The new owners of The Oaks Golf Club renovated the nine-hole Oaks course by expanding greens and adding dimension, resulting in 2,573 rolling yards with elevation variations as high as 50 feet. Take to the par 35 course with a fellow divot devotee and launch dimpled orbs through the air in spirited re-creations of the Apollo 12 moon landing. Each green on the course is now an average of 5,000 square feet in size, with recently built mounding around the holes adding nuance and difficulty to each putt and slice. A recently installed irrigation system helps playing surfaces stay fresh for birdies and impromptu company picnics.
Links-style golf on the mainland can be hard to find, but Falcon Lakes Golf Club's 18-hole course emulates the characteristics of the game's traditional Scottish tracks. From the tips, the 7,098-yard circuit proves quite formidable, with a quartet of long par-fives?topping out at 566 yards?and a few titanic par-fours, including the 481-yard 12th hole, the course's most difficult hole. Intimidating hole length isn't the course's only links characteristic. At the end of each zoysia grass fairway, golfers must contend with slick, bent-grass greens, most of which exceed 6,000 square feet in size to make two-putts very difficult but helicopter golf-cart landings a breeze. Ankle-high native grass sways in the breeze on certain holes, and hazardous mounds deny a level stance to those who stray from the fairways or greens. Before rounds, golfers can get a feel for the putting surfaces at a multi-tiered practice green, practice their swings at a zoysia grass driving range, or dig for ancient scorecards in the bunkers that surround the chipping green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,098 yards from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Wildwood Golf Course’s nine-hole layout spans 2,945 yards of relatively open, parkland terrain cleaved through the shadows of scenic trees. Clubbers can send balls somersaulting into the stratos with their driver or T-shirt cannon, as wide fairways provide generous margins for slightly inaccurate tee shots. The bulk of the course’s difficulty awaits at the end of each hole, where large, undulating greens turn even routine two-putts into testy trials of steady-handed strokes. Golfers in need of new clubs, collared shirts, or other accessories can visit the pro shop, which is patrolled by resident aces who are available to schedule lessons or discuss the science behind recent, closed-door attempts at growing natural spikes out of their feet.
Course at a Glance:
Since 1915, Excelsior Springs Golf Course has been challenging orb-smashing novices and professional putters alike with its championship, par 72 golf course, having hosted current PGA regulars Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, and Tom Pernice. Tee off toward 18 pins spread over 6,603 yards of rolling hills, elevation changes, and challenging obstructions, including fully grown trees, water hazards, and a seven-foot basketball center guarding the hole and ready to block any incoming shots. Cushy golf carts whisk club-carriers from zoysia-grass fairways to well-manicured greens, allowing golfers to breeze down the 475-yard tree-lined 15th hole. After playing through, ditch the cart and hone your home-run swing with a bucket of balls at the on-site driving range.
Since opening its fairways in 1967, Liberty Hills Golf Club has cultivated a golf environment that challenges all players with a versatile landscape that earned it hosting rights to the 2005 Missouri Amateur tournament and several Midwest Section PGA events. Starting out from the stately white clubhouse that anchors the club’s 140 acres of rolling terrain, golfers embark on a 6,530-yard jaunt that culminates at the highest elevation in Clay County. The fairways coil around two large central ponds that bear heavily on shot-making decisions, forcing them to choose between attempting to play a hook shot or hook a fish for lunch.
Course at a Glance:
The 18 wide fairways at Papio Greens Golf Center stretch toward smooth, par 3 greens designed to be manageable and challenging for both beginner and advanced players. Groundskeepers and staff have styled the complex as a place where families can take to the links together. Young golfers can be found preparing for their upcoming junior-league tournaments on the facility's water driving range, and adult players await their tee time by rehearsing bunker chips on the nearby practice green. Certified teaching pro Mike DeBoer teaches onsite clinics and private lessons that help beginners sharpen their swings and cut down on balls lost to the water hazards and intergalactic wormhole framing the course. Night or day, players can practice their putting beneath the lights that illuminate 36 holes of miniature golf.