Branson, Missouri is famous for many reasons. The southern tourist spot didn’t receive the moniker “Las Vegas of the Ozarks” for no reason at all. Branson is legendary for providing ample sources of entertainment. Many of the nation’s top artists always make a point to play to the Branson crowds at some point during a tour. The live music shows that the theaters put on on a regular basis are nothing short of exhilarating. There is also an abundance of fun, family-friendly theater.
Apart from the arts scene, Branson has more ways of entertaining travelers. Not everyone enjoys the crowds at live musical performances, which is understandable. For those who enjoy a little bit more physical activity and a little less noise, Branson is known for having some of the most well-designed and gorgeous golf courses in the entire south.
Thousand Hills Golf Resort
Possibly the most well-known golf resort in Branson is Thousand Hills. Its notoriety was gained once it received a four star rave from Golf Digest Magazine 2009. It was also voted as the best golf course in the Ozarks by the Springfield News-Leader two years running. This part 64 course is known for catering to golfers off all different playing abilities, from beginner to expert, thanks to the three separately located tees on each hole. Thousand Hills also has the benefit of some amazing aesthetics. While golfing all 18 holes, players get a view of beautiful Ozark forestry, unique rock patterns and some of the most gorgeous streams in the region. As calming as the golfing experience can be here, it’s hard to believe that it’s just one midrange shot until you reach the 76 Strip, Branson’s entertainment haven.
Payne Stewart Golf Club
Payne Stewart is also home to one of the most reputable golf courses in the Ozarks. In fact, Golf Week Magazine recently declared it as the best course in the state of Missouri. The course is built as a tribute to deceased PGA star Payne Stewart, born in the nearby town of Springfield. Stewart was known for being gentlemanly and for his oddball fashion. He was also known for winning, frequently, including two U.S. Open victories. Each hole at this course comes with trivia and tidbits about Stewart’s life, which was cut short in 1999 after a plane crash. The course was even designed with Stewart’s playing style in mind, so those with a flowing arc and superior footwork will fit in nicely here.
Ledgestone Golf Club
The Ledgestone course is certainly one of the more unique courses in the region. Located in the mountains just off of Highway 76, it has been described as a “masterpiece of mountain golf architecture” by Golf Digest Magazine. The course is located in the smack dab of the middle of the Ozarks forests, so golfers here get an enthralling panoramic perspective of the unique landscape. Because of the hilly terrain, this par 71 course is recommended mostly for advanced players, but instruction is available for novice golfers. Even though this is one of the most challenging courses in the region, the surrounding forestry and the pristine lakes make it one of the most picturesque as well.
Holiday Hills Resort
Holiday Hills is probably the ritziest course in town. It has a rich history that dates all the way back to 1938, but it was torn apart and completely built anew in 1997. The par 68 course is known as well for being accommodating to players at all different skill levels. All golfers will have to be wary of the 40 plus bunkers and the water hazards on six of the holes. This is a particularly challenging course, but there is a PGA golfer, Lance Munden, who is more than happy to provide players with a few tips that will help them in their game.
Point Royale Golf Course
This par 70 championship course might just be the most challenging course in Branson, thanks to the bunkers located on every hole and the water hazards on more than half of them. While this course is built for golfers of various talent level, the truly exceptional golfers will get the biggest kick out of this one. The course is placed on a hill as well, which will mess with curve of even the best shots. Those looking for a real challenge will find it here.
So yes, Branson is more well regarded for its unrivaled exhibition of energetic entertainment, but there are so many great activities in this wonderful Ozarks hideaway outside of the performing arts as well. It’s no surprise that Branson is regularly rated as one of the top tourist towns in America year after year.
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