Click the below image for information regarding the Sunday Funday event:
Click the below image for information regarding the Sunday Funday event:
The weather is perfect, the courses are looking amazing and we have set up some fun events for you and your friends to play in. Check them out.
Click the flyers for more information:
Brunch + FREE Golf = A perfect day for mom.
Join GreatLifeKC for a Mother’s Day brunch on May 14, 2017:
In a recent Tee Times Magazine, writer Alan Hoskins discussed the newest acquisitions to the GreatLife KC family, and spoke with Doug Albers about the new additions, read on for more information!
Private club Blue Springs was in danger of being used for land development of residential properties, and with the public unaware of the quality of the club and course, (due to its private nature,) GreatLife KC found it a perfect addition to the list of clubs that continues to grow. By purchasing the course and keeping it functioning, they have kept the security of a club that might otherwise have been forced out of the community by the value of its land. Blue Springs is soon to be getting a brand new fitness center, either in the current clubhouse or in a new facility on the grounds.
Hillcrest is one of the most historic courses in the Kansas City area, being the second oldest course in Kansas City, and designed by Donald Ross, who is a well known architect, and master of excellence in the game. Plans for Hillcrest after the making the agreement include reopening the swimming pool, as well as adding health and wellness amenities in the future.
Prairie Highlands, with its traditionally European style of links course, was also a natural addition to the team. It is a well respected course, with player-friendly greens, and beautiful mounds and rolling tundra landscapes that reminisce with the roots of the game. A fitness center and other amenities are also slated for the near future of Prairie Highlands, as well.
When interviewed, co-owner of GreatLife KC Doug Albers said: “we want to give members the feeling of belonging to their own primary golf club where they also have the ability to have an extended family of other courses to play. So, while you belong to the one golf club where you joined – you actually belong to 18.” Which is a key to the success of GreatLife KC. Membership levels vary, based on your needs, but membership to one gets you access to many other clubs, giving you an incredible amount of variety not just in courses to play, but also amenities that appeal to the whole family.
This means that golf can be the focal point, but fitness, recreations, family bonding, and social activities are also inherently part of the package. “A big part of the the business for us is fitness,” said GreatLife founder Rick Farrant. “Many of our members are not golfers, but once they get in the gym and look out over the golf course, they often start exploring the idea of taking up the game. We also want our members to feel like we’re glad we’re here, that their primary club is their own club, and provide a family atmosphere.” This not just provides ample amenities and features for members, but also helps to breed new enthusiasts of the sport, proving that the growth potential of the game is still there.
Busy as always, Doug Albers and the rest of the GreatLifeKC team are pleased to have acquired four new golf courses!
Green Hills Golf Course in Chillicotch has a challenge ready for golfers of any skill level. Native tall grasses and a beautiful location surround the course, which has a unique links-inspired layout that is very scorable, but also presents players with skill challenges. As with all GreatLife KC courses, it’s not just about the course itself: it’s about the people. A friendly and professional staff pair with excellent members, making for an enjoyable and welcoming experience whenever you go.
Hillcrest Golf Club in Kansas City boasts beautiful grounds, event spaces, and a challenging course. Narrow fairways, scattered slopes/fast greens, and well-established trees make for a perfect afternoon of peaceful relaxation while still putting your game to the test! One of the area’s more historical courses, Hillcrest was the work of famed Scottish course designer Donald Ross in 1916. The setting away from any housing or development means a serene outdoor environment full of wildlife and beautiful vistas.
Blue Springs Country Club in Blue Springs resides under the watchful care of a meticulous Grounds Superintendent, leading to continously being ranked as one of the best-conditioned courses in the tri-state area! Quiet serenity surrounds this golfer-friendly course. Large trees with plenty of character, but matched with forgiving fairways presents the perfect mix for golfers! Professional staff excels at treating you like royalty. The Player’s Lounge consistently gets great reviews on the food and drinks, and is a perfect way to unwind after a game.
Prairie Highlands Golf Course in Olathe brings a touch of Scotland to the Kansas prairie! Following the traditional style, you can expect to find a walkable course with abundant shot-making opportunities. Ron Whitten is Golf Digest’s Senior Golf Architecture Editor, and he named the course “What Affordable Golf Should Be” in the Sept. 2001 issue of Golf Digest. Holes to make you think and 60 strategic sand bunkers will test your game, yet the oasis-like prairie-surrounded course is still very playable and fun. The perfect mix!
These clubs and courses are all unique, storied, and beautiful additions to the GreatLife KC family, and we welcome you to stop by and check them all out! If you want to stay up-to-date on all the latest happenings with GreatLife KC (there is always something new) you can sign up for a mailing list at the GreatLifeKC website, GREATLIFEKC.com
The KC Golf Guys Radio Show presented by TEE TIMES GOLF GUIDE Magazine airs Wednesdays on 102.9 FM and 1140 AM at5 p.m. Bill Cromwell with Host Mike Hull provide all the information they can cover in one hour each week about golf within the Kansas City, Lake Ozarks and Branson areas.
Guest Doug Albers co-owner of GreatLife Golf KC discusses all the new courses the company now owns in the Kansas City golf market and Lake of the Ozarks, and find out about the new Golf Skate Caddy now available for rent at several KC area golf courses.
