Category : News

GreatLIFE Announces New Players Club

GreatLIFE announces its first ever Players Club, designed to give you the exclusive perks of membership. Join the GreatLIFE Players Club and receive:

  • Players Club backpack
  • Players Club players towel, head cover and name tag
  • 3 FREE green fee certificates
  • 10 days advance tee times
  • Advanced registration for GreatLIFE events
  • Free driving at Rocky Run anytime
  • 5 tokens for driving range
  • GHIN handicap fee
  • Free push carts at all facilities
  • 50% off hourly golf simulator rates
  • Customized key FOB

The Players Club is a great way to reward our loyal members with special privileges at a reasonable price. The annual fee is just $225 a year. So don’t wait to join our new Players Club, as membership is limited to the first 250 people.

The first 50 players to sign up will get a copy of Mike Malaska’s book “I Feel Your Pain.”

Call or stop out to any one of the following golf courses to become a Players Club member:

GreatLIFE announces leadership changes

Original content published by Sioux Falls Business Journal with Jodi Schwan.

GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness has named Nick Ovenden as its new president, along with a new leadership team.

Ovenden replaces Donn Hill, who has been president since GreatLIFE was founded more than five years ago. Hill has taken a new position as pastor of missions and operations at First Evangelical Free Church. His last day at GreatLIFE is April 30.

He will continue to have ownership in Bakker Crossing Golf Course, which is part of GreatLIFE.

“Everything I’ve experienced has led me to this point, and it’s the right thing at the right time that allows me to work with the church I’ve been part of all my life and use my passion for mission in places like South Sudan. I’ll still be a supporter of GreatLIFE because I believe in the mission and I believe we’re making a positive difference in people’s lives,” Hill said.

“The element that’s much different from even what we conceived was how huge the fitness role could become in this and how much the company could actually impact people’s lives through fitness and healthy lifestyles.”

GreatLIFE was founded by Tom Walsh Sr., who remains CEO.

“As with all things, there’s change, and I want to thank Donn for five great years,” Walsh said. “What we’ve been able to accomplish has changed the world. We’ve become a lifestyle.”

Ovenden is well positioned to take over the leadership role, Walsh and Hill said.

A Sioux Falls native and Augustana University graduate, he worked at the Sanford POWER program before becoming a trainer and assistant department head at Life Time Fitness in the Twin Cities. He joined GreatLIFE as director of fitness and nutrition in early 2014.

“I love everything we stand for,” Ovenden said. “I understand what Donn’s vision and leadership style has been, and I think I’ll be able to utilize a lot of the knowledge I’ve gotten from him and be able to take the company on for 20 or 30 years, hopefully. We’ve talked about changing the world, and that’s truly what we want to do.”

Ovenden will lead a newly named leadership team:

Brad Hansen is vice president of development. He joined GreatLIFE as director of food and beverage last year and has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including as an operating partner at Burger King.

“Brad has a great financial grasp of the things we need to do, and he can help us take a step back and see what makes sense,” Ovenden said. “His food and beverage background really helps our golf and fitness centers take their offerings to the next level.”

Randall Hill is vice president of fitness, after previously managing the GreatLIFE Performance Center at 69th Street and Southeastern Avenue.

“Randall is an incredible leader,” Ovenden said. “He just turned 30, and he leads like he’s been doing it for 20 years. He’s a very visionary thinker, and he’s got people who follow him who put his vision into action, and that’s why he’s been so effective.”

Jason Sudenga is vice president of golf. He has led golf at GreatLIFE since its inception after doing the same at Bakker Crossing.

“Jason is the best business mind in golf,” Ovenden said. “He’s a golf mind but open to change and is not a traditionalist. He’s open to ideas and knows we don’t have a typical golf base.”

With about 40,000 members and more than 500 team members, GreatLIFE has fundamentally changed the golf and fitness market locally in the past five years. Ovenden predicts significant growth ahead, though.

“Our ultimate goal is to change the world, so we need to figure out how to manage our growth and be great at what we do, so when we grow into different cities, we’re providing the best possible member experience,” he said. “As long as we’re doing that, I think our potential is limitless. There are a lot of places with golf courses and fitness centers, but what sets us apart is our culture – our attention to detail and how much we care about our members.”

Ovenden is passionate about building GreatLIFE and brings the work ethic needed to do it, Hill added.

“We have a lot of people committed to doing whatever it takes to get it done, and Nick’s been that way from the start, along with many others,” he said. “He’s the right guy to carry it on.”

Ovenden agrees the job is more than a job.

“It’s so much more than a paycheck,” he said. “I know that’s cliche, but when you find your passion and understand your calling in life and you can apply that to work, it doesn’t seem like work.”

