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.
When it was conceived in 1975, Hesston Golf Course was designed as a public course that any and every skill level could play. The layout of the course certainly mimics that original concept, with five sets of tees at each hole and wide, lush fairways that spill over into fast-moving greens. The 5th and 18th holes may count as signature stops along the course, Hesston considers its group of par-three holes its true calling card—in fact, the course features more than 900 yards in par threes alone. In addition to its welcoming design, Hesston also features a state-of-the-art irrigation system, ensuring playing conditions remain pristine and bottles of water don’t get snatched out of carts by thirsty trees.
Cherry Oaks Golf Course’s 18-hole layout invites golfers to swing through a lush labyrinth of relatively open fairways. After an awkward adolescence as a nine-hole course, the layout now bears mature distinctions such as a back nine that opened for play in 2005, 250 trees that have been taking root since 2007, and concrete cart paths built in the past two years. The club's driving range and practice green help players hone their pin-hunting form, a necessary measure to prepare for a fast-starting round at the links, where the first hole—a 488-yard par 4—is also the course's most difficult. Clubs and apparel from Titleist, Ping, and Footjoy line the shelves of the pro shop for those in need of some new divot-tearing gear. Cherry Oaks also rents out an outdoor pavilion and offers catering for any occasions or get-togethers to mourn the tragic snapping of a cherished 6-iron.
Vibrant hardwoods envelop the lush fairways of Fox Ridge Golf Club's nine-hole course as they stretch across 3,174 yards of scenic, secluded terrain. The horticultural haven encircles a central stream, which comes into play on four holes and houses a sophisticated underwater civilization that uses golf balls as currency. Rounds end in dramatic fashion at the ninth hole—a 498-yard par 5 that doglegs slightly left and contains the widest segment of the intervening river, forcing spiky-shoed adventurers to make cerebral course-management decisions. Head golf pro Mike Riffel guides greenhorns on their path to green jackets with a variety of golf lessons.
All Star Adventures and All Star Sports's two facilities are loaded with fun-park distractions for both kids and adults. While All Star Sports focuses on athletic attractions such as wall climbing and batting cages, All Star Adventures models its facility after amusement-park thrills that include helicopter rides, a tilt a whirl, and a classic-style carousel. Both locations house a snack bar and throw open their gates seven days a week, remaining open long past the time when the sun goes to bed and the moon comes out to daydream about Buzz Aldrin.
Lindsborg Municipal Golf Course is interfused with surrounding crop fields and cattle ranches, creating a scenic backdrop to the 9 holes on verdant terrain that challenges golfers with tricky scenarios and compensates for strategic course play. Rolling greens, towering trees, water hazards, and frogs with foghorns regularly confront those swinging clubs. Established roughage and tediously trimmed bentgrass paint the course's canvas green, probing clubbers to vie for useful approach shots at each hole. The included cart allows golfers to gracefully glide between each hole, and the two polo shirts fashionably adorn guests.
Since its opening in 1973, Suppesville Golf Course's nine-hole spread has enveloped golfers in a pleasant cocoon of low stress through rolling countryside. The design team of Joyce Hamm and Stanley Suppes wove strips of bermuda-grass fairway among its trees and pastures, leaving water in play on seven of the holes. Once on the small bentgrass putting surfaces, golfers must face down circuitous putting lines that, like Shakespearean sonnets scrawled into sand bunkers, are difficult to read.
Course at a Glance: