HOLLISTER, Mo. – Payne’s Valley Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge was recently named the 2021’s Best New Public Course in North America by Golf Digest and was developed in a partnership between Tiger Woods and Bass Pro/Big Cedar founder Johnny Morris.
The course is named in honor of the late golf legend and Springfield native, Payne Stewart, and was the first public access course designed by Woods and his TGR Design firm.
“We are honored to have received this ranking from Golf Digest, one of the oldest and most respected golf publications in the sport,” said Morris in a recent press release. “We envisioned this course to provide an immersive journey that combines a high level golf experience with the natural wonder of its surroundings. The course layout showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Ozarks and provides a way for golfers to experience nature as they enjoy the game. We are proud and very grateful to Tiger for what he and his remarkably talented team helped us create here at Payne’s Valley. We are humbled to see that so many others feel the same.”
Morris’ “nature golf” concept has captivated golf enthusiasts from around the entire world. The first 18 holes of Payne’s Valley represent a collaboration between both Woods and Morris. Now referred to in the golf world as the “19th Wonder of the World,” the 19th hole of Payne’s Valley was envisioned and designed by Morris himself. Many claim that the 19th’s beauty rivals the world-renowned 7th hole at Pebble Beach and has been compared to the 16th at Augusta.
The last mile-long stretch sends players through a natural spring-fed cavern system and features bridges over 250-foot cliffs and multiple ancient waterfalls. The experience is said to be a journey of pure natural beauty from the very first tee all the way back to the clubhouse.
Big Cedar Lodge is also home to Ozarks National and Buffalo Ridge Springs golf courses, which have claimed the top two spots in Golfweek’s 2020 annual rankings for the “Best Course You Can Play In Missouri.”
Payne’s Valley will open back up March 11, 2022. For tee times and more information, you can visit Payne’s Valley’s website.