Osage National Golf Resort - Mountain Nine Holes Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.5

Golf - Resort Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Lake Ozark, MO
· Stay & Play

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Osage National Golf Resort - Mountain Nine Holes Review

Review and Rating of the Mountain Nine at Osage National Golf Club

Osage National Golf Club is home to three excellent nine-hole courses and is currently managed by GreatLIFE, which owns several other golf courses in the US.  The original 18 holes, the River and Mountain Courses, opened in 1992 and were designed by Arnold Palmer and they are Missouri's only Arnold Palmer Signature designed golf courses.  A third nine, the Links, was added a few years later.  The courses, like their names imply, play along the towering bluffs of the Osage River, in the valley with a layout that has a links feel to it, and up into the forest and mountains with dramatic elevation changes.

Each nine is very different from the other nine and each one has its own unique characteristics and personality:

  • The Mountain nine has tighter tree-lined fairways, jaw-dropping elevation changes, and is the most scenic of the three nines
  • The Links course is flatter, more open, and the easiest of the three courses and has some very unique and interesting holes – here is a link to a review of the Links Nine
  • We didn’t have time to play the River Nine but we understand that it’s long (2126 to 3561 yards), has water on 9 holes, 18 bunkers to contend with, and some challenging green complexes

Common to all three courses are superb conditions from tee to cup, some fun and very interesting holes, reasonable rates, very good service, a driving range and putting green, a well-stocked pro shop, and other amenities like a swimming pool, a 20,0000-square foot clubhouse with a full-service restaurant and bar, and upscale 2 and 3 bedroom condos for stay and play. 

Each nine also has lots of mounding, water on several holes, plenty of bunkers, and some challenging green complexes.  All three nines have 6 sets of tee boxes with yardages ranging from 1923 to 3606 yards, which means the course is suitable for all levels of play – easy from the forward tees and very challenging from the tips.  Osage National was the site of the Skins Game between golf legends Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, Lee Trevino, and Tom Watson and Osage National is rated "Four Stars" by GolfDigest Magazine and typically referred to as "the "Must Play Course at the Lake."

After the second hole on the Mountain Nine,  as you ride up a long winding steep cart path, you’ll quickly understand why this nine is called the Mountain Nine.  Hole 3 sits on the top of the mountain and from every tee box you’ll have a great view of the 420-yard #1 handicap hole – a big downhill shot from the elevated tee box to a sloping fairway with two left side pot bunkers that turns right and heads up a steep hill to a 22’ by 35’ green with little from for error. 

The Mountain Nine is a blast to play as evidenced by the third hole.  During your round, you’ll find tight to wide open sloping and rolling fairways, water on five holes, nineteen bunkers to avoid, dramatic uphill and downhill shots, challenging approaches to the greens, and beautiful scenery as the course layout takes you to the top of the mountain and back down to the valley. 

Each of the holes on the Osage National Golf Club Mountain Nine are unique and different from the previous holes.  Some of the holes we loved in addition to #3 included:

#2 is a beautiful 175 yard par 3 with a significant downhill shot past colorful yellow wildflowers, a bunker, and a lake with a reflection of the towering trees

#5 is one of the most fun holes we’ve played in some time – a 3 shot 588-yard par 5 with a blind shot off the tee box followed by a jaw-dropping downhill shot along a tiered roller coaster tight fairway that heads left and then right to an undulating 20’ by 37’ green with a pond on the left side – I wanted to turn around and go play this hole a couple more times

#8 is another excellent hole – a 484-yard par 4 with a big downhill shot back toward the valley with a dogleg left leading to a huge 45’ by 50’ green with a nasty big bunker on the right front and another one on the back right side

The conditions when we played the Mountain Nine at Osage National were near perfect from the tee box to the greens.  The zoysia fairways range from a little tight to ample but if you miss the fairway, the wide rough is a tad challenging.  All of the fairways are tree-lined with a couple of holes that have some huge beautiful homes set well back off the fairway.  This nine favors accuracy over distance and make sure you pick one of the set of tee boxes that fits your game.

The bent grass greens on the Mountain Nine were also in excellent condition.  They ran true and smooth and at a good speed of close to a nine.  All of the greens have some combination of slope, tiers, and undulation.  The greens are a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from 18’ wide to 50’ deep. 

The bunkers range from small challenging pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered monsters.  The sand was thick and heavy and gritty and a little wet from an overnight rain, but very playable.  Some of the bunkers are steep and deep and challenging. 

Osage National Golf Club is home to an excellent stay and play package with 2 and 3 bedroom condos, several of which overlook the golf course.  The facilities are upscale and well done.  The bar and grill serves some good food and drinks and has a patio overlooking the Links and River nines

The slope and rating are based on playing the Links and Mountain Nine. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,606 74.7 141
Blue 3,078 69.5 126
White 2,912 67.4 123
Gold 3,310 72.3 130
Red 2,533 67.3 117

Course Information

Course Architect:
Arnold Palmer
Greens Type:
Bent Grass
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 17 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$49.00 to $89.00

Service is very good, the pro shop has all of the gear needed to look good and play well. The bar and restaurant and great and the practice facilities are more than adequate.



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.