The 9 Hole Golf Course at Margaritaville Lake Resort Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Resort Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 35/36
Osage Beach, MO
Website · Book A Tee Time
· Stay & Play

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The 9 Hole Golf Course at Margaritaville Lake Resort Review

Review & Rating of The 9 Hole Golf Course at Margaritaville Lake Resort

Located on a part of the 410 scenic acres and rolling hills within the Margaritaville Lake Resort is what USA Today once ranked as one of the best nine-hole golf courses in the country.  The 9 Hole Course at Margaritaville Lake Resort, previously known as Hidden Lakes, is a par 35/36 course with lush zoysia fairways, tight rolling tree-lined fairways, large bent grass greens, dramatic elevation changes, a couple of water hazards, doglegs left and right, and 30 bunkers – all of which contribute to making a round of golf here scenic, enjoyable, and fair but challenging.

The fairways at The 9 Hole Course meander up and down rolling hills and through some homes that can come into play on three holes.  You need to manage the tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers, the elevation changes, doglegs, and the slope – all of which can have a dramatic impact on your score.  The first cut is playable but if you miss it, left or right, you’re in a back yard or lost in the dense forest and underbrush.  There are 5 tee boxes with yardages ranging from 1860 yards to 3060 yards – don’t bite off more than you can chew and consider leaving the big dog in the bag unless you’re deadly accurate.  The fairways at The 9 Hole Course were in very good condition and cut thin and firm providing some extra roll.    

Some of the holes that we really liked included:

  • The #2 handicap 450-yard dogleg right first hole offers a good risk-reward shot off the tee if you think you can carry the 3 bunkers to shorten the hole – miss right and you’re lost.
  • #4 is a fun 505-yard par 5 with a slight downhill shot past 2 bunkers where the fairway turns right leading to a big green with bunkers on the left and right side – Lake of the Ozarks forms a beautiful backdrop to the green
  • The 485-yard #6 is another fun hole with a tight fairway that doglegs left around 2 big bunkers and then heads uphill past a left side bunker to a green guarded by 3 more bunkers
  • #7 is a challenging (#1 handicap) 413-yard par 4 with an elevated tee box, a sharp dogleg right (it’s easy to overrun the fairway and get lost in the trees) and what can be a challenging shot to the green based on your lie.

The bent grass greens at The 9 Hole Course are huge and in near perfect condition.  They rolled true and held the ball well but were a little slow from our perspective – a 7 to 8.  They all had some minor slope but little to no undulation.  Each of the greens had a normal cup as well as an oversized cup which makes for easier putts and significantly reduces the total time on the green – give them a try! 

The bunkers seemed easy to avoid (which is unusual for us!) and 10 of the bunkers are strategically placed on either the left or right side of your tee shot’s landing zone.  The other 20 bunkers guard the greens, which puts a premium on your approach shots.  The sand is a little thin and gritty but very playable.  The lips on the fairway bunkers were small and in a couple of cases, we rolled in and back out.

Bottom line – a very fun, scenic, and somewhat challenging 9 holes that offers a little bit of everything that makes golf interesting and the rates are very reasonable for such a quality course.  Margaritaville Lake Resort has a great stay and play package and lots of amenities to enjoy – check our review of Margaritaville Lake Resort and their 18 hole championship course, The Oaks Golf Club.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,060 69.6 126
Blue 2,430 62.8 103
White 2,105 65.4 104
Gold 2,876 68.0 117
Red 1,860 62.6 98

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jim Lewis
Greens Type:
Bent Grass
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 2 holes and the 30 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$30.00 to $42.00

Service is excellent, the pro shop has a limited supply of the basics, and beer and soft drinks are available and with a great view of the first hole.



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.