Things to Do

Fun Golf Outings in Southwest Missouri

From mini golf to driving ranges to full-blown pro courses, southwest Missouri is one of the best regions to practice your swing. Use this guide to work your way from newbie to master!

By Jenna DeJong and Katie Pollock Estes

Sep 2022

Payne's Valley Golf Course Mid-Afternoon
Courtesy Big Cedar LodgeThe views at Payne’s Valley Golf Course are part of the appeal. The course is Tiger Wood’s first public access course.

Begin with Putt-Putt

There are plenty of mini golf options in southwest Missouri, including Bigfoot Fun Park (3608 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson), Getaway Golf (3833 E. Sunshine St., Springfield) and Glowgolf located in Battlefield Mall (2825 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield). The best part is that all three of these courses are wild experiences. You can pretend to hunt for bigfoot in the tundra or play in the dark.

Strengthen Your Swing

Once you have felt the rush of your first hole-in-one, practice your swing at the Connie Morris Golf Learning Center at Rivercut (2846 W. Rivercut, Springfield). The facility is managed by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and is home to the Rick Grayson Golf School. It’s open year-round and has a video analysis room, indoor hitting area and six hitting bays that can even be used in rainy weather. 

Practice at a Par-3

Feel like you’ve got a handle on your swing? Test it out at Top of the Rock Golf Course (150 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale). This is the first-ever par-3 course to be included in a professional championship, so why not use it to take your skills to the next level? Before you go, get a peek at every hole online. Short descriptions of each hole are listed on the course’s website. Once you are finished playing, celebrate another day of practice with a margarita at the on-site restaurant, Arnie’s Barn.  

Play like a Pro

You don’t have to be a hardcore golf fan to know who Tiger Woods is, and you don’t have to be a hardcore fan to appreciate that Woods chose the Ozarks to design his latest course. Called Payne’s Valley (1250 Golf Club Drive, Hollister), this course is a tribute to Missouri golf legend Payne Stewart. In collaboration with Johnny Morris, this is Woods’ first and only public access golf course. The property is breathtaking, complete with water features and large fairways and greens.

Hone Your Skills

If you’re itching to practice your swing but are more in the mood for social hour with friends than a day on the links, try BigShots Golf (1930 E Kearney St, Springfield.) The modern driving range features private tee boxes that use 3D augmented reality and Doppler radar tracking technology to enhance the experience. Interactive games let you aim for virtual targets and add a little bit of fun competition. You can order tasty eats and cocktails too, delivered to your tee box.

Play Around 

You might think a mini-golf spot like Getaway Golf (3833 E State Hwy D, Springfield) is just for the kids (and it is, in fact, awesome for the kids), but it offers fun options for a day out with your friends too. There’s a menu of mixed drinks, beer and wine perfect for sipping after you absolutely destroy your friends on the course. That course features 18 holes, with a “road trip across America” theme—including challenges that take you through mini versions of national landmarks.

[MORE: The Johnny Morris Story]

Business Listings: