Mountain Golf in the Ozarks


Mountain Ranch Golf Club:

An Ozark Mountain Golf Delight.

Posted by: Rick Parnham


Located in the Ozark Mountain town of Fairfield Bay, this Edmund Ault designed layout is one of two golf facilities found in the master planned community. Built on the rugged northern slopes of Greer's Ferry Lake, the city is an outdoor lovers haven. Mountainside home sites and resort condos dot the wilderness setting amid the tall southern pines and hardwood forests lining the ridges and valleys. The golf course is designed in a figure eight routing with the opening side playing to the high point of the property at the 5th green. The next nine holes follow the slopes to the lowest point on the14th, then climb back to the central clubhouse. Throughout the elevation change is the primary defense making club selection tricky and shot making difficult in theory and in execution.


The second hole is a beautiful par 5 that offers many options at making a five early in your round. The tee shot climbs to a plateau in the fairway, but take notice of the bunker on the right. From this elevated perch bite off as much as you like with the second. The landing area slopes slightly to the left and anything hit that way risks finding the large fronting pond. The safer play is to the right leaving a longer shot into the generous green. The short par 4 dogleg left 12th is an exacting driving hole. A tall sentinel pine and series of bunkers guard the left side, while a pair of sandy beaches sit through the fairway. A deceptive uphill approach may seem easy, but threading between the duo of bunkers and accounting for the elevation change makes for an exacting execution.


Devilish Greens

The 15th is a demanding uphill par 4 that will aggravate any sense of claustrophobia you might have. A narrow chute between the tree lines on either side of the tee decks offers little room for error. Favor the right side of the landing area as the hillside will funnel your drive to the short stuff, rather than the enormous mountain valley on the left that your ball will call home should you err that direction. The uphill green complex is bisected by a front to back ridge and with a deep nasty bunker guarding the right, any pin in that corner of the green is a sucker pin. The 16th is a dramatic, challenging and confounding par 3. Not often do you see a short hole requiring a fairway wood, let alone playing to the most challenging green on the course. Should your tee shot find the putting surface, its three-leaf clover shape with multiple tiers will leave you either shaking your head or fist pumping a well deserved par.


In a stunning part of the world that embraces all things natural, Mountain Ranch Golf Course fits in seamlessly. A varied canvas of stark and subtle elevation change, offering holes lined with home sites or wilderness, presents a challenging test of golf. Having to account for a club or two difference due to the slopes, or adjust for the uneven lies, a premium on solid shot making is found throughout the design.



Mountain Ranch Golf Club

820 Lost Creek Parkway
Fairfield Bay, AR







































Mountain Ranch: Par 72

Tees Yards Rating Slope






















Vistas Galore


Photography is Courtesy of:

Mountain Ranch &

The Natural State Golf Trail