By Julia M. Johnson
In early autumn 2008, one of the Branson area’s newest and most scenic golf attractions treated celebrities and sports figures to a slice of heaven on the links.
Nestled in the picturesque hills of the Branson Creek residential development, John Daly’s Murder Rock Golf & Country Club was the scene of the Lion’s Heart Invitational Golf Tournament and Concert on September 30 and October 1. Golf fans had the opportunity to meet Daly and watch him play alongside a spate of sports figures, music legends and Hollywood VIPs.
On Tuesday, September 30, celebrities warmed up their putts and swings, then mingled with guests and fans at an autograph party, a VIP celebration and auction. Area youth attended a free ice cream social at the Murder Rock clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon. Ticket sales and proceeds benefited the Ozark Mountain Family YMCA and the John Daly Foundation. The event sported such venerable names as the San Diego Chargers’ Vencie Glenn and Kansas City Chiefs’ Art Still.
Wednesday brought morning and afternoon pro-ams, as well as a “Longest Drive” contest where the public was invited to trade fairway for runway, hitting golf balls down the tarmac at the area’s new Branson Airport, which is currently under construction. Capping off the tournament was a Wednesday evening concert under the stars at the new airport – a musical extravaganza featuring recording artists such as Mike Reno of Loverboy, Moe Bandy, Johnny Lee, John Cafferty of the Beaver Brown Band, and members of Hootie and the Blowfish. Screen actors, PGA and LPGA pros, former Olympians and NASCAR drivers rounded out the guest roster for the tournament event.
The tournament’s presenting sponsor was Springfield-based John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts, and the concert and other activities were sponsored by Branson Airport LLC. Host hotel services were provided by the Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa and Convention Center.
Founded by media entrepreneur Glenn Patch and headlined by PGA pro John Daly, Murder Rock is perched in the hills among 7,500-acre Branson Creek’s diverse residential communities. According to Tim Mahoney, president of Patch’s Florida-based GEP Inc. development company, the property is poised to provide top-notch meeting and gathering options in its spacious, scenically situated clubhouse.
“We also have a lot of weddings booked for 2009, and will be building a wedding gazebo for the property,” Mahoney says. “There’s a dining room, and a boardroom that is used by many area banking groups and for meetings regarding the new airport. We are booking a lot of holiday parties as well.” The property also features a member lounge and bar, fitness room, pro shop, swimming pool and tennis facilities.
The Branson Creek development will grow to include a total of 12,000 homes over the next 15 to 20 years, and 50 percent of the land is designated for green space. Though a slow real estate market is the talk of the town in most parts of the country, sales at Branson Creek have been encouraging, according to Mahoney.
“We are averaging $1 million to $1.5 million a month in home sales right now,” he says.
“We’re getting a lot of buyers from Kansas City, St. Louis, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Little Rock, Tulsa and other areas,” says Bonnie Kuizinas, senior sales executive for The Communities at Branson Creek. Prices range from $240,000 to $820,000, and there is a wide variety of floor plans and styles including single-family homes, custom homes and golf villas. The goal is to offer something for everyone, Kuizinas says.
With the new airport slated to open nearby in May 2009, Branson Creek and its top-notch facilities are uniquely poised to take off, according to Mahoney. And the Daly golf tournament is expected to be an annual event providing major visibility for the community and surrounding area, he says. Participants in the 2008 tournament contributed $1,500 each or $7,500 per team.
Designed by Landmark Land Co. Inc., the semi-private, 18-hole Murder Rock golf course opened in the fall of 2007. The new Branson Airport is scheduled to announce its first air carrier by the end of 2008. By design, the airport’s primary access road winds through the Branson Creek community, a concept that’s expected to drive long-term residential sales there.
The Communities at Branson Creek
Tom Guindon • www.branson-creek.com
Branson Airport LLC
John Daly’s Murder Rock
Golf & Country Club