Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf returns, tickets on sale, new putting course revealed

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RIDGEDALE, Mo. – Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris was joined by golf legend and Missouri native Tom Watson and officials from the PGA TOUR Champions and Big Cedar Lodge Monday to announce plans for the 2018 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge and preview the latest addition to the resort’s growing golf experience, the Tom Watson-designed Himalayan Style Practice Green Complex.

Golf’s greatest legends return to Big Cedar Lodge from April 17-22 and for the first time will compete on the new Mountain Top Course designed by Gary Player, a stunning 13-hole par-3 course with some of the most spectacular views in the region that opened in August 2017. PGA Tour Champions participants will play 67 holes across Mountain Top, Buffalo Ridge Springs – recently rated the number one public golf course in the state of Missouri by Golf Magazine, and Top of the Rock, the majestic nine-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Lee Trevino, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Broadcast internationally on Golf Channel, this year’s participants include World Golf Hall of Fame legends of the sport like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Watson, and welcomes Champions Tour participants including Major Champions John Daly, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal, among many other past PGA Tour champions.

Big Cedar Lodge hosts special Kids Clinic during tournament week
New this year, Big Cedar Lodge will welcome back one of golf’s greatest champions, Tiger Woods, to host a rare and one-of-a-kind Kids Clinic on Tuesday, April 17. From the soon-to- open driving range at Ozarks National, area students and golf teams will come face to face with Woods to receive tips and techniques from one of the winningest players of all time. This inaugural event is part of the company’s mission to connect new and young audiences to the outdoors through the game of golf. Though the event is closed to the public, additional information about participation, including ticketing and access to the private event, will be announced soon.

Tom Watson putting complex.

Tom Watson Putting Complex revealed
Tom Watson today unveiled the design for his newly-created Putting Complex. A Golf Hall of Fame member and native Missourian, Watson redesigned the complex with inspiration from the historic Himalayas Putting Course at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. The masterpiece now covers more than one acre of land atop Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, sitting near Mountain Top and the 18-hole Ozarks National course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw set to open later this year. The complex features two separate greens, including a Himalayan-style putting experience.

“What Johnny has done at Big Cedar Lodge – both for golf and for the people of the Ozarks – shows his true passion and commitment to this part of the country,” said Watson. “I’ve known Johnny for years and could not have asked for a better partner in the redesign of the putting course. His creativity and vision to grow the game of golf is unmatched in our industry today.”

2018 tournament highlights
PGA Tour Champions players will add Mountain Top to their competitive schedule this year, playing Buffalo Ridge Springs on Thursday, April 19, Top of the Rock on either Friday or Saturday, Mountain Top on the alternate day, and closing out the week with a final round at Top of the Rock on Sunday, April 22.

Proceeds from Legends of Golf benefit College of the Ozarks (“Hard Work U”), an award- winning college that provides deserving students who lack sufficient means with the entire cost of an education allowing them to graduate debt-free. Full-time students at Hard Work U work campus jobs to defray the cost of education.

This year marks the 41st anniversary of Legends of Golf and the fifth year that Big Cedar Lodge has played host, the tournament has generated $4 million to-date.

Ticket prices and promotions for 2018 Legends of Golf

Ticket prices and packages start as low as $20 for the fifth-annual Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf:

Military & First Responders can receive FREE general daily passes courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge (valid military/first responder ID required).

Daily Pass tickets are available for $25 ($20 when paid with a MasterCard) and grant access to Top of the Rock, Mountain Top and/or Buffalo Ridge on any one day from Tuesday, April 17 through Sunday, April 22.

Gold Combo Packages are available for $100 ($80 when paid with a MasterCard) and offer exclusive access to see the legends play every day from April 17 through 22. In addition to offering access to tournament play on both courses, this premium pass also admits guests to Arnie’s Barn at Top of the Rock where participants can dine at the restaurant, visit the pro shop, and see the legends up close. Fans are encouraged to purchase Gold Combo packages now, as quantities are limited.
There are also special events, promotions and giveaways offering excitement for fans of all ages:

Saturday, April 21, is Family Fun Day, where all children ages 17 and under receive free admission with a paying adult. YouTube stars and trick-shot aficionados Dude Perfect will make a special appearance on the Arnold Palmer Practice Facility at 3:00 p.m. along with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and PGA Tour Champions golfers. All Family Fun Day guests will also receive a special gift from the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau and a free chicken sandwich courtesy of Chick-Fil-A (limited quantity available).

Sunday, April 22, is the Celebrity Skins Shootout starting at 9:30 a.m. at Top of the Rock. This will feature a 9-hole event, including appearances by the legends of golf, actor, producer, and businessman Mark Wahlberg and singer-songwriter and actor Kid Rock.

FREE parking is available for all spectators.

Tickets for this year’s Legends of Golf tournament are on sale now. Fans can purchase advance tickets by:

Calling toll-free at 1-888-347-4426
Visiting the Will Call center at College of the Ozarks Alumni Center in Point Lookout, Mo.


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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source