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A Swing of History: The Story Behind the Wall at Rivercut

Springfield's Rivercut Golf Course was originally named Indian Bluff Golf Course when it was built in 1995. It features a stone wall that has a lot of people asking a lot of questions.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- When you visit museums or Civil War battlegrounds, you expect to see artifacts. But what about at a golf course?  

One local course features a historical structure.

It has a lot of people guessing what it is, but very few people actually know what it is.

Rivercut Golf Course, originally named Indian Bluff golf course when it was built in 1995.

It's been rated the number one public golf course in Missouri. But that's not the only novelty about this course.

Something out of the ordinary sits On the 13th hole at Springfield's Rivercut Golf Course.

"I heard it was a wall from the civil war," said local golfer Gene Hegemeier.

Rumors about this limestone slab wall have been around as long as the course itself (1995).

"There was a big farm up on the hill and it was part of that, built to keep the animals in, I just heard it was a civil war wall," said a group of golfers.

So what was the purpose of this wall? Well originally it stood about four and a half feet tall and it had nothing to do with a battle, instead, cattle.

"It was a fence to keep the cattle out," said Dr. Neal Lopinot, Archaeologist with the state of Missouri and Missouri State University.

According to restricted documents, authorized by archaeologist Dr. Neal Lopinot, "I recorded it as an archeological site with the state of Missouri."

Farmer Charles Baker Owen had the wall built in the pre civil war era, to keep his cattle out of the field were his corn, oats, and other grains were cultivated, which is now hole 13.

What remains of this fence is merely just a section of the original, "Portions of the fence have been recycled, a lot have been removed because they are flat pieces of lime stone," said Dr. Lopinot.

So next time you tee up, now you know that rock fence, is fencing in a piece of Ozarks history.

"Just makes it more interesting I think, makes it something different, I never would have thought of that before," said Lopinot.

As for the golfing rules.. According to the Rivercut rule book, the fence is still inbounds. It is deemed an integral part of the course. And if your ball lands next to the fence, you have to hit it right there or take a drop and a one stroke penalty.
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