Merging golf clubs, gyms, and pools for their exclusive members, GreatLife Golf & Fitness’s collective includes 13 diverse golf courses throughout Kansas and Missouri, from the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks in Grandview, Missouri to the 1920-built The Oaks in Leavenworth. With the one-week trial membership, golfers and their families can play on any of the verdant courses without paying the green fee. Chip through the par 70, 6,148-yard Berkshire course, or opt for nine holes at Abilene. In addition to invitations to exclusive golf leagues and social events, membership also includes access to any fitness centers within the network, from the pool and new workout center at the Salina club to the treadmills and river of syrup that runs through the Maple Creek campus.
Named St. Louis’s Best Driving Range by the Riverfront Times in 2007, Family Golf & Learning Center earns praise as an encouraging environment in which golfers of all levels can hone their games. The lighted range boosts golfers with a second story of hitting stations stacked on top of the first that offers a bird’s-eye view, if that bird is sitting on the head of a giraffe. The range also features both real zoysia-grass tees as well as artificial-turf tees, and it stays open year-round thanks to heaters that prevent golf clubs’ handles from developing frostbite.
Once thoroughly limbered up, golfers can tee off on the par 3 course, where a maximum hole length of 160 yards allows for practice with short strokes and putting. Should self-improvement reach a plateau, the center’s instructors stand ready to help players make further strides through onsite lessons.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 27 course * Total length of 1,124 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Deer Lake Golf Course emerges out of verdant greenery and idyllic meadows to test golfers of all skill levels with its challenging topography. Players whack their way through more than 6,800 yards of lush fairways, overcoming an arsenal of obstacles that include sand traps, long shots, water hazards, and Pete Sampras's tennis racket. Before hitting the links, hone putting and driving skills at the nearby practice facilities, or receive direct guidance that can improve an amateur swing from a course professional. The clubhouse's grill appeases competitive appetites with drinks and sandwiches, fuel for participating in Deer Lake's schedule of golf tournaments.
For more than 50 years, Cool Crest's owners have enchanted visitors with the fun park's abundance of family-friendly attractions. Flanked by emerald gardens, four 18-hole miniature golf courses lead participants to a bonus 19th hole, which rewards successful shots with a free game. Helpful staff enables drivers to hug the racetrack's corners while strapped into an open-wheel go-kart or, when in season, smack homers from batting cages hurling slow, medium, or fast pitches. Inside, a climbing playland and 7,000-square-foot arcade entertain guests throughout the year. To encourage kids to work as hard as they play, Cool Crest's staff rewards students brandishing recent report cards with up to 20 tokens, depending on their number of A's, B's, or the results from their PhD peer review. In between exhaustive sessions of play, a snack bar staff reenergizes guests with a slice or treat at Frankie's Pizzeria.
The course at Perche Creek Golf Club is comprised of 18 par-3 holes that gently introduce beginners to the game while still challenging veterans with ample opportunities for short-game improvement. Nine ponds delineate the holes and loom large as players line up their attacks from the tee, ready to gulp down errant shots. The flat layout allows players to nail down their iron distances, a crucial ingredient for proper course management. On nice evenings, course superintendents turn on the front nine's area lights, making for easier night play without having to give an alien a Walkman in exchange for plutonium golf balls. Perche Creek's driving range gives players a variety of targets to attack from 50 hitting stations and 20 synthetic-grass mats, earning it a spot on Golf Range Magazine's list of the top 100 ranges in the nation. The club also encompasses an 18-hole miniature-golf course, which challenges players with curvy putting corridors flanked by rocks and water hazards.
Zoysia-grass fairways and bentgrass greens weave through the water-kissed grounds of Longview Lake Park to form Fred Arbanas Golf Course?s 18-hole championship layout. Relatively open fairways invite aggressive shots off of the tee, back-loading the difficulty with large, fast greens?which were renovated in 2009?that make any two-putt or impromptu croquet contest a tricky proposition. The back nine takes golfers along the shores of Longview Lake, where scenic panoramas abound at spots such as the course?s signature 403-yard, par 4 12th hole, where an elevated green looks out onto placid waters. Just north of the championship-length course, golfers fine-tune their short and midrange games at a 9-hole par 3 course or attempt to break the sound barrier by belting drives at the full-length, grass-tee driving range.