Deer Creek Golf Club in Overland Park has always provided top-notch golf but not necessary consistent conditions or service.
That has changed this year under new management committed to making course playability and clubhouse service daily standards, said Chris Fink, who took over as Deer Creek general manager on Jan. 1.
“We call it the new Deer Creek,” Fink said. “We want people to come out and experience Deer Creek and hopefully look at it in a different way.”
Deer Creek, now operated by the national golf course management company Eagle Golf, has added new staff and changed the culture to emphasize consistency, Fink said.
On the course, greens are rolling at about the same speed every day, Fink said. More attention is given to keeping bunkers, tees and fairways tidy. Beverage carts and marshals are out daily. In the clubhouse, breakfast is available each morning.
The course itself has needed no changes to its highly-regarded layout, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The course, east of Metcalf at 133rd Street, opened in 1989 is one of the most challenging yet playable courses in Kansas City.“A golfer playing Monday or Tuesday should have the same experience as the guy playing on Saturday,” Fink said “It’s got to be the same every day.”
Deer Creek’s fairways meander through tall trees, cross the creek several times and offer a mix of woods and housing on both the front and back nine. The course plays 6,800 yards from the back tee and has some 85 bunkers.
“It’s a course for everybody,” Fink said. “We have young players, middle-aged players and young people. Women play out here a lot, too.”
Information on the course, its amenities, green fees and tee times is available at www.deercreekgc.com or by calling 913-681-3100.
Deer Creek has become more affordable over the years, with prime weekend fees of $65 with cart and various discounts available during the week and late in the afternoon. The senior rate of $29 with cart is among the cheapest in Kansas City. The course also sells annual passes and punch cards for discounted rounds.
Fink said the new management has made efforts to speed up play at Deer Creek because golf is losing some popularity due to how much time it takes to play. The course has put some “ready golf” tips on every cart tag.
“If you shave just one minute off the time to play each hole that is about 20 minutes for the round,” Fink said.
The course pays attention to pin positions as a way to get players off the green faster and it encourages golfers to give competitors short putts. Moving tees up does not always accelerate play because it may tempt players to clear trouble, only to land it there anyway and take longer to play the hole, he said.
Deer Creek is not only known for its golf course but for its large clubhouse, which overlooks the first tee and ninth and 18th greens.
The clubhouse is popular for corporate meetings, seminars banquets, reunions and weddings. There are about 70 weddings booked for 2015, about half of them on the first tee, Fink said. There are two banquet rooms in the clubhouse for receptions and other events.
Deer Creek is also one of the preferred courses in Kansas City for corporate and charitable tournaments because of the clubhouse and top-rated golf course.
Money was invested this year in new carpeting and restrooms and to upgrade art on some of the event space walls in the clubhouse, Fink said.
Fink said improvements to the golf and clubhouse experience at Deer Creek will continue.
“We are making a lot of changes that will roll into next year,” Fink said. “People spend a lot of money to play golf and there is a lot of competition. You give people reasons to come back.”