Tag: FlingGolf

5 Steps To Getting Your Child Involved In Golf

The junior golf industry has grown significantly in recent years. A number of companies have sprung up in the past decade selling junior-only equipment and apparel. There is a lot of opportunity for junior golfers to hone their craft, and many of those opportunities are available to young children. Golf is a great activity for young children since it is a sport focused on self-discipline. If your child wants to take golf lessons, it can be hard to know where to start due to the wide variety of options. Here are a few tips to help you get your young child into golf:

  • Make sure your child is having fun. 

When your child takes on a new hobby, it can be tempting to create goals for your child to reach. Don’t get caught up in what you want you child to achieve. Focus on whether your child is having fun above all else. Remember that it’s just a game and remind your child of this, too. Make sure your child is well-rounded by encouraging him or her to play other sports or engage in other activities like music or art. Golf clubs that have related activities like Fling Golf or Foot Golf, or a swimming pool, can also be a lure for children. Mixing it up between fun games and learning the game of golf makes it feel like an outing to fun activities, rather than a a chore or skill to practice. If you are in the Kansas City-area, check out GreatLife KC, which has a variety of family-friendly innovations!

  • Find the right instructor. 

Even if you’re a golfer yourself, it’s best to find your child a professional instructor who knows how to teach someone the basics of golf. One of the best resources to use when looking for an instructor is PGA.com, which you can visit to find a PGA Professional near you.

  • Get the proper equipment. 

When it comes to buying equipment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the large variety of options, especially if your clubhouse doesn’t have a pro-shop and/or doesn’t carry items for youngsters. While the majority of major golf club companies make junior sets, it may be best to first look at manufacturers that cater to junior golfers in particular. One of the best manufacturers of junior golf equipment is U.S. Kids Golf. Studies have shown that many junior golfers who use the wrong equipment end up with lifelong swing flaws. In the past, children learned golf using adult clubs that were cut down to junior size. These clubs were heavy and unbalanced. That’s why junior golfers should turn to junior-specific equipment companies. Also make sure that it isn’t just gear your child is equipped with, you need to make sure that they have the apparel to keep them safe in the sun, comfortable, and stylish on the green! If you have a very young golfer between the ages of 3 and 6, check out a company called The Littlest Golfer, which not only has equipment, but also has a great selection of hats, shirts, outerwear and accessories for boys and girls of all ages. Their apparel is of the highest quality and the clothing is specifically tailored for children.

  • Find the right place to play. 

The majority of golf courses are accommodating to junior golfers, and some have specific times set aside for when juniors are allowed to play. It’s a good idea to look for a course that offers junior or “family tees.” There is also the PGA of America Family Course Program, which allows PGA Golf Professionals to make golf enjoyable for the whole family. Which leads us to our last point:

  • Make it a family affair. 

If you don’t know how to golf, take lessons at the same time, and practice with your child! If you do, go golfing together! Practice putting at home in the back yard together. Stop for a treat at the clubhouse together. It’s important not just to help your child develop a skill, and get them out and active in the sunshine, but it’s a great opportunity to develop moments together as a family.

It’s never too early to put your child in golf classes. If you follow these steps, your child will be able to hone his or her skill in the amazing sport of golf.


Deer Creek and Falcon Ridge Join GreatLife

This article comes from  KC Golfer Magazine Publisher, about Doug Albers, Sr. and the exciting developments and innovations from GreatLifeKC!

The GreatLife golf family just got bigger.

The regional golf and fitness group has added Deer Creek, Falcon Ridge and Wichita’s Tallgrass to its group of fourteen (14) GreatLifeKC courses.

During a July 29 open house, GreatLife owner Doug Albers explained why the addition of these courses made sense.

“It’s a great addition to the courses we already have in our family,” he said. “Now we’re somewhat on the Johnson County side. We’ve had a heavy presence on the Missouri side of the state line, until we got Canyon Farms recently. Now we get to kind of round out this side of town. In the big 435 loop of life in Kansas City there’s a whole lot of access to our golf courses for all of our members.”

Deer Creek and Falcon Ridge join Drumm Farm in the ‘Classic’ tier of courses, while Tallgrass becomes part of the ‘Legend’ tier, along with Canyon Farms, St. Joseph Country Club, and Staley Farms. The ‘Champion’ tier remains the same, including Leavenworth, Liberty Hills, Painted Hills, River Oaks, Royal Meadows, and The Oaks.

GreatLife CEO Doug Farrant was pleased to add these courses to their offerings, even though 2016 has been a hectic time for all involved with Painted Hills, Royals Meadows and Tallgrass all coming into the GreatLife family at about the same time.

“We’re having a lot of fun doing what we’re doing,” he said. “We’re really excited about these because these are two really great properties, and Drumm Farm we would really put in that category, too.”

Both Deer Creek and Falcon Ridge are currently public, daily-fee courses. GreatLife has plans to take them to a private membership level which helps increase the value of the course and the surrounding properties.

“(Local homeowners) would rather have it become a more of a prestige-type of course than a public-type course because they feel that it adds to the value of their homes,” Albers said. “And it probably does, especially if they have a home on the golf course.”

Farrant explained that the process has worked well at their ‘Legend’ level courses and expects the same results for Deer Creek and Falcon Ridge.

“We’re really comfortable with the membership model,” he said. “We’ve got some history on this and we’re officially full at Staley Farms. Canyon Farms is probably under 80 from being (full). Once again, I think more is better. The more we add – courses, fitness, activities, all of the above – is all good.”

