Tiger Woods will design a public golf course for the first time, and he has chosen the Ozark Mountains of Missouri as the site.
Woods and Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris joined with the family of the late Payne Stewart on Tuesday to announce plans for Payne’s Valley Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Mo. The 18-hole course is slated to open in 2019 and will feature a dramatic bonus hole called “The Rock” that will be used to settle unfinished wagers. The partnership also includes plans for a future Woods-designed par-3 short course at Big Cedar Lodge.
Tiger Woods is in Branson, Missouri discussing why he's designing his first public golf course in the Ozarks. That's pretty neat. pic.twitter.com/qQy2RjDeDe
— Dan Molloy (@DanMolloyTV) April 18, 2017
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) April 18, 2017
“I couldn’t be more proud to partner with Johnny Morris to debut my first public-access courses at Big Cedar Lodge,”
Woods said in a statement. “Johnny’s incredible passion for connecting people of all ages and walks of life to nature is truly inspiring. Together we’re tremendously excited to create a publicly accessible world-class golf experience in the center of America.”
The new course will be located adjacent to a new 13-hole short course designed by Gary Player (opening this year) and Ozarks National, an 18-hole course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (debuting in 2018). The courses will join Big Cedar Lodge’s existing golf offerings, the nine-hole par-3 course designed by Jack Nicklaus called Top of the Rock, a 16-hole practice facility by the late Arnold Palmer, a 6,000-square-foot Tom Watson “Himalayan” putting complex, and the 18-hole Buffalo Ridge course designed by Tom Fazio.
Stewart, a son of Missouri and a three-time major champion, will also be honored with the Payne Stewart Learning Facility, which will include a tribute museum full of photos, trophies and memorabilia from his career.
At a Tuesday news conference announcing the project, Woods gave a brief update on his health.
“I have good days and bad days,” he said. “I’ve had three back operations and that’s just kind of the nature of the business unfortunately. That’s all I can say.”