The Best 6 Holes and Golf Courses – Lake of the Ozarks

At first glance, with 1,150 miles of shoreline, the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri is obviously a boating and water mecca. Most potential visitors are unaware that the area has a golf course with 12 courses that meander along the shoreline and up and down the adjacent hills. The result is golf worth playing.

The cove

The Cove Golf Course is part of the Lodge of the Four Seasons, so restaurants and accommodations are literally steps away. Robert Trent Jones’ design features 72 bunkers and 9 holes with water in one form or another. Putting the ball in play from the tee is paramount, with both the right distance and placement key. With plenty of attention-grabbing holes, the par-3 second hole lets you focus on the bat. No way to bring the ball up except for a narrow corridor on the right. Your short iron shot requires precision, with sand and a stream running along most of the left side

Bear Creek Valley

Bear Creek Valley was built on two adjacent farms, one owned by the Color Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. No houses or development, just excellent golf that meanders up and down and around natural features. Number 5 is a 426 yard par 4 with a delicate shot to a sloping downhill landing zone which, if successful, gives a clear shot to the green. And, to start your day, the head pro is also the chef of the fabulous restaurant, so a breakfast to fuel your tour will be tasty and satisfying.


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Osage National

Osage National is a combination of three 9-hole courses. The river, mountain and links play as described by name. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the last 9 was added in 1997. The golfer can play one, two or all three nines. While the mountain course has the most outstanding holes, the other two have unique individual layouts. The River Course #2 is a 445 yard par 4 requiring a long tee shot with the river on the left and bunkers on the right. If that wasn’t enough, the green is slightly elevated and requires a second laser shot around the bunkers.

The Oaks

The Oaks sits across from Margaritaville Resort, and as you pass, you only get a glimpse of a few holes. This sets a visual tone of tree lined fairways, ups and downs and a multitude of oak trees. The oaks roam in wooded areas with only a few holes lining the houses. Most holes offer a view of the lake. The challenge is the wooded edges and well-placed bunkers. Number 13 is a medium-length par 4 where the tree-lined edges of the tee shot wreak havoc on the mind and can distract from a bright green once you’re in position.

Old Kinderhook

Old Kinderhook is a resort course with generous fairways, large greens and overall playability. The trail winds through the property with almost no adjacent holes. One of the most exciting holes is the par 4, 15th, adjacent to the clubhouse. At almost 300 yards with a stream in the middle, this hole begs to drive the green. It can be done despite a slight elevation of the green, but it requires Herculean training. The Hook Cafe offers plenty of takeout options any time of the day. Great for dashes and early morning playtime.

Lake Valley Golf Club

Lake Valley Golf Club is a what you see is what you get course with no hidden surprises. This tends to lull the golfer into a feeling of easy shots, but the layout features ups, downs, bends and most of the greens guarded by bunkers. From the blue tees it is 6373 yards but probably one of the most fun and challenging courses at this length. The 16th hole is a par 5 of moderate length where the water with the lake on the left, the stream in the fairway and an elevated green await you. If the wind is blowing towards the tee box, add more than 50 yards to your tee and your necessary second shots. And then there’s the uphill approach to the green for an added challenge.

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