Top of the Rock
I was incredibly bless this past Sunday to spend the day out at the Bass Pro's Legends of Golf, PGA golf tournament at Top of the Rock. I acquired a VIP pass from a friend which gives the possessor access all the public venues, closer access to the players while they play and free food and beverages at the Buffalo Bar and Osage Restaurant.
I grew up watching golf on TV with my dad. He liked to play but seemed frustrated with his ability, but then that's how 95% of all golfer feel about their game including me when I was learning to play. We watched Nicholas, Player, Trevino, Kite, Watson, Crenshaw, Green, Sadler, Palmer and many others play the game with skill and class. We had a lot of respect for them as athletes and gentlemen. Now here I was seeing them in person, listening to them talk and playing golf... in real life! I wish my dad was still here to experience it.
I've watched several videos this morning produced by Bass Pro on this golf course and the PGA event, and I think the best is one with Gary Player. People like Player, who have traveled the world and experienced the biggest and the best, are totally engulfed with natural beauty of what Morris has sculpted out of God's creation. It just happens to look like a golf course.
The property in which Top of the Rock sits belonged to Dr. M. Graham and Elizabeth Clark, past president of College of the Ozarks. The Clarks developed the estate into an award-winning arbor farm, cultivating many varieties of trees. Rumor has it that when Morris approached the Clarks about purchasing the estate, Clark insisted that Morris keep the tree farm in tact because it was a very special place. Surely it was because Morris took the Clark tree farm and developed it into the beautiful place it is today, Top of the Rock.
Spending the day this past Sunday at the Legends/Champions Senior PGA golf tournament at Top of the Rock was a surreal experience for me and countless others. On top of the visual overload I got from wandering around the barn, the museum, the restaurants, (Osage and Buffalo Bar), the grounds with all the carefully selected trees, flowers, azaleas, sand traps, greens and fairways of the golf course were immaculate! Add the top names in golf attending the event and having them there playing, talking to people and signing autographs, it all was like a dream.
Behind the hundreds of workers and volunteers who worked so hard, the one person to thank for this awesome place and experience is Johnny Morris -- who, in his visionary way, created this place using God's building blocks and then brought this event to our own backyard . . . thank you, sir!