The acoustic whoosh of swooping golf clubs welcomes players to Peculiar Golf & Learning Center, where a stable of 16 driving range stalls fosters flusher drives and straighter approaches for players of all abilities. The range features both natural grass and artificial turf hitting surfaces, and clubbers can take aim at distant targets or windswept parade floats from covered or open-air hitting bays, all of which are illuminated by towering lights for late-night practice. A staff of resident aces presides over lessons conducted at the Center, where they help correct swing imbalances and illiterate clubs at the Center's practice green or sand bunker. A fully-stocked pro shop rounds out the Center's deep reservoir of golf resources with an array of clubs, bags, apparel, and other golf gear from brands such as Ping, Callaway, Nike, and TaylorMade.
An emerald jewel set into the 1,000-acre framework of a residential community, the championship course at Creekmoor meanders along ridges and conceals daunting holes in tree-shaded valleys. The course's lush zoysia fairways and 65 sand bunkers challenge both greenthumb golfers and green-jacket holders as they hunt eagles and birdies across its 18 holes. Their path to glory takes hazardous turns at the crystalline lake that borders hole seven, while prevailing winds push balls off course near the ninth hole?a 660-yard behemoth known as The Monster at Creekmoor. Before launching their dimpled projectiles at that unholy beast, golfers can practice knightly strokes and parries on the course's driving range.
Course at a Glance:
Locke's Karate Academy's skillful staff will train Groupon-holding block-breakers in one of two martial arts disciplines. The Korean discipline of Tang Soo Do, the close cousin and occasional doubles-tennis partner of Tae Kwon Do, focuses on aerobic kicks and cardiovascular fitness. Practitioners of the Okinawan Goju-Ryu style—which is traced back to the Fukien province of China but founded on the Japanese island of Okinawa—build muscle strength and practice powerful punches for close-in fights or recurring nightmares about battling fighting-nun puppets. Under the tutelage of Sensei Aaron Locke, who moonlights as an attorney, students will absorb a working knowledge of the etiquette, philosophy, and statute of limitations laws of the country their chosen style originated in, transforming their fitness regimen into a holistic educational experience.
Academy of Fighting Arts instructor and 5th-degree black-belt Clinton Murphy can shatter several objects with his bare hands, from coconuts to concrete blocks. It's a skill known as "breaking," and Murphy claims that it's just as mental as it is physical. This and other martial-arts skills have led to appearances on ESPN2, The Late Show with David Letterman, and the Discovery Channel. At Academy of Fighting Arts, he teaches his students how to hone their own mental focus and martial-arts techniques, emphasizing good form and discipline over brute strength—just as he does when he's preparing to break 14 slabs of concrete in a stack.
When teaching a class, Murphy's martial arts style of choice is American-Filipino Kun Tao. This mix of pressure-point strikes, grappling, and joint-lock throws is ideal for close-quarters fighting. Murphy covers these maneuvers as well as escrima, or stick-fighting, in his adult sessions, whereas kids' classes focus more on teamwork and basic drills. He also hosts four-week self-defense seminars for women, which demonstrate how to effectively escape and subdue an assailant.
At Flip Zone, kids learn to do more than flips?they learn body awareness, self-confidence, and social skills through a range of fun and energetic activities. In the play center?s rainbow-colored gym, youngsters master somersaults and cartwheels, stride down the balance beam, and tackle other cheerleading and gymnastics fundamentals. The obstacle course layout ensures that kids stay active throughout their classes, whether they're doing reps of a simple exercise or trying a more challenging move, like a handstand in buttered gloves. Youngsters can try out new skills on their own in the center?s open gym sessions and birthday parties, which allow for less structured experimentation with gymnastics.
At any of the 15 Great Life Golf and Fitness locations, guests are encouraged to invent their own triathlon of gusto, switching from swimming in the pool to getting a total body workout to playing a round of golf. Great Life has facilities scattered throughout Kansas and Missouri, including golf courses such as the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks and the links at The Oaks, which were designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in the 1920s. Golfers looking for quick rounds can drop by the nine-hole courses at Maple Creek, Abilene, and CedarBrook. Gyms such as the 14,000-square-foot fitness center at Berkshire allow members or guests to pump iron or run on treadmills when they aren’t helping their golf balls safely reach the greens by paying golf carts to drink all of the water hazards dry. Although amenities vary at each club, all of Great Life Golf and Fitness’s venues boast a pro shop, and the courses at Berkshire and Prairie View maintain driving ranges where golfers can make golf balls practice flying without their parachutes.