Course Spotlight: Top of the Rock at Big Cedar Lodge

Looking down a 100-foot drop from the tee box to the green on the second hole at Top of the Rock. Credit: Big Cedar Lodge

The Top of the Rock golf course at Big Cedar Lodge, the host track of this week’s Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, is considered by many to be one of the top par-3s in America.

Designed by Jack Nicklaus, along with input from Johnny Morris – the founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge, the layout features nine meticulous par-3 holes with superb vistas of the famous man-made Table Rock Lake.

The signature hole is No. 2, a 102-yarder that features a 100-foot drop to a green surrounded by beautiful rhododendrons, which gives off the vibe of a certain famous golf course in Georgia.

Before he passed away, Arnold Palmer visited Big Cedar Lodge for the unveiling of Arnie’s Barn Restaurant and Pro Shop. Relocated from Palmer’s property in Latrobe, PA, ‘Arnie’s Barn’ includes historic photos and memorabilia from Palmer’s career achievements.

“I look at everything, the barn and the people who helped John put the barn together. They did such wonderful work. I look at the integrity of what is happening here,” said an emotional Palmer.

“I’m also a lover of America, and what these people stand for, and that is very, very important to me.”

A look at the Arnold Palmer Practice Facility at Big Cedar Lodge. Credit: Getty Images/Ryan Young

Palmer was the designer of record for the course’s practice facility, aptly named Arnold Palmer Practice Facility.


The Skinny

Name: Top of the Rock GC
Where: Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, MO
Stats: 9 Holes, Par 27, 1404 Yards
Designed By: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Morris
Practice: Arnold Palmer Practice Facility
Food: Arnie’s Barn, Osage Restaurant, and Buffalo Bar
Opened: 2015
Website: BigCedar.com
Rates: 9 Holes: $135; 18 Holes $225 (includes golf cart, driving range balls, and bottled water)


Big Cedar Lodge offers great deals on Stay and Play Packages.


Photo Gallery: Top of the Rock Golf Course

Photos courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

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