This is a piece originally posted on Sioux Falls Business with Jodi Schwan.

Thanks to Mother Nature’s late-fall warm-up, you’ve got a chance to get on the golf course in the next few days, but those might be the last opportunities of the year.

Golf, however, is on the mind of GreatLIFE leadership all year – from upgrades to the courses to offering new ways members can keep improving their game during the off-season.

Here are five things to know about how to take advantage of your membership and keep golfing top of mind during the months ahead.

Tech is your friend

We know a golf simulator is never going to mimic the real thing, but it’s still a pretty great alternative. You’ll find several simulators at GreatLIFE Suburban Lanes that will transport you to some of the game’s best courses.

“This is also a good time of year if you want to work on your game and be making a change in your golf swing,” vice president of golf Jason Sudenga said.

“Make the changes, get the repetition in on the simulator, and get your muscles retrained. When you get back out there in 2020, you’ll have some muscle memory built up, and you can retain that new swing.”

Watch for simulator leagues to start in early 2020 with sign-ups starting soon.

“The leagues are a lot of fun, and we have many regulars who have been in for years now,” Sudenga said. “They’ve been a good hit, and we’re definitely going to continue them.”

Great Shots is coming

GreatLIFE members are going to be all about the new Great Shots golf and entertainment center at the Sanford Sports Complex, Sudenga predicted.

“The golfers are going to love it. It’s going to be another place you can go and see the golf ball fly,” he said. “At Great Shots, you’ll be able to see where the ball goes, so it will be a big hit with GreatLIFE members who essentially can play year-round.”

Even better: GreatLIFE members will receive half-price bay rentals.

Watch for details coming up on how members will receive a sneak preview of Great Shots, which is opening in the coming weeks.

“We’re excited for non-golfers to visit too,” Sudenga said. “The hope is some of our members who aren’t golfers will go out with friends, get a club in their hand, and who knows what might happen – it might turn them into a golfer as well.”

Fitness can make a difference

Don’t underestimate the right kind of workout in improving your golf game.

GreatLIFE now has 12 trainers who are recovery specialists.

“They will help you move better, feel better, improve mobility and flexibility, which will appeal to golfers and ultimately help you when you’re back on the course,” vice president of fitness Randall Hill said.

“They can work with you at any fitness center and will help with everything from mobility issues to stretching techniques.”

Ask at any fitness center and you can be connected to a recovery specialist, or email Hill at

One more thing to try: Yoga is offered at GreatLIFE’s Woodlake and Performance Center locations.

“It’s incredible how much more flexible you will get doing yoga,” said Sudenga, who just started it himself and raves about it.

Need a fun way to get started? Try Bakker Crossing’s special wine and yoga event at 6 p.m. Nov. 22.

The facilities are still available

Just because the golf course itself isn’t being used, you can still rent space in the clubhouse for your next event.

Businesses: There is banquet or meeting space available at every GreatLIFE clubhouse, from Bakker Crossing and Willow Run in Sioux Falls to Central Valley in Hartford and Rocky Run in Dell Rapids if you’re looking for a quick trip out of town. Want to get away even more? Try out the Worthington Golf & Fitness Club.

“All the clubhouses are good for a holiday party or any type of corporate celebration,” Sudenga said.

“They can work with you on food and beverage options, if you need equipment for a presentation or help you customize a room layout.”

We’re already thinking about next year

GreatLIFE is always improving its courses, and the off-season is a great time to plan.

“We’re looking at doing some cart paths at Central Valley and Willow Run, which will help when we get wet weather,” Sudenga said. “We haven’t determined a timeline for sure yet, but it’s an improvement we will be delivering.”

The team also uses the winter months to dream up new golf events for members.

“Every year we try and switch it up a bit and create a new opportunity for them to play,” he said.

And speaking of events – the staff will be reaching out to organizers of previous events to secure dates for 2020. If your organization is thinking about a golf event next year, now is the time to start planning.

“It’s a good idea to call and get a date reserved,” Sudenga said. “Just call any of our courses, and they can walk you through your options.”

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