The emerald grounds at Excelsior Springs Golf Course are seeped in history, showcasing some features that date back much earlier than the course's founding in 1915. On hole No.15—called "Oasis"—players tee off next to a monument marking the site of the Battle of Fredricksburg, fought in 1862, and an original log cabin built in 1825 still stands to remind golfers of the hearty settlers who once crossed the Mississippi in horse-drawn golf carts. When the course first opened, it was a 36-hole complex, but yet another major American event, the Great Depression, saw its reduction to the 18 holes that exist today.
Today, players continue to fire upon Zoysia fairways and storm the small greens as they make their way around the 18-hole course. Par 5s in hole No. 9, "Fairacre," and the behemoth, 593-yard No. 18, "Sunset," close out each side, presenting high hurdles for golfers before they head into the clubhouse and give clubs time to nap.
Course at a Glance
Show-Me Trail Ride Outfitter's owner and guide Jeff Strahle whisks equestrians of all ability levels through the beautiful country and scenic trails of Big River Ranch in fun, two-hour trail rides customized to move at the speed of the riders. The horseback-riding session begins with a brief introduction (up to 20 minutes) to get horsemen acquainted with the trained horses, safety, and riding techniques. Saddled sightseers then explore 2,100 acres of land and 50 miles of trails varying in scenery, difficulty, and number of lost Disney characters. Those seeking a challenge can traverse Bluff Trails, which leads riders through a rangy terrain of canyons, waterfalls, and naturally occurring rollercoasters, while those who fancy the water can take in the panoramic views of the Missouri River while galloping along River Trails. Guided rides through Big River Ranch are available for reservations on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.