Golf Envy

I envy golfers with their remote offices on a golf course.

Playing golf is more fun than watching 

I caught golf fever watching Legends of Golf Tournaments, Bass Pro Shops at Big Cedar, for the past five years. So, I decided it was time to play.

Hubby was all in, happy to say, and we went shopping. We bought a set of 12 clubs at an antique shop, a new golf bag and cart, lots of golf balls, and a second putter, Taylor Made.

Although still in our learning-golf-rules-and-etiquette stage, it appears the new 2019 rule option, putting with the flagstick in hole, could be advantageous for my golf style.

Flashback – watching golf Legends 2018 Tournament

Golf legends Daly, Allen, Chapman, Frost, and caddies at Bass Pro's Mountain Top
Sail it away! Mountain Top drive at tee box 13  with golfers Daly, Allen, Chapman, Frost, and caddies

They call it Mountain Top! A links-style golf course designed by Gary Player and Johnny Morris – a splash of Scotland in the Ozarks

Bass Pro Shops tourney with Jesper Parnevik at Mountain Top
Jesper Parnevik at Mountain Top, one of three venues for  Legends of Golf 2018

Now in its 5th year of sponsorship, Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops roll out the greens each year for another great Legends of Golf Tournament.

Seventy-two Tour Champions competed, paired as teams. Players shot 67 holes over 4 days. Three golfing playgrounds awaited the golfers:  Top of the Rock (9-hole par-3), Mountain Top (13-hole par 3), and Buffalo Ridge (18-holes). The prize purse held $1.8 million.

Watching Golfers in Ski Caps Added Merriment to the Tournament

Legend John Daly tees off in a ribbed stocking hat and flamingo pants in chilly morning temps
“Long John” Daly tees off in a stocking hat and flamingo pants

Golfers did not pack hats and gloves for the untimely April cool and windy weather. Fortunately, nearby Bass Pro Shops had inventory.

Buffalo Ridge set up a warming tent at the first tee for the chilly temps. Golfers walked from the tent to the tee box bundled in gloves, jackets, and ski hats.

Bernhard Langer broke out into a few jumping jacks
Bernhard Langer warms up with jumping jacks

Bernhard Langer warmed up with jumping jacks before his first round of golf, while caddie daughter Christina dressed like a fluffy snowman in her jacket, ear muffs, and gloves. Tom Lehman’s daughter Rachael also caddied snug in ear muffs and knit hat for Thursday morning opening play at the Ridge.

Iron work decorates the stonework at Top Of The Rock
Top of the Rock: View from a terrace to the driving range and sink hole, AKA, Cathedral of Nature

Golf Legends Pairing 

*Billy Andrade & *Joe Durant
*Paul Broadhurst & *Kirk Triplett
Mark Brooks & John Huston
Olin Browne & Steve Pate
Mark Calcavecchia & *Woody Austin
Roger Chapman & David Frost
Russ Cochram & Kenny Perry
John Daly & *Michael Allen
Marco Dawson & Gene Sauers
Brad Faxon & Joey Sindelar
Dan Forsman & Mike Reid
*Carlos Franco & *Vijay Singh
Bob Gilder & Craig Stadler
Paul Goydos & Kevin Sutherland
Jay Haas & Peter Jacobsen
Hale Irwin & Wes Short Jr.
Bruce *Fleisher & Tom Jenkins
Lee Janzen & Rocco Mediate
Brandt Jobe & Scott McCarron
Miguel Ángel Jiménez & José María Olazábal
Tom Kite & Gil Morgan
Tom Lehman & Bernhard Langer
Wayne Levi & Glen Day
Davis Love III & Scott Verplank
Sandy Lyle & Ian Woosnam
Jeff Maggert & Jesper Parnevik
Larry Mize & Scott Parel
Andy North & Tom Watson
Mark O’Meara & Colin Montgomerie
Jerry Pate & Ben Crenshaw
Corey Pavin & Duffy Waldorf
Tom Pernice & Bob Tway
Jerry Smith & *Jeff Sluman
Steve Stricker & Jerry Kelly
Jim Thorpe & Dana Quigley
David Toms & Steve Flesch

*Past Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf Champions

And the trophy goes to Triplett and Broadhurst, who won the tournament by a stroke over Lehman and Langer. In a dream shot, Triplett sailed the ball from the bunker to hole it for a birdie on 18.

Bronze and marble trophy monument of James Earle Fraser's End of the Trail
Bronze and marble trophy monument of James Earle Fraser’s “End of the Trail”

Snapshots of Golfers at Legends 2018

Always more than Golf at a Legends Tournament

Big Cedar and Bass Pro Shops crowned this year’s Legends tournament with a venue of family activities.

Over 8,000 attended a Tiger Woods Kids’ Golf Clinic at Buffalo Ridge. Children chimed out for Tiger to do a “Homer Gilmore”! Who would have thought? And fishing pro Bill Dance taught fishing techniques. Games, activities, and fish tanks were scattered around the grounds for kids to test their skills.

