The Great Outdoors: Games to Play
By RYAN BRINKER Photos by ADAM COLE
Ask people how they enjoy the outdoors and you may receive several responses: swimming, golfing, running, playing games with their kids. For people in Topeka, one company allows them to do all of those things and more. GreatLIFE offers numerous locations throughout Topeka and the surrounding area where members can play a game of golf, go for a swim, take batting practice, work on technique at the driving range, challenge the kids to mini-golf or try their hand (or foot) at the new 9-hole FootGolf course at Safari Golf.
Rick Farrant, co-owner of GreatLIFE, says all of their facilities are designed to enrich the lives of families.
“Anything we can do where we can get adults and kids out doing something together, it strengthens that relationship,” Farrant said.
Building on that mission to enrich family experiences, GreatLIFE opened its newest adventure: FootGolf.
When GreatLIFE purchased Safari Golf in 2015, the first thing the company did was sod the greens of the small 9-hole executive golf course to Zoysia grass. This was a bit unusual, but according to Farrant, they had the FootGolf course in mind from the very beginning.
“Our FootGolf players get to finish on actual greens with the big cups in them,” Farrant said. “On most courses the FootGolf players have to stay out in the rough.”
Farrant says Safari is a great example of bringing families together to engage in fun activities. For a set fee you can play miniature golf, FootGolf, hit range balls and then do the batting cages.
“The amazing part is, that even with my own kids, I have never made it through all four activities in one afternoon,” Farrant said. “But, it’s always been fun.”
Farrant says the theory behind the new course is that grandparents can bring their grandkids out to play FootGolf,. The grownups can either join in on the FootGolf game or just bring a wedge and a ball and play right alongside the kids— without worrying about irritating some intense golfers behind them. While Safari Golf is open to the public, GreatLIFE members get a special discount.
“Our biggest hope is that people have a good time and they find the experience rewarding,” Farrant said.