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Big Cedar Vice President Steve Friedlander introduces Johnny Morris and Tiger Woods, pictured in the front row.Photo courtesy SPRINGFIELD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Big Cedar Vice President Steve Friedlander introduces Johnny Morris and Tiger Woods, pictured in the front row.

Photo courtesy SPRINGFIELD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Tiger Woods to design course at Big Cedar

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Famed golfer Tiger Woods is partnering with Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge founder Johnny Morris to design a course at the Ridgedale resort.

Dubbed Payne’s Valley in honor of Springfield native Payne Stewart, the 19-hole course will be located between Morris’ Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course and a new Gary Player par-3 course at Top of the Rock.

Speaking at Buffalo Ridge, Woods said he wanted to be part of the Big Cedar project because Morris and staff “created an environment here.”

“You know how hard it is for people to leave their cellphones for 5 minutes?” Woods asked at a news conference live-streamed by the Springfield News-Leader and reported on by the likes of ESPN and The New York Times. “When it comes down to it, you want to work with the people you want to work with. Johnny and I go way back. It means so much to be able to have that opportunity.”

Additionally, the course would include a par-3 concept designed for children.

“It’s going to be something we think is really going to get a lot of people excited about golf,” Morris said. “It’s going to be like putt-putt on steroids.”

Woods said he grew up playing on a par-3 course, scoring his first hole-in-one when he was 8 years old.

“It’s a cute little par-3,” he said of the youth plans for Payne’s Valley. “You can putt on every hole if you so choose. So many courses around the world, that has been taken out.”

Payne’s Valley is scheduled to open in 2019, according to PGA.com.

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