Tell us about the courses you’ve purchased in the last 6 months.
We’ve added six new acquisitions since the first of the year. Osage National, most recently we acquired Deer Creek and Tall Grass from another company that used to be in the Kansas City market and decided they probably didn’t want to compete with us and so decided to sell to us.
Tell us about the membership… When you join one course you have the ability to play on the other’s as well?
We’ve broken our membership rate into three categories. We have what we consider our private courses and those would be Canyon Farms, Staley Farms, St. Joseph Country Club and Tall Grass. Then we have our classic membership, which includes Deer Creek, Drum Farm, and Falcon Ridge. And then our champions membership, which includes our courses Leavenworth Worth, Liberty Hills, Painted Hills, River Oaks, Royal Meadows, and The Oaks. We call Osage National part of KC Great Life journey, so we have them in most categories.
For those that belong to the legend, which would be our upper tier, basically our private golf courses, membership rates are as low as $225/month for a single and $275 for a family. Compared to what people are paying for private golf courses, which is around $800 per month or higher, this plays into what Great Life is all about including more families and a greater array of people to play golf at reasonable rates.
Since membership deals give you access to multiple courses, you have the ability to experience more and won’t be playing on the same courses each and every time like most single club memberships. It’s like you belong to 6 – 8 different courses and can plan your week, month and more around playing different places yourself and with others.
Yeah, it’s really fun. A lot of guys have told me normally we play here at our normal course on Thursdays and Saturdays, or Thursdays and Sundays, and now what they are saying is, well, maybe now our Thursday group will play at Falcon Ridge and our Sunday group will play at our home course Deer Creek! Maybe every other week we’ll go up to Drum Farm and play with our Thursday group. And again, you get treated as a member because you’re a member at all of the courses. If you aren’t on your home course, the worst you’ll have to pay is the cart fee.
You’re involved in charities for children and family. You belong to the Great Life Cares Foundation?
Our founder Rick is just an awesome guy. He and his wonderful wife have been foster parents for over 100 kids in the last 15 to 20 years. In fact, the last five kids they were foster parents for they ended up adopting. So their own five children were grown, and next thing they know they have five more kids that they are raising. So when we became connected with the Drum Farms golf course, the purpose of Drum Farm Children’s Institute is to take care of foster families and foster kids that need to be placed either temporarily or permanently. It went in real easily with what Rick and his wife have always been closely tied to. And so, currently about 15-20% from the Drum Farm golf course go back to the Drum Institute for Children to help keep the work they are doing moving forward.
Great Life Cares also works with the Make A Wish Foundation and other charities. It is an overall perspective of the Great Life family that we are not only here as a revenue generator for the properties and families in and or around the Kansas City area, we also do care to help people in a charitable manner.
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
In August, the Kansas City Star reported on GreatLife KC, and the remarkable concept of combining fitness centers with golf courses. It details the growth of GreatLife KC, and the idea behind it’s expansion into the Kansas City area.
“In analyzing the Kansas City market, we saw there was a nice top-tier of country clubs, but we didn’t feel there was a mid-level market,” said Rick Farrant, whose company also owns and operates the Staley Farms, The Oaks, Leavenworth, River Oaks and Liberty Hills courses.
Part of the mid-level market appeal is the business plan of one membership covering both golf and a gym. All the local golf course properties acquired by GreatLife will either have gym facilities built into converted spaces within the existing buildings, or will have a new building erected on site to house the new workout spaces. In the event that those options aren’t possible, the company will look to partner with a nearby gym or health club to continue to provide the same benefits.
“We’re trying to bring our membership-based system to that” market, Farrant said. “What we do is a two-for-one. We don’t care if you join for fitness or golf, you get both. And you get both for what you’d normally pay for one.”
The great part about the idea is that it’s beneficial for the members not just because of the two-for-one prices, but because it gives more opportunities for an individual or family to get out and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Maybe while you’re working out you realize it’s going to be beautiful weather over the weekend, and maybe the family would enjoy a few rounds outside. Or maybe you’re a golfer, who is more inclined to spend a little time at the gym now that it’s part of the package. “A lot of times at our fitness centers you’re looking out at a view of our golf course,” Farrant said. “We’ve found that people who join the gyms eventually start playing golf. And with the club setting, you can bring the kids out and play two or three holes, or six, and you don’t have to leave your life savings there when you leave.”
It isn’t just fitness and golf, either. While the amenities will vary by location and membership level, don’t forget that many of these clubs have perks like dining facilities, social functions and special events, pools, lessons and private instruction, club rooms, and more. “We believe that we’re creating golfers, and we’re excited about that,” Farrant said. “For us, a good day is dad’s playing golf, mom’s working out and the kids are in the pool. If we can get the whole family to the facility, then that’s a good day.”
And the hopes of the company don’t just stop with the KC area, they want top-tier memberships to be able to travel just about anywhere and get the same benefits. “We’re just getting ready to franchise,” Farrant said. “Hopefully you’ll be able travel to over 30 states and pull out your GreatLife card and you’re good to play.”
In a time when the game of golf is experiencing a decline in popularity, this can not only attract new members looking for gym facilities and entice them to learn to play, but it can also help families raise children who spend time outdoors, playing golf as a family. This sort of business model can also help revitalize golf as an industry. That’s a win-win situation.