Comfortable and relaxing, Clinton Country Club can be the perfect respite for travelers to or from the lake.
The small, semi-private club is located just outside of Clinton off 7 Highway as you head towards Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks.
The club is approximately two miles east of town, then north about a mile along NE 201st Road.
“As you turn east and head towards Truman Lake out of Clinton, we’re just off 7 Highway,” explained Tom Browning, Vice President of Clinton Country Club. “There’s a sign that say ‘Clinton Country Club’ with an arrow to where to turn off.”
As the town of Clinton grew to its current size of about 9,000, it swallowed up the existing nine-hole course and the Country Club moved east of town, starting construction in 1992 and opening the current course the next year.
The club is about a half hour from Truman Lake, an hour from Lake of the Ozarks, and about two hours from Branson.
Being centrally located makes it easily accessible from almost anywhere in the region.
“We have several highways that all come into Clinton,” said Damon Parson, President of Clinton Country Club and a long-time member. “13 Highway, 7 Highway, also 18 Highway, they all junction right here in Clinton. Wherever you’re at in the state of Missouri, you can easily get to Clinton.”
Some folks even make a longer journey to Clinton.
“Clinton’s got some fine hotels if you want to end up staying overnight,” Parsons said. “We’ve had folks from as far away as Minnesota that have come down almost on a yearly basis, stay at the hotel and play the course for a few days.”
The club is managed to make it easy for travelers to use.
“It’s a fun, quaint, small, quiet golf course to play,” Browning said. “It’s never crowded. We don’t even take tee times. We don’t have marshals.”
“You can come in and pay your green fees and have hardly no wait time at all to get on the course,” Parsons said. “The only exception is when we have tournaments around the holidays in the summer months, but those holiday tournaments are on Sunday instead of Monday.”
Golfers travelling to the Lake on Friday or Saturday will usually find the course completely available, as will golfers returning on a Monday holiday weekend.
Travelers are also welcome to play in the tournaments.
“Most of the holiday golf tournaments are open to the public,” Parsons said. “If they want to participate in the tournament they can.”
The course itself is designed for tranquil enjoyment.
“It’s a relaxing course,” Browning said. “It’s not easy by any stretch, but it’s just a nice course for what I call an everyday player to come out and have some fun and enjoy it.”
The par 72 course plays 6,507 yards from the championship tees, with a course rating of 69.2 and a slope rating of 109. The white tees are 5,929 and it’s just over 5,000 yards for the forward tees.
“I’ve always found it’s a very affordable, fun place to play golf,” Browning said.
“It’s got excellent fairways that are very challenging,” Parsons said. “The greens are well maintained throughout the year. We have a great Superintendent that takes care of the course and he’s got a good staff. I’ve played through the winter months. Most generally, there’s been times up to two weeks where we couldn’t play because they’re snow covered. But, it’s mostly available any time.”
The challenges with Clinton’s course are somewhat hidden.
“The interesting thing about it is there’s no sand traps on the course,” Parsons explained. “But there are some areas around the greens where the turf is a little bit thicker than normal and kind of compensates for not having sand traps. It’s something people may not be aware of. But, once the play it, they’ll definitely enjoy it.”
“Probably the best way to describe the course is it looks pretty tame,” Browning said. “There are no sand traps, for example. But, there’s lots of places where there are what we would call grass traps. There’s a lot of grass around the greens that are pretty tough to hit out of. You get trapped in it. It’s like a lot of small courses, if you play the ball in the fairway you can score. If you get off the beaten path, you can get in trouble in a hurry.”
Both long-time members have their own favorite parts of the course.
“I like the whole course,” Browning said. “Number 18 is a signature par 5, going into the clubhouse. Number 2 is a signature par 3 – a narrow little par three that’s difficult to hit. It plays longer than it looks; it plays a little uphill. It’s hard to get the ball close to the hole. You walk up there and think this is an easy par 3, but it’s not.”
“I’ve got several (favorite holes),” Parsons said, including Number 7, a par 3 where he got his first-ever hole-in-one a year ago. “And Number 18, a par 5, if you hit a good drive and get a good second shot, you can actually make it on the green and have a chance for eagle.”
There are interesting challenges in several areas.
“Depending on what tee box you go off of, it’s not a small course, by any means,” Parsons said. “We have a par 5 that’s pretty close to 600 yards, and a very challenging par 3, one that’s about 165 yards from the whites.”
“There’s some length to the course,” Browning said. “The signature par 5 on the back, Number 14, is 577 yards. Got to take that one seriously for the length. 16, 17, and 18, they’re tough; they play on the back edge of the course.”
Browning sees it as ideal for most golfers.
“It’s for an average, everyday golfer who loves to find a quiet place to play,” he said. “They’re on their way to the lake and they want to find a place to stop and play eighteen holes of golf and have a good time, enjoy themselves, a nice challenge.”
And it is extremely accessible.
“The course is always open for play,” he said. “If they’re heading down on a Friday, that’s a great time to stop and play. The weekends are, generally-speaking, open, particularly in September and October, there’s lots of open tee times.”
It’s also very affordable with greens fees at $28 any day of the week for 18 holes with a cart. Memberships are available as well and pricing is very reasonable and varies depending on the nature of the membership.
The club features men’s, women’s, mixed and senior leagues during the week, and has quality clubhouses amenities.
“There’s good people there,” Browning said. “The clubhouse is nice. There’s a good place to eat. We’ve got plenty of carts and storage. A driving range, a putting green, a pool. We have a full bar, a restaurant. We have a dining area and party room available for private banquets.”
“Our clubhouse facility had a restaurant, bar, a dining room,” Parsons said. “Our clubhouse manager would love to accommodate anybody who’s having a meeting. It’d be great, in the afternoon, o turn around and have a round of golf after the meeting.”
Whether you’re planning to stay all day to play, or just drop in on your way to or from the lake, Clinton Country Club can be an idyllic experience.
Browning encourages prospective guests to visit the club’s website (www.clinton-country-club.com) or Facebook page (facebook.com/clintoncountryclub/) for up-to-date information about Club events and course availability, or call the clubhouse direct: 660-885-2521.
“One of the things we want to encourage, to keep folks up to date, is through our Facebook page,” Browning said. “If they go to our Facebook page they can find out if there’s anything happening that day. Our clubhouse number is available if they have any questions. If they’re on their way down and they want to stop and play, just give us a quick call and we can tell them what’s happening.”