Your golf vacation destination is just a short drive away.
Too often, we don’t appreciate something until it’s gone. Like Twinkies, for instance. There are so many things in life right under our noses that we just don’t appreciate, things we take for granted. A beautiful sunrise. A beautiful sunset. Your loyal dog. Your BFF. Maybe the last two are one in the same.
With silly gas prices and tight budgets, golfers and vacationers need not look to Myrtle Beach, Pebble Beach or any other destination or beach because it’s all right here. Osage Beach and The Lake of the Ozarks: Have you heard of them?
“Our biggest draws are from St. Louis and Kansas City; we know that,” says Steve Walker, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Council. “But we’ve started a close-to-home advertising effort because we’re finding people in central Missouri are rediscovering the Lake, if you will. Just look at what’s right in our own backyard. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, why didn’t we think of this before?’”
It doesn’t matter if your goal is to break par or break 100.
“There’s a golf course for every range of golfer, from a duffer to a scratch golfer,” Walker says. “And our rates are so affordable, anybody’s pocketbook can handle it.”
If you choose to play one of the championship courses, even those will fit your game.
“The number of tee complexes — some holes have as many as eight tees — make it a good challenge for all different levels of golfers,” says Jim Divincen, administrator of the Lake Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association.
And you might recognize some of these names: Jack Nicklaus (Porto Cima), Arnold Palmer (Osage National), Tom Weiskopf (Old Kinderhook), Bruce Devlin (The Oaks), Robert Trent Jones Sr. (The Cove). Ring a bell? Those are some of the designers of the Lake-area courses.
“We’re really blessed to have these internationally recognized designers who have designed these courses, Divincen says.
The Lake lays claim to one of the nation’s most decorated private courses, The Club at Porto Cima, as well as The Cove, The Lodge of Four Season’s semi-private signature course. Aside from those two highly acclaimed venues, there are 13 other courses on the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail that shouldn’t be missed. There are about 250,000 rounds played at those 13 courses each year, an average of more than 19,230 rounds per course.
Here are the 13 courses on the Golf Trail:
• Bear Creek Valley Golf Club
• The Golf Club at Deer Chase
• Dogwood Hills Golf Resort
• Eldon Golf Club
• Indian Rock Golf Course
• Lake Valley Country Club
• Old Kinderhook
• Osage National Golf Resort
• The Ridge Course at The Lodge of Four Seasons
• Rolling Hills Country Club
• Sycamore Creek Golf Club
• Hidden Lakes at Tan-Tar-A Resort
• The Oaks Course at Tan-Tar-A Resort
These things are also worth noting:
• Best of the Midwest Magazine named the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail the Best Golf Trail in the Midwest.
• The Lake area was named Best Golf Weekend by AAA’s Midwest Traveler magazine.
• Golf Magazine ranked two of the Golf Trail’s courses among the top five in Missouri for its Best Courses Near You rankings: Old Kinderhook was second, and The Ridge was fifth.
“A lot of golf courses around the country have been struggling,” Walker says, “but all of our courses have really been doing well.”
They’re fun to play and fabulous to look at no matter your skill level.
“I can’t think of many courses that have the vertical elevations we have,” Divincen says. “These golf courses are carved out of the rolling Ozark hills; you’ve got tee boxes with 100-foot-plus elevation changes and so many great views of the Lake.”
In this day and age of nothing comes easy, the Golf Trail Getaway Packages are both user-friendly and convenient. With one phone call to one of the 11 participating lodging venues, you can take care of your room and tee times at the courses of your choice.
“It’s one-stop, express shopping,” Walker says. “It’s just a huge service for our visitors.”
The participating lodging options are:
• Camden on the Lake
• Dogwood Hills Golf Resort
• Holiday Shores Resort
• Lake Ozark Vacations
• Lodge of the Four Seasons
• Lone Oak Point Resort Condominiums
• Old Kinderhook Golf Resort
• The Pines and Copper Falls Condominiums at Osage National
• Point Randall Resort
• Tan-Tar-A Resort
• Your Lake Vacation
“People are looking for new adventures, including golf getaways, closer to home that are both convenient and affordable,” Walker says. “That’s what the Lake has to offer.”
And rest assured, the Lake has a lot more to offer than just golf.
“We’re seeing a lot of people coming to the Lake for so many other things: the boating, the fishing, the shopping, the skiing and all of the other attractions,” Divincen says. “It truly is a vacation destination for families and not just golfers.
“You can plan a great getaway for two days, three days, a week, whatever and forget the Florida trip for one year,” he continues. “You won’t be disappointed. I promise you that.”
Want to get away? There’s no plane ticket required because it’s right under our noses.
And it’s just a short drive away.
Photos courtesy of Central Missouri Lake of the Ozark Golf Trail.
h o t o s c o u r t es y o f C en t r a l M i ss o u r i
L a k e o f t h e Oz a r k G o l f T r a i l