Golf Legend Working on Youth Course in Maryville

By Matt Tritten |

Published 10/02 2013 07:04PM

Updated 10/02 2013 07:49PM

(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Since 1995, Mozingo Lake Golf Course has served as a golf haven for northwest Missouri, but its 18 holes don't cater to every athlete.

"We have a beautiful course here," Bruce Twaddle said. "But it's a tough place for kids to get started."

That's about to change as a special nine-hole youth course was unveiled Wednesday.

"We didn't want just a small pitch-and-putt course," Twaddle, a local dentist also organizing the project said. "We wanted something that challenged kids in pars three, four and five, and would serve as a beacon for other communities around the country to do the same thing."

The addition to Mozingo comes with an impressive influence. Five-time Open Championship winner, and Missouri Native, Tom Watson and his team (Tom Watson Design) are designing the new course curtailed to beginners.

"What this community's going to start here is a place for kids to learn how to play the game, but also learn what goes along with it," Watson said. "That to me is a great reason to be involved with a project such as this."

"What more could you ask for than to have a man like Tom Watson and his design team. He does a really nice job with building golf courses, and he has a heart for kids," Twaddle said.

Watson's group has designed 14 pro-style golf courses, including four in Japan, but this isn't his first time promoting youth golf.

"I've been a part of a few of them. The first one was involved in the Kansas City area at Swope Park," Watson said. "This course is designed for beginners -- for kids, or anybody really -- to begin the game where they aren't forced to play 400-yard par fours or 500 yard par fives."

Construction at Mozingo could begin as soon as this winter with completion expected by the spring of 2015 giving young golfers a place to grow in the sport.

"If you look around here, this is where kids should be," Twaddle said. "This is the opportunity that we have for them. We have land here, let's give them some games to play."

Mozingo is also hoping to become a First Tee Junior Golf Program affiliate with the new addition. First Tee promotes good sportsmanship, respect and teaches golf etiquette. The program's board of directors meets in Kansas City this week to vote on Mozingo's membership.

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