Whether you’re hoping 2021 is your best golf season yet – or planning to make it your first one – the latest addition from GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness is here to make sure it happens.

Introducing the GreatLIFE Golf Academy, a new approach to teaching the sport, tailored exactly for your experience level and golfing goals.

“I think it has the ability to revolutionize how we teach golf,” said Drew Trautman, director of player development.

“Our mission is to give golfers the road map to success they need to play their best possible golf in a way that’s really effective and fun.”

Trautman is a Class A PGA professional who specializes in combining art and science to enhance your golf swing. An accomplished amateur collegiate and professional player, he has been with GreatLIFE for three years and last season was head golf pro at Willow Run Golf Course.

“I’m not afraid to be bold, so we’ll approach this in a way that’s really creative and innovative, and we’ll have a lot of fun because golf is a game. You’re meant to go out and enjoy it,” he said.

“We’ve really seen an uptick in golf and the growth of the game not just in Sioux Falls but nationally. So we wanted to look at the next step in providing a service to our membership that will enrich their golfing experience. We figured if there was a time to dive into this aspect of the game, now is the time.”

The GreatLIFE Golf Academy’s home is The Lab at Willow Run. It’s a state-of-the-art golf performance facility that utilizes the best full-swing and putting technologies in the game.

“We’ll have some of the world’s foremost golf technology,” Trautman said. “And it will put us at the forefront of putting instruction and fitting in the Midwest.”

The Lab will use SAM PuttLAB, a complete solution that analyzes all parameters of your putting stroke and displays the data in an easy-to-understand report.

“You’ll receive insights into your putting stroke with a level of precision you’ve likely never seen before,” Trautman said.

The Lab also will use Flightscope X3, an industry leader in launch monitor technology used by the best players in the game. It measures 29 data parameters to give instant feedback that can translate to swing changes.

“It takes out all of the guesswork,” Trautman said. “It’s extremely accurate feedback that will translate to real changes in your game.”

But what if you’re just getting started? Or a student trying to reach new heights in the sport? The GreatLIFE Golf Academy is for you, too, with programs for all levels:


It’s the perfect introductory course for golf beginners. Enroll early and you’ll have the whole season ahead to hone your game.

“This is tailored to the total beginner being introduced to the game,” Trautman said. “It’s a judgment-free environment taught in a clinic-based format, and each session will cover a different aspect of the game.”

ProjectSTART includes five one-hour sessions with a PGA-certified instructor.


From there, golfers “graduate” to ProjectPAR, which is designed for golfers no matter where you’re at in your golfing journey.

“You’ll have more access to teaching in the lab, and independent and advanced instruction,” Trautman said. “This approach, combined with our state-of-the-art technology, will maximize your opportunities for skill development.”

ProjectPAR includes six 30-minute “open lab” sessions per month and three 30-minute individual instruction sessions per month.

NextGEN Junior Golf Academy

It’s the next revolution in long-term athletic development for junior golfers. The NextGEN Junior Golf Academy is for players age 13 to 18 “who are really looking to take their game to the next level,” Trautman said.

“Our instructors use a proven formula to create a structure for golf instruction, physical performance and game management.”

Golf FORE Women

This progressive instruction program tailored specifically for women golfers starts with the basics. Classes progress with the end goal of having you ready for the golf course.

“It’s just going to be a lot of fun,” Trautman said. “And we’ll do cool things where they come in an introductory style, but we’ll just make it a fun atmosphere.”

Each Golf FORE Women includes five one-hour classes with a PGA instructor.

The GreatLIFE Golf Academy will be open to members and nonmembers, and more information will be coming in the weeks ahead. But for information or to reserve your spot now, contact Trautman at drew.trautman@joingreatlife.com or 605-335-5900, ext. 3.


New this season: GreatLIFE Golf Academy

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