Branson Earns ‘Best Small Town in America’ Recognition
If things go the way that former Buffalo Ridge Springs superintendent Lukas Phillips hopes at Branson Hills Golf Club – where he was recently appointed superintendent – the top-ranked Missouri course will someday be recognized nationally among the 100 best in the U.S.
Annually ranked the top course in Missouri by Golfweek magazine for several years running (“America’s Best Courses You Can Play by State”), Branson Hills is already regarded as an excellent layout.
“I know that ownership is excited for what the future holds at Branson Hills and is on board with the enhancements being made,” said native son Phillips, who worked at Columbia Country Club after graduating from Mizzou with a Turf Science degree.”
Changes include implementing new cart-path curbing and better drainage to reduce excess water on fairways and adding more forward tees to further welcome golfers of all skill levels. Gutting some of the underbrush outside of the rough and cutting the rough down are other changes – both intended to help players find their golf balls more quickly and improve pace of play.
No newcomer to high-profile courses, Phillips, an 11-year member of the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America, helped oversee an extensive course renovation at Buffalo Ridge Springs, where he assisted in hosting three PGA TOUR Champions Legends of Golf tournaments. He also worked at Oakland Hills Country Club (MI), a major championship venue, and the immaculate Montreaux Golf and Country Club, a PGA TOUR venue.
“Maintaining great course conditions is my job, and inspiring more people to play is a close second,” said Phillips, who tagged along with his parents as a youngster while they played the game, a family activity that fostered his lifelong love of the sport. “We will accomplish both at Branson Hills.”
Country Living Magazine named Branson one of 25 Best Small Lake Towns in America, confirming what many people love about the Ozark Mountain oasis, where the residents are friendly and outdoor activities proliferate, not the least of which is golf.
Reaching more than 11 million readers, Country Living stated the following in justifying its Branson selection. “Table Rock Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Taneycomo are all stellar options in this energetic town of around 10,000 people. Amp up your lakeside bliss boating, fishing, jet skiing and even scuba diving, or make the most of your time on land at The Titanic Museum or at the new Fritz’s Adventure with a ropes course, climbing walls, and zip lining. Keep riding the wave (literally) when you make a reservation at Welk Resorts Branson, which has a 10,000-square-foot ‘Splash-a-Torium’. For dinner, you can find us at Danna’s BBQ & Burgers, where one order of onion rings is about five too few.”
“We hope that Country Living highlighting Branson as an outstanding vacation spot will introduce us to new visitors,” said Lynn Berry, Branson/Lakes Area CVB Director of Communications. “Branson’s charm extends to attractions like Silver Dollar City amusement park, our live entertainment theaters, historic downtown, waterfront Branson Landing, and the fastest-growing golf destination in North America.”
Beyond having the top two rated courses in Missouri – Branson Hills and Buffalo Ridge Springs (“Golfweek America’s Best Courses You Can Play By State, 2017”) – the area is home to Top of the Rock, LedgeStone, Thousand Hills, Pointe Royale and Holiday Hills.
Several more courses are planned or under construction, including a Gary Player-designed course set to open this year, a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw layout planned for 2018, and two courses by Tiger Woods – 18-hole Payne’s Valley (named after area native Payne Stewart) and a family friendly short course.
The coming courses are amenities of Big Cedar Lodge, voted the “Best Resort in the Midwest” by Travel + Leisure magazine readers.
Branson/Lakes Area Golf
- Pointe Royale Golf Village, 417.334.4477
- Thousand Hills Golf Resort, 800.487.0769, 417.334.4553
- Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course, 417.339.5430
- LedgeStone Country Club at StoneBridge Village, 417.335.8187
- Top of the Rock Golf Course, 417.339.5343
- Branson Hills Golf Club, 417.337.2963
- Holiday Hills Resort and Golf Club, 417.334.4838
- Don Gardner Golf Course, 417.337.8510
About Explore Branson
Branson is a one-of-a-kind family vacation destination nestled in the lakeside beauty of the Ozark Mountains — and an incredible value — with dozens of live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, an international award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, a Historic Downtown district, a Town Center-style shopping complex, a full range of dining options, and a host of hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds and meeting and conference facilities.
Branson is less than one day’s drive for one-third of America’s residents. With low-cost flights to the Branson Airport (BKG www.flybranson.com) and nearby Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), it has never been easier to access Branson.
Call 1-800-296-0463 for help planning your next vacation, convention or reunion. See more at: http://www.explorebranson.com