1st: Top of the Rock; Ridgedale; 800-225-6343
The Branson area is not so slowly becoming a Midwest golf mecca. The courses under the Big Cedar Lodge umbrella have grown to five total, but Top of the Rock stands out for our readers. And with good reason. Every inch of the 9-hole, par-3 golf course is surrounded by 360 degrees of beauty. The Jack Nicklaus design measures just 1,420 yards from the tips. Two holes you remember when you leave are the short No. 2 — a tee shot with 100-foot drop to the green and a postcard-worthy view of Table Rock Lake — and No. 6 with its island green.
2nd: Ste. Genevieve Golf Club, Ste. Genevieve; 573-883-2949
Leave your slice and hook at home when you tee it up at Ste. Genevieve Golf Club. What the 6,396-yard, par 72 track lacks in distance, it more than makes up for in pine trees lining the fairways. The course — located just west of Interstate 55 — features Bermuda grass on the fairways and tee boxes and places an emphasis on accuracy off the tee.
EC: The Watson 9, Maryville; 660-562-3864
The Watson 9 is a 9-hole, hybrid golf course which caters to both young and beginning golfers. The Tom Watson-designed course helps make the game more approachable with par 3s topping out at 99 yards, par 4s at 190 yards and par 5s at 261 yards. Children can play the unique northwest Missouri course for just a $5 green fee.
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