Golf in Branson, Missouri enhanced by wholesome entertainment, genuine hospitality
BRANSON, Mo. – In all seriousness, Branson is one of my favorite golf destinations, and it has to do with a lot more than golf.
The golf is pretty good and certainly affordable. But maybe the reason Branson, which is celebrating its centennial this year, appeals to me so much is because it makes me feel like a kid (which is probably one of the reasons so many retired people love this place). The golf is no doubt enjoyable, starting with perennial favorites like Branson Creek Golf Club and Payne Stewart Golf Club. But what I really like about Branson is the innocent fun you can have off the golf course.
This is the opposite of Las Vegas. Instead of Sin City, they should call it Virtue Town. Branson isn’t dry, but when you go to the shows at night, the strongest drink you’re going to find is Mountain Dew soft drinks. And where else will you visit a toy museum?
I’m also struck by the enthusiasm and warmth of the people who live and work here, and this coming after a devastating tornado earlier this spring. The whole community, by the way, has done an incredible job of rebuilding in a short amount of time. There are still a few places where you can see damage, but pretty much everything is up and running.
Yesterday afternoon, we stopped at a shoe store at Branson Landing. Little did we know that the young man hawking sneakers would be singing to us later that night.
He was part of the “No. 1 Hits of the 60s” show at the Caravelle Theatre. It was sort of an off-Broadway review where the seven performers – three women and four men (including the music director) sang medleys and bits from more than 100 hits of the 60s. I was struck by how much fun they had in performing and hard they worked. The costume changes alone were amazing. The younger performers are probably looking to build a career, but the veterans clearly just do it because they love it.
The nice thing about Branson entertainment is that there’s something for everyone. If you like country or bluegrass, this is your place. If rock ‘n roll is more your taste, there’s the “Legends In Concert” at the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theater, featuring Elvis and the Blues Brothers, among others.
And finally, I love the care and customer service at the restaurants. Even the chain places, like Steak N Shake, IHop and Famous Dave’s are terrific. In fact, Famous Dave’s is one of my favorite barbecue places anywhere (love the ribs and pickles), and I live in barbecue heaven.
In short, Branson is a terrific G-rated vacation. And it’s easier than ever to get to, with a new airport with direct flights to major cities, including my hometown Houston. It’s also very affordable, and what’s not to love about that?
Can’t wait to come back next year.
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