Johnny Morris, is bringing Tiger Woods to the people. The founder and CEO of Pro Bass Shops has been assembling a golf mecca near Branson, Missouri, with four courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf.
Tiger Woods will now add his name to the complex, by designing a 19-hole golf course that will be an homage to Payne Stewart, and a family-friendly par-3 short course at Big Cedar Lodge.
Morris’ resort, in Ridgedale, already features a nine-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed par-3 course, an Arnold Palmer-designed practice facility, and a family-friendly, Gary Player-designed 13-hole track.
It also has more traditional courses — a Tom Fazio-designed Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course, and a Coore & Crenshaw-designed track will open next year.
Tiger’s track will be his first course open to the public and is scheduled to open in 2019. It is being built to showcase the region’s natural beauty, and will feature a dramatic 19th hole, “The Rock,” that can be used to settle unfinished wagers.
The hole was envisioned by nature-loving Morris, and is set in a dramatic geological feature — a natural cavern system. The course will be designed to be challenging but player-friendly and walkable.
The course will be built in top of Murder Rock Golf Club, a John Daly design that Morris acquired in 2013 and closed.
“When we contemplated building another golf course at Big Cedar last year, my son John and I visited Tiger’s new Bluejack National course in Texas and we were both blown away,” Morris said. “After spending more time with Tiger and his team, it became apparent to us that Tiger is extremely dedicated to applying his worldly knowledge of golf to develop great courses. His aim is to design and build only a select number of courses that are of extraordinarily high standards, with an emphasis on width and playabilitiy creating a fun and enjoyable experience for all.”
The “Payne’s Valley” Course will pay tribute to the legacy of the late Payne Stewart, a friend of both Morris and Woods as well as an Ozarks native who won 11 PGA TOUR events, including three Major championships. Stewart and his father Bill Stewart were instrumental in helping to establish golf in the region. To further honor Stewart’s legacy, Morris, with the help of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is also creating The Payne Stewart Learning Facility, an practice facility that will contain a tribute museum displaying Stewart’s personal trophies, scorecards, apparel, equipment, photos and more.