Popular golf destination withstands record-setting storms.
Two weeks ago, much of the state of Missouri (including St. Louis, above) was experiencing rare winter rains that overwhelmed dikes and hastily constructed sandbagging along the Mississippi, Meramac and Missouri rivers.
The lower Mississippi River continues to exceed its boundaries, thus far accounting for 25 weather-blamed deaths and more than $1 billion in estimated damages.
However, Branson, Missouri has been mostly unaffected and is reporting “business as usual” following residential flooding and spot-damage business cleanups, including at Branson Landing, a celebrated collection of 100 shops and restaurants located on the shores of Lake Taneycomo.
“While Branson Landing received higher levels of water during the recent 2015 flood than those experienced in the flood of 2011, we were well prepared and ready when the waters of Lake Taneycomo started rising,” said Branson Landing General Manager Melissa Hudson. “Branson Landing businesses [have remained] open for business during our normal operating hours,” she said.
Located in the Ozark Mountains, Branson entices vacationers with a world-renowned collection of live-entertainment theaters, theme parks, events and festivals. Adding to the allure are premier golf courses that bear the architectural signatures of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Tom Clark, Ken Dye and Chuck Smith.
“This is the second time in recent years that the Branson area has been tested by extreme weather, and both times we’ve come through without a hitch,” said Dan Davis, PGA member and general manager of top-ranked 36-hole Branson Hills Golf Club (above), referring to a tornado that ripped through the area in February 2012. “And December’s flooding followed some of the heaviest rains we’ve had in the last 100 years.
“Once again, we came through and did not miss a beat,” he said. “Both of our golf courses received only minimal damage—a few of the bunkers needed re-sanding and there was a bit of scattered debris—but we’ve been 100-percent open and have not had to close.”
At lower elevation Pointe Royale Golf Course, located adjacent to Lake Taneycomo, flooding was more extensive—three holes and some bridges were submerged, resulting in a temporary course closure—but the club already is back in action.
“We came through with zero damage,” said Pointe Royale Assistant Golf Professional Theo Atchison. “All 18 holes are fully open, and with a weather forecast calling for temperatures in the 60s by Saturday, we’re getting calls for tee times.”
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.