Alvamar Golf Club

One of Golf Digest’s Top 75 Public Courses is right here in our area and it offers the perfect venue to get in some quality autumn golf. Ever notice when the leaves change colors and the temperature cools, many of us golfers play our best golf of the season? Is it because autumn is the perfect season to play? Is it because you’ve worked out the kinks all year, and now your swing looks and feels like you’ve been working with Hank Haney for eight months? Is it because you’ve found the right equipment?  Yes. The answer is yes to all of the above.

The Alvamar courses are located in Lawrence, Kansas – just a short drive from the KC area. The fantastic Championship Course (open to the public) offers the Quail Creek and Jayhawk nines, a challenging and scenic layout any golfer would love to experience. Bob Dunning designed the course, and it was created to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. The tips play to 7,092 for those of you interested in breaking out the driver. “It has large tees, large, generous greens with gentle slopes around them, a lot of length and nice flowing challenges,” Dick Stuntz, the General Manager at Alvamar said. “And something we’re proud of, we are the first golf course in United States to have zoysia fairways from the inception. We have some of the finest zoysia fairways you’ll play anywhere,” he said. The Members Course (private) has its own accolades, and with some great membership opportunities at Alvamar right now, you can soon be playing the Hidden Valley and Sunflower nines to your heart’s content. This layout is different from the Championship Course, with loads of trees and steep slopes, making these nines more of a target-based layout. The black tees over here max out at 6,829, and many people will tell you that Alvamar Country Club is one of the most difficult courses to play in the Sunflower state. “It has small green targets that are severe around them and difficult to recover from. It’s not as long as the Championship Course, but more of a target golf course,” Stuntz said.

Alvamar has great golf, and when you join, you immediately have access to 36 holes – two courses with completely different styles – as well as great practice facility with heated, indoor hitting bays that you need to check out. But they also offer other amenities such as two full-service dining areas, swimming pool, patio, and more. “We have the Alvabar downstairs, with ten big-screen TVs, a full-service bar, and a patio,” Kursten Smith, Event Coordinator/Sales & Marketing Director said. “Then we have the upstairs main dining room where we have our more formal dining.” They offer lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Alvamar also rents out rooms in the clubhouse for meetings, showers, receptions, and other events. And if you are a member, they waive the rental fee. Which can be a great value, especially if you want to hold a business meeting, then have lunch and play a round of golf on a Friday afternoon.

A lot of families enjoy Alvamar, too. “We have a lot of families with kids here at the club,” Smith said. With a social committee, there’s always something going on. The private swimming pool entertains kids and adults alike during the warm months. It has a slide and snack bar. “It’s a real aquatic-type park area,” Stuntz said. They offer swimming lessons, an Alvamar swim team, lap pool time, and plenty of other activities. “It’s a private pool, and we treat it like a private pool,” he said. “Our supervision and management, along with the facilities, are outstanding.” We still have great golf weather the next month or two, but winter will soon be upon us. So then what happens? “We even have sledding for the kids in winter,” Smith said. “It’s probably one of the best sledding hills in Lawrence. We put fire pits out, and hot chocolate and cookies. The kids really enjoy it.”

Things like this add to the overall Alvamar membership experience. “We’re a private club, but we are very open for people to come out and give us a try,” Stuntz said. So if you are looking to join a club, give Alvamar a call and they will certainly give you the grand tour, including play on both the Members Course as well as the Championship Course. “We welcome people giving us a try.” And you should take them up on the offer. The weather is great. Right now, they are offering half price dues through March 2012. For more information, visit or contact J. Taylor at 785.842.7767.

—Eric Catcher