Johnny Morris, founding father of Massive Cedar Lodge and its 5 golf programs, has been named the recipient of the fortieth Previous Tom Morris Award introduced by the GCSAA. Morris will probably be honored Feb. 9 on the Ship-Off Celebration on the 2023 GCSAA Convention and Commerce Present in Orlando.
The Previous Tom Morris Award is introduced to a person who, by means of a unbroken lifetime dedication to the sport of golf, has helped to mould the welfare of the sport in a way and magnificence exemplified by Previous Tom Morris. Previous Tom Morris was a four-time British Open winner and the legendary greenkeeper at St. Andrews in Scotland.
“Johnny Morris and Previous Tom Morris share the identical sense of ingenuity and love for the sport of golf,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans he mentioned. “His dedication to the surroundings, respect for superintendents and his contributions to the expansion of the sport make Johnny an ideal alternative for the Previous Tom Morris Award.”
Morris, who based Bass Professional Outlets, is a conservationist who created Massive Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri, as a vacation spot for households and buddies to attach within the nice outdoor. The resort, situated within the Ozark Mountains, touts being environmentally aware in every little thing they do.
Morris used golf as an avenue to get individuals out to take pleasure in nature. After buying the Massive Cedar property in 1987, he had Jack Nicklaus design High of the Rock in 1996, engaging extra entry to the gorgeous space which overlooks Desk Rock Lake.
“On behalf of the Massive Cedar Golf workforce, I’m honored to simply accept this excellent award,” Morris mentioned. “We’re happy with the reception our nature golf expertise has acquired from golfers from throughout six continents who’ve come to play with us. Our golf programs are a beautiful solution to carry buddies and households nearer to nature and to one another.”
Renovation was performed on Nicklaus’ 9-hole, par-3 creation and it reopened in 2014. On the identical time Buffalo Ridge, one other Massive Cedar Lodge course eight miles down the hill, was renovated by Tom Fazio.
Morris added Mountain High, a 13-hole, Gary Participant-design, to the Massive Cedar Lodge household in 2017. Invoice Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s Ozarks Nationwide opened in 2019 and Payne Valley, a 19-hole Tiger Woods design, debuted in 2020.
“Having the ability to design Payne’s Valley, my first public golf course, with Johnny was a dream come true for me and my TGR Design workforce,” Woods mentioned. “Johnny’s ardour for the Ozarks and connecting individuals with the outside is infectious. It was an honor to be a part of serving to Johnny make Massive Cedar Lodge one of many subsequent nice golf locations.”
The 4,600-acre property additionally contains Arnie’s Barn, a 150-year-old barn relocated from Arnold Palmer’s yard in Latrobe, Pa. There may be additionally a Tom Watson-designed placing course at Mountain High. Palmer (1983), Watson (1992), Fazio (1996), Crenshaw (1997), Nicklaus (2005) and Participant (2020) are all earlier Previous Tom Morris Award recipients.
From 2014-19 Massive Cedar hosted the PGA Tour Champions’ Bass Professional Outlets Legends of Golf, which included play on Ozarks Nationwide, Buffalo Ridge and High of the Rock.
His a long time within the golf trade have developed Morris’ deep appreciation for superintendents and the work that they do.
“Our superintendents and golf workforce take nice delight in the best way they keep these programs and actually put their coronary heart into making them distinctive. All of us share a ardour to take care of our programs to world-class requirements, and to do issues proper by the surroundings. We’re very happy with our Audubon Signature standing,” mentioned Morris, a previous recipient of the distinguished Audubon medal.
Not solely do Morris’ golf programs join individuals to nature, however they’ve helped in Morris’ philanthropic deeds. The Faculty of the Ozarks was The Legends of Golf event’s recipient of proceeds. Morris has additionally paid for struggle memorials honoring veterans and their households on the school. Bass Professional Outlets hosts an annual Event of Champions highschool basketball event, which options groups from across the nation.
Morris was born in Springfield, Missouri, and earned a level at Drury College. He started promoting fishing gear at the back of his father’s liquor retailer when he was 21 years previous. That enterprise would finally develop into Bass Professional Outlets.