Sometimes, little things are actually big things.

Like when you’re a senior golfer who loves the game but needs a little help signing up for a league.

“I’m not terribly tech-savvy, and Jason helped me there,” said Ward Cline, who describes himself as a GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness member “from the very beginning.”

This time of year, you’ll likely find the semi-retired and lifelong golfer on a GreatLIFE course anywhere from one to four times a week

And recently, he wanted to join a traveling senior league.

But that required signing up online, which is where Jason Crisp, head golf professional at Bakker Crossing Golf Course, stepped in.

“Ward was a little bit of a lost puppy when it came to technology,” Crisp said.

“I stopped what I was doing and took him aside and said ‘let’s do this.’ He didn’t have an email account, so we created one and got him signed up. He wanted to tip me, and I said, ‘Ward, I’m just doing my job.’ I just said: ‘It’s no big deal. This is what it’s all about. You’re in, and I got to help you, you feel good, and I feel good. It’s great.’

Like Cline, Crisp has been part of GreatLIFE since day one.

A Dell Rapids native who joined Bakker Crossing in 2010, he transitioned to GreatLIFE in 2014. His career includes time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, attending the Golf Academy of America, where he learned the fundamentals of golf course and club management.

“One of the reasons I became a golf pro is because of some of my experiences in the sport,” he said. “I love to play golf. I love being at the course, and I wanted to know what a pro does. As a young, aspiring golfer, some of my experiences weren’t the greatest.”

He knew what sort of experience he wanted to deliver.

“I also kind of had it in my mind that if I ever became a golf pro, it doesn’t matter if you’re a low or high handicap or just getting started, every golfer should have the greatest experience possible at the course,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re here for a league or a tournament — we treat everything like it’s the most important thing happening. People appreciate that, and it turns into an outstanding relationship.”

That approach also has led to a new opportunity for Crisp, who becomes director of golf this summer, taking over for longtime leader Jason Sudenga, who is moving out of state.

The two will be working through the transition in the coming weeks.

“Jason Crisp absolutely exemplifies the culture we’re proud of at GreatLIFE,” president Nick Ovenden said. “He’s already a big reason for our success over the last decade, and we’re excited to see how he embraces this next opportunity.”

Crisp said he’s excited to work with GreatLIFE’s other golf pros. His own former assistant, Dalton Zimmerman, will take over as the pro at Bakker Crossing.

“I really want to make sure I’m spending as much time as I can for the first couple years with the golf pros and teams and learning the operations,” he said.

“I want to help us become as efficient as possible and continue to provide the best member experience and value. As long as we continue to improve ourselves and our leadership focus on growing other people, I think GreatLIFE will continue to be in a good spot.”

As for Cline, he has been loving the senior league – and isn’t at all surprised the GreatLIFE team member who got him there is taking on his new role.

“Jason is so personable and really professional,” he said. “I know he’ll do well. I think he’s hard-wired to do well.”

Are you ready to become part of the GreatLIFE community? There’s plenty of golf season left! Visit to get started.



Longtime golf pro who forms strong connection with members will take on enhanced role

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