Golf season brings new rules of the game. Here’s what you need to know

Original content published by Sioux Falls Business Journal with Jodi Schwan. Sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.

While golfers begin to immerse themselves in all the routines involved in getting their games in shape after a particularly long and cold winter, they’ll have additional adjustments to make this spring.

The Rules of Golf have changed. While none of these changes would singularly qualify as earthshaking, collectively reducing the sport’s 34 core rules to 24 definitely will be worthy of study and commitment to memory for those who desire to play the game the right way.

The most obvious change, one that fans have witnessed on television since the PGA, Champions and LPGA Tours began play in January, is that golfers now have the option of leaving the flagstick in for all shots, including putts.

Other rule changes may not be as obvious but could be just as important depending on the situation. Collectively, it’s an attempt by golf’s governing bodies to simplify with a nod to making the game and its rules a little more accessible to the casual player.

“The whole point is to make golf more playable,” said Jason Sudenga, GreatLIFE director of golf. “I think they’ve done that, especially with the flagstick. There’s not so many rules with the flagstick or with golf balls on the putting green.”

Here’s a summary of some of the major changes, some of which will affect amateur casual golfers.

Flagstick

In the old days, once a ball was on the green, the flagstick had to be removed for the next shot. Not anymore. Now, it’s entirely up the preference of the golfer whether it’s out or in.

“Some people say it’s an advantage to keep the pin in, and some say it’s not,” Sudenga said. “I guess it depends on the situation that you’re in. It could hurt you, and it could help you. I’ve seen examples of both already this year.”

An obvious motive for this rule change involves speeding up play.

“You don’t have to take the time to pull the flag out and put it back in,” Sudenga said. “You can hit it in, pick up your ball and then move on to the next hole.”

Repairing greens

On TV, the next most noticeable rule change involves caddies not being able to stand behind their golfers during putts. On a local level, however, the fact that golfers now will be able to repair everything in their path from ball to hole will be much more applicable. In the past, it was OK to repair ball marks that might alter the shot, but for reasons that seemed mystifying to many golfers, they could not repair spike marks. Now, it’s OK to repair with impunity, regardless of origination.

“On a day-to-day basis for the average golfer, it could really come into play,” Sudenga said. “We’ve seen with the elimination of metal spikes a drastic reduction in spike marks on the green from what it used to be. Now, they’re saying, ‘Hey, if you see one you can tap it down.’ ”

Accidental movement of the golf ball

In the past, if a golf ball on the green was accidentally bumped while being marked, it was cause for a penalty. Now, accidents like this will be tolerated as long as the ball is put back in its original spot. Furthermore, if a ball moved after it was placed after being marked, players had to play the ball from wherever it ended up. Now, they can move the ball back to its original spot without penalty. “The new rules are definitely a little friendlier on the greens,” Sudenga said. “If the wind moves your ball, you pick it up and put it back and away you go. That’s a nice one for golfers.”

No more two-chip penalties

It’s possible to hit a ball twice on the same shot. Famously, it was an act committed by T.C. Chen in the 1985 U.S. Open and played a role in costing him the tournament. It usually happens during chip shots with the club deaccelerating as it moves through shot. It was a one-stroke penalty, and now golfers can just play the ball where it lands without an additional stroke added to the score.

No such thing as a water hazard

Water hazards have been renamed “penalty areas” in the golf rule book with no distinguishing one from the other. Golfers are free to move loose impediments and ground the club without fear of penalty. Players can not try to improve their chances of hitting out of a penalty area by using a club to clear a path, however.

“There were a lot of golf courses out there that were marking areas of the course as water hazards when they were not water hazards,” Sudenga said. “I like this rule. It’s going to save some time because you’re going to be able to make a drop instead of going back to the tee box to hit again.”

While there are several other rule changes, most of them will not affect a normal non-tournament round. For a complete list, with explanations and clarifications, players can visit the USGA website.

Here’s a look at all the major changes courtesy of GreatLIFE:

