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Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:47 pm
by MDfan
Any Boglehead golfers been to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri and have any thoughts or recommendations? Planning a 60th b-day retirement trip for the Fall of 2021 with my sons. I know it's ridiculously expensive, but I'm ok with that. Going to play at least twice, and also maybe add in the Top of the Rock par 3 course. Is the par 3 course worth it ($150)? Or is it just something you have to do if you're there regardless of cost? I've heard its pretty spectacular.

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:00 pm
by huskerdoc2035
Hi MDfan, I cannot fully answer your question but I live about 4 miles from Big Cedar and go up there to eat and do activities quite a bit. In general Johnny Morris (owner of Cabela's/Bass Pro) is who owns Big Cedar and he is trying to turn it into a golf destination. You are correct most things are not cheap at Big Cedar however almost everything he does is top notch and if things aren't perfect he tears them down the restarts. I personally am not a golfer so hopefully others can comments as well who have maybe done the courses. From talking to others, he has several courses out at Buffalo run and the most recent to open was Tiger Woods first designed course, Payne's Valley, which from all accounts is quite amazing and I would highly recommend getting reservations for that early ($$$$). I think the part 3 at Top of Rock would be great but as you said pricey but gorgeous views. If there is anything else I can answer about Big Cedar in general or other things to do in the area please let me know. Hope it works out and you have a great trip!

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:39 pm
by MDfan
huskerdoc2035 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:00 pm Hi MDfan, I cannot fully answer your question but I live about 4 miles from Big Cedar and go up there to eat and do activities quite a bit. In general Johnny Morris (owner of Cabela's/Bass Pro) is who owns Big Cedar and he is trying to turn it into a golf destination. You are correct most things are not cheap at Big Cedar however almost everything he does is top notch and if things aren't perfect he tears them down the restarts. I personally am not a golfer so hopefully others can comments as well who have maybe done the courses. From talking to others, he has several courses out at Buffalo run and the most recent to open was Tiger Woods first designed course, Payne's Valley, which from all accounts is quite amazing and I would highly recommend getting reservations for that early ($$$$). I think the part 3 at Top of Rock would be great but as you said pricey but gorgeous views. If there is anything else I can answer about Big Cedar in general or other things to do in the area please let me know. Hope it works out and you have a great trip!
Thanks for your reply. I already have reservations at 2 courses for mid-October (Payne's Valley and Buffalo Ridge). We're only going to stay at the Lodge two nights and are going to stay at Branson Landing for two nights (using hotel points) to cut down on the costs some. They told me I could get reservations for the Par 3 as our trip gets closer. Any other must-do things in that area? Places to eat at Big Cedar or elsewhere? I know Branson is near there, but I was thinking more outdoor things like hiking, etc.?

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:44 pm
by jello_nailer
Watching this post and replies. This is on my radar too.

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:08 pm
by huskerdoc2035
MDfan wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:39 pm
huskerdoc2035 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:00 pm Hi MDfan, I cannot fully answer your question but I live about 4 miles from Big Cedar and go up there to eat and do activities quite a bit. In general Johnny Morris (owner of Cabela's/Bass Pro) is who owns Big Cedar and he is trying to turn it into a golf destination. You are correct most things are not cheap at Big Cedar however almost everything he does is top notch and if things aren't perfect he tears them down the restarts. I personally am not a golfer so hopefully others can comments as well who have maybe done the courses. From talking to others, he has several courses out at Buffalo run and the most recent to open was Tiger Woods first designed course, Payne's Valley, which from all accounts is quite amazing and I would highly recommend getting reservations for that early ($$$$). I think the part 3 at Top of Rock would be great but as you said pricey but gorgeous views. If there is anything else I can answer about Big Cedar in general or other things to do in the area please let me know. Hope it works out and you have a great trip!
Thanks for your reply. I already have reservations at 2 courses for mid-October (Payne's Valley and Buffalo Ridge). We're only going to stay at the Lodge two nights and are going to stay at Branson Landing for two nights (using hotel points) to cut down on the costs some. They told me I could get reservations for the Par 3 as our trip gets closer. Any other must-do things in that area? Places to eat at Big Cedar or elsewhere? I know Branson is near there, but I was thinking more outdoor things like hiking, etc.?
Dogwood Canyon is a nice place to bike or walk (Owned by Big Cedar/Johnny Morris) is a fun outdoor area. There are lots of hikes and things just south into Arkansas and lots of rafting/kayak outfitters on the Buffalo River. (you're basically on the Missouri/Ark border at Big Cedar) Depending on how long you have there are some fun things down by Eureka Springs about 1.5hr drive. Depending on timing of your trip and weather I would try to get on Table Rock lake if you can, either rental or guided fishing if thats your thing. Its a gorgeous lake. My wife worked at a Moonshine distillery a little north of Branson out in the woods called Copper Run which was kind of a cool place if they have live music going on (it has been bought out and stuff since so I don't know exactly what its like now). Paddlewheel at landing usually has some live music. Hate to say it but overall food is not a strong point of the area, very chain heavy. There is a new Guy Fieri restaurant at the landing that I have not been to yet. To be very honest I'm not overly impressed with the food at Big Cedar for the cost (my favorite is the chicken fingers at the Arcade) but the experience and views are great. Top of Rock Osage is a gorgeous restaurant, they have some live music downstairs and a fun speak easy type thing with a cigar/wine/whiskey bar which is cool to check out. The driving range at Top of Rock is really cool, think its like $15 a bucket (couple years ago) and you can use their clubs. They also have what I have heard is a pretty fun golf cart ride through the caves and think there is a bar they stop at. They opened up the aquarium and outdoor exhibit at the Bass Pro in Springfield which I have heard great reviews about (also opened a new aquarium in Branson if that's your thing too). Silver Dollar City is a fun stop but unlikely great for your type of trip? Shows overall are "fair" with a wide range of quality and topics, recommend http://branson2for1tickets.net/ if you do shows as they are a legit 2for1 and not the timeshare gimmick. Dannas BBQ is pretty good. We love brunch at The Chateau on Sunday, think they also have one at Top of the Rock Osage depending on what days you are staying there.

