An article in Forbes has named the new Gary Player Family Course at Big Cedar Lodge one of the most eagerly awaited new golf courses of 2017. The new 13-hole course designed by Gary Player is set to open later this year near Johnny Morris’ Big Cedar Lodge in Hollister, Missouri. The course will wind through breathtaking rock formations and showcase some of the most dramatic views in the Ozarks.
Big Cedar Lodge Resort’s family appeal inspired Gary Player to create a golf experience designed as an accessible experience for families, juniors, and newcomers to the game. One of the main goals of the new short course is creating enjoyment of the game of golf for all ages and skill levels. Gary Player Design has used creative, unique, and untraditional concepts to help all members of the family enjoy the game and to introduce the game to newcomers in a welcoming environment. The layout, inspired by these ideals, is a collection of par-3 holes ranging from 86 yards to 224 yards.
“We are excited to partner with Johnny Morris and Big Cedar Lodge to create something truly spectacular,” said Player. “Growing the game continues to be of the utmost importance and we are thrilled to be able to work alongside Johnny to implement a number of new ideas to help grow golf in a location of such natural beauty.”
In addition to appealing to all skill levels, the short course offers a chance to play for those with tight schedules as well.
“We think thirteen holes is an interesting concept that allows golfers to play a short course that can be enjoyed by anyone who may have limited time to allocate toward sporting activities,” said Marc Player, CEO of Gary Player Design. “Our firm believes that alternative golf concepts need to be available to golfers, especially in today’s environment where schedules are more time sensitive. Growing golf participation through alternative ideas can only benefit the game, and this was an opportunity to do that.”
Player added that the only major challenge his team has encountered throughout the design process is “Making sure we designed enough distinctively different par-three golf holes that are memorable, playable and respectful of the environment. I think you will find that we have designed every hole that maximizes the opportunities presented while providing a fun and memorable venue for all guests.”
Another key feature of the course is its emphasis on capturing the natural surroundings. Senior Designer Jeff Lawrence pointed to a striking rock formation on the ninth hole as one of the course’s highlights.
“Excavated over several months, this vertical rock face is the visual focal point on several golf holes – primarily hole
number nine,” said Lawrence. “Uncovering rock that is thousands of years old and incorporating that into the design is certainly a remarkable feature. Dramatic views of the surrounding Ozark mountains are another key element of this golf course. Every hole has commanding views, and in some instances, 360-degree views that are spectacular and inspiring.”