Missouri’s Best Public Courses

By Ryan Watson

Article Image

The Show Me State is home to world famous barbecue, rabid sport fans, and the scenic Ozark Mountains. Missouri is also home to some excellent golf courses, which helped launch the careers of Missouri natives and major winners Hale Irwin, Tom Watson and Payne Stewart. The following is a list of Missouri’s best public courses.

The Missouri Bluffs Golf Club

18 Research Park Cir, St Charles, MO 63304

Located in suburban St. Louis, the Missouri Bluffs Golf Course offers challenging golf and beautiful views. The course was designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio but is notably more playable than some of Fazio’s other designs. The course is heavily wooded but as long as you can stay on the fairway you are guaranteed some joy playing at the Bluffs.

Stone Canyon Golf Club

22415 East 39th St S, Blue Springs, MO 64015

From St. Louis to the state’s other major city, Stone Canyon Golf Club is less than 30 minutes away from Kansas City in beautiful Blue Springs. The course winds through woodlands and memorably includes the natural limestone rock of the region to create the namesake Stone Canyon on the 3rd hole. The course was designed by 20-time PGA Tour winner Greg Norman. Golfers should expect elevation changes, water, and ample beauty on this course.

Old Kinderhook Resort

678 Old Kinderhook Dr, Camdenton, MO 65020

The Old Kinderhook Resort is located on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. The course was built by Tom Weiskopf in 1999. The course snakes through the rugged Ozarks and is one of the best maintained course in the region despite relatively heavy play. Golfers should expect beautiful scenery and fair course, rewarding accurate drives and punishing errant shots. The course plays long at 7,200 yards from the tips, but multiple tee boxes make this a fun course for any skill level.

Cove Course at The Lodge of Four Seasons

315 Four Seasons Dr, Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Another great Lake of the Ozarks course, The Lodge of Four Seasons is an all-inclusive resort offering an excellent course to the public. The Cove Course was built by Robert Trent Jones in 1973 and featured a facelift in 2008 from CE Golf Design. The course is hilly and features tree-lined fairways and beautiful views of the lake. The course is no slouch, and any low score here will be deserved.

Branson Hills Golf Course

100 North Payne Stewart Dr, Branson, MO 65616

The architect team of Chuck Smith and Bobby Clampett built this fun course located in Branson near the Arkansas border. The course is undulating both on the fairway and greens, and elevation changes help bring about many memorable shots during the round. The course incorporates waterfalls, streams, tree-lined fairways and exposed rock and good decision making and execution is necessary to tame this course.

Buffalo Ridge Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge

1001 Branson Creek Blvd, Hollister, MO 65672

Big Cedar Lodge is the premier outdoor resort in Missouri’s Southern Ozarks region, offering not only golf but watersports, hiking and other outdoor excitement. The resort is owned by golf fan and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, who has used his resources to build a golfer’s paradise. The Buffalo Ridge Springs Course stands out among the other courses operated by Big Cedar, and a large part of that is Tom Fazio’s excellent design. The course perfectly incorporates the rugged terrain and provides a fair challenge to all golfing levels. The course is routinely named the best public course in Missouri, and its easy to see why.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.