Amateur or Pro, for Men's or Women's Golf Outings, Plan
a Relaxing Golf Getaway at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks
LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MO -- Imagine a place where you can play golf on world-class courses with panoramic lake views … enjoy friendly, helpful service … dine in AAA three-diamond restaurants and relax in exquisite lodging, all
conveniently located and value priced. It's not a vacation fantasy -- it's Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks.
An easy drive from anywhere in the Midwest, the Lake of the Ozarks is the region's premier golf destination for golfers of all skill levels, featuring a total of 288 holes on 17 courses. They run the gamut from fun, straightforward public golf courses to breathtakingly scenic and challenging courses complete with elevation changes, water features and rock outcrops. They've been designed by some of the most famed names in golf: Tom Weiskopf, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge. Best of all, Lake-area courses all are located within 30 minutes of one another, making it easy to play 18 holes in the morning and a different 18 after lunch.
"The trick is to make golfing an experience by enjoying the game in a unique way," says Rick Thomas, publisher of Iowa Golf magazine. Thomas recently visited the Lake area and played four golf courses in three days. "The scenery was very lush, green and hilly. It became apparent what many Midwesterners find so appealling about golfing in this area."
Chuck Duncan of Decatur, Ill., agrees. With two golf buddies, Duncan has enjoyed spring and fall golf at the Lake for several years. "Lake of the Ozarks golf courses offer beautiful conditions and surroundings," says Duncan. "It's just a four-hour drive for us which is so much more convenient than traveling to the Gulf Coast where we used to go for our golf getaways."
The Lake of the Ozarks attracts a lot of golfers from Iowa, Illinois and other states north of Missouri, as well as throughout the region, says Paul Leahy, president of the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Council and director of golf at
Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina and Indoor Waterpark. "In the early spring we see a lot of families and groups of guys and ladies who have been cooped up all winter and haven't been able to play golf for a while," Leahy says.
"After just a few hours' drive they can arrive here and play golf the same day."
While they're playing, golfers note that, in addition to their scenic appeal, Lake of the Ozarks golf courses are truly enjoyable. "Aesthetics are one thing, but if the course is not playable, what it looks like really doesn't matter," Thomas says. "The last thing you want on a golf getaway is to become frustrated. Fortunately at the Lake of the Ozarks we found all the courses were playable and provided a variety of yardages and tee box options to accommodate all levels of experience." Duncan adds, "What I really like is that the way the courses and tees are laid out, as a mid-level player I can play to my level."
Freelance photographer Jeff DuBay, who accompanied Thomas on his Lake golf outing, notes that the service they received at every course was outstanding. "The people really went out of their way for us," he says. Adds Thomas,
"When you travel and spend money to play golf you expect special treatment. At the Lake, everyone treated us like old friends or regulars. That really adds to the experience."
Additionally, Lake of the Ozarks golf courses offer all the amenities and services you expect from first-class facilities: Clubhouses, snack bars, practice putting and chipping greens, driving ranges, pro shops, restaurants and lounges, banquet and meeting space, lessons, nine-hole short-game courses and more.
"The Lake is not just a golf destination," Leahy says. "There's something for everyone here." If you bring your family along, there's plenty for them to do while you're out on the golf course. Kids will enjoy indoor and outdoor water parks, miniature golf, go-carts, show caves and arcades. Shopping includes the largest brand-name outlet mall in Missouri (Osage Beach Premium Outlets) and numerous antique, specialty and souvenir shops. Luxurious day spas serve women as well as men (some feature soothing after-golf treatments). Plus there's live music playing somewhere at the Lake practically every night of the year, including family music shows. "We went to the Main Street Opry one night and had a ball," Duncan says. "The quality of the music and comedy was off the charts."
Of course, with more than 1,100 miles of shoreline, the main attraction -- the Lake itself -- offers unlimited opportunities for boating, skiing, swimming and fishing. And dining in the Lake area runs the gamut from Ozark barbecue to haute cuisine. Several restaurants are located directly on the Lake, and the area features four AAA triple-diamond restaurants, at The Resort at Port Arrowhead, Tan-Tar-A, The Lodge of Four Seasons and the Country Club Hotel & Spa.
It's easy to arrange a golf getaway at the Lake of the Ozarks thanks to the Golf-A-Round Package program. With just one call you can reserve the accommodations you want plus guaranteed tee times on Lake of the Ozarks golf courses -- all for one special price that's less than you'd pay for booking a room and golf separately. Your discounted price will include a double occupancy room, green fee and shared cart rental for 18 holes a day (36-hole rates also are available). You can play at any of the participating golf courses regardless of where you stay. Lodging options range from resorts and hotels to condos and houses, from economical to luxurious. Just call the participating lodging facility of your choice to arrange your Golf-A-Round package.