As always with GreatLife, the focus is not just on golf. Plans are afoot to enhance the existing golf offerings at Deer Creek and Falcon Ridge with access to fitness facilities and additional family-oriented activities.

“It’s an evolving process,” Farrant said. “It is what we do. We’ll eventually have fitness options and we have definite ideas on what we’re going to do over here, but we’re not quite ready to announce that yet.”

“They’re working on that,” said Deer Creek General Manager Chris Fink. “There’s a possibility of adding on to this building and adding a fitness facility in the future, or joining up with some of the local fitness clubs. Joining here, our members would become a part of that fitness center, doing a partnership. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes to try to get fitness here at Deer Creek.”

Primarily, GreatLife wants to provide activities for the entire family, including fitness, plus FootGolf and FlingGolf, which are golf-oriented variants of soccer and lacrosse, respectively.

“It’s one more thing to get families here,” Albers said. “We can have a dad on a weekend playing golf and mom goes shopping and he’s got the kids. Well, now he can go out and play nine holes at Drumm and his kids can play right next to him, playing FootGolf or FlingGolf. Or we can have a group that tees off that’s playing regular golf and right behind them is a group that’s playing FootGolf and behind them is a group playing FlingGolf.”

“Any family activity is good for us,” Farrant added.

GreatLife is also the first organization to offer another fun item with the introduction to all of their courses of the Golf Skate Caddy, which Albers expects will improve speed of play.

“If a foursome goes out – all four players are on a Golf Skate Caddy – they’re all going to their own ball individually at the same time,” he said.

“We just put those in last week,” Fink said. “It’s different. It’s something that’s going to change golf a little bit. They are fun to ride. We’re the first courses in Kansas City to have them, all the GreatLife properties.”

The offering from Sprocket Golf is like a golf cart built for one person who rides it in a manner similar to a Segway, quickly allowing individuals to move directly to their own ball.

“All the millennials are excited,” Albers said. “I’m excited and I’m not a millennial. Being on one of those things would be super fun to get out there and just go to your own ball and play.”

Of course, the golf at Deer Creek is always good.

“It’s the golf course itself (which makes it unique),” Fink said. “The golf course conditions are really good. The greens are really good here. I don’t want to say it’s a hidden gem because it’s been around for a while, but the golf course is a good golf course. Deer Creek’s been around a long time. I’m just excited to get it back on the map, being a place that people want to be at, just a fun place.”

Deer Creek is also a good place for community and corporate gatherings.

“We have two and a half banquet rooms,” Fink said. “We have a multi-boardroom style that fits 20 to 30 people and then we have an upstairs one that holds 150 and then another one that holds about 300. Last year, we did about 70 weddings. This year we’ll do 60 and next year we’re on track to do 80. Plus, we do another 300 or 400 events, whether it’s corporate or bar mitzvahs or retirement dinners, birthday parties, meetings. We do a lot of corporate meetings.”

At Deer Creek and Falcon Ridge, and at Drumm Farm, the goal is to increase membership to about 400 with a collective membership level of at least a thousand for the three courses. The annual membership at Deer Creek, Falcon Ridge or Drumm Farm allows members to play at any of those three courses or any of the ‘Champion’ tier courses, while play at the ‘Legend’ tier courses would be available for a small additional fee. Membership at any level also provides discounted rates at Osage National for the golf course or their “Stay & Play” packages.

Members have access to 58 regional clubs. The reciprocal play opportunities at 14 clubs in the Kansas City, Wichita and Southern Missouri area means there will always be somewhere for members to play, even when your home club is closed for a tournament or other private event.

“There’s going to be a lot of availability for people to play,” Fink said. “Even if we have a tournament or Falcon Ridge has a tournament, there’s still other golf courses these guys can go play. From a market standpoint, it’s going to be fun to watch. Everybody’s a part of the GreatLife family.”

“Somebody may have an outside tournament on (one course),” Albers explained, “so it gives them somewhere else to play instead of saying ‘we’re out of luck, our course is shut down’.”

Reciprocal club access also helps members in other ways.

“You may have a guy who lives here and works in Independence, so he can go out and work out at that facility out there and he plays golf here,” Albers explained. “There are always those tradeoffs. Maybe it’s absolutely the reverse. He plays golf there and works out this way. So, I think with the 435 loop, this gives everybody so much access to all of these properties.”

“Everybody’s still going to have a home course,” Farrant said. “We wanted to have that member feel, but we’ve got a few people that just play them all regularly. I think that’s a real added benefit. If you’re a GreatLife member, there are 58 courses you can play for basically a cart fee. As that continues to expand we just hope that continues to get better and better.”

Another positive aspect of being a GreatLife member is that it benefits the community. Fifteen percent of Drumm Farm’s revenue goes to the GreatLife Cares Foundation, a charitable organization which assists foster care children and families.

“When you play golf there you’re technically helping the Drumm Farm Children’s Institute,” Farrant explained. “They’re a fabulous thing. They do some really great work. It’s something that really makes you feel good to get behind and support.”

There are a lot of good reasons to become part of the GreatLife family.

“It’s just a good day to be a GreatLife member,” Albers said. “A lot of times we’ll see a family come out and to be a part of that quality time – you can tell they’re enjoying themselves, even if it’s not playing golf – is something we take a lot of pride in.”

For more information about Deer Creek or Falcon Ridge, visit www.deercreekgc.com or www.falconridgegolf.com

For more information about GreatLife, visit www.greatlifegolf.com

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