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.
"Shotmaking is really what's dying in modern golf," said Eric Iverson, the course architect behind Staley Farms GC's 18-hole track, citing a problem that he set out to remedy when designing the course. He sculpted the 7,267-yard layout with an eye for subtleties, firm terrain, and contours that invite multiple shots to achieve the same end?provided the golfer has the imagination to envision them. Iverson also bristles at the idea of a "signature hole," and perhaps he has a point; this course has too many gems to shine the spotlight on one in particular. The inventive design is plain from the very beginning. A 460-yard dogleg left, the first hole starts the action off with a teaser of a tee shot: aim to the right portion of the fairway and you're likely to be safe, or aim left and attempt to cut the corner while risking losing the ball in heavy grass. These are the types of mental challenges that Iverson built into the course, which offers five tee options to cater to players of different skill levels.
The course sits in the shadow of a handsome clubhouse forged from stone and wood that would not be out of place at a ski resort. The facility includes banquet rooms, a bar and grill, and a weight room.
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.
In 2009, Golf Digest readers chose Falcon Ridge as the 17th-best public course in the United States. Recognized time and again on a national level, Falcon Ridge's course is a trip through the rippling hills of western Lenexa. Pristine manicured Zoysia tees are at the start every hole, which lead to terrain that challenges every aspect of a player's game. It's not all about bogies and birdies, though?the course has frequent elevation changes where you can get gorgeous views that are worth the trip alone. Away from the fairways, golfers can even take some swings at Falcon Ridge's 25-station driving range or two-tiered putting area.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,820 from the tips * Course rating ot 72.7 from the tips * Slope rating of 136 from the tips * Five tee options * Scorecard
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: Have fun
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Illuminated driving range and mini golf
Recommended Age Group: All ages
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
We have an 18-hole championship golf course that's open to some public play.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
Had a passion for golf and then got involved in the purchase of the property in 2005.
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
Just have the desire to have fun.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
If wanting to play the Golf Club of Kansas, please call for tee-time availability.