2017 Legends of Golf brings golf greats back to the Ozarks, ushers in next wave of world-class golf at Big Cedar Lodge

March 06, 2017



2017 Legends of Golf brings golf greats back to the Ozarks, ushers in next wave of world-class golf at Big Cedar Lodge


Tickets now on sale for fourth Ozarks-hosted Legends tournament April 19-23; 2017 event introduces special exhibition event with golf royalty




RIDGEDALE, Mo. – Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris joined golf legend Gary Player and officials from the PGA Tour and Big Cedar Lodge today to announce plans for the 2017 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge and preview the latest jewel to join the premier golf oasis – the soon-to-open Gary Player-designed course. Golf’s greatest champions return to Big Cedar Lodge April 19-23.

Legends of Golf attendees have a rare opportunity to witness golf’s living legends up close as they navigate the majestic courses at Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve, the only Par-3 course to play host to a PGA TOUR tournament, and Buffalo Ridge Springs, recently named the number one ranked public golf course in the state of Missouri by Golf Magazine. This year’s participants include icons of the sport like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson, and welcomes new Champions Tour participants including golf greats John Daly, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal, among many other elite golfers.

Champions Tour participants will play 54 holes, while the Legends Tour will crown a champion after 36 holes, making way for a special Sunday competition between golf royalty – Nicklaus, Player, Trevino and special guests – which will air during Sunday’s live coverage of Legends of Golf on Golf Channel. Broadcast internationally on Golf Channel, the excitement of Legends of Golf and the picturesque setting of Big Cedar Lodge is delivered to 300 million homes in 220 countries and territories.

New Gary Player course details revealed
Plans for the 2017 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf were unveiled at the new Gary Player-designed golf course. The course is the latest gem in the Big Cedar Lodge collection of world-class golf amenities set to open later this year. The family-style short course features 13 par-three holes set high in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains and offers breathtaking views of the natural beauty of the region. Golfers will traverse through dramatic 300 million-year-old limestone cave-like formations during their round on the walking-only course. The result of a shared vision between Johnny Morris and golf icon Gary Player, the mountain-top course is designed to be enjoyable for pros and amateurs alike, featuring multiple tee boxes on each hole to accommodate golfers of all ages and skill levels.

“I’ve never seen a course this drastically stunning – playing here and observing the transitions between wonderful rock formations and breathtaking views will leave an indelible mark on every kind of golfer,” said golf icon Gary Player. “The beauty of the Ozarks will be on full display and I am so pleased to partner with Johnny Morris on a project that celebrates our shared passion for the outdoors and connecting people to nature through golf.”

2017 tournament highlights
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.

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Legends of Golf and the fourth year that Big Cedar Lodge has played host. It also marks the first Legends tournament since the passing of golf icon Arnold Palmer, a contributing designer to the Big Cedar Lodge golf experience and a dear friend of Johnny Morris. His deep understanding and appreciation for how golf connects people to the landscape and to nature continues to inspire the vision and evolution of Big Cedar Lodge as an unmatched outdoor experience. Palmer will be honored throughout the 2017 Legends of Golf tournament.

Ticket prices and promotions for 2017 Legends of Golf

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

  • Military & First Responders can receive FREE general daily passes courtesy of White River Electric Company (valid military ID required).
  • Daily Pass tickets are available for $25 ($20 when paid with a MasterCard) and grant access to Top of the Rock and/or Buffalo Ridge on any one day from Wednesday, April 19 through Sunday, April 23.
  • 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 19 through 23. 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:

  • Satuday (April 22) 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).
  • FREE parking is available for all spectators.


Tickets on sale now

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

  • Visiting BassProLegends.com
  • Calling toll-free at 1-888-347-4426
  • Visiting the HyVee grocery store in Springfield, Mo.
  • Visiting the Bass Pro Shops flagship store in Springfield, Mo.
  • Visiting the Bass Pro Shops Outpost in Branson, Mo.
  • Visiting Big Cedar Lodge
  • Visiting the Will Call center at College of the Ozarks Alumni Center in Point Lookout, Mo.


Big Cedar Lodge emerging as world-class golf destination
On the heels of the Gary Player-designed course joining the fold this year, 2018 will welcome further evidence of Big Cedar Lodge’s one-of-a-kind golf offerings. The to-be-named, 18-hole championship course is being designed by celebrated golf course architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Together, Coore and Crenshaw have collaborated on many of the most highly regarded courses built in the U.S. in the last 20 years. Measuring 7,100 yards from the back tees, the course represents a highland links style, with strategic bunkering and slopes that enhance the player experience.

New courses inspired by Player, Coore and Crenshaw will soon join Big Cedar Lodge’s two distinct golf offerings which host Legends of Golf tournament play – Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge Springs.

Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson are the names behind the design of Top of the Rock, which offers a one-of-a-kind golf experience unmatched in the U.S. The natural Ozarks topography adds a unique twist to the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, which features nine Par-3 holes with magnificent views of Table Rock Lake. The Arnold Palmer Practice Facility features 16 target greens, recessed lighting and teeing decks.

The remarkable 18-hole Buffalo Ridge Springs golf course has won acclaim as one of the region’s best public golf courses. Originally opened in 1999, Buffalo Ridge Springs has since been transformed by the guiding hands of visionary conservationist Johnny Morris and renowned golf architect Tom Fazio. A 2014 redesign revitalized the course by raising every aspect to Tour-quality standards and by bringing players in close contact with nature, native grasses, and even free-ranging bison from nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.

Johnny Morris has long called the Ozarks home, and remains captivated by its beauty and rich history. Big Cedar Lodge epitomizes Morris’ passion for the outdoors and his imagination as the world’s premier outdoor resort. Unique golf experiences, like all activities at Big Cedar Lodge, connect people to nature and illustrate the importance of conservation.


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About Bass Pro Shops®
Bass Pro Shops is a leading destination retailer offering outdoor gear and apparel in an immersive setting. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today 102 retail and marine centers host 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is known as a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”


About Big Cedar® Lodge
Located in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar Lodge is America’s premier wilderness resort. A passion of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, the 4,600-acre lakeside retreat connects families to the outdoors with a variety of nature-based experiences including fishing, boating, hiking, spa and wellness offerings, hosting over 1.5 million guests annually. Signature attractions include Top of the Rock, home to world-class golf, dining, and entertainment; and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre nonprofit wildlife preserve. Named “Number One Resort in the Midwest” by the readers of Travel + Leisure, the resort offers genuine Ozarks hospitality and a convenient location just south of Branson. Learn more at www.bigcedar.com.

About the PGA TOUR® Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of golf’s most recognizable and accomplished players, age 50 and older, including 32 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2017, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 26 tournaments in 18 states, Japan, Wales and Canada, with purses totaling more than $55 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air live, tape-delayed or in a highlights-package format in excess of 190 countries and territories, reaching more than 330 million potential households. The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow PGA TOUR Champions at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.


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Additional Images

Gary Player Course
Gary Player Course
Gary Player Course
Gary Player Course
Gary Player Course
Gary Player Course
Gary Player Course
Johnny Morris, Gary Player and Lt. Governor Mike Parson