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Payne's Valley is No. 2 overall on Golf Digest's annual ranking.
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Payne's Valley is No. 2 overall on Golf Digest's annual ranking.

Big Cedar course wins top award from Golf Digest

Posted online

Big Cedar Lodge once again has received accolades from Golf Digest.

Payne's Valley, which opened in fall 2020, was named the best new public course in North America, according to a news release. The course is No. 2 overall on Golf Digest's annual list of the best new and renovated courses, ranked by a panel that visited golf attractions in the United States and Canada.

"The design really pushes things to the edges of the available land to take advantage of the vastness of the property and the site," the panelists' comments read.

Named for Springfield native Payne Stewart, a professional golfer who died in 1999, Payne's Valley was designed by Tiger Woods' TGR Design firm. The 18-hole course has a bonus hole set in a geological feature where players walk through a cavern system to return to the clubhouse.

Johnny Morris, founder of Big Cedar, said in the release, “We are honored to have received this ranking from Golf Digest, one of the oldest and most respected golf publications in the sport."

Morris added, “We envisioned this course to provide an immersive journey that combines a high-level golf experience with the natural wonder of its surroundings. The course layout showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Ozarks and provides a way for golfers to experience nature as they enjoy the game."

In 2019, Golf Digest named Big Cedar's Ozarks National the best new public course, according to past reporting.

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