Payne’s Valley Golf Course Review

Payne’s Valley Golf Course, located in the picturesque Ozark Mountains in Hollister, Missouri, is a stunning tribute to the late American golfing legend, Payne Stewart. Designed by renowned golf course architect, Tom Fazio, and professional golfer, Tiger Woods, Payne’s Valley offers a unique and thrilling golfing experience that both amateurs and seasoned players can appreciate. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the course layout, the design features, and the overall experience that makes Payne’s Valley a must-play destination for golf enthusiasts.

Rangefinder on Discount

Course Layout and Design

Payne’s Valley Golf Course is an 18-hole, par-72 public course that spans 7,370 yards. The course features a mix of challenging and forgiving holes, with varying elevation changes, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards. The rolling terrain of the Ozarks adds a natural beauty to the course, with native grasses and mature trees lining the fairways.

The design takes advantage of the natural landscape, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Each hole is uniquely crafted, ensuring that no two holes are alike, and players must use their creativity and skill to navigate the course successfully.

Signature Holes

Payne’s Valley boasts several signature holes that golfers should look forward to playing. One of the most memorable is the par-5, 7th hole, nicknamed “The Cliffhanger.” This hole is known for its dramatic elevation change, where golfers must navigate a tee shot across a ravine, followed by a blind second shot uphill to reach the green. It’s both a challenging and visually stunning hole that leaves a lasting impression.

Another standout hole is the par-3, 16th, known as “Payne’s Plunge.” Golfers are challenged with a daunting tee shot over a water hazard, with the green perched on the edge of a cliff, requiring precise club selection and accuracy to avoid a watery fate.

Amenities and Facilities

Payne’s Valley Golf Course is part of the Big Cedar Lodge, a premier golf destination that offers a range of amenities and facilities. The course has a fully-equipped pro shop, stocked with the latest golf equipment and apparel. The clubhouse features a restaurant and bar, where golfers can unwind after a round and enjoy a meal with stunning views of the course.

Additionally, the course offers top-notch practice facilities, including a driving range, chipping green, and putting green, allowing players to fine-tune their skills before taking on the course.

Environmental Commitment

Payne’s Valley Golf Course is dedicated to environmental sustainability and preserving the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains. The course has been designed with a focus on minimizing its ecological footprint through careful water management, native plant restoration, and wildlife habitat preservation. Golfers can feel good knowing that their round at Payne’s Valley supports responsible stewardship of the land and its resources.

PGA Involvement

The Payne’s Valley Golf Course has garnered attention from the PGA, and plans are underway to host several prestigious tournaments in the coming years. This course’s inclusion in the professional golfing circuit is a testament to its challenging design and impeccable condition, ensuring that golfers can expect a world-class experience during their visit.

Stay-and-Play Packages

Visitors to Payne’s Valley Golf Course have the option to take advantage of the Big Cedar Lodge’s stay-and-play packages, which include luxurious accommodations, access to multiple courses, and various other amenities. With these packages, golfers can experience not just Payne’s Valley, but also other top-tier courses like Ozarks National, Buffalo Ridge Springs, and Mountain Top Course. This makes for a complete and memorable golf vacation in the heart of the Ozarks.

Instruction and Clinics

For golfers looking to improve their game, Payne’s Valley Golf Course offers instructional programs and clinics led by experienced PGA professionals. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the fundamentals or an experienced player seeking to fine-tune your skills, these programs provide personalized instruction tailored to your specific needs. Golfers can choose from individual lessons, group clinics, and multi-day golf schools to enhance their experience at Payne’s Valley.

Junior Golf Programs

Payne’s Valley Golf Course is committed to nurturing the next generation of golfers, offering junior golf programs aimed at introducing and developing young players’ skills. These programs, led by PGA professionals, provide a fun and engaging environment for kids to learn the game while fostering sportsmanship, integrity, and a lifelong love for golf.


Course Features

FeatureHole 1Hole 2Hole 3Hole 4Hole 5
Fairway TypeBentBentBentBentBent
Greens TypeBentBentBentBentBent
Water HazardsNoYesYesNoYes
Elevation ChangesYesYesYesYesYes
Cart Path OnlyNoNoNoNoNo
Walking AllowedYesYesYesYesYes
Difficulty LevelModerateEasyHardModerateHard

Course Facilities

ClubhouseYes5/5Spacious and modern, with a restaurant and bar
Pro ShopYes5/5Offers a wide range of golf equipment and gear
Driving RangeYes4/5Grass tees, multiple targets
Putting GreenYes5/5Large practice area, well-maintained
Chipping AreaYes4/5Includes a bunker for sand practice
Locker RoomsYes4/5Clean, with showers and lockers available
Rental ClubsYes4/5Offers various brands and models
Golf CartsYes5/5Equipped with GPS, comfortable seating
On-Course RestroomsYes3/5Located every 3
Beverage CartYes4/5Offers snacks and drinks, frequent rounds

Scenic Beauty

HoleScenic BeautyNotable Views
14/5Elevated tee, views of the Ozark Mountains
24/5Water feature, surrounding trees
35/5Dramatic elevation changes, valley views
43/5Rolling terrain, dense tree line
54/5Lakeside hole, lush greenery
63/5Tree-lined fairway, subtle elevation changes
75/5Stunning waterfalls, rocky outcroppings
84/5Challenging dogleg, beautiful surrounding landscape
94/5Elevated green, panoramic views of the valley
103/5Fairway bunkers, mountain backdrop

Customer Reviews

CategoryRatingReview Summary
Course Conditions4.5/5Well-maintained fairways and greens, beautiful landscaping
Pace of Play4/5Generally good, but can be slow during peak hours
Staff Friendliness4.5/5Professional and courteous, attentive to golfer needs
Value for Money3.5/5Slightly expensive, but worth the experience
Course Difficulty4/5Challenging but fair, suitable for various skill levels
Scenic Beauty5/5Breathtaking views, unique natural features, picturesque holes
Clubhouse5/5Modern amenities, excellent restaurant and bar
Practice Facilities4.5/5High-quality driving range, putting green, and chipping area
Overall Experience4.5/5A must-play course for golf enthusiasts, great design

Final Thoughts

Payne’s Valley Golf Course is an exceptional golfing destination that offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels. The course’s beautiful design, strategic layout, and captivating scenery make it an unforgettable golfing experience. Whether you’re a Payne Stewart fan or just a golf enthusiast looking for a fantastic round, Payne’s Valley Golf Course is well worth a visit.


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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