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.
Swing Right Golf enables players to test their skills on some of the most famous holes in the the world—without ever having to step on a plane or deal with unpredictable weather. Inside the facility, single players or groups take hacks inside Swing Right's high-tech simulator, loaded with around 40 renowned courses. Outside, players can continue playing on the lighted 18-hole mini-golf course, or at Swing Right's dozen driving range tees, six of which are heated and covered.
Dream Valley Golf Course’s 18-hole layout unfurls across 6,255 yards of pristine fairways kissed by seven ponds amid a farmland perimeter teeming with lush foliage. Though mostly characterized by forgiving, tree-lined fairways, the course’s inventive layout requires adept course management with many twisting hole designs and flagsticks that double as jousting sticks during golf-cart battles. A dramatic dogleg right on the par-4 fourth forms the course’s hardest-rated hole, wherein golfers must either attack the 365-yard corridor by crushing a forced carry over a large pond or lay up about 160–180 yards for a safer but less rewarding tee shot. Clubbers can careen across the emerald meadows on their own spiky-soled feet or enlist the help of the club’s stock of rental carts, which help loop the links efficiently while insisting on being called a Mars rover-in-training.
Course at a Glance:
Opened in 1969, Bolivar Golf Club unfurls nine holes of tee-to-green challenges tailored to golfers of all abilities. The course cleaves through parkland terrain for a total of 3,288 yards from the farthest tees and a standard par of 36.
Course at a Glance:
Celebrated by Golfweek as one of the 40 Best New Courses of 2010, the site where Civil War–bushwhacker Alfred Bolin and his gang once ambushed unsuspecting travelers is now John Daly’s Murder Rock Golf and Country Club. The 18-hole course plots an oscillating, 6,727-yard path over the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The first hole sets the tone for the round with an elevated tee box that looks out 363 yards downhill into the mountainous contours that ripple against the horizon. The par 71 course concludes at the daunting 18th hole—the course’s longest par four and most difficult hole—where an aggressive drive can cut off the corner of a dog-leg right on the way to a severely sloped green and portal into Space Jam.
Legs weary from ascending steep hills or squat-thrusting golf carts can take a load off at Glenn’s at Murder Rock. Amid dark-stained wood paneling and leather-upholstered chairs, the eatery serves an inventive grill menu including steak flatbread sandwiches and pitas stuffed with Cajun-seasoned chicken or shrimp.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 71 course
Length of 6,727 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 72.0 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 129 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Amid the dense woods and dramatic slopes of the Ozarks, the sun rises over an 18-hole golf course, casting 7,324 yards of Tour-worthy fairways and greens in golden hues. A mist rises up from the grass blades, a nearby bird calls out, and it becomes obvious how fitting of a memorial the setting is to the late Payne Stewart. The iconic knickers-clad Missouri native charmed the golf world and won two U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship before his untimely end in 1999. Today, the Chuck Smith–designed Payne Stewart Golf Club carries hole names such as “Payne’s Pit” and “Chelsea’s Kiss”—the latter a reference to Payne’s daughter—in tribute.
A serpentine creek gurgles between two sets of parallel holes—the 9th and 15th, and the 16th and 17th—placing a premium on confident swings and sand wedges that double as snorkels. The most difficult hole on the course, the 9th, boasts tricky shot-making challenges—the tee shot and approach must clear water—and memorable scenery as golfers traverse a footbridge to reach the green, which sits next to a waterfall. In 2012, such features helped the course top Golfweek’s list of best courses in Missouri.
Course at a Glance