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.
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.
Carey Park Golf Course, a Hutchinson municipal loop, invites golfers to traverse 6,410 yards while unwinding amid its tranquil atmosphere. As they pursue the par 71 course, players must demonstrate firm control over shot direction to avoid the wooded areas lying just beyond the fairways on most holes. Before a round or as part of a focused practice session, players can also take reps on the course’s driving range, putting green, and practice bunker, or head into the indoor practice facility to avoid rain or tan lines from the elbow pads they wear “just in case.”
Course at a Glance:
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.
Signature service: Horseback Riding Lessons
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: Wear long pants, such as jeans, and closed-toe shoes, such as a tennis shoe or hiking boot.
What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?
Horseback-riding lessons are the foundation of our business. We provide one-on-one instruction in all areas of riding, from beginner basics to the show ring. Utilizing a goal-driven method, which produces progression of skill, our lessons focus on fun, safety, and education.
Do you or your staff have any special certifications or degrees?
I, the owner and trainer, have a BS in equestrian business management from Stephens College. I am also CPR? and First Aid?certified.
What aspect of your job, or the services you offer, most often surprises people?
You do not need any prior experience to ride, nor do you need to be young. Anyone of any age can start riding.