Getting To Know: The Cove 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 Cove Course is a classic Robert Trent Jones Sr. design and The Lodge's signature course. Built in 1971, this challenging design tests the best of players and puts an emphasis on playing "smart golf". Leaving the driver in the bag will pay off more often than swinging away with it. Each cart is equipped with GPS and offers advice for each hole. On more than one occasion, golfers have made a hole in one after taking advice from the GPS to "club-up".
Golfers can grab a quick breakfast or leisurely lunch from The Cove Grill. Many golfers take advantage of the 4,500 square foot patio to cheer (or jeer) their friends on the 18th hole. In addition to the golf course and grill, The Cove has a practice green, driving range and PGA professionals on site for when you need a lesson.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
A quick glance at our scorecard has golfers thinking The Cove is as easy as a walk in the park. The "white tees" are tame by today's standards measuring only 5,868 yards. The par 71 layout tips out at 6,553 yards. But take a look at the 139 slope and be prepared for more of a hike instead of a walk through the park.
The Cove exudes many of Robert Trent Jones Sr.'s architectural traits. None of which is more apparent than the accuracy required off the tee. So many courses through the Mid-West are rather flat and challenge golfers with 7,000+ yard tees. Golfers swing away with their drivers without much thought or course management. RTJ made sure that The Cove requires a golfer's best effort to truly conquer the course.
Many golfers never get a chance to play such a classically designed golf course. Such designs are often out of the price range for the average golfer, or reserved for private clubs. While The Cove was built as a private club, it has since opened to the public and welcomes all golfers. And with affordable rates and golf packages, The Cove offers everyone the chance to play a true classic.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Local knowledge is a huge advantage at The Cove. The average golfer takes 5-6 fewer shots the second time they play the course. The most important tip is to play smart golf off the tee. The best scores are posted by golfers who use the driver only a handful of times. Accurate tee shots are a must. Balls that miss the fairway will often trickle into the woods leaving a difficult (sometimes impossible) second shot.
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?
The Cove has received numerous awards over the years. Including:
Best Golf Course in Missouri - AAA Midwest Traveler
Top 5 Best Public Courses in Missouri - Golf Magazine
Best Courses You Can Play in Missouri - Golfweek Magazine
PGA Merchandiser of the Year - Gateway PGA
4 Star Places to Play - Gold Digest
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Every golfer who plays The Cove will remember hole 4, our signature hole. For many years The Cove was named Witch's Cove thanks to this demanding par 3. The back tees play 227 yards over Lake of the Ozark's "Witch's Cove".
Three of the four sets of tees require a tee shot to carry over Witch's Cove before arriving on the small green. Once over the water, the golfer still has five deep bunkers to contend with. Plenty of golfers would be happy to write down a bogey on their scorecard and move on to the next hole.
Needless to say there aren't many birdies on this hole. With an amazing view of The Lake's Main Channel, even a poor tee shot won't prevent people from being "wowed" by our famous par 3.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
Can I pick 4 favorite holes? If I have to choose just one hole, it has to be hole 12. It's 421 yards, slightly downhill, dogleg left, with a creek and bunkers protecting the sloped green. The main reason it's rated as the 4th handicap hole on the course is because people just don't know how to play it.
At 421 yards it appears to need everything you can put behind a driver. Play the slope downhill, hug the corner at the dogleg, and you can get away with your 200 yard club off the tee. I often hit a 4 or 5 iron off the tee just to set up my next shot with an 8 or 9 iron. If you're more into safety than risk/reward, hit your 200 yard club right down the center and you should be left with a second shot that plays around 175 yards. Aim for the middle of the green, take two putts, and move on with a great par.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
The absolute best dish is across the street at HK's Steakhouse. Located off the main lobby of The Lodge, HK's offers some of the best steak you'll ever taste. My favorite is the Wagyu Flat Iron Steak. They have plenty of other great meals if you're not quite in the mood for steak.
If you don't feel like crossing the street then you can choose from a number of delicious items at The Cove Grill. My favorite is a toss up between the pork tenderloin sandwich and the Philly cheesesteak. Either one will give you plenty of energy for another 18 holes!
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Unfortunately the course record was lost when we built a new clubhouse in 2008. Lake of the Ozarks hosted the 1994 PGA Club Professional Championship. It was played over three days at The Cove and two other area golf courses. Looking at previous records available online, the course record was recorded during that tournament and is 65 or 66. We're anxiously waiting for someone to challenge that record so we can recognize an individual for such a great round.
Back Tee Stats
The Cove Course at The Lodge of Four Seasons
315 Four Seasons Drive
Lake Ozark, M), 65049
Revised: 09/07/2013 - Article Viewed 31,885 Times
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About: 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