I like to Volunteer at Bass Pro Legends of Golf, and thought you might want to know why. Think green lawns, sandy bunkers, legendary pros, media, eclectic crowds, divine landscapes, swans, boats, ponds, and waterfalls — christened with rain — all that at the PGA TOUR® Champions Bass Pro Shops® Legends of Golf® at Big Cedar® Lodge, played on premier courses at Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge.
Why I Volunteer
Volunteer? Friends and family chuckle when I volunteer at the tournament because it cost $50 to volunteer and it takes 3-5 days of my personal time. Some think I am starstruck, but – no. Volunteering for me is the big picture of what this extraordinary event brings to me personally, to golfing, and to our area.
- The tournament is held in April, my birthday month, and it’s a gift of entertainment to me.
- It supports Missouri tourism and conservation.
- Love the color green, and the most beautiful greens in the Ozarks sprout in the spring.
- Love hearing the birds, watching the swans, and walking the beautiful courses that host the tournament.
- You never know what to expect. This year Kid Rock played in a Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. You had to be there. I’m banking on Mark Wahlberg next year.
- I volunteer to celebrate the conservation efforts of Johnny and Jeannie Morris to make golfing a premier event in the Ozarks. [Fun fact: Golf became an Olympic sport again at the 2016 Games in Rio.]
- I like crowds and meeting interesting people.
- Top of the Rock overlooks Table Rock Lake, an idyllic setting.
- The tournament expands each year. (Johnny Morris recently announced his purchase of the Legends of Golf franchise for another four years.)
- It’s meritorious to volunteer at this prestigious golf tournament that not only celebrates golf but also raises money for education at College of the Ozarks.
- Finally, you get back much more than you give, thanks to the generous support of Johnny Morris and the tournament sponsors.
I was there: 2017 Tournament, April 19-23, 2017 – Top of the Rock
Golf is Only the Half of It ….
There is more than golf at the tournament. Cory Cotton, Twin #2 of Dude Perfect, was on stage Saturday to demonstrate golfing tips for young fans. It was cold and drizzly, but no one cared.
The tournament provides opportunities for area civic and business organizations to support golf and tourism. This year Branson Chick-fil-A surprised attendees at the gates with free, warm, yummy chicken sandwiches.
When not golfing, competitors are treated to bass fishing, accompanied by guides and pro fishermen on Table Rock Lake, skeet shooting at Bass Pro Outdoor Academy, and fly fishing for trout at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.
Golfers’ families are entertained as well. This year wives were hosted to a luncheon followed by an acrylic painting class at College of the Ozarks. Table settings included an art glass souvenir of a painter’s palette, crafted by the C of O students.
- The tournament is an ideal time to see the golf course and all its beauty.
- Volunteers receive free access to the tournament and a Gold Pass for a guest – for the duration of the tournament.
- Volunteers are in the thick of it, and often have opportunity to meet legendary golfers.
- Volunteers are honored at a post-tournament dinner with prizes and awards.
- You are part of something bigger than yourself.
Following the tournament, Johnny Morris and the tournament chair thanked volunteers with an awards dinner of Famous Dave’s BBQ and Bluegrass dinner music by Missouri Train.
A table piled with goodies welcomed us. I chose a fishing reel by Berkley/Abu Garcia! Score.
And Johnny Morris signed a golf ball for me, a souvenir from the Pro-Am.
Another evening highlight: Johnny greeted volunteers, shaking hands and chatting with us. He asked for our continued support as he works to curate the resources of the area into a golfing destination for families.
BONUS GIFT: Volunteers were gifted with their choice of either golf for them and a guest to play 18 holes at Top of the Rock or Buffalo Ridge or a pass to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Hip-hip-hooray!
Volunteering, Not for Wimps
Volunteer at the tournament! Make an unforgettable moment! And plan for the good and the not-so-good. For starters, this annual tournament is held in April, AKA April Showers, when in the words of Goldilocks, it is either “Too hot,” “Too cold,” or “Just right”! As one volunteer recounts, “I felt like a Popsicle.” Also, you may find the crowd and the players a tad intimidating at times. Key point: If you work the tournament, you can’t watch the tournament, i.e., except on a free day or when assigned to the course with a good viewpoint of the golfers. And, golf is played on a golf course with rolling greens and seven miles of pathways and golf cart paths. As well, standing in the middle of a golf course on duty for hours can be solitary. Finally, if you are a shutterbug like me, taking photos is prohibited while in uniform. Well, that pretty much sums up the whining.
Register to Volunteer in 2018
Registration is open. Register to volunteer Legends for the 2018, PGA TOUR Champions Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.
Put it on the calendar – April 16-22, 2018 – for the next Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament. As always, the tournament will host events and activities on a grand scale … and remember to pack your rain boots in case of April showers.
Plan to Watch Tournament Golf and Discover the Ozarks …
We vacation at Big Cedar Resort, 5-minutes from Top of the Rock. This luxury, Johnny Morris resort ranks #3 on the Gold List of Top Resorts of the Midwest by Traveler and Travel and Leisure (for two consecutive years). Big Cedar has a 30-year history of entertaining guests with restaurants, spa, marina, pools, miniature golf, chapel, lodges, cabins, and now, Fun Mountain.
Fun Mountain at Big Cedar has a golf simulator, laser tag, bowling, arcade, bumper cars, rock wall, pool table, restaurant, and more. And that’s just inside. Outside, due for completion in spring 2018, a 3-story ropes course and NASCAR-themed go-karts.
Stay at Cliffs at Long Creek, a Big Cedar affiliate, for wilderness combined with luxurious spaces. The Cliffs, one of many timeshare properties available in Branson, if you have a timeshare as we do.
Johnny Morris’s Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, located at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, MO. A must see when you visit the Ozarks.
While at Top of the Rock, tour the cave in a golf cart and walk through history at the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. 5 Stars. Don’t miss it. Of course, Johnny’s famous Cathedral™ sink hole at Top of the Rock is just off the pathway!
Book a stay at nearby College of the Ozarks Keeter Center, 2018 Traveler’s Choice by tripadvisor, and you will be in the middle of an agriculture and cultural area.
More golf: Mountain Top, a Gary Player/Johnny Morris designed course, with a fabulous restaurant and 13 Hole, Par 3 course — my favorite restaurant with a view. Or, don’t play golf and eat at the gorgeous restaurant.
More golf: at the base of Mountain Top is the premier 18-hole course, Buffalo Ridge.
And only a half-hour away, Dogwood Canyon, with its natural beauty and outdoor experience.
On the drawing board for 2019
The Tiger Woods designed Payne’s Valley opens in 2019. It is the first public-access golf course in the U.S., thanks to Johnny Morris, Tiger Woods, and the Payne Stewart Family, who partnered to make a dream a reality.
Also on the drawing board, Arnie’s Lodge at Top of the Rock, within a stone’s throw of the beautiful course and driving range.