Industry News

Ozarks National, Buffalo Ridge rate as top two public courses in state by Golf Digest ranking panelists

Ozarks National also garners status as one of 'America’s 200 Greatest Courses' in esteemed biennial list

BRANSON, MISSOURI – May 24, 2021 – Golf Digest rates Ozarks National and Buffalo Ridge as the state’s top two public courses in its just-released “America’s Greatest Courses by State, 2021-22” compilation.

Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and Tom Fazio and Johnny Morris, respectively, Ozarks National and Buffalo Ridge are two of five golf courses at Big Cedar Lodge, the stunning wilderness resort in southwest Missouri.

Ozarks National was also rated No. 155 – out of approximately 15,000 total – in the national magazine’s “America’s 200 Greatest Courses,” which was also just released.

To arrive at its ranking of Best Courses by State and America's 200 Greatest Golf Courses, Golf Digest panelists play and score courses on these eight criteria: shot options, challenge, layout variety, distinctiveness, aesthetics, conditioning, character, and fun.

Ozarks National with water and cabin.jpg

This latest distinction follows a similar result for Ozarks National from GOLF Magazine via its biennial “Best Courses in Every State, 2020-2021.” Ozarks National ranked third out of five courses listed for Missouri, the only public course that was included.

These aren’t the first top rankings for Ozarks National, which garnered “Best New Public Course in America” upon opening in 2019. Earlier this year – along with three other Branson Golf venues – it was rated No. 1 in Missouri by Golfweek. Buffalo Ridge, Branson Hills (Chuck Smith-Bobby Clampett) and LedgeStone (Tom Clark) joined it to hold four of the state’s top 10 spots, including the top three.

“Branson has long been appreciated as an ideal place to escape for fun vacations and a variety of recreational activities and attractions,” said Lynn Berry, Director of Communications, Branson CVB. “That’s truer than ever now that the golf destination is home to 10 wonderful public courses that are all near one another and hold a number of best-in-kind accolades.”

Branson’s six other courses include Payne’s Valley (Tiger Woods) which opened in September 2020; Top of the Rock (Jack Nicklaus); Mountain Top (Gary Player); Thousand Hills (Bob Cupp); The Pointe; and Holiday Hills.

For more information about Branson Golf, visit or

Explore Branson Golf Courses
Ozarks National, 800.225.6343
Mountain Top, 800.225.6343
The Pointe, 417.334.4477
Thousand Hills, 800.487.0769, 417.334.4553
Buffalo Ridge, 800.225.6343
LedgeStone, 417.335.8187
Top of the Rock, 800.225.6343
Branson Hills, 417.337.2963
Payne’s Valley, 800.225.6343
Holiday Hills, 417.334.4838

About Explore Branson
Branson is a one-of-a-kind family vacation destination nestled in the lakeside beauty of the Ozark Mountains — and an incredible value — with dozens of live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, an international award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, a Historic Downtown district, a Town Center-style shopping complex, a full range of dining options, and a host of hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds and meeting and conference facilities. Branson is less than one day's drive for one-third of America’s residents. With low-cost flights to the Branson Airport (BKG and nearby Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), it has never been easier to access Branson. Call 1-800-296-0463 for help planning your next vacation, convention or reunion. See more at:

Dan Shepherd,, 703.403.5317