Country music legends AND great golf: Branson, Missouri's got 'em both
I just shot Roy Rogers. Between the eyes. About 10 times. I gut-shot him once, too, for good measure.
I didn't get any points for it because I realized too late I was supposed to be shooting the low-life varmints sitting around the jailhouse with their six-shooters. I felt a little guilty. Who wouldn't feel guilty after shooting the Great American Cowboy, even in a shooting gallery and especially right before hearing his son, Roy Jr., crooning those great songs by the Sons of the Pioneers?
Shooting Roy Rogers at the Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum and listening to his affable son sing "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" are only two of the fun things you can do in Branson, Missouri. Branson, of course, is the live country music capital of the world, where you can hear musical legends both alive and dead - and some you thought were dead.
But you can also play golf here. There are now more than a dozen golf courses in Branson, and some of them are open year-round, with serious discounts from November through March. It gets hot here in southern Missouri during the summer months, so they also give discounts for afternoon play in the summer.
It's a nice play, to hit the links in the high beauty of the Ozarks. The Ozarks aren't technically a mountain range; the area is more of a high plateau that covers much of the southern half of Missouri. But there are spots where the views seem to go on forever, and you'd swear you can see Arkansas and Hillary bad-mouthing Obama.
John Daly's Murder Rock Golf and Country Club is the newest to open, and it's a beauty. Golf Digest named it to its "Top 100 in America" list. It's a very scenic layout with the front nine playing through a valley and the back playing high on a rocky spine, a ridge that affords some of those aforementioned views.
But maybe the best golf course hasn't even opened yet. The Payne Stewart Golf Course is scheduled to open in the fall and after touring it during construction, it's apparent it will be one of the best golf courses in Missouri. They're building it with an eye toward attracting major tour events.
Also, you'll never know who you'll see out on the course. Andy Williams and Moe Bandy love to play. So does Hank Williams Sr. Wait, he's dead, isn't he?
For having only nine golf courses, Kauai greatly overachieves in quality; its top courses can hold their own with any on the Hawaiian Islands. A bonus: it's so small you can see each of Kauai's courses on one trip, Brandon Tucker writes. And that's a good thing, because no single course is a supreme favorite here. Each member of your group may come home with his or her own darling.
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