TGR Design, the golf course design firm owned by Tiger Woods, and Big Cedar are paying tribute to Springfield native Payne Stewart, victor of three major titles on the PGA tour, by naming the new course Payne's Valley.
Scheduled to open this spring, the Gary Player Mountain Top Golf Course in Ridgedale is a 13-hole course for players of all ages and skill levels.
Much as with his other designs, Woods will also develop a nine-hole short course on property at the Big Cedar Lodge resort that will be geared toward novice golfers and children. "I'm very lucky and very privileged", said Woods, whose first North American design was Bluejack National near Houston, Texas and a short course called The Playgrounds.
Woods wants to build the course as a tribute and memorial for Stewart.
Told later that he's never been one to talk much about playing on the Champions tour, Woods said, "It's right around the corner now". "I know that he's looking down from heaven today and is so proud". We didn't have a whole lot of money and that's where I learned how to play, so for me to be able to design a public course, that's near and dear to my heart.
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The 41-year old Woods was then cheered on as he hit just wedge shots into a stunning par-three laid out in front of a steep cliff face and waterfall. Like those courses, Payne's Valley will also include a short course.
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Many people question if Woods will ever win another Major championship to add to his outstanding tally of 14, the second highest of all time behind Jack Nicklaus with 18.
"The second shot I stiffed it, so ..." said Woods, who briefly returned to competition in December after missing all of the 2015-16 season in the wake of back surgery. Woods' TGR Design is collaborating with Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and the Payne Stewart family on the project.
"I grew up on public courses".