Rural Missouri - June 2016 - (Page 8)

RM | OUTDOORS Golf fore all Accessibility-oriented golf course opens in mid-Missouri Above: Danny Baker, the men's golf coach at Greenville (Ill.) College plays the first hole at the new Ken Lanning Golf Center. Below: Chet White of Jefferson City gets a swing lesson from Eldon Golf Club Professional Mike Cummings during a free golf lesson for veterans as part of the PGA HOPE program.The driving range is next to the new accessible-golf course in Jefferson City. by Paul Newton | make it accessible, but also make it challenging. That's the balance and beauty of design, trying to create the variety to make it fun for everyone. If it's fun, you're going to come back." cott Hovis knew there was a problem. The golf executive has The course was a labor of love for Scott, who began playing the seen the rampant expansion of the game that ran parallel to game with his parents at the age of 3. the rise of Tiger Woods stagnate and start to rescind. For him, "Golf has given me everything I have," he says. "About five growing the game meant not only encouraging those who were Jefferson years ago, my dad came down with Parkinson's disease. He's able to play to do so but, also to open the game to people who previCity played his whole life. I've watched how that terrible disease ously may not have had the opportunity. deteriorated his body and he can't get out and play on a norSo the Missouri Golf Association executive director worked with mal course. That was kind of a trigger for me into thinking a broad coalition of donors, volunteers, engineers, state officials, the how can we help people play who maybe now can't?" National Guard and others to create a one-of-kind, handicap-accessible After the statewide golf association moved into its new digs golf course in Jefferson City: The Ken Lanning Golf Center. The late Ken Lanning - a Rolla native and veteran - was "Mr. Junior Golf" at Turkey Creek Golf Center in 2011, talks began on how to utilize the undevelin Missouri according to Scott. "He started junior tournaments I was playing in oped land adjacent to an existing par-3 golf course at the center. The National Guard got involved through an Innovative Readiness Training when I was 5. He loved to help people play golf." The first-of-its-kind nine-hole course features all par 3's with no hole being project, which pairs units due for training in the guard with worthwhile civilian projects. Scott was informed in longer than 135 yards. The fairMay 2015 that a group of engineers ways, greens and bunkers all have from Festus had been approved to undulations, but nothing too steep help with their project and they'd be for a wheelchair to navigate. But, there in June. "I thought they meant the crème de la crème is the course's June 2016," he says. "They meant greens. They are made out of a synthey'd be here the next month. We thetic turf that has been specifically talked it over with the board and designed to accept golf balls as any decided to run with it." grass green would while also being Run with it they did. able to handle wheelchairs and othThey broke ground on June 6, er motorized carts. 2015. "It was a wet month, so that "I was baffled when I first saw the hurt," Scott says. "But we had our greens," Scott says. "They aren't just final walkthrough on October 15." circles. They're angled and shaped The course could've opened then, with the terrain. The balls don't just but the decision was made to let it catapult into the air like the turf on sit, go through a winter and mature. a football field either. It takes the The golf course is relatively flat, golf balls." however, it does feature enough Course architect Todd Clark of elevation changes to influence Kansas City says that while the shots. Other unique traits include synthetic greens certainly make the its 8-foot-wide cart paths around course unique, his job was to apply the entire course which allow two the same principles to it as he would carts or wheelchairs to drive side by other courses. side. Each teeing area is equipped "We wanted to make sure water with three tees. A forward tee which will flow off the green in two or three measures 674 yards and a back tee spots," he says. "Then the idea is to S 8 RURAL MISSOURI | JUNE 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2016


Rural Missouri - June 2016