Industry News

Explore Branson golf destination courses shine in ‘Golfweek’s Best’ annual rankings

Five cited for excellence in Missouri including the top four, three garner ‘Top 100 Public Course’ status

BRANSON, MISSOURI (June 27, 2023) – Golfweek recently announced two “Golfweek’s Best” lists (“Top Courses by State” and “Top 100 Public Access Courses”) and five courses in the Explore Branson golf destination garnered best-of recognition in them.

Nationally, Ozarks National (Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design), Buffalo Ridge (Tom Fazio and Johnny Morris), and Payne’s Valley (Tiger Woods) earned distinction in the “Top 100 Public Course” list, ranking nos. 51, 77, and 93, respectively.

Ozarks National with water and cabin.jpg

For Missouri public courses, Golfweek course raters ranked Ozarks National No. 1 in the state, Buffalo Ridge No. 2, Branson Hills No. 3 (Chuck Smith/Bobby Clampett), Payne’s Valley No. 4, and LedgeStone No. 7 (Tom Clark).

The hundreds of members of Golfweek’s course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on 10 criteria on a points basis of 1 through 10. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings are averaged to produce the final rankings.

“Golfweek bestowing this honor on us validates not only that our course is considered one of the finest, but also that the Branson golf destination is one of America’s best given that five of the 10 here merited top rankings,” said Dan Davis, PGA, Branson Hills Golf Club, Director of Golf.

Branson’s five other courses are Top of the Rock (Jack Nicklaus), Mountain Top (Gary Player), Thousand Hills (Bob Cupp), The Pointe, and Holiday Hills. Top of the Rock and Mountain Top are award-winning par-3 courses, a welcome addition in golf trips where players tee up 18-holers in the morning, then add afternoon “short course” rounds. Thousand Hills has often earned “favorite course” status among area golfers, while The Pointe and Holiday Hills provide additional popular 18-hole playing options.

The two short courses and Ozarks National, Buffalo Ridge, and Payne’s Valley are amenities of Big Cedar Lodge.

All 10 courses in the destination are located near one another as well as hundreds of restaurants, lodging options, and after-golf attractions.

“Having many courses judged to be best-in the state and in the country is exciting; we hope it inspires people to visit our golf destination in the Branson Missouri Ozarks,” said Lynn Berry, Director of Communications, Explore Branson.

Branson is the No. 3 rated trending tourism destination in America according to Tripadvisor, a place where live entertainment theatres, lakes, museums, a world-famous theme park (Silver Dollar City), sports venues, outdoor adventures, and family friendly activities proliferate.

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform named Branson’s Silver Dollar City the No. 1 theme park in the United States last week. Utilizing traveler reviews and ratings for experiences, tours, activities, and attractions on their site over a 12-month period (May 1, 2022 - April 30, 2023), as well as an additional editorial process, earned the theme park top status.

For more information about Branson and its golf destination, visit, Instagram (@ExploreBransonGolf) or Facebook (@BransonGolf).

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 theatres, 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, sports venues, 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 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
Gary Trask,, 978.228.0314