The Takeaway: Nothing but pure fun in the hole designs coupled with beautiful lake views. Great course for the family to play or for a sporty competition amongst buddies, however the green fee is excessive for a short nine hole par three course. Grade A
Designer: Jack Nicklaus in 1996
Cost: $90 - $150 Click for current rates
Phone Number: (800) 225-6343
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Top of the Rock Golf Course's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 150 Top of the Rock Rd, Ridgedale, Missouri 65739 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Top of the Rock is a Jack Nicklaus design that was open for several years before being acquired by Big Cedar Lodge when it hit the scene as a golf destination. This sporty nine hole par three course features gorgeous lake views, top notch bentgrass conditioning, and all sorts of fun. Jack clearly drew inspiration from famous venues such as Augusta National and TPC Sawgrass with some of his designs which provides for a fun experience without trying to create exact replicas. In comparison to Mountain Top, the resort’s other par three course, there isn’t as much variety in the shot making but it is certainly more scenic. Carts are mandatory for navigating around the course and your cart will never be required to leave the concrete path. In the end, Top of the Rock is a course that every level of golfer can enjoy but the stiff green fee for such a short course and quick experience will inhibit some players from enjoying the track. After all, the green free is more than half the cost of the 18 hole courses and you may only use one-third of your clubs.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 9th Hole – 163 Yard Par 3 – The final hole at Top of the Rock plays to a green with a necklace of bunkers across the front, some stones peppered throughout, and an expansive view of the lake in the distance. The downhill setting of the putting surface allows the hole to play a half club less than the number and the impressive setting throws a nice crescendo on a round that is a ton of fun.
Best Par 3: 4th Hole – 191 Yards – Drawing inspiration from the 12th at Augusta National, the 4th at Top of the Rock is a beautiful one-shotter over the water to a heavily bunkered green with bright red flowers setting the backdrop. The green angles away from front left to back right with the last third of the green being the most difficult to knock a shot close to. The idyllic setting and wonderfully groomed surrounding combine to create a hole you’ll want to play over and over.
Birdie Time: 2nd Hole – 114 Yard Par 3 – With the lake creating an impressive backdrop, the 2nd plays at least a club downhill over a series of rocks to a welcoming green. With a scoring club in your hand players should be able to take dead aim at the flag and get the ball to stick its landing given the elevation drop. This is an early chance to throw a deuce on the card and set the tone early.
Bogey Beware: 6th Hole – 121 Yard Par 3 – Inspired by the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, the distance isn’t intimidating on the 6th, it is all the water surrounding the green that will make you pucker. With nowhere to hide or bail out to, Jack is ready to punish shots that miss the green with a water hazard penalty unless players are fortunate enough to find a sliver of safety off the putting surface. It is do or die here, and dying generally means throwing a double bogey on the card.