Dude Perfect media event, Buffalo Ridge
Dude Perfect media event, Buffalo Ridge

Sports media superstars Dude Perfect drew a crowd of 4,500 youngsters to Top of The Rock. And Chic Filet handed out free chicken sandwiches to the crowd, a perfect family day.

A little bit of country was on the program Wednesday evening at the Academy: on stage, Chris Janson and Larry the Cable Guy entertained the crowd, topped off with a patriotic airshow and fireworks.

NAME DROPPING: a Celebrity Shootout capped Sunday’s play with Jack Nicklaus, Kid Rock, Gary Player, Mark Wahlberg, Lee Trevino, Willie Robertson, Larry Nelson, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress, David Graham, John Paul Morris, Johnny Miller, and Larry the Cable Guy. Celebrity winners: Johnny Miller and Larry the Cable Guy

Kid Rock, Top of the Rock, Skins Game
Kid Rock sighting, Top of the Rock Pro Shop

Tournament Highlights

Three tournament highlights for me – the golfers, the people, and viewpoints on the golf courses.
1-GOLFERS – I watched Gary Player golf with Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino on the Mountain Top Course designed by Gary Player.

2-PEOPLE – While watching Tom Watson on the greens at hole one, out of the blue, a suit walked down the fairway inside the ropes. It had a chit-chat with Watson and walked back to the Chapel, the temporary media command central.
As the suit passed by, I heard Feherty’s voice. I smiled to see David Feherty from the Golf Channel at Top of the Rock, reminding me I was watching a high profile PGA tournament on the side of a mountain in the Ozarks.

David Fehrty at Top of the Rock at Legends Golf Tournament
David Fehrty sighting at Top of the Rock

I met amazing people who travel the world to follow their favorite golfers. They came to the Ozarks to cheer the PGA Champions.

From my home state of Wisconsin, I met fans of Wisconsin’s Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly. And I rode the charter with young fans and friends of Dana Quigley.

The conversations were great.

3-VIEWPOINTS – I could pitch a tent and live on any Big Cedar golf course. Mounds of rocks, slices of mountains, flowers, shrubs, trees, ponds, waterfalls, stone bridges, geese … all create a landscape that woos me whenever I am at the Johnny Morris suite of courses.

It is not uncommon to see fans simply standing still in the middle of a walkway, gawking at the beauty and  snapping photos.

Winning History at Legends of Golf Tournaments

    • 2018-Kirk Triplett & Paul Broadhurst
    • 2017-Carlos Franco & Vijay Singh
    • 2016-Bruce Fleisher & Larry Nelson, Legends Division
    • 2016-Michael Allen & Woody Austin, Champions Division
    • 2015-Bruce Fleisher & Larry Nelson, Legends Division
    • 2015-Billy Andrade & Joe Durant, Champions Division
    • 2014-Fred Funk & Jeff Sluman

2018 Bass Pro Shops Legends Prize Cash Awards – Show Me The Money

Tournament proceeds from Legends of Golf are directed to fund education and conservation work at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium and College of the Ozarks.

Tournament Volunteers Party with Johnny Morris

Fresh flowers on tables at volunteer party
Bass Pro Shops throws a dinner for volunteers  after the golf tournament.
Outstanding volunteers receive awards. And each volunteer receives a certificate for a round of golf or a resort activity as a thank-you gift for their time and effort.

I used my golf certificate for a round of golf with hubby at the awarded Buffalo Ridge Springs on the Eve of New Year’s Eve.

We meet again for a rousing game of golf in 2019, April 24-28, at the Legends of Golf Tournament.

Play a Round of Golf in the Ozarks!

When you hop aboard the shuttle and head out from the tournament, put together a round of golf with friends. In reality, golfers can watch only so much golf before it’s time to play like Legends.

Ben Crenshaw eating a sandwich at Buffalo Ridge
Ben Crenshaw fueling up on a sandwich at hole 10 as he played through Buffalo Ridge.

Golf at one of four Johnny Morris courses, in proximity as the crow flies:

See eye-candy images of courses on Instagram

More golf in Branson and the Branson area:

RESOURCES:
Legends of Golf Tournament
Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy
The Cathedral of Nature at Top of the Rock, aka, the Sinkhole
Chapel of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks
Tournament Fan Fare

Branson, dubbed Hillbilly Vegas by fans

Clay Cooper's Country Express shuttles tourists to Legends of Golf Tournament 2018
Clay Cooper’s Country Express shuttles tourists to Legends of Golf Tournament 2018 at Mountain Top

TIP: Don’t forget to take in a Branson show. A trip to Branson is not official without at least one.

Payne Stewart monogram in plaids
Payne Stewart icon in honor of Payne’s love of plaid

Congratulations,  Bernhard Langer, recipient of the 2018 Payne Stewart Award!