Industry News

Three Branson Missouri Ozarks courses garner Golf Digest “Best in State” honors

BRANSON, MISSOURI – August 28, 2023 – Golf Digest ranks Ozarks National, Payne’s Valley, and Buffalo Ridge among the top 10 in its list of “America’s Greatest Courses by State, 2023-24.”

All three are amenities of Big Cedar Lodge, the sprawling luxury wilderness resort in the Branson Ozarks.  This marks the debut of Payne’s Valley (Tiger Woods design) on the exclusive list.

Buffalo Ridge Golf Course.jpg

To determine its “America’s Greatest” rankings of Missouri courses, Golf Digest panelists play and score courses on these eight criteria: shot options, challenge, layout variety, distinctiveness, aesthetics, conditioning, character, and fun.

Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and Tom Fazio with Johnny Morris, respectively, Ozarks National and Buffalo Ridge join Payne’s Valley at the heart of the burgeoning 10-course-and-growing Branson golf destination.

An 11th course named Cliffhangers is under construction adjacent to Payne’s Valley.

“We love it when our courses win awards from Golf Digest – their third-party critical endorsements provide ideal credibility,” said Lynn Berry, Explore Branson, Director of Communications.

These aren’t the first top rankings for those courses or others in the destination. Branson Hills, Ledgestone, Mountain Top, Thousand Hills, Top of the Rock, The Pointe, and Holiday Hills join them in having accumulated numerous “best-in-kind” accolades collectively.

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