It’s not hard to come up with three reasons golfers are drawn to Falcon Ridge Golf Club in Lenexa: Location, design and service.
That’s the way Regional Director and General Manager Steve Price sees it. Those attributes, along with Falcon Ridge now being part of the family of GreatLIFE golf courses, help explain why more balls are flying off the tee there.
“This place is as busy as I have ever seen it,” Price said. “It’s a very positive experience.” Price has been with Falcon Ridge for four years and is a PGA professional.
Falcon Ridge is among four courses in the Great Life Classic Plus category, along with Deer Creek, Prairie Highlands and Hillcrest. For $179.99 plus tax, including cart, members can play the other three courses plus nine others in two lower tiers. Falcon Ridge joined the GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness group in March of 2016.
Falcon Ridge is just a couple minutes north of Kansas Highway 10 at the Woodland Road exit and very close to the I-35 and I-435 interchange. Few courses in the area are so easily accessible.
The course has long been appreciated for its championship-caliber design, with no two holes alike as golfers navigate undulations, bunkers and water hazards over the par 72 layout.
“It presents a variety of shots and a variety of holes,” Price said. “The key is probably making sure you understand the distance to the greens because the greens are pretty good size. Clubbing yourself correctly is the secret.”
The course offers generally wide fairways. The first hole is a confidence-building par 4 that is relatively short and flat. The second hole par 4 is similarly manageable, but water on the right can gobble up a too-long drive or poor second shot.
The course gets tougher in a hurry as a tee shot on 3 that is slightly left can bound into the rough and creek that line the fairway on the Par 4 hole.
The course continues to mix challenging holes with relative breathers while always giving players a good view of landing areas off the tee and few blind shots from the fairway.
Falcon Ridge is unusual in that it has five par 5s and five par 3s. There is a stretch of seven holes on the back with only one par 4.
“It’s a very friendly course from all the different tees,” Price said. “From the back tees, it is a solid challenge for the low handicapper.”
Falcon Ridge does not have an abundance of trees, which gives the fairways and greens plenty of sun and air conducive to healthy grass, Price said. “It’s always been well-maintained,” he added.
Falcon Ridge has leagues and tournaments, detailed on its website, falconridgegolf.com. Its green fees are very competitive, including senior rates of just $36 plus tax during the week for players 55 and older.
Lessons at Falcon Ridge are overseen by Courtney Mahon, the new director of instruction. She returned to her home state of Kansas this year after serving as lead instructor for the Tour Striker Golf Academy in Phoenix. She is an LPGA professional.
Falcon Ridge has a full bar and grill menu and a popular Taco Tuesday night. Its banquet room hosts golf events, parties and receptions.
Falcon Ridge remains a public club but may become private before long. The course has signed up about 300 members and plans to go private when it reaches 400, Price said. Weekend golf tourneys are being phased out and events will be confined to Monday through Thursday, once the course has 400 members he said.
Memberships run from April 1 to March 31. GreatLIFE has also set 400 as the private membership threshold at its other three Classic Plus clubs, Price said. Members can play all four courses any time and can play the 13 courses at the Classic and Champion levels anytime except before noon on Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s a great business model,” Price said. “There is the potential for 1,600 members total at the four Classic Plus courses.”
When the clubs go private, members will be allowed to bring guests.
Membership at a GreatLIFE course also provides access to fitness centers at five of the 13 clubs, something that is especially attractive to families, Price said.
“The whole idea behind GreatLIFE is to enrich the lives of families and individuals through golf, fitness and healthy lifestyles – for individuals, couples or the whole family.” Price said. GreatLIFE also has its own citywide junior golf program to stimulate more interest in the game, he said.
Besides a winning design and favorable location, Falcon Ridge strives to bring golfers back through positive interaction at the front counter, in the pro shop, on the practice tee and in the dining area.
“We back everything up with the best service we can give,” Price said.
Tee times and more information about Falcon Ridge can be found on its website or by calling the pro shop at 913-393-GOLF (4653).