"The lodging facility can guide golfers to courses that match their skill levels or desired location," Leahy says. "It's one-stop shopping that saves you a lot of time and some money, too." The Lake of the Ozarks Golf Council has complete information plus a free Golf Guide that lists participating lodging and golf courses. Contact the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Council at (800) 490-8474 or visit www.golfingmissouri.com.
Golf courses at the Lake of the Ozarks are open year-round, weather permitting. That means spring golf can start as early as February and fall golf often lasts through Thanksgiving or later. Off-season golf also means lower rates and fewer golfers competing for prime tee times.
"The Lake of the Ozarks truly is a golfers' paradise," DuBay says. "With its wide range of courses, amenities, resort atmosphere, accommodations and restaurants, it's right at the top." DuBay enjoyed his Lake of the Ozarks golf getaway so much, he's organizing a group to return, possibly this summer.
For complete information about golf, attractions, events, accommodations and lodging at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, contact the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau at 800-FUN-LAKE or visit www.funlake.com.
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Golf Courses at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks
· Bay View Golf Course, Linn Creek (public). This unique, fun and challenging 9-hole layout offers an incredible Lake view with three water holes, scenic, hilly terrain and narrow tree-lined fairways. 573-346-6617
· Bear Creek Valley Golf Club, Lake Ozark (public). This 18-hole championship course has rolling, tree-lined fairways leading to large greens, amid Ozark forests and hills. 573-302-1000.
· Dogwood Hills Resort & Golf Club, Osage Beach (public). Nestled in wooded hills adjacent to the Lake, this 18-hole course features generous Bermuda grass fairways and gently rolling terrain. Carts are allowed on fairways.
· Eldon Country Club, Eldon (semi-private). This 18-hole course is set amid a backdrop of woods, hills and creeks, featuring Zoysia fairways and the challenge of an upgraded bunker system. 573-392-4172
· Golf Club at Deer Chase, Linn Creek (public). Designed by Roger Null, this 18-hole course offers a challenging track through the beautiful Auglaize River valley and surrounding hills. 573-346-6117
· Hidden Lakes (Tan-Tar-A), Osage Beach (public). This Jim Lewis-designed, par-35 course is ranked by USA Today as one of the best 9-hole courses in the nation. 573-348-8527
· Indian Rock Golf Club, Laurie (semi-private). 18 holes on 300-plus acres with concrete golf cart paths and the signature #17 hole featuring a majestic rock outcrop in the back and a deep clearwater lake in front. 573-372-3023
· Lake Valley Country Club, Camdenton (semi-private). This uniquely challenging 18-hole course features an unusual balance of six par threes, six par fours and six par fives with generous fairways and slick, demanding greens.
· The Club at Old Kinderhook, Camdenton (semi-private). Tom Weiskopf designed this 18-hole course, where each hole captures a special aspect of the terrain. 573-346-4444
· Osage National Golf Club, Lake Ozark (public). The course's original 18 holes, designed by Arnold Palmer, have been supplemented with 9 additional holes to offer golfers three 18-hole combinations within a tranquil setting of woods, rolling terrain, lakes, creeks and bluffs. 573-365-1100
· Witch's Cove (Lodge of Four Seasons), Lake Ozark (semi-private). Golf Digest rated this 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. the second best public course in Missouri with a 227-yard par 3 with a long carry over Witch's Cove on hole 13. 573-365-8532
· Rolling Hills Country Club, Versailles (semi-private). This 18-hole course offers a park-like setting with mature Ozarks woodlands lining Bermuda fairways resulting in a varied and fun-to-play setting for all golfers. 573-378-5109
· Seasons Ridge Golf Club (Lodge of Four Seasons), Lake Ozark (semi-private). Golf Digest rated this 18-hole course in the Missouri top 10 in 1996 because of its panoramic Lake views, 180-foot elevation changes, natural rock walls
and spring-fed lake. 573-365-8544
· Executive Course (Lodge of Four Seasons), Lake Ozark, (semi-private). The par-30 layout of this 9-hole course challenges beginners and provides an ideal practice course for more advanced golfers. 573-365-8574
· Porto Cima Golf Club (Lodge of Four Seasons), Lake Ozark (private). Named one of the best private golf courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest, this 18-hole course is the only waterfront Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Missouri. Overnight stay at The Lodge of Four Seasons required. 573-365-3000.
· Sycamore Creek Golf Club, Osage Beach, (public). Built around a working aquaculture habitat, this 18-hole course celebrates its 10th year in business in 2005. It has been featured in Golf Magazine, Kansas City Magazine and
Midwest Living. 573-348-9593
· The Oaks (Tan-Tar-A), Osage Beach (public). Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge carved this 18-hole course (celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2005) out of the natural Ozark hills with undulating bentgrass greens, breathtaking
elevation changes and scenic Lake views. 573-348-8522
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