Republic’s Backwoods Golf offers professional instruction, recreation

Steve Chapman

Vincent Pyeatt, 16, a member of the staff at Backwoods Golf, demonstrates the use of one of the bays at the facility.

New business owners ‘very, very happy with the city of Republic,’ already looking to expand
If you enjoy golf or have ever wanted to give the game a try, you might want to reserve a bay at Backwoods Golf in Republic. The facility, which opened on Friday, May 22, offers a wide variety of experiences in golf, including lessons, tournaments, men’s leagues and junior clinics, as well as a full-service bar and restaurant.
Austin Cloud is the facility’s general manager and co-owner; he opened Backwoods Golf in partnership with Charlie Locker of Monett. He said they decided to open Backwoods in Republic not only because of the burgeoning development in the city, but also because there wasn’t a facility like it in the area.
“We started this together because we’ve seen the concept of Top Golf, and we’d never seen anything like that in the Springfield area,” he said. “We kind of just brought that idea to this area to kind of give people in this area a better understanding of golf, to give them a training facility they can use while also having the entertainment portion of it as well.”
Cloud said that one doesn’t have to be into golf to enjoy spending some time at Backwoods. the people who do not play golf enjoy places like this because it has the entertainment aspect to it,” he said. “So, the good thing about this for people who may not be into golf or may have never thought about going into golf, when they come out here, they actually get into a rhythm. Maybe they’re not actually hitting the ball well, but they’re having a good time because at the same time, they can eat, they can drink, they can have a good time with their friends. It’s more of a social interaction for them versus actually going into training.”
Since Backwoods opened, Cloud said, the facility has actually become quite popular with local people.
“We have gotten fantastic feedback so far,” he said. “Honestly, we have not done any marketing up to this point, and so most of it has been through word of mouth, and we just get out there and talk to everybody every night. They’re loving the technology … aspect of it. The biggest thing is being able to sit outside and enjoy food and drink and be able to hit a golf ball without sweating on a golf course. We have climate control out there; fans and heaters going during the summer and winter months to make it more comfortable for people.”

Reservations recommended for practice
For those who want to come out and practice their swing, Cloud said he encourages making a reservation, as it will allow them to spend more time practicing golf and less time filling out paperwork.
“We do take walk-ins, but we do encourage reservations, because it saves you a ton of time when you come in here,” he said. “You have to sign up for a membership card, and all of that stuff can be taken care of online very easily, and it kind of cuts down on wait time whenever you come in here.”
Though they’ve only been open for a couple months, Cloud said Backwoods already has their eye fixed towards the future.
“We are currently in the thought process of expanding fairly quickly,” he said. “The biggest thing is we want to add a putting green out here on the right with an outdoor bar, just more seating out here for additional people who just want to come and have the social atmosphere, not necessarily using the golf. They can sit out here in private instead of getting out into the range. And then, we also have the idea to go to a second level fairly quickly. Right now, we’re considering about a year out from that, but that could accelerate depending on the number of people we get coming in and out of here every day.”
Cloud said he would also like to see Backwoods involved with the golfing program at Republic High School.
“We want to be fully active in the community as far as what we can do to benefit Republic in a better way, and also lead by example with the junior portion of it,” he said. “We really feel that junior golf in this area has been lacking for the past couple of years, and that’s what we want to bring back.”
Cloud said he and Locker could have opened Backwoods in either Republic or Springfield, but he feels Republic was the better location.
“We had looked in a couple of places in Springfield and then also up here in Republic,” he said. “After working with both cities, we are very, very happy with the city of Republic. They have been fantastic to work with, and that was a huge factor of why we chose this location.”
Whether one wants to actually improve their golf game or just spend have some downtime, Cloud said those who come to Backwoods are in for an enjoyable experience.
“We just want people to know that there’s a great place to come socialize, have a drink, have some food and enjoy some time with your friends,” he said. “With everything going on in the world right now, it’s kind of a time to relax and take a break from the world because things are hectic. We also want people to understand that if you want to get better at golf, come see us and we’ll try to do what we can to make a training facility work for you.”

Backwoods Golf is located at 6155 W Republic Road in Republic, and is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday; 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information or to book a reservation, call (417) 233-4234 or go online to their website at More information is also available at their Facebook page.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


Please Login for Premium Content