Getting To Know: The Ridge Course at The Lodge of Four Seasons
An Insightful Interview With Matt Tausig, Director of Golf
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Matt Tausig who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
The Ridge Course is a fantastic design from Ken Kavanaugh. A good golf course designer is able to take a piece of land and build a golf course that takes advantage of the natural surrounding. Kavanaugh did just that by utilizing the natural elevation changes that set The Ridge apart from just about every golf course in the Mid-West.
When golfers step up to the first tee they are challenged by a tee shot that drops some 50+ feet to the fairway below. It doesn't get any flatter as you make your way around the course. The tenth tee has the biggest drop of the day with the tee perched 75 feet above the fairway. While some golfers may find this intimidating, many refer to the course's altitude drops and generous landing areas as "player-friendly." Golfers on this par-72 course enjoy rolling hills, native wildflowers, and beautiful views of the Lake.
With four sets of tees ranging from 4,617 to 6,447 yards, The Ridge promises a great experience for all ability levels. On site amenities include a full service pro-shop, grill, practice green, driving range and professional instruction.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
The Ridge offers a style of golf course that most golfers will ever experience in the Mid-West. The elevation changes are similar to those seen in such areas as Colorado or Utah. Granted, we don't have any towering mountains or ski slopes nearby. But just about every hole on the course offers an up and down experience similar to an old wooden roller coaster.
The majority of the course is surrounded by rock cropping, wildflowers, woods, and wildlife. It's very different than many modern courses that are surrounded by homes. Golfers who may not be having the round of the life will appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds this gorgeous property.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
While The Ridge is more forgiving that its sister course (The Cove), leaving the driver in the bag will often lead to lower scores. The Ridge may have generous landing areas, but those areas are surrounded by woods, rocks, and bushes. Missing the fairway will surely lead to wasting a shot just to get the ball back in play.
Golfers should also take full advantage of the GPS system installed on every cart. The system provides helpful tips and advice for every hole. Following these tips will certainly lead to a more enjoyable round for any golfer.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
We are definitely proud of the uniqueness that The Ridge offers to our guests. It is so rare to find a course in the Mid-West with such character. Between the elevation changes and nature, the course sets itself apart from other courses.
We are also very proud of the awards we've won over the years. Our most recent award was from Golf Magazine, who voted The Ridge as one of the five best public courses in Missouri. In addition, The Ridge has been ranked by Golf Digest as a 4-star course for "Places to Play."
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
On more than one occasion we've heard golfers say that our 6th hole is the hardest par 5 they've ever played. Whether you call it our signature hole, or just the most talked about, you definitely won't forget hole 6.
The back tee sits about 20 feet above the fairway; but the fun ends there. In that twenty foot drop to the fairway the golfer must carry two hundred yards of trees and brush. You may wipe the sweat from your brow if the ball makes it to the fairway, but be prepared to sweat your next shot as well. The narrow fairway is lined on the right with a creek and out of bounds. Trees and brush line the hill that runs the left side of the hole.
So you've successfully navigated 2-3 shots down the fairway and are ready for your approach shot? It's no easy task with a creek and several large bunkers that protect the large, three-tiered green. Walking off the green with a par is quite an accomplishment. But plenty of golfers are just as happy to walk away with a bogey.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
I love hole 14! It is the ultimate risk versus reward tee shot. Play it safe with a long iron or hybrid off the tee and you should easily hit the generous fairway that sits 30-40 feet below the tee. That leaves a wedge or short iron into the elevated green.
Long hitters are very tempted to "go for the green". The hole plays 329 yards from the back tees and just 312 yards from the next tee box. A number of golfers have swung away and been rewarded with an eagle putt. But far more golfers have ended up out of bounds just to the left of the green. Or they've found their ball at rest in one of four bunkers, or the creek, that protect the narrow green.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
The Ridge Grill has one of the best burgers around. They have an open-flame grill that gives the burgers an amazing flavor. I like mine with BBQ sauce, jalapenos, onions, and a slice of pepper-jack. Throw in a side of fries and one of the beers on tap and it's tough to beat.
If I'm in the mood for something a little more substantial than a burger I head down the street to The Lodge of Four Seasons and stop in HK's Steakhouse. Their Wagyu Flat Iron Steak is absolutely amazing. They have plenty of other great meals if you're not quite in the mood for steak. Everything on the menu is fantastic.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Several golfers have shot 64 (-8) at The Ridge; the most recent being Tory Hayes, a local PGA Professional.
Back Tee Stats
The Ridge Course at The Lodge of Four Seasons
315 Four Seasons Drive
Lake Ozark, MO, 65049
Revised: 09/07/2013 - Article Viewed 20,663 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler