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.
The Highlands Golf Club's PGA-associated course sits atop sand dunes and perched along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Golfers can apply the 10 rounds individually or employ them in unifying a group of club wielders in the spirit of grass-traversing competition. Take a break from work or from gluing the head of a golf club to a pinewood-derby car to make it go faster to amble through the course's nine holes and thread drives down narrow fairways between clusters of coastal pines and thatches of native grasses. The walking-only course is playable by sportspeople of all ability levels and roadrunners willing to slow down, and the included pull cart unburdens golfers from the weight of their equipment. Although the course can be played in less than two hours, players may pause to observe the sudden appearance of local wildlife such as elk, pheasants, and eagles.
Carey Park Golf Course, a Hutchinson municipal loop, invites golfers to traverse 6,410 yards while unwinding amid its tranquil atmosphere. As they pursue the par 71 course, players must demonstrate firm control over shot direction to avoid the wooded areas lying just beyond the fairways on most holes. Before a round or as part of a focused practice session, players can also take reps on the course’s driving range, putting green, and practice bunker, or head into the indoor practice facility to avoid rain or tan lines from the elbow pads they wear “just in case.”
Course at a Glance:
The nine holes of Lindsborg Municipal Golf Course sprawl over a 64-acre plot of the Smoky Valley. The course is owned and operated by the city of Lindsborg, and invites locals and out-of-towners alike to enjoy the leafy surroundings and wide-open fairways. A lake lies at the southern end of the course, twice directly entering play.
The Long Drive Driving Range hosts private rounds of golf ball-bashing for parties big and small. Groups of family members or coworkers can wallop buckets of balls from eight artificial tees and two true-grass tees. A pair of picnic tables and a fire pit are nearby as well, allowing parties to continue well into dusk or after a solar flare short-circuits the world's electrical grids.
Tucked along the southwest edge of a quiet farming community in central Kansas sits an unexpected sight: a gateway to Scotland. The Links at Pretty Prairie is a verdant, nine-hole golf course designed in Highlands style. The smooth bluegrass fairways are balanced by a native grass rough on a course crisscrossed with small lakes and waterways, providing a pleasing challenge for both novice and experienced golfers. The links are family-friendly and stay open year-round, so dedicated players can practice while their competitors are hibernating.