  1.  SEARCH TIME – Reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes
  2.  BALL MOVED DURING SEARCH – Replace with NO penalty
  3.  EMBEDDED BALL – Free relief anywhere through the course
  4.  MEASURING A DROP – Use longest club (except putter)
  5.  DROPPING – Drop from knee height rather than shoulder
  6.  TAKING STANCE ON WRONG GREEN IS NOT PERMITTED
  7.  BALL UNINTENTIONALLY HITS PLAYER OR EQUIPMENT – NO penalty
  8.  DOUBLE HIT – NO penalty, now only counts as 1 stroke
  9.  TOUCHING SAND IN BUNKER ACCIDENTALLY IS PERMITTED
  10.  LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS CAN BE REMOVED ANYWHERE INCLUDING HAZARDS
  11.  DROPPING A BALL OUT OF BUNKER – 2 penalty strokes
  12.  WATER HAZARDS – now called “penalty areas”
  13.  TOUCHING GROUND IN PENALTY AREA – NO penalty
  14.  BALL MOVES ON GREEN AFTER BEING MARKED – replace without penalty
  15.  BALL ACCIDENTALLY MOVED ON PUTTING GREEN – replace NO penalty
  16.  ALL DAMAGE TO GREEN CAN BE REPAIRED
  17.  POSITIONING A CLUB FOR ALIGNMENT IS NOT PERMITTED
  18.  CADDIE ASSISTING WITH ALIGNMENT IS NOW NOT PERMITTED
  19.  PUTTING WITH FLAGSTICK IN HOLE IS NOW PERMITTED
  20.  BALL WEDGED AGAINST FLAG STICK AND SIDE OF HOLE IS DEEMED AS HOLED

New manager, club improvements ready for a big season at GreatLIFE Worthington

This is a piece originally posted on Sioux Falls Business with Jodi Schwan.

It says something that even in the depths of a Minnesota winter, Ben Johnson is still happy to have returned to his roots after spending three years in Texas.

ben johnson

Johnson, who grew up east of Sioux City, is the new general manager and head golf professional of the Worthington Golf & Fitness Club, which is part of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness

A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he earned a bachelor’s degree in PGA golf management and has been a PGA member since 2013, working at courses in Tulsa, Okla.; Dakota Dunes, S.D.; and Houston.

“I have been aware of GreatLIFE and thought it was a great opportunity,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential in Worthington. And the smaller-town feel and the atmosphere here is what I grew up with.”

What you’ll find

There’s a lot to like about GreatLIFE in Worthington, starting with the golf course.

“The course has a great, old-school feel,” Johnson said. “It’s a short, narrow course with small greens. You might think it’s easy to play when looking at it, but you’ll quickly understand it’s not the easiest course out there. It’s tree-lined and has a lot of character to it that’s hard to find on newer courses.”

golf course

It’s also kept in great condition, he added.

“The course is very well maintained. Our superintendent does a great job,” he said. “And if you’re from outside the area, it’s a great way to get away and have a nice, laid-back golf experience.”

The GreatLIFE fitness center inside the building offers a variety of equipment and overlooks the course and an outdoor pool.

“We have 24-hour access, and it really gives you everything you need for a workout,” Johnson said. “We’re in the process of finding someone to offer yoga outside by the pool. We did it last year and people really enjoyed it.”

And speaking of the pool – you’ll find a perfect summer escape here with the only outdoor pool in Worthington.

indoor gym

“And we have a snack shack and patio tables and chairs, so it’s just a nice, relaxing atmosphere,” Johnson said.

You’ll also discover plenty to dine on at Duffer’s Bar and Grill, with a menu of clubhouse favorites like burgers and chicken strips, plus lunch specials, a salad bar, steak, broasted chicken and other entrees. It’s open daily to anyone.

Play a game of pool or throw darts with friends too.

The Worthington club is open to the public for golf and swimming. But the value of a GreatLIFE membership offering unlimited golf, fitness and pool time is significant, Johnson said.

“I think it’s a great model,” he said. “The convenience they can provide to families is fantastic. What they’re doing with golf and fitness is bringing people from different worlds together. If you’re in this area, it would be hard to not be a part of this golf and fitness club.”

 

There’s nothing better!

Our members already know there’s nothing like living the GreatLIFE. And we want to share it with even more families and friends.

Get started now and pay no money down and no enrollment fee. Take full advantage of this offer on any 12-month membership at any GreatLIFE location.

Plus you’ll get awesome perks, like great discounts at Skyzone and Skate City and discounted golf simulator pricing on select days at Suburban Lanes.

To see the full list of weekly offers, click here.
For all other Member Benefits, view our Member Benefits page.

So signup. Pay nothing. That’s really something! For a limited time only.

 

*Offer good for new memberships only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.

GREATLIFE COUNTDOWN TO GARTH – NEW MEMBERS REGISTER TO WIN TICKETS

GreatLIFE is counting down to Garth Brooks’ return to Sioux Falls with a weekly ticket giveaway.*

Enroll a new 12-month membership with GreatLIFE – either Fitness PLUS or Golf and Fitness PLUS — and you will be entered into a weekly drawing to see Garth Brooks live.

Entries will begin August 14th and a drawing will take place every Thursday for four weeks beginning August 24th. Get a great fitness membership to kick start a healthy lifestyle and a chance at seeing some great music. Either way, you win at GreatLIFE.