Sorry lots of rambling, I got 2 screaming kids running around me. Hope this is somewhat helpful. If you have more particular interests let me know. To be fair I work at the hospital and really haven't gone out to do anything since Covid started.

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:17 pm
by MDfan
Lots of great info. Thanks!

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:30 pm
by SwampDonkey
My wife and I spent a few nights in Branson this past summer and spent a day at Big Cedar. Loved it.

For food, we found a tiny little restaurant on the outskirts of Branson that had the best traditional breakfast we had had in years. Seriously.

The place is small, seats maybe 30 people, and there's often a short wait for a table. The portions are ridiculously huge and everything was very tasty and reasonably priced. If you like cinnamon rolls - you won't find any better. Their cinnamon rolls were so good when I returned to SE MO a couple of months ago my DW requested I drive to Branson just so I could stop at the restaurant and bring her back (1k miles away) one of their cinnamon rolls.

Restaurant's name is the Hungry Hunter.

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:16 pm
by J295
You might search on Golfwrx or post there. A helpful group generally speaking.

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:19 pm
by ande8054
I travel to nearby Springfield occasionally for work and have played one of their courses, Buffalo ridge, I think? Played in the afternoon, got a decent, though still moderately pricey rate, but had the place to myself. The layout, views and conditions were great. I will definitely try to play some of their other courses when I get a chance.

I have no real recommendations, but if you enjoy golf and are okay with the costs, I don't think you'll be disappointed you took the trip.

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:58 am
by bhwabeck3533
If there is a previous post on the topic of "group golf destinations", please advise.

Our group of eight had our 36-year run interrupted by COVID in 2021, but plan to resume in April (we meet up for five days of golf in April every year). Our destinations have been: Fairfield Glade (TN), RTJ Trail (AL), Pinehurst (NC), Mesquite (NV), Dallas (TX), Kiawah Island (SC), Doral (FL), Myrtle Beach (SC), Orange Beach (AL), Biloxi (MS), Scottsdale (AZ), Hilton Head (SC).

We are always looking to try new places. Any ideas? Key criteria: (1) Accommodations/Condos (2) ** Reasonably priced Golf courses (3) Good weather in April (4) Short driving distance from lodging to golf courses.

** 18-hole green fees: $100-$150

Re: Boglehead golfers - Big Cedar Lodge

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:01 pm
by MDfan
Palm Springs, Vegas/Southern Utah (including Wolf Creek in Mesquite which is spectacular). Williamsburg, VA has some nice courses (including Golden Horseshoe and Kingsmill). We also did a great trip to Orlando in 2019 and played some really nice courses. There are a lot to choose from down there.

There are also some really nice courses on the MD/Delaware Eastern Shore (Rum Pointe and Lighthouse Sound in Maryland near Ocean City, and Baywood Greens and Bayside in Delaware). You can stay in north Ocean City or Fenwick Island, DE and get to all of those courses within 30-45 minutes.

Another place on my list is Asheville, NC.