Archive for Thursday, March 21, 2002

Finding a niche par for the course

March 21, 2002

A father and son playing on the miniature golf course prove Twin Oaks Golf Complex found its niche.

General manager Jim Bligh, who has been at Twin Oaks for about a month, touts the facility as a complex with something to offer the tiniest golfers and seasoned seniors.

"This place is made for all ages," he said. "It's a great place to learn the rules of golf."

Because Twin Oaks, near the intersection of Kansas Highway 10 and Douglas County 1057 offers a nine-hole course, Bligh said a round only takes about 45 minutes, a benefit to "people who can't take the long, four-hour round."

The senior-friendly course now designates Tuesdays as senior days for golfers 60 and older and offers them a special rate for the pitch and putt. Bligh said Twin Oaks was looking for senior volunteers for a four-hour shift once a week.

"They can just come out and help," he said. "Everyone needs a place to go."

Although green grass was peeking through on the course Tuesday afternoon, the weather wasn't quite spring-like. When the mercury rises, like it did Sunday when temperatures reached nearly 60 degrees, Bligh said golfers flock to the course.

Although the driving range may be a big draw, golfers will have a new reason to check out the complex next month when leagues form for men, women, couples and a "glow ball" league where golfers use what else a glowing golf ball.

"It's something couples can do together," Bligh said of the couples' league.

The nine-hole course, designed by a well-known architect of golf courses, includes a view of a small lake, the sounds of chirping birds, and, Blight pointed out, an easy-going course for seniors or beginners.

"I don't think a lot of people know it's here," he said.

The complex, which already offers club fittings, is also in the process of stocking a pro shop.

Unlike some miniature golf courses that have gimmicks ponds and a wooden bridge.

"It's kind of a nature area," Bligh said. "The birds always flock out here."

Miniature golf offers young golfers and their more experienced counterparts to enjoy the facility simultaneously, Bligh said.

"For the older kids you can leave alone, dad can come out and hit balls, and the kids can play miniature golf," he said. "You've got a built-in babysitter."

Bligh also said he hoped the course would be a place where the community could come to have a cup of coffee, read the paper, or just sit around and talk about golf.

"People who live down here have a close place for them," he said. "If they want to come in and hang around, then that's OK."

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