*Offer good for new memberships only. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. New members must provide voided check or bank account information at sign-up. Excludes Mitchell, SD.

2017 GreatLIFE Worthington Labor Day Classic

2017 GreatLIFE Worthington Labor Day Classic

It is hard to believe that summer is starting to come to an end. The Labor Day Classic has been a staple of the Worthington Golf Course for years! We have an exciting field again this year. There is still time to sign up! We have limited spots available, so make sure you sign up today!!

The registration is now open to anyone. Deadline for registration is August 1st.

Click here to register.

Hit the links and bag a great gift from GreatLIFE!

Hit the links and bag a great gift from GreatLIFE!

Golf is in full swing, so we’re teeing up GreatLIFE members who refer a friend – with a $100 GreatLIFE gift card*. And because one great gift deserves another, we’ll give each referred new member a $100 GreatLIFE Gift Card* too. It’s just one more reason to go play your favorite GreatLIFE golf course.

There’s never been a better time to commit to a healthier new you with all the benefits of a Golf & Fitness membership. At GreatLIFE, we’ve built a community of people committed to living better every day by staying active, eating healthier, spending quality time with family and friends, and finding joy playing together.

You can feel good about referring your friends because GreatLIFE is the beginning of a great lifestyle. In addition to golf, we provide our members with many practical and fun ways to integrate wellness into their lives.

15 State-of-the-Art Fitness Centers
25 of the Area’s Best Golf Courses
Free Bowling – 3 Sioux Falls locations
Free Fitness Classes
Membership Discounts at Year Round Brown
Sky Zone Trampoline Park Discounts
Discounts on Stampede, Canaries, and Storm Tickets
Swimming
Tennis
Personal Training
Weight Loss
Yoga
Health Resources
New members can start today with golf and fitness memberships starting at just $59.99/month.

Drive, chip, putt and play all day. Stop in to sign up or refer a friend.

*Offer good for new memberships only. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. New members must provide voided check or bank account information to receive $100 gift card. One gift card per membership. Excludes Mitchell, SD location. Offer valid on 12-month contracts only.

Warm up your swing. Warm up to spring!

Warm up your swing. Warm up to spring!

Spring is a great time to dust off the clubs, warm up your swing and look ahead to the greens. All while teeing up to a great gift – from GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness Club in Worthington.

GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness members who refer a friend will receive a $100 GreatLIFE Gift Card*. And because one great gift deserves another, we’ll give each referred new member a $100 GreatLIFE Gift Card* too. It’s just one more reason to hit the links.

Any season is a great time to commit to a healthier new you with all the benefits of a Golf & Fitness membership. At GreatLIFE, we’ve built a community of people committed to living better every day by staying active, eating healthier, spending quality time with family and friends, and finding joy playing together.

You can feel good about referring your friends because GreatLIFE is the beginning of a great lifestyle. In addition to golf, we provide our members with many practical and fun ways to integrate wellness into their lives.

• Unlimited access to our first-class fitness club. Workout as often as you like at one low monthly price.
• State-of-the-art equipment, free weights and cardio machines to help you reach your fitness goals. That means you workout how as often as you like for one low monthly price.
• Great golf at Worthington Golf Course, while you don’t have to be a member to play, you do need to be a golf & fitness member to get unlimited access to play as often as you like for one low price every month.
• Duffer’s Bar & Grill is open to the public year-round, seven-days-a-week with craft beers, specialty menu and big screens for the big game.
• More Golf. More Fitness. Our golf & fitness members get unlimited access (based on membership level) to multiple golf courses and fitness centers throughout the entire region, and all the amenities that go along with them, for one great price!

If you’re ready to better your game and better your life, start today with a golf & fitness membership starting at just $59.99/month.

Drive, chip, putt and play your way into spring. Stop in today to sign up or refer a friend.

*Offer good for new memberships only. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. New members must provide voided check or bank account information to receive $100 gift card. One gift card per membership. Excludes Mitchell, SD location. Offer valid on 12-month contracts only.


Worthington Golf Course Closing For Season

Worthington Golf Course will be closing for the season on Monday, November 14th, 2016.

The last day for play will be Sunday, November 13th.

We want to thank each of you for the successful year! Without you, none of this could be possible.

Off Season Proshop Hours:
Monday: 10am-5pm
Tuesday: 11am-5pm
Wednesday: 10am-5pm
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

*Due to the chemical treatment on the greens for winter, there will be no play allowed starting Monday, November 14th.

Thank You for a Great 2016 Season!
-GreatLIFE Golf And Fitness Worthington Staff