This is a piece originally posted on Sioux Falls Business with Jodi Schwan.
It says something that even in the depths of a Minnesota winter, Ben Johnson is still happy to have returned to his roots after spending three years in Texas.
Johnson, who grew up east of Sioux City, is the new general manager and head golf professional of the Worthington Golf & Fitness Club, which is part of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness
A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he earned a bachelor’s degree in PGA golf management and has been a PGA member since 2013, working at courses in Tulsa, Okla.; Dakota Dunes, S.D.; and Houston.
“I have been aware of GreatLIFE and thought it was a great opportunity,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential in Worthington. And the smaller-town feel and the atmosphere here is what I grew up with.”
What you’ll find
There’s a lot to like about GreatLIFE in Worthington, starting with the golf course.
“The course has a great, old-school feel,” Johnson said. “It’s a short, narrow course with small greens. You might think it’s easy to play when looking at it, but you’ll quickly understand it’s not the easiest course out there. It’s tree-lined and has a lot of character to it that’s hard to find on newer courses.”
It’s also kept in great condition, he added.
“The course is very well maintained. Our superintendent does a great job,” he said. “And if you’re from outside the area, it’s a great way to get away and have a nice, laid-back golf experience.”
The GreatLIFE fitness center inside the building offers a variety of equipment and overlooks the course and an outdoor pool.
“We have 24-hour access, and it really gives you everything you need for a workout,” Johnson said. “We’re in the process of finding someone to offer yoga outside by the pool. We did it last year and people really enjoyed it.”
And speaking of the pool – you’ll find a perfect summer escape here with the only outdoor pool in Worthington.
“And we have a snack shack and patio tables and chairs, so it’s just a nice, relaxing atmosphere,” Johnson said.
You’ll also discover plenty to dine on at Duffer’s Bar and Grill, with a menu of clubhouse favorites like burgers and chicken strips, plus lunch specials, a salad bar, steak, broasted chicken and other entrees. It’s open daily to anyone.
Play a game of pool or throw darts with friends too.
The Worthington club is open to the public for golf and swimming. But the value of a GreatLIFE membership offering unlimited golf, fitness and pool time is significant, Johnson said.
“I think it’s a great model,” he said. “The convenience they can provide to families is fantastic. What they’re doing with golf and fitness is bringing people from different worlds together. If you’re in this area, it would be hard to not be a part of this golf and fitness club.”