Like most good Westerns, The Posse and The Outlaw at Paradise Pointe are the two main forces in the drama that surrounds golfers at one of the area’s most intriguing, and challenging, golf complexes. Just 20 miles from where Jesse James was born and grew up, Paradise Pointe features two championship-length courses, each with its own style and personality. Which is the hero and which is the antagonist is debatable – not unlike the legend of Jesse James himself.
The Posse was the first of the two courses, built in 1982. Its front nine stretches out along the lake before turning away from the water, but towards other hazards and challenges. Trees, smaller lakes, and the ever-present wind off the lake make The Posse a formidable foe for any golfer. It is the shorter of the two courses, with a pair of par 5s and par 3s on each side for an overall par 72. It features bluegrass fairways and is punctuated by its signature 18th hole – a long par 5 featuring a substantial cottonwood tree that splits the fairway of the soft dogleg that arcs back to he clubhouse. At over 550 yards, golfers need a lot of stick to get there in two. It’s best advised that most golfers lay up to a comfortable distance and let their short irons bring them home.
Unlike most Westerns where you first have an outlaw and then form a posse to track him down, the Outlaw came second when it opened in 1994. The Outlaw differs from the Posse with its turf type and its design. The links-style course features zoysia fairways, as opposed to the bluegrass found on the other course. And, it’s longer at over 7000 yards from the back tees. Designed by Craig Schreiner, the course is visually interesting with strategically placed bunkers and gently rolling slopes. The two are masterfully arranged to make landing areas seem smaller and greens look a little tougher than they really are. Another challenge is that wind. “The Outlaw is a little more generous in the fairways, but the wind out here makes it very challenging,” Eddie Hall, the Paradise Pointe General Manager, said. “It’s always blowing here off the lake.”
On either course, you’re likely to notice two things. First, the course is typically in fantastic shape and as you play, you’ll find yourself wondering why you don’t visit the course more often. The other thing you’ll notice is the lack of homes, buildings, or other development. Since the land on which the course sits is owned by the Corps of Engineers, you wont be looking at backyards all day, but rather woodlands, lake views, or wide open spaces.
Besides the two great 18 hole courses, Paradise Pointe offers a few other things as well. There is also a four hole Academy Course used for teaching all aspects of the game of golf from the swing to the etiquette. Beginners love the Academy Course for the ability to get out and play “real” golf on par 3, 4, and 5 holes without the perceived pressure of teeing it up on an 18-hole course. It’s also a great place to introduce youngsters to the game. “We believe in junior golf,” Hall said. “We have a great junior rate, and we encourage juniors to play.”
One thing they take pride in at Paradise Pointe is pace of play. They’ve set up both The Outlaw and Posse for quick-paced rounds. “We have a 4 1⁄2 hour pace of play, and people like to come out here and know they’re not going to spend the whole day,” Hall said. Hall indicates they do this with well spaced tee times and by managing the pace throughout the day. The Posse has nine-minute intervals, while the Outlaw adds an extra minute. The staff has done their homework and they know that spacing like that means golfers can rely on a well-paced round – something that keeps today’s busy golfers coming back for more.
THE GOLF SHOP
For over ten years, the golf shop at Paradise Pointe has been selected annually as one of the “Top 100 Golf Shops in the Country” by Golf Digest. They have a great selection, but customer service sets them apart from the competition. John Marquardt, the Director of Golf, has been selected for “Merchandiser of the Year” over 50 times.
With custom club fitting and some of the best folks in the business, you will definitely find the right clubs at the right price. “Every aspect of the game can be fit,” Hall said, “and every stage of the golfer should be fit.” They will get you fit with a complete new set, from your driver to your putter. Perhaps the best part about getting fit at Paradise Pointe is golfers get to hit on the driving range where they can watch the flight pattern of the ball and see the results immediately.
For more information, call the pro shop at 816-532-4100, or visit their website: www.paradisepointegolf.com.
–KC Golfer Staff Writers