Woody Austin of Derby, Kan., compete in the PGA Tour Champions tournament Friday through Sunday, a lot of attention will be on other participants.
The event starts with pro-ams at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at both courses. Former baseball great Roger Clemens and country music star Tracy Lawrence are expected to be featured both days, and country musician Luke Combs is set to be there Wednesday.
The PGA Tour Champions tournament, a two-man team competition, starts at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Top of the Rock, the only nine-hole, par-3 course used in professional golf, and Ozarks National, an 18-hole, par-71 layout that plays 7,036 yards from the back tees.
Ben Crenshaw, a two-time Masters champion, designed Ozarks National along with Bill Coore. Crenshaw will get things started at 10 a.m. Friday with a ceremonial tee shot at Ozarks National.
It will be the first professional round played on the new Ozarks National course, which will open to the public after the tournament.
“This has been an incredible piece of land to work with and the vision behind the entire golf experience at Big Cedar Lodge fits perfectly into our approach to build natural golf courses that connect people to the local landscape,” Coore said in a statement when plans for Ozark National were announced last year.
Tournament director Kirk Elmquist said he had a chanced to play Ozarks National and that it was one of the most wonderful experiences he has had in golf. He said Coore and Crenshaw did a nice job of designing the course around the native habitat and providing nice views of ther area.
The course’s features include pheasant fields and a 400-foot wooden beam and plank bridge that connects the tee box and fairway of the 13th hole and stands 60-feet above a flowing creek.
The second round is set to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at both courses. The final round is only at Top of the Rock and begins at 7 a.m. April 28.
Timberlake, actor Mark Wahlberg and musician Kid Rock are scheduled to join golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Crenshaw and others in an 18-hole competition at Top of the Rock starting at noon Saturday. And there will be Family Fun Day activities featuring trick-shot specialists Dude Perfect on the driving range there about 5 p.m. There will also be a Celebrity Skins Game at 10:20 a.m. Sunday at Top of the Rock.
Elmquist said ticket sales have been going well, but they are still available. Fans can purchase tickets for a single day or a pass good for all five days. More information on tickets and the tournament schedule is available at bassprolegends.com.