Col­lege of the Ozarks Adds Golf Pro­gram, Home Course is Ac­claimed Buf­falo Ridge Springs

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BRAN­SON/LAKES AREA, MO. – Col­lege of the Ozarks is ex­pand­ing its ath­let­ics pro­gram with the de­but of men’s and women’s golf teams in fall 2017, the lat­est ad­di­tion to North Amer­ica’s fastest­grow­ing golf des­ti­na­tion.

Men’s and women’s teams will likely in­clude eight mem­bers each and will be coached by Dr. Chris Larsen, dean of sports, re­cre­ation, and events. Larsen se­cured the im­pres­sive Buf­falo Ridge Springs Golf Course in Hol­lis­ter – ranked one of “Amer­ica’s Great­est Cour­ses” by na­tional golf mag­a­zines – as the teams’ home course and is de­vel­op­ing prac­tice ar­eas on cam­pus.

As­sist­ing Larsen will be Wal­ter “Smi­ley” Jones and Kim Vin­ton. Jones will be direc­tor of golf in­struc­tion and is a well-known, highly re­garded teacher. He played 11 years on the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons cir­cuit and has 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a golf in­struc­tor. Vin­ton cur­rently gives pri­vate lessons in the area and holds an im­pres­sive re­sume as a pro­fes­sional player, in­struc­tor and coach.

“These two pro­fes­sion­als will be in­valu­able as we strive to de­velop our golf pro­gram,” says Dr. Larsen.

Prac­tice is cur­rently tak­ing place on the Buf­falo Ridge driv­ing range, and a prac­tice green, sand bunker, and tee boxes are cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion on the col­lege cam­pus.

“The game of golf op­er­ates and is based on many of the val­ues that our in­sti­tu­tion de­sires to de­velop in our stu­dents. It is a game where re­spect, hon­esty, in­tegrity and re­spon­si­bil­ity are ex­pected,” said Larsen.

Ad­ding golf at Col­lege of the Ozarks mir­rors the area’s golf des­ti­na­tion growth. Two cour­ses de­buted in the past two years and two more are sched­uled to open rel­a­tively soon (one in 2017, the other in 2018).

“It’s ex­cit­ing news for Col­lege of the Ozarks, the young peo­ple who will join the teams, and the golf des­ti­na­tion over­all,” says Lynn Berry, Bran­son/Lakes Area Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. “Col­lege of the Ozarks is home to the Keeter Cen­ter, an up­scale lodge, restau­rant and con­fer­ence fa­cil­ity that was ranked the ‘No. 1 Top Small Ho­tel in the U.S.’ by TripAd­vi­sor for 2016. Peo­ple choos­ing the Bran­son area for their next golf get­away should con­sider stay­ing at this amaz­ing place.” About Bran­son/Lakes Area Golf The golf des­ti­na­tion is home to sev­eral es­teemed cour­ses de­signed by mar­quee ar­chitcects with two more cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion (one a 12-hole, fam­ily friendly lay­out by Gary Player, the other an 18-hole cham­pi­onship track by Bill Coore and Ben Cren­shaw. Ex­ist­ing cour­ses in­clude: Pointe Royale Golf Vil­lage www.point­eroyale­ Thou­sand Hills Golf Re­sort www.thou­sand­ LedgeS­tone Coun­try Club at Stone­Bridge Vil­lage www.ledge­stone­ Top of the Rock Golf Course www.topofthe­ Bran­son Hills Golf Club, www.bran­son­hills­golf­, Hol­i­day Hills Re­sort and Golf Club www.hol­i­day­ Don Gard­ner Golf Course, www.bran­son­park­san­drecre­ Buf­falo Ridge Springs Golf Course www.topofthe­­falo-ridge-golf-course

For more in­for­ma­tion about Bran­son/ Lakes Area Golf, visit www.face­ Bran­sonGolf or www.ex­plore­bran­

Ledges­tone Coun­try Club at Stone­Bridge Vil­lage

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