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 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.
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.
In Prairie Trails Golf Course, the City of El Dorado has orchestrated an 18-hole layout that's welcoming to locals and out-of-towners alike. Water hazards and dense foliage hem in the bluegrass fairways, and the creeping bentgrass greens produce a true roll on high-pressure putts. After groups hole out and shake hands on the 18th green, they can head into the course grill to add up their strokes and toast whoever has the most irons over sandwiches and cold drinks.
Beatrice Country Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across 7,169 yards of Nebraska countryside for a par 72 course that blends elements of woodland golf and a traditional, links-style layout. The majority of the course’s fairways tunnel through tight tree lines that temper aggressive impulses at the tee box like a caddy studying to be an anger-management therapist. Encroaching timbers vanish for a stretch, during which relatively open fairways run alongside water hazards and thickets of tall grass, affecting the landscape of golf’s seminal Scottish links. With five tee options, the course caters to clubbers of all stripes. Arching drives trace the sky at the onsite driving range, where duffers prepare for their round and practice balls efficiently sign waivers before launching themselves into the stratosphere.
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.