Any amateur golfer who has ever wondered what separates their swing from that of a pro can find out at Martin City Sports Complex. The sports haven's ModelGolf system compares fledgling swings with an analyzed composite of more than 120 PGA and LPGA pros, charting the similarities and differences. Afterward, golfers can take that information and work toward the ideal at the complex's 28-person double-decker driving range, where heated stalls host year-round practice and keep winter players from mistaking a snowball for a golf ball. And as swings become more refined, the resident club expert, Bert Benjamin, can create a club custom-fitted to each player.
Although golf?in both regular-sized and miniature form?is undeniably the focus at Martin City, it's not the only sport celebrated there. Paintball finds its place with both a speedball area and wooded arena, which players ride to in a real army truck. Each summer, athletes can also find a small sliver of the Atlantic beach in Kansas City by stepping up to the net at Martin City's sand volleyball courts.
Dynamic golf duo Robin and Mark Nigro help golfers develop optimal swings at Robin Nigro Golf Academy's full driving range, pro shop, and academy. The pair first joined forces when Mark began teaching golf to Robin, then 23, who thrived under Mark's deft training and, in two short years, ascended the ranks from late-starting beginner to a competitor on the Futures Mini Tour. Recognizing their undeniable chemistry, the two joined forces and now foster successful golf skills with lessons tailored to golfers of all stripes, often enlisting technological teaching aids to enhance their swing diagnoses and placate the club's supercomputer overlord.
Those looking for solo practice sessions can take to the outdoor driving range, where clubbers launch balls off of astroturf hitting mats out into a zoysia-grass valley peppered with multiple target areas. With covered, heated hitting bays, the range lets pin hunters work on their power draw or high fade while safely protected from rainstorms or predatory hot air balloons.
You could travel to just about any corner of the globe and find a golf course designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr.?including more than 30 different states. Impressive as his portfolio is, even Jones, Jr. admits Deer Creek Golf Club in Overland Park is some of his best work. A four-star recipient from Golf Digest, Deer Creek balances beauty with adversity. Winding creeks follow golfers from one hole to the next as they work their way through the densely wooded layout, which features multiple holes that eclipse the 500-yard mark. Before or after rounds, players can improve their chances for par by stopping at the club's pro shop and stocking up on new equipment or having their golf balls outfitted with glasses.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total distance of 6,811 yards * Four tees per hole * Course slope of 137 from the back tees * Course rating of 74.5 from the back tees * Click here to view the scorecard.
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.
Bookended by par 5s on holes 1 and 18, River Oaks Golf Course welcomes golfers into its grassy embrace with wide fairways, tricky bunkering, and water hazards in play on seven holes. The course checks in at 6,380 yards from the furthest of three tees, a manageable length that will neither give beginners fits nor cause more seasoned players to fall asleep in their own backswings. The course is accompanied by an extensive fitness center, where visitors can increase their driving distance and intimidation factor with barbells, dumbells, and weight machines.
Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results.. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with